The Kansas Flint Hills Quilt Trail was formed to promote tourism and rural pride
The barn quilt “revolution” is gaining momentum through the Kansas Flint Hills, according to the Kansas Flint Hills Quilt Trail Committee. The Trail, formed only a year ago, already promotes 55 block locations in 16 of the 22 Kansas Flint Hills Counties, with several locations displaying multiple blocks.
The Kansas Flint Hills Quilt Trail was formed to promote tourism and rural pride throughout the 22 county region, and is sponsored by the Kansas Flint Hills Tourism Coalition.
The “quilt trail” idea began nationally in Ohio when Donna Sue Groves vowed to paint a barn quilt block to “dress up” a tobacco barn for her mother on their farm back in 2001.
Suzi Parron became intrigued with barn blocks on her travels and developed the American Quilt Tail, which promotes the internet based directory of barn blocks throughout the country. One only needs to view www.barnquiltinfo.com, to map trails throughout the United States and parts of Canada. The Kansas Flint Hills Quilt Trail is linked to the American Quilt Trail, offering promotion of the Flint Hills nationally.
The barn quilt art is gaining momentum in preparation for a visit from Parron, as she researches the countryside in ready for her new book, tentatively titled, “Farther Along the Quilt Trail.”
Parron plans to visit the Flint Hills in April 2014, and will include a Kansas chapter in her new book. The Kansas Flint Hills Quilt Trail will host a program, luncheon, and book signing of her original book, “Barn Quilts And The American Quilt Trail Movement” April 5 in Manhattan.
Barn quilt enthusiasts are encouraged to register their barn quilt blocks with the Kansas Flint Hills Quilt Trail in advance of Suzi Parron’s visit in April.
Parron has announced she has chosen Kansas Flint Hills Quilt Trail barn quilt artist, Sue Hageman’s, wintry image of her “Flying Geese Variation” quilt design to be featured in the 2014 Barn Quilt Calendar. The calendar features barn quilts from thirteen states, and is available at www.barnquiltinfo.com.
The Kansas Flint Hills Quilt Trail will be featured as part of an exhibit at the Kansas Museum of History, 6425 SW 6th Ave., Topeka, Jan. 17 to Aug. 31.
The exhibit, “Speaking of Quilts: Voices from the Collection and the Community,” will not only include commemorative quilts, such as the Potwin quilt, and newly acquired quilts, but also an actual four foot square barn quilt block painted by Sue Hageman. Hageman won the 2013 AccuQuilt Barn Quilt Block Contest with the design planned for the display, which also designates the Kansas Flint Hills Quilt Trail as its logo.
This fall the Kansas Flint Hills Quilt Trail has offered Barn Quilt 101 Classes throughout the Flint Hills region where barn quilt enthusiasts may learn hands-on how to produce a barn block of their own.
Barn Quilt 101 Classes and Presentations explaining the Kansas Flint Hills Quilt Trail and barn block making may be arranged by contacting the committee at KSFHQT@gmail.com.
To follow the barn quilt trails through the Flint Hills, and to keep abreast of the activities and events of the Kansas Flint Hills Quilt Trail, link to www.KsFlintHillsQuiltTrail.com, or e-mail KSFHQ@gmail.com for more information.
Those serving on the Kansas Flint Hills Quilt Trail Committee are Marcia Rozell, Tourism sales manager, Manhattan Convention Visitors Bureau; Abby Amick, Wabaunsee County Economic Development director; Sue Hageman, Riley County, and Connie Larson, president of Ag Heritage Park in Alta Vista.