About the Barn Quilt Trail

The Maine Barn Quilt Trail

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.

Create your own barn quilt

Get involved!

Join the growing barn quilt trail by making your own or by hiring a local artist. Request to register your barn quilt with www.highpeaksmaine.org to be listed on our growing map by emailing saskia@highpeaksmaine.org.

What you need to get started on your own barn quilt...
  • Pencils 
  • Graph Paper
  • Rulers and long straight edges 
  • Other handy tools for advanced designs include: t-square, triangle, trammel, compass, bisector, protractor, etc.
  • ½” MDO Plywood (most hardware stores can cut sheets into desired size for you). Or any kind of plywood you may already have
  • Exterior primer (we prefer Bullseye)
  • Exterior wood filler for edges of plywood
  • Exterior paints and varnishes We like Chroma Mural Paint with a varnish-like Liquitex permanent high gloss. Available online from large art supply companies. People also use oil-based sign paints or exterior latex paint with UV protection.
  • Painter’s tape
  • X-acto knife
  • Paint brushes
  1. Choose your design. Often a family quilt will serve as the model for a barn quilt, with a single block from the pattern used and the same colors used. For those who don’t have a family quilt, barn quilts may be designed using traditional geometric blocks that can be found in a quilting encyclopedia, books, and online.
  2. Choose size, common sizes are 8’ x 8’, 6’ x 6’, 4’ x 4’, 3’ x 3’
  3. Cut your plywood to size, fill edges with wood putty, sand edges
  4. Prime all sides and edges of  the panel with two coats of exterior primer 
  5. Draft your design on the panel (use grid method, if appropriate)
  6. Apply tape lines around the individual drafted shapes to create the clean lines. 
  7. Burnish/press the tape down firmly so the paint doesn’t leak under it
  8. Paint in your design with a brushless look. Try brushing using a cross-hatching method  to spread your paint out evenly. Apply two coats to each section of color
  9. When the paint is cured, apply a varnish or top coat with UV protection



Drafting Advice:

 

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.



Installation

  1. Cut two pieces of 1” x 3” pressure treated strapping to length so it overhangs the top and bottom edge of the barn quilt by 3”
  2. On a 4’ x 4’ barn quilt, place the strapping around 8” in from the sides 
  3. Attach the two pieces of strapping to the back side with wood glue and screws 
  4. Paint the overhanging tabs to match the building color that the quilt will be hung on
  5. Attach the quilt to the  building with appropriate hardware through the overhanging tabs. (Consult with your local hardware store what hardware would be appropriate for the specific structure.)
Barn Quilt Locations

High Peaks Maine Barn Quilt Trail – Locations, Download as PDF

LOCATION ADDRESS QUILT NAME
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
Gravelle Farm

96 Lambert Hill Road, Strong

Rolling Star

Barn quilt murals across Franklin and Somerset Counties. Learn more about each location by clicking the markers on the map.

Maine Barn Quilt Trail

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.

 

Learn about the American Barn Quilt Trail network at barnquiltinfo.com

Explore them all!