A quilt trail is a series of painted wood or metal, hung or free standing, quilt squares installed at various locations along a route, emphasizing significant architecture and/or aesthetic landscapes. Currently North America has quilt trails in 43 of the United States as well as in three Canadian provinces.
The first official quilt trail was begun in 2001 in Adams County, Ohio. Donna Sue Groves wanted to honor her mother, Maxine, a noted quilter, with a painted quilt square on the family's barn in Manchester, Ohio. Though many believe that the Groves farm is home to the first barn quilt, that is not the case. The first barn quilt was an Ohio Star which was unveiled as part of a community celebration at a nearby herb farm. The Groves farm later became part of a trail of 20 barn quilts that formed a driving trail throughout Adams County. Although an emerging concept, a U.S. national quilt trail has rapidly spread across Ohio to Iowa, Kentucky, Kansas, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina,North Dakota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Maryland, Michigan, New York, Wisconsin, Indiana, Illinois, Texas, Minnesota, Nebraska, Colorado, South Dakota, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Oregon. Across the border in Canada, British Columbia has developed a trail, and barn quilts also exist in Ontario as well as in Kings County, New Brunswick.
The Vermont Quilt Trail was begun by quilters in Franklin County and already boasts almost 50 blocks. Our goal is to expand on their efforts to cover Vermont with quilt blocks, concentrating around Scenic Route 100.
North American quilt trails
There are quilt trails in over half of the states in the United States now. For an interactive map of all of the existing quilt trails, visit www.barnquiltinfo.com
Pennsylvania Community Partnerships R C & D is currently in the planning stages of a series of quilt trails (PA Quilt Trails) including one railroad quilt trail running from Lewistown, Pennsylvania, to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.