What is a barn quilt?
A Barn Quilt is a large decorative mural painted on large pieces of signboard that are either mounted on a barn or other building ; sometimes, a barn Quilt can even be set on a free-standing frame, beside a building. Most patterns on the Barn Quilts are taken from actual heritage quilt blocks, although other people create their own pattern, depicting something in the history of the family, building, or community. All Barn Quilts highlight not only this history in a totally unique way but also in the beauty of the quilt designs themselves.
Where can I get a guide? Are they free?
For as long as they last, Barn Quilt Guides are available from area museums and tourism centres, at no cost. However, the same information as in the Guide can be downloaded, in full or in part, from www.barnquilttrails.ca .
Can I download and print my own map?
Yes! You can find detailed, individual county maps within the Maps page of our website. You can also view a digital version of the 64-page guidebook on this page as well.
How can I get involved?
Are you interested in creating your own Barn Quilt? If so, contact either
How do I register my barn quilt?
If you'd like to register your barn quilt, contact either
Who can I contact within Brant, Elgin, Middlesex, Norfolk, or Oxford about these barn quilt trails?
Visit our contact page for county specific contacts.
How does it work? Is it a self-guided tour?
Travelers follow along the marked roads to view the Barn Quilts. All of the Barn Quilts are visible from the road so we ask visitors to not go onto private property to view them. This is a self-guided tour, so take your time and enjoy the painted quilt blocks, explore the countryside, and plan to stop at some of our points of interest.
How many quilts are there in total?
Currently we have approximately 150 Barn Quilts installed along the Southwest Ontario Barn Quilt Trails but more are being created and installed all of the time. Keep an eye on our website: www.barnquilttrails.ca as we populate it with new barn quilt locations!
Are there quilt trails elsewhere?
Especially in the United States, Barn Quilt trails are very popular. However, here in Canada, there are trails being constructed near the Detroit border (in Chatham-Kent) and another one in Temiskaming, an area in north-eastern Ontario. However, we hope to expand quilt trails across this province.
Are they actual quilts?
Perhaps the name Barn Quilt is a misnomer. Although we usually think of quilts as being sewn with fabrics of different colours, these Barn Quilts are individual quilt block patterns that are painted on large pieces of signboard or plywood. They won’t keep us very warm and cozy but they certainly are a delight for the eyes as people travel along, following the Barn Quilt Trails.
Is there somewhere to park?
Some of our quilt blocks are placed on shops and in downtown sections of communities; however, the majority of them are placed on rural barns and other private buildings and they are large enough that you can see them readily from the road so that you don’t have to stop and park your vehicle. In fact, since this is really a driving tour, we would prefer it if you didn’t trespass on private property.
However, Barn Quilts placed on urban buildings usually have nearby parking areas, so please feel free to park and enjoy both the Barn Quilt(s) and the shopping experiences nearby. Our Museums have some wonderful collections and histories to complement the history of the individual quilt blocks.
What kind of trail is this? Do we go hiking to find them?
These Barn Quilt Trails are arranged so that you can travel around to view the Barn Quilts on your own. Each of the barn Quilts is visible from the road, so it doesn’t matter if you follow the trail in a car, on a bicycle, or on a motorcycle. However, the Barn Quilts are spaced out a bit so we do advise that you find some kind of transportation and not try walking the entire distance. Remember to respect the privacy of the Barn Quilt hosts; please don’t trespass on private property.