By Abby Holman
It takes skilled hands and eyes to make the perfect quilt squares: stitching fabric together in intricate patterns, cutting out shapes, laying down batting, and sewing it all together. But for the Boonslick Tourism Council, making a barn quilt is as easy as painting by numbers.
The barn quilt concept was born in Ohio when a woman honored her late mother by painting a quilt square on her barn. That single act would lead to organizations and volunteers establishing the first American Quilt Trail, which reached forty-five states.
In 2007, the movement came to Missouri, and Boonslick Tourism Council secretary treasurer Connie Shay saw an opportunity to increase tourism. The council photographed area barns as potential sites for the quilts and asked 120 barn owners if they could paint a quilt on their barn. Most said yes. Barn owners choose the pattern and colors for their quilt square. Shay, the council’s only quilter, sketches the patterns onto boards, and others paint the design on two eight-by-two-foot boards. The boards are then pieced together and mounted on the barn.
Learn where you can tour the Boonslick Trail and see other barn quilts throughout Central Missouri at boonslicktourism.org.