Iowa’s Barn Quilts
Are you familiar with Iowa’s Quilts?
In August, I tagged along with my daughter Alex on a road trip to Iowa. Alex attended the Ultrasound Field Technician Training through Centralized Ultrasound Processing Lab at Iowa State University. The purpose of this training is to allow her to determine crucial beef carcass qualities in live cattle by performing ultrasound scanning to determine measurements of rib eye area, percent intramuscular fat, and other measurements which lead to better quality beef. All of these measurements are highly heritable traits, like eye color, height, and hair color in humans.
During our road trip, we traveled through 9 states in all. Neither one of us had ever been to Iowa. While Alex was in training during the day, I had 5 to 7 hours of free time. I used that time to explore the countryside. Iowa is a beautiful state, with a variety in scenery, from soybeans and corn in the open plains to beautiful rolling hills that resemble Texas’ own hill country.
I have always had a fondness for barn quilts, but have only seen a few firsthand. What is a barn quilt? Well, it’s a quilt, that hangs on the side of a barn. Although they are not fabric, most are made of wood, either a single piece or several pieces, while some are made of metal. There are hundreds of designs, and each one is unique. Barn quilts are usually square and can be any size. The most popular sizes are between 4X4 and 6 X 6, so they are visible from the highway.
Iowa is FULL of Barn Quilts, each one unique and individual. I was fortunate enough to be able to visit and photograph over 30 of these beautiful creations. I was inspired to start working on reproducing some of my favorite designs for myself and will even offer some for sale at the feed store. I am working with reclaimed wood and other materials, making barn quilts for indoors to hang on the wall as a piece of art, as well as those that are meant to be hung indoors. I even have a few other fun ideas up my sleeve. Who knows, if it goes well, I may even offer custom barn quilts.