The Maine Barn Quilt Trail is a growing network of over 70 barn quilts located in Franklin County and Somerset County. The first set of quilt murals were curated by artist Saskia Reinholt and painted by over 600 children in North Franklin County under the guidance of teaching artists Saskia Reinholt and Natasha Bogar in 2019. Participating schools included the Stratton School, Phillips Elementary School, Kingfield Elementary School, Strong Elementary School, and Mount Abrams Regional High School. Rangeley Friends of the Arts after-school program and the New Vineyard Public Library participated by hosting community painting workshops. In 2020, four commemorative Maine State Bicentennial crazy quilt murals were made at free community workshops in Avon, Kingfield, and Eustis. In the spring of 2021, fifteen barn quilts were made at free community workshops across Somerset County. Students involved in these workshops learned about the history of barn paintings, quilting, color theory, geometric design, cooperative painting, and were engaged in cultural discussions. The community barn quilt trail was made possible through grants and support from the Maine Community Foundation, Maine Arts Commission, The Betterment Fund, Sugarloaf Charitable Trust, Skowhegan Charitable Foundation, Franklin County TIF, Jean and King Cummings Fund, Jordan Lumber, and local volunteers.
The Maine High Peaks Barn Quilt Trail is a community-made public art trail that enhances the Maine High Peaks Arts and Heritage Loop, celebrates rural traditions, encourages tourists to move through a rural landscape, and links into the national American Barn Quilt Trail. In 2021 Saskia Reinholt and Jessica O’Brien taught 200 community volunteers across Somerset County and prodiced 17 quilts. In 2022, Saskia and Jessica taught close to 200 community volunteers at 10 workshops in Farmington and Wilton and produced 20 quilts for Southern Franklin County. This collaborative community project was organized by the High Peaks Creative Council with the goal of furthering the visibility and reputation of the Maine High Peaks Region as an arts, cultural, and recreational destination.
Measuring and drawing a basic grid simplifies the drafting process. The Ohio Star seen below is a classic nine block pattern that is perfect for all abilities and only requires a ruler and a straight edge. There are endless beautiful variations based on this layout. It is an easy one to get creative with and embellish to your liking. More difficult patterns may require additional drafting tools.
High Peaks Maine Barn Quilt Trail – Locations, Download as PDF
|Athen’s Exhibition Hall||Route 150 Athens, ME||Sunflower|
|Masterman Blueberry Farm||16 Masterman Drive, Avon||Blueberry Pie|
|Hamilton Barn||West Ridge Road, Cornville, ME||Bear Paw|
|East Madison Grange||Grange Road East Madison, ME||Grange Quilts 1 & 2|
|East Madison Historical Association||1108 East Madison Road East Madison, ME||Compass Rose|
|Poulin Farmstead||482 Kennebec River Road (201A) Embden, ME||Lilac Star|
|Bigelow Fields Farm||624 Kennebago Road, Eustis||Patriotic Fan|
|Jordan Lumber||354 Main Street, Kingfield||Carpenter’s Star|
|Historic Daffodil Farm.||56 Main Street, Kingfield||Daffodil Farm Star|
|Post & Beam Barn||23 Salem Road, Kingfield||Mariner’s Compass|
|Dunham Barn||40 Lexington Road, Kingfield||Mountain Star|
|Rangeley Friends of the Arts Lakeside Theater||127 Salem Road, Kingfield||Pines & Lupines|
|Kennedy Farm||127 Salem Road, Kingfield||Snowflake Star|
|Carter Farm||366 Back Rd Lexington Township, ME 04961||Forest Patchwork|
|Golf Course House||289 Golf Course Road, Madison, ME||Drunken Sailor|
|Madrid Historical Society||1 Schoolhouse Road, Madrid||Reeds Mill Church|
|Runamuk Acres Conservation Farm||344 School Street New Portland, ME||Honeycomb|
|New Portland Library||899 River Road New Portland, ME||Star Sparkler|
|Wattles Barn||25 Taylor Hill Road, New Vineyard||Stars & Stripes|
|Campion Farmstead||461 Solon Road (Rte 201A), North Anson, ME||Ohio Star|
|Phillips Historical Society||8 Pleasant Street, Phillips||Antique Applique Leaves|
|Silver Barn||Route 4 & Haley Street, Phillips||Compass Rose|
|Dark Star Fabrics||30 Main Street, Phillips||Dark Star|
|Toothaker Farm||18 Main Street, Phillips||Fairy Flower|
|Phillips Area Community Center||15 Depot Street, Phillips||Feathered Star|
|Phillips Public Library||96 Main Street, Phillips||Twisting Star|
|Maine Forestry Museum||221 Stratton Road, Rangeley||Maple Leaf|
|Rangeley History Museum||2472 Main Street, Rangeley||Mariner’s Compass|
|Rangeley Friends of the Arts Lakeside Theater||2493 Main Street, Rangeley||Moon Over the Mountain|
|Sunrise View Farm||2963 Main Street, Rangeley||Sunburst|
|Lacasse Bat Factory||4 Madison Avenue Skowhegan, ME||Compass Star|
|Skowhegan Grange||Pleasant Street & 201 Skowhegan, ME||Kaleidoscope|
|SPACE on the River||181 Water Street Skowhegan, ME||Golden Compass|
|Kenerson||1266 South Solon Road, Solon, ME||Carpenters’ Wheel|
|Northlands||152 Main Street, Stratton||Snail’s Trail|
|Spillover B&B||1 mile from Spillover Motel at 8258 Carrabassett Road, Stratton||Twinkling Star|
|The White Elephant General Store||26 South Main Street, Strong||Bullseye|
|Pratt Farm||968 South Strong Road, Strong||Double Wedding Ring|
96 Lambert Hill Road, Strong
The Maine Barn Quilt Trail is a community-made public art trail that was initially intended to enrich creative education in schools, celebrate rural traditions, and encourage tourists to move through a rural landscape. This collaborative community project was organized by the High Peaks Creative Council with the overarching goal of furthering the visibility of the Maine High Peaks Region as an arts, cultural, and recreational destination. The addition of the barn quilts greatly enhanced the existing Maine High Peaks Arts and Heritage Loop. The trail is also linked into the national American Barn Quilt Trail.
While working in Houlton, Maine in 2018 as a cultural planning consultant, Saskia Reinholt heard about a local quilting guild that was working to create a barn quilt trail. She looked up barn quilts on the internet and realized that this nationwide grassroots public art movement had the potential to engage school children in the Maine High Peaks community and create a meaningful historic public art trail for the region. She presented the concept to the HPCC board of directors and advisory committee and they embraced it. The project took shape and created 70 quilts over five years with 900 plus community volunteers.
A lot of people ask, what are barn quilts and what do they mean? Barn quilts connect two parts of American culture which are quilt block patterns that were designed and handed down through generations of families and rural agriculture. There are over 7,000 barns quilts in North America. It is the largest grassroots public art movement in the history of our country. We chose to bring this project to our rural communities to celebrate an art form born from American culture and to teach geometry, color theory, and painting techniques to people of all ages. This project is about legacies, community building, and bringing art into the everyday landscape!
On a deeper level, the geometric barn quilt patterns connect the viewer to a visual representation of the Golden Ratio. This Phi ratio is nature’s own geometric pattern that exists in all of life’s formations, from the microcosm to the macrocosm. The colors chosen for each piece were carefully mixed using color theory to complement the architecture and the surrounding landscape. Each quilt is reflective of its unique environment and the intrinsic heritage of the region.
The Maine Barn Quilt Trail is a growing network of barn quilt murals located in Franklin County and Somerset County. The first set of twenty quilt murals were curated and designed by artist Saskia Reinholt and painted by over 600 school children in North Franklin County under the guidance of teaching artists Saskia Reinholt and Natasha Bogar in 2019. Two of the quilts in Phillips are reproductions of unique applique quilts found at the Phillips Historical Society Museum. One is displayed at the Phillips Historical Society Museum. The other is mounted on the North Franklin Agricultural Building. The HPCC worked with farms and property owners of historic barns in the region; family quilt designs were used whenever possible. Participating schools included the Stratton School, Phillips Elementary School, Kingfield Elementary School, Strong Elementary School, and Mount Abrams Regional High School. Rangeley Friends of the Arts after-school program and the New Vineyard Public Library participated by hosting community painting workshops. Funders for this initial segment of the trail include the Betterment Fund, Maine Community Foundation, Sugarloaf Charitable Trust, Maine Arts Commission, and Skowhegan Savings Charitable Foundation. Murals are located in Strong, Avon, Phillips, Madrid, Rangeley, Coplin Plantation, Eustis, Kingfield, and New Vineyard.
In 2020, four commemorative Maine State Bicentennial crazy quilt murals were made at free community workshops in Avon, Kingfield, and Eustis. Close to 100 community volunteers helped make these quilt murals. Bicentennial quilt sites include the Avon Town Hall, High Peaks Artisan Guild in Kingfield, Fotter’s Market in Eustis, and the Pratt Farm on Route 4 in Strong. The High Peaks Creative Council received a Maine Arts Commission Bicentennial project grant to create these special commemorative murals. Originally the plan was to work with the local school districts to have students paint them under the instruction of teaching artist, Saskia Reinholt. Due to the pandemic, the HPCC revamped the project to host small physically distanced community workshops following CDC guidelines. Twelve workshops were hosted over six days at municipal community buildings in Eustis, Kingfield, and Avon. Reinholt and teaching assistant, Jessica O’Brien, instructed community participants on painting and design techniques. Each participant designed and painted their own crazy quilt block. “Crazy quilts were fashionable in the 19th century and were a practical way to use up scraps of fabric left over from making their own clothes. The quilts were often backed with animal feed sacks or flour sacks. The HPCC chose to base the Maine Bicentennial murals on these 19th century designs so that community members could have the artistic freedom to design their own part of the mural. We also felt that the style of quilt strongly represents parts of Maine’s heritage, particularly the ‘use it up, wear it out, or do without’ mentality that still permeates our culture,” says Reinholt. 100 year-old crazy quilts, on loan from local historical societies and class participants, were on site during some of the workshops for study and to provide inspiration.
In 2020, the HPCC received a Community Building Grant from the Maine Community Foundation to create quilts with the Carrabec school district. Due to new restrictions from the pandemic, the group had to pivot to community workshops. In response, the HPCC found matching funds from the Jean and King Cummings Fund to expand the territory of the project. In the spring of 2021, seventeen barn quilts were made over ten days at twenty free community workshops at The SPACE on the River LLC after school program in Skowhegan, the East Madison Grange Hall, the Solon Hotel, Lakewood Golf Course Clubhouse in Madison, and Runamuk Acres Conservation Farm in North New Portland. Close to 200 people between the ages of 5 and 91 came out to help paint the Somerset edition of murals. Murals are now displayed in Lexington, New Portland, Embden, Anson, Solon, East Madison, Madison, Athens, Cornville, and Skowhegan.
Greater Franklin Creative Coalition approached the HPCC in 2021 with the idea to extend the barn quilt trail into Southern Franklin County to strengthen the regional creative network. Part of this segment of the project was to create a new map guide exclusively of the barn quilts in both Somerset and Franklin Counties. Grants were received from the Onion Foundation, Davis Family Foundation, Maine Humanities Council, Betterment Fund, and Maine Community Foundation. Ten full days of workshops were hosted at the Farmington Community Center and in Wilton at the Western Maine Play Museum and Belle Creative Arts Center. Over 150 participants created 23 barn quilt murals for Farmington, Wilton, New Sharon, Industry, Weld, Jay, and Livermore.
Throughout the process, participants involved in the HPCC barn quilt mural workshops learned about the history of barn paintings, quilting, color theory, geometric design, cooperative painting, and were engaged in cultural discussions. In the community workshops, students had access to take home do-it-yourself instructions. Many participants have since made their own barn quilts and joined the Maine Barn Quilt Trail.
This project was made possible through grants written by HPCC volunteer executive director Saskia Reinholt, and by support from local volunteers and the venues that hosted the workshops.