Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Old Mission Peninsula Quilt Barn Trail

The beautiful autumn weather we have continued to enjoy in Michigan provided an opportunity for a fall color tour.  It is past prime viewing season for the changing colors of leaves, in fact most leaves have already fallen to the ground.  The tour we will take today covers the bountiful colors that can be found following the Quilt Barn Trail on Old Mission Peninsula near Traverse City.  There are currently 14 private farms that prominently display a painted quilt block on the side of their barn.   Since these quilt blocks are on private farms, I was not able to get close enough to photograph them all but have a dozen to share with you.

Our first stop features a barn with a Maple Leaf pattern
to represent the stately maples that once lined some of the roads on Old Mission Peninsula.

This barn dates to 1904.  The quilt block highlights the sun, water and rolling fields of the peninsula.
The owners of this barn pioneered contour plowing.


A sign in front of this charming barn proudly displays the name "Bewitched Farm".
The owner was born on Halloween and the quilt block keeps with that theme.

The owners of this barn also own one of the local vineyards.
The quilt square reflects the starlings that fly over the vineyard each fall.

The Nine-Patch block symbolizes faith, citizenship, heritage and farm life.
The barn dates to 1912.

This small barn featuring a Crazy Quilt block almost looks like a play house for a child.
Note the cherries painted on the window boxes.  

The Celtic Cross honors the family ancestors who originally farmed in Ireland and Scotland.

The Chown barn was built in 1870 and features a modified Bear Paw block.
The pattern was reproduced from a quilt made by the owner's great-grandmother and her sister-in-law.

A Le Moyne Star is featured on this 1909 barn.

A windmill pattern quilt block is featured on this 1880 barn.
The center motif honors the farm's primary crop -- cherries.

The wood for this barn was harvested from farm property over 100 years ago.
The rocks for the foundation were also gathered from the farm's fields.
The quilt pattern features an arrowhead design.

Our final stop is a barn erected in 1910 that now houses an antique shop.
The quilt block features tulips.

You noticed several references to cherries in the quilt blocks.  The first cherry orchard was planted on Old Mission Peninsula in 1852.  Today Michigan produces 70-75% of the tart cherries grown in the United States.  Most of the 3.8 million tart cherry trees are in the Traverse City area.  Michigan's sweet cherry production is also concentrated near Traverse City.

I hope you enjoyed the tour.  You may have a similar quilt barn trail close to your home.  For more information on locations in your state, check the map prepared by Barn Quilt Trails across America.

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Bunny Jean said...

The barns alone are treasures! But with the blok quilts patterns they are outstanding. I never knew about this custom.

I have to thank you so much for sharing these and also the history.

You are so very much appreciated at my party!

xoxo Bunny Jean
Wednesday's Bunny Hop Party!

Shabby chic Sandy said...

We do have a quilt barn near us--didn't realize there was many more of them. Interesting! Thanks for sharing--

Joy Burkhart said...

I love old barns and quilts! This is a perfectly wonderful tour!
Visiting from Bunny Jean's Bunny Hop.

Cindy said...

I love old barns and especially the quilt barns! Beautiful photographs. We have a Quilt Barn Trail here in Ohio, too, but I've never traveled it. I must put that on my list and do it in the spring! I'm your newest follower!
Cindy @ Art, Books, Tea

Tanya@takesix said...

Oh I love pictures of beautiful old barns. These ones are so special with the quilt squares on them. Lovely post. Thank you so much for visiting Take Six!

~Tablescapes By Diane~ said...

Hi lovely lady.
All the quilt's on the barn's are truly Beautiful.. Thanks so much for sharing them with me.
I hope you have a great Thanksgiving Day with your family.
XXOO Diane

Jennifer @ Town and Country Living said...

Love your photos of the barns!

Wendy Hayden, Farmer's Daughter-in-law said...

I've read about barns like this but how wonderful to be able to see them all like this! Thanks so much for posting. Sure would love to build a big red barn and put a quilt block on it!

The Farmer's Daughter said...

Oh! Thanks so much for telling me about this post. I enjoyed it tremendously! Maybe one day we can see these in person. Michigan isn't that far away! We've seen many barn quilts along the highways in Tennessee and Kentucky. We've found that each region seems to have their own favorites. I think it would be fun to visit all the trails. Might take a few years? lol

Kiki said...

Hi I love the image of Bewitched Farms' Barn. I'd love to use it for my wedding website if possible! Please email me: kiki.karpus@gmail.com

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