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Stories to Tell--Barn Quilts of Boulder County

Stories to Tell—Barn Quilts of Boulder County creates a visual narrative. It creates a trail of story, heritage, and place through historically significant patterns of quilt blocks painted on 4 foot x 4 foot panels mounted to barn exteriors.

Barn quilts have existed for generations, but a revival of interest began in 2000. Since then, barn quilt installations have been completed nationwide to promote rural landscapes, agricultural traditions, and awareness and knowledge of quilting traditions.

Stories to Tell—Barn Quilts of Boulder County does all that and goes further in weaving a tapestry of tales. The Project promotes the unique Colorado landscape and also calls attention to the geography of “we”: the diverse social and cultural populations and individuals who have influenced Boulder County. Each installation will commemorate a person from Boulder County who has impacted the area, drawing attention to place and the diversity of people — Native American, Japanese, Italian, Hispanic, Caucasian, and others — who have impacted our history.

Community leaders with a strong knowledge of area history will participate in selecting an individual. A narrative about that person will be crafted for listening or reading at the website and in final printed maps placed in key locations near the sites and along the trail.

Although thousands of designs are possible for the barn quilts, for Boulder County the choices have been narrowed to 20 relevant possibilities from the online resource called Antique Geometric, a design archive focusing on the living history of traditional geometric quilt patterns, with original sources and historical notes, including clippings from the 1930s quilting column by Nancy Cabot in the Chicago Tribune and other newspaper illustrations.

Funded by Boulder, CO (June 2016)