Barn quilts, a growth in popularity

Pictured is Sherryl Lewis with some of the barn quilts and signs she has made.

Sherryl Lewis is recognized for many things in the area. She is a cattle farmer’s wife and she teaches piano lessons in the DeKalb County School System. She is also becoming known as an artistic painter.

In 2014, while visiting North Carolina, Lewis began to notice quilts hanging on the outside of barns and sheds and became curious. She investigated and learned that the quilts were made of wood that had been painted to look like a quilt pattern.

Lewis decided this was the hobby for her, and she learned everything she could about them and started making them for her own barn, garage, and inside her home.

“My hobby has turned into a business,” she said. “I started out using a spare room and quickly realized I needed to make an art studio in my garage.”

Barn quilts are a replica of just one large quilt square.

“The star pattern currently seems to be the most popular,” Lewis said. “What’s nice about the star pattern is I can make so many diverse designs by using different colors and various styles.”

There are established barn quilt trails that can be found online. There is no need to trespass onto private property, the quilts are several square feet in diameter and can be seen from the road.

“I make mine with vivid colors so they stand out from a good distance,” she said.

Lewis has made barn quilts with trees, a mountain scene, fish, bear paws, and a silhouette of a cow. She can basically replicate any pattern that she sees. Lewis said barn quilts can advertise a person’s business. For example, tree farms could display one with trees and a horse farm could exhibit one with a horse.

The way in which she paints the barn quilts makes them durable for years.

“It takes a good while to complete one. I generally work on at least two at a time,” Lewis said. “Each one needs multiple coats of primer and paint to make them durable.”

Lewis’s barn quilts can currently be purchased at Nena’s Produce in Valley Head and will soon be sold at a Fort Payne and at an Ider store. Call 256-657-1616 for more information.

In a couple of weeks, Lewis will post her artwork on Facebook under Nona’s Barn Quilts. In addition to the barn quilts, she also makes porch signs that say “Welcome,” or have a seasonal theme. Prices vary depending on the amount of colors, the intricacy and the size, prices range from $25 to $200.

— Marla Ballard’s Who’s Who appears in the Times-Journal weekday editions.

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