Quilt Block Tour
The Franklin County Quilt Block Tour began in 2010 with support from the Franklin County Quilt Block Committee and the Franklin County Convention & Visitors Bureau. The tour has grown to more than 30 quilts throughout the county. The purpose of the tour is to showcase the rural areas of the county and highlight the farms, ranches, crops and livestock while educating the public of the importance of agriculture — economically and historically — in the area.
Discover Unlimited A Rich History
Donna Sue Groves of Adams County Ohio is credited with the creation of the first quilt block barn block. Donna, an avid quilter, suggested throwing a real quilt over a dilapidated barn on the family property. Now quilt blocks can be found across nearly every state and Canada. The blocks may be small enough to fit on a mailbox, a block sign in a yard or a hung on a barn, and not unlike actual quilts; they reflect the material and genre in which they are created.
Chris Campbell, Franklin County native, toured the Tillamook County Quilt Barn Trail in Oregon in 2010 and declared, “Someone in Kansas needs to do this.” Fast forward to 2016 and the first organized Quilt Block Barn Tour in Kansas, Franklin County boasts 41 blocks.
A committee of dedicated, talented and tourism forward people created the Franklin County Quilt block guides; 8’X8’ in rural areas. Campbell told Rick McNary in KSLiving magazine, “A quilt tells a story and everyone has a story… no two barn quilts are alike in Franklin County, because no two people have the same story.”
Each Quilt Block on the Franklin County Quilt Block Tour has a story to tell. The stories are as different as the paint colors. The story may be about the owner, the barn, the farm’s enterprise, family heritage or favorite quilt pattern. The one thing that they all have in common, the blocks and the stories, are all uniquely Franklin County, Kansas.
Some of the blocks are located on dusty gravel roads. Blocks can be seen parallel to the interstate highway while others are best viewed by binoculars on a hill adjacent to the actual property. To view every block you would have to travel over 119 miles and it would take you over five hours!
Spend a few minutes, a few hours or a few days and explore the Franklin County Quilt Block Trail. The link will take you to the map, a listing of blocks, their location and their story. We challenge you to create your own quilt block story.