Monroe County Barn Quilt Trail

The idea started…

when the December 2012 issue of “Illinois Country Living” magazine came out (a publication of the Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives).  Featured in the issue were the barn quilts of Kankakee County, Illinois.  This sparked the interest of a couple of property owners, who then began the conversation with other interested people – involved in art, quilts and tourism.  They considered the questions:  Were there 50+ year old barns or outbuildings in good enough condition?  Would there be interest in decorating the Monroe County countryside with glimpses of our heritage in beautiful colors and patterns?  Would such a project help to boost tourism in the county?  The answer to all three questions was a resounding “Yes!”  And the Monroe County Barn Quilt Trail committee was formed.

The goal of the Monroe County Barn Quilt Trail committee is to have 50 properties displaying barn quilts by  2016 in time for the 200th Anniversary of Monroe County.  The committee is a group of volunteers whose interest is in preserving Monroe County historical barns and buildings, honoring the area’s agricultural roots, and giving a boost to the economy through tourism.  The barn quilts will adorn 50+ yr old properties – mainly barns, but also old schoolhouses and other buildings. The first barn quilt in Monroe County was hung on Dale and Kay Haudrich’s barn on February 20th, 2013.  It’s visible heading East on State Route 156 about a mile before you get to Hecker on the left.  There are 5 more barn quilts up now and more are in the works!  Check out our progress and get a map on the Monroe County Barn Quilt Trail Facebook Page!

You’ll enjoy looking for the bright colors of the barn quilts as they begin appearing on your country drive.   It’s a fun way to honor and learn about these wonderful properties and their historical significance in our community.

Are you interested in creating or having a barn quilt created for your property? 

Please fill out and return the application at the bottom of this page.  This information will help us build out the Stage I of the barn quilt trail in an organized fashion.  The Monroe County Barn Quilt Trail committee needs the information for several reasons.  First, we want to assemble a brochure featuring the barn quilts as they are completed.  The brochure will tell about the quilt pattern that was chosen, the history of the farm or property, and the family or business to which they are connected plus some interesting ‘barnyard’ stories.  Upon completion of the first 20 barn quilts a Monroe County map will be produced that will feature the barn quilt locations, the highlighted barn quilt trail and other significant historical trails, landmarks and buildings.

The benefits to your involvement with the Monroe County Barn Quilt Trail includes:

  • Access to the Friends In Stitches Quilt Guild’s barn quilt committee’s expertise in quilt design
  • Guidance on the best practice for creating your own barn quilt – or – contacts to local professional artists who can create your barn quilt.
  • Connections with a local youth groups who will paint your barn quilt with the guidance of a ‘chaperone’ artist.

From our research on successful Barn Quilt Trails across the country, we realize that organization is key to getting the first 20 quilts in place and enlisting best practices in production of the barn quilts will help sustain the trail and keep it looking it’s best for years to come.

If you are concerned the barn quilt on your property may invite unwanted visitors, please note that the Monroe County Barn Quilt Trail committee has formulated a color coded border system which addresses your concerns of privacy.  Neutral border colors mean “Private – Enjoy from the Road”.   Warm color border colors mean “Visiting Hours as Posted” which allows you flexibility if you have a secondary business and would like visitors some of the time.  Cool border colors will defer to the “Business Hours” of operation.  The border system will be explained in the promotional brochures.  We realize that not everyone has time to visit with tourists who may want to get a closer look at their barn quilt.

Installation – We can help you with guidance on the barn quilt installation.

Committee Members:   

  • Dale Haudrich (Project Lead, Property Owner)
  • Karen Schrader (Monroe County Farm Bureau)
  • Pearl Braun (President of Friends In Stitches Quilt Guild)
  • Kathi Weilbacher (Senator Rickert Bed & Breakfast)
  • Nora Feuquay (University of Illinois Extension)
  • Paul Ellis (City of Columbia and Monroe County Economic Development Council)
  • Sue Hezel (pen2paper art studio)

Application:  MCBQT Application V4 v1

How To Make a Barn Quilt:  MCBQT FAQ & How To Make a Barn Quilt