Food for Thought – Barn Quilt Trail

March 29, 2024

Did you know that Smith County has its own Quilt Trail? When one think of quilts, a beautiful crafted piece of work to snuggle under probably comes to mind. However, a Quilt Trail is made up of Barn quilts, and while they are a beautiful crafted piece of work, barn quilts are not made to snuggle under.

Barn quilts are not actually quilts. They are paintings of quilt blocks. Initially, barn quilts were painted directly onto the barn. Then the quilt blocks were painted on wood and hung on the barns, homes, and sheds. Today many of the quilt blocks are made of aluminum composite material to withstand longer duration. A full-size barn quilt is 8-feet by 8-feet. Paired with bright colors, they easily are visible on barns and buildings.

Barn quilts originated in the late 1980s when Donna Sue Groves and her mother, Maxine, purchased a farm in Adams County, Ohio. The property had a small and simple tobacco barn on it. Groves had the idea to have a quilt block painted on it to honor her mother, who was a talented quilter. It was a way to show pride in their Appalachian heritage, as well. After talking with friends and neighbors, and having much encouragement, Groves initiated the project. The barn quilts had wide appeal and benefit to the community. The Adams County trail was completed in 2003 and features 20 quilt patterns found on a typical sampler.

Smith County has a Quilt Trail with many pieces around the county. A Quilt Trail is a collection of quilt blocks mounted on locations that make a driving tour possible. Quilt Trails are a great way to promote tourism. To see where the quilts are located as well as the name of the quilt and owner visit

On March 20th, UT Extension Smith County, Smith County Chamber of Commerce, and Regina Young partnered together to offer a barn quilt class in hopes of growing Smith County’s Quilt Trail. Participants were able to pick their paint colors and pattern all suited for beginners and bring home their very own 2- foot by 2-foot barn quilt. The class was led by Karen Young, Regina Young, and Sheryl Hankins. If you are interested in participating in a barn quilt class in the fall, give the extension office a call at 615-735-2900.

Bunny Bait


3 ½ cups Rice Chex cereal

3 ½ cups honey nut cheerios

1 ½ cups pretzel sticks

½ cup salted peanuts

16 oz vanilla almond bark, chopped (2 cups or 8 squares) 10 oz bag easter M&Ms

12 cup butterscotch chips


1. Prepare a sheet pan by lining it with parchment paper. Set it aside.

2. Mix together the rice Chex cereal, honey nut Cheerios, pretzel sticks, and salted peanuts in a large bowl.

3. Melt the vanilla almond bark in the microwave using a large microwave safe dish. Microwave it in increments of 15 seconds, stirring after each interval, until it has melted completely.

4. Pour the melted almond bark into the bowl with the cereal mixture and then toss together until thoroughly combined.

5. Gently fold in the easter M&Ms and butterscotch chips.

6. Transfer to the prepared sheet pan.

7. Spread everything out onto the sheet pan evenly and let it set for about 45 minutes.

8. Once the almond bark has hardened, break into pieces.

Submitted by: Myra Fisher, Carthage FCE Club.

Deb Hill with her barn quilt