The quilt block on the Sheetz barn, a Fannie's Fan pattern, is the first in a series of barn quilts that will be displayed throughout Washington County. Plans call for four "loops" through the county, with each loop designated by a specific type of quilt block. The Sheetz barn is part of the northeast loop, the "Amish Loop." Barns in this part of the county will feature traditional Amish quilt blocks.
Subsequent loops are the "Liberty Loop" (southeast portion of the county), which will be opened in 2008 and will feature quilt blocks with patriotic patterns and colors; the "Agricultural Loop" (northwestern part of the county), which will go into effect in 2009, and, in 2010, the "Nature Loop" (southwest portion of the county) will be opened.
The project, which began in January, joins Washington County with 23 other counties in Iowa where barn quilts are or will be displayed. Eventually, it is hoped the Washington County barn quilts will become part of a nation-wide "National Clothesline of Quilts."
Julie Mangold of Washington, one of the organizers of the Washington County Barn Quilt project, noted that the Washington Chamber of Commerce and Washington County Extension are sponsors of the project. She also noted that the group has reached 92% of their fundraising goal with $13,870 already donated.
The objectives of the barn quilt project include bringing attention to the unique architecture and history of barns in the county, promoting quilting as an art form, providing an opportunity to showcase various aspects of agricultural production and businesses and promoting economic development.
Other barns in the Amish Loop that will feature quilt blocks are owned by Ken Miller, Gary Goff, Marie Hora, Dwight and Edna Colliver, Alan Fladung, Landon Beachy (The Appliance Barn), Eldon Gingerich, Perry and Carolyn Miller, Alan and Linda Thomann, Edward and Joan Shebek, City of Riverside, Keith and Penny Sweeting, Leon Simon and Marie Goldesberry. Other barn owners who may be interested in displaying a quilt block may contact the Julie Mangold at firstname.lastname@example.org, the Extension office at 319-653-4811 or the Washington Chamber of Commerce, 319-653-3272.