West Virginia Department of Commerce Mason County Quilt Trail

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Mason County Quilt Trail

Quilt Barn, Mason Count, West VirginiaIn 2001, Mollie Yauger was touring in Ohio with her quilt guild when they saw the quilt barns. She contacted Donna Sue Groves (the Roane County, W.Va., native who developed the original quilt trail in Ohio) about developing a similar trail in Mason County.

“We put a quilt block on my family’s barn on Route 35 in 2004,” Yauger said. “In 2008, we put up five quilt blocks on Mason County barns. In 2009, we completed six more. Now in 2010, we have the next 10 barns selected, plus a waiting list for more.”

Yauger starts by photographing the barn. On the computer, she designs a quilt block that relates to the family or the area.

“Every quilt and every barn has a history,” she said. “We connect the two histories.”

Yauger superimposes the design on the barn image to show the owner how the finished project will look. When the design is approved, the designs are drawn on medium density overlay (MDO) boards. Volunteers paint two 4x8-foot sections. When the painting is complete and a special sealer is applied, the boards are fastened to a pressure-treated frame. The finished 8x8-foot board is then mounted on the barn.

Jackie Byars, with the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Great Kanawha Resource Conservation and Development program, has worked with the volunteers to produce a map of the Mason County quilt trail. The project divides the county into four driving trails and, in Point Pleasant, a walking trail. Each trail features on a theme. Freedom Way displays quilt patterns used during the slavery era to signal safe passage to the North. The Agricultural Route concentrates on crops and farming. The West Virginia Ladies Route showcases women and rural home life. The Northern Bend highlights directions or has a connection to the Ohio River.