About the Trail
The Bond Street Barn in Waterford In the past two decades, barn quilt trails have emerged in rural areas across the US. These public art installations are designed to bring attention to historic cultural and agricultural sites. The Loudoun County Barn Quilt Trail will open this fall and focus on important agricultural places in Loudoun County. Residents and visitors can learn about the importance of these farm buildings, their history, and the activities they currently house. These buildings tell important stories about our history and our future.
The Historic Dutton Quilt of Waterford The Loudoun County Barn Quilt Trail will open this fall and focus on important agricultural places in Loudoun County. Residents and visitors can learn about the importance of these farm buildings, their history, and the activities they currently house.
At the same time, this trail brings attention to the fascinating geometric art created by the women living on rural farms. Quilt squares also have important tales to tell. An artform springing from the thrift of farming families, these beautiful, practical objects were created by women at a time when they had little public influence. There are hundreds of documented designs ranging from the literal to the abstract, revealing clues about what life was like in a particular time and place.
Goats at Georges Mill Farm near Lovettsville The first quilt trail was created in Ohio in 2001 when Donna Sue Groves wanted to honor her mother, a quilter, by painting a quilt block on their tobacco barn. The project had wide appeal and also could be beneficial to rural communities. Other localities soon joined in. The first barn quilts were painted directly on the surface of barns. Painters began creating quilt blocks on plywood, which was then mounted on the barns. These blocks were heavy, and needed to be carefully sealed to withstand the elements.
A centuries-old farm in Wheatland, still in production today The quilt blocks for the Loudoun County Barn Quilt Trail are painted with exterior paints on lightweight aluminum sign panels, and can range in size from 4 feet square to 8 feet square. The designs are clear-coated to withstand many years of weather. The Purcellville business Sign Design executes the painting of the quilt blocks.
With its history of prosperous farms, Loudoun County is home to dozens of historic barns, but new barns are also emerging to house innovative agricultural businesses. This trail's goal is to introduce residents and visitors to the the rich and resilient nature of our rural areas.