May 2023 be a year of kindness, love, and generosity, and one filled with hope for a more peaceful world. The spirit of Christmas is exemplified by two postcards dating from around 1900.
The children, accompanied by their trusty dog, walk home through the snow carrying evergreen branches. St. Nicholas of the Children (a German fantasy), dressed in fancy boots and a warm coat, pulls the child Jesus on his sled to homes everywhere on a snowy Christmas Eve. No reindeer and no sliding down the chimney–just stopping at the front door to leave a few apples from his basket and to wish everyone a Merry Christmas.
Quilting is a folk art dating back several hundred years but the idea of quilt squares on barns in farming communities caught on just a few decades ago. Hundreds of interesting designs can be seen and all are meaningful to the owners.
In Iowa they became popular in the early 2000s. Grundy County introduced them in 2003 as a marketing tool to bring visitors to the county, when Highway 20 became a four-lane highway. The above barn quilt in Sioux County has a geometric design, as do most of them.
Check the website of the county of interest for photos and addresses of barns displaying quilts. The size is usually 8 ft x 8 ft, although some are 4 ft x 4 ft because of space limitations.
Pictured below are three barn quilts that Brandon Rial, an Omaha artist, designed and painted for spaces that were once windows in our garage. We call them garage quilts since we have no barn. Wednesday, December 7 was the premiere showing. Watch for another blog of more designs in weeks to come.