Fostoria Area Visitors Bureau To Host Barn Quilt Painting Workshop

Saturday, May 12th

Register early as space is limited.

The Fostoria Area Visitors Bureau is hosting a half-day barn quilt painting workshop on Saturday, May 12th.  The workshop will be held from 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. in the BANKquet Hall at the Towne Square Arts and Business, 125 South Main Street. The workshop will be conducted by Suzi Parron, who is a teacher, lecturer and author of two books: “Barn Quilts and the American Quilt Trail Movement” and “Following the Barn Quilt Trail”.

Outdoor barn quilt squares have been growing in popularity across the country in recent years. The first quilt trail was created by Donna Sue Groves in Adams County, Ohio to honor her mother’s love of quilting.  In talking with friends and neighbors, Donna Sue realized that the project had wide appeal and could also be beneficial to the community to foster tourism and economic development. Instead of a single personal tribute, she worked with the community to create a “clothesline of quilts,” which began with an Ohio Star dedicated in 2001.

Locally, the Fostoria Area Visitors Bureau wants to capitalize on the success of the Hancock County barn quilt trail to create a future tourism draw throughout Fostoria. There are more than 86 barn quilts in the Hancock County barn quilt trail. Many of the barn quilts have a Fostoria address so we want to create a “connector” trail to link and encourage growth of the trail to move into other counties. The Mennel Milling Co. and Independence House both installed barn quilt squares last year.  In addition, the downtown mural that the Fostoria Community Improvement Corporation commissioned on South Street last year includes a barn quilt to help kick-start the concept in Fostoria.

You can join the barn quilt movement by creating your own painted quilt block during the workshop. Attendees will begin with a pre-primed 2’ x 2’ board, which is a perfect size for mounting on smaller buildings. Step-by-step instructions will be given on how to draft, tape and paint a barn quilt square. Suggested patterns, paint, foam brushes, colored pencils and other tools will be provided. Attendees are asked to bring a yardstick or 24” ruler, a pencil, a blow dryer and painter’s tape. The yellow or green “Frog tape” brand works best, but blue Scotch brand is also acceptable. You will leave with a finished quilt block or with one last color, which will be provided, to complete at home. For more information on the local barn quilt painting workshop, including a registration form, click here.

Pre-registration and payment is required in advance. Attendees are encouraged to register as soon as possible as space is limited. You may contact Michele Cochran, Community Development/Tourism Director at 419-435-7789 or with any questions.

Suzi travels full-time by RV, conducting workshops and speaking to quilt guilds, libraries, civic organizations—whoever would like to learn more about barn quilts. Suzi stumbled across her first barn quilt in 2008. She immediately looked for a book with more information on barn quilts and found that none existed, so she decided to write one. Quilt trail founder Donna Sue Groves provided lots of contacts and background information.  After two years of weekends and summers off while teaching, Suzi finished the book, “Barn Quilts and the American Quilt Trail Movement”. The book follows the quilt trail across 27 states as it expanded and tells dozens of stories of those who have created barn quilts. Within two years, so many new quilt trails had merged that Suzi felt another book was in order. She set out again and traveled to California and back, visiting quilt trails. As a result, her second book, “Following the Barn Quilt Trail”, was released in May of 2016 and includes over 130 photos from across the country and Canada.  More information on barn quilt trails is available from Suzi’s web site: