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Barn Quilts attracting attention in southwest Missouri

You’ve almost certainly seen them, even if you didn’t know what their name. They are Barn Quilts – decorative patterns mounted on barns throughout much of the northern United States.

There’ll be two opportunities for local residents to learn more about this colorful part of country life.

Barn Quilt expert Mary Riley of Carthage will demonstrate how to make barn quilts at the Ozarks Homesteading Expo slated for Sept. 6-7 at Neosho.

She and another enthusiast may be holding workshops or teaching a class on the subject this fall.

Her Facebook group is Show Me The Barn Quilts of Southwest Missouri,
Riley may be reached through that group or by telephone at 417-674-0516.

Cedar County Extension will host the next workshop for painted barn quilts on June 29. The event will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the First Baptist Church in El Dorado Springs.

Participants need to bring their desired size of signboard or plywood (1/2 in. thick) with two coats of primer. As we discovered at the last session, not every participant will be able to complete the project due to paint drying time, so please bring three or four small containers which will enable you to take home the paint necessary to complete your quilt. Pencils, brushes, paint and tape will all be provided.

Remember that barn quilts are not just for barns. Smaller barn quilts (such as a 2’ x 2’) may be placed on the outside of homes or garages, businesses or churches. Use a variety of the similar pattern on 12” x 12” boards (can be found in most craft sections) to create a unique primitive wall gallery in an interior wall in your home. The possibilities are endless for this distinctive piece of art.

For more information on the Barn Quilt Project, contact the Cedar County MU Extension Center at 417-276-3313 or by email at

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