Barn quilts have become a big deal in Cowley County during the last couple of years. More than 100 barn quilts officially are on the Cowley County Quilt Trail, a leg of the formally organized Flint Hills Barn Quilt Trail, which is part of the American Quilt Trail. As the trail grows, so does interest in having and making barn quilts.

Barn Quilt

Courtesy photo

In response to continued requests for barn quilt classes, several dates, times and locations have been planned in Cowley County this summer. Registration will be accepted until one week prior to each class date, unless the class fills sooner, because space is limited.

Anyone interested in attending a class or wanting to be made aware of future classes may call the Cowley County Economic Development Partnership (Cowley First) at (620) 442-3094 or email dfirebaugh@cowleycounty.org.

Classes will be from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and from 1 to 5 p.m. June 15 and June 22 at the Cowley County Courthouse Assembly Room, 311 E. Ninth Ave., in Winfield. There also will be a night class from 5:15 to 9 p.m. June 22. Attendees may paint a 2-foot or a 4-foot barn quilt at these classes.

Additional classes will be held July 22-23 at Tisdale Methodist Church, 17507 U.S. 160, 7 miles east of Winfield. Two-, 4-, 6- and 8-foot barn quilts are being offered.

Class times are from 5 to 9 p.m. July 22 and from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 23. Attendees wanting to paint a larger barn quilt may start July 22 and finish it July 23, or they may utilize all day July 23 to paint it. Attendees interested in a 2- or 4-foot barn quilt may choose any four-hour session to paint their quilt.

Anyone from Cowley County or the surrounding area is invited to register for the barn quilt classes. The barn quilt does not have to be hung on a barn, nor does it have to be added to the trail. However, quilt trail applications will be available at the classes for those that would like to have their quilt added to the maps and websites.

The cost for the class, which includes all supplies, is:

  • 2 feet — $40;
  • 4 feet — $65;
  • 6 feet — $125;
  • 8 feet — $160.

Attendees may bring a pattern or choose a pattern at the class. Barn quilts are painted on Medium Density Overlay (MDO) board, also known as sign board, which is appropriate for outdoor use and painted with high-quality exterior latex paint.

The barn quilt craze has inspired many people to display a quilt proudly on their businesses, fire departments, schools, swimming pools, city and community buildings, and garages, in addition to the traditional barn.

Dexter has a mini-trail of more than 20 quilts within its city limits, attracting visitors from afar. The barn quilt trail goes hand in hand with the self-guided stone bridge tour and other roadside attractions such as Henry’s Candy, Cambridge Cabin and Thee Chapel, plus great back-road dining in Atlanta, Burden, Dexter and Rock.

Information on barn quilts and maps of their locations in Cowley County, along with other tourism information, can be found at visit.CowleyCounty.org, or picked up at:

  • the Arkansas City and Winfield area chambers of commerce;
  • Henry’s Candy and Grouse Valley Grill in Dexter;
  • Solid Rock Café in Rock;
  • Gabby’s Café, Sassy Lady Antiques and Tea Shop, and Fraley’s Pizza in Burden;
  • Lil’ Red Rooster in Atlanta;
  • Udall City Hall;
  • the Cowley County Courthouse South Annex in Winfield.

This information was provided by Cowley First Administrative Assistant Deb Firebaugh.