The idea of barn quilts began in Adams County, Ohio in 2001. It was conceived as a way to draw traffic off a busy four-lane highway as it wound through the economically depressed area of southern Ohio. Local artists painted traditional quilt blocks on weathered tobacco barns, and the project began to attract travelers to the area, increasing business for local establishments. In 2003, Grundy County, Iowa started a similar barn quilt project to draw traffic back to rural areas bypassed when a major highway was rerouted. Their Barn Quilt Loop is designed to highlight the agricultural heritage of the county, as well as the folk art of quilting.
The project began in Walworth County in 2009 and has continued to grow.
The Barn Quilt Project promotes the rural heritage of the county by highlighting the architecture and history of barns and by encouraging the preservation of these structures for future generations. In turn, the project encourages economic development by promoting ag-tourism and other local businesses.
View all of the Walworth County Barn Quilts on an interactive map!
For a complete listing of Walworth County Barn Quilts and a map of the locations, please take a look at our 2012 Barn Quilt Brochure (pdf).
If you would like to donate your time, materials, or expertise to this project, please contact:
Peg Reedy, Agriculture Educator
Walworth County UW-Extension
100 W. Walworth St.
P.O. Box 1001
Elkhorn, WI 53121