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Local artist Karen Weiland is busy this winter season, working with the all the local farm and business owners who applied to host all new Barn Quilts in 2024. As both Project Manager and Artist, she collaborates with them to choose sizes, patterns, and colors to design a one-of-a-kind Barn Quilt for prominent display on their property, and as an addition to the current Barn Quilt Trail. Then she gets to work building, painting, and finishing the original pieces of traditional agricultural artwork. (Read more about Barn Quilts below.)

Here you can see Karen at work in her home studio:


Driving the scenic country backroads of Northern Indiana, you’ll likely see many Barn Quilts adorning historic barns, family homesteads, Amish farms, and public spaces. Similar in design to traditional quilts, Barn Quilts are constructed using wood, and painted with heirloom or newly designed quilt patterns,  chosen by the owner or artist.

Barn Quilts are either geometric patterns, or a geometric pattern with an image in the center, such as a flower, or horse. There are various sizes available, and the size chosen is determined by the size of the location where it will be displayed, and how large it will need to be, to be easily visible to passers-by.

Many Barn Quilt patterns tell stories about the family, history, and culture of the area, so these prominently displayed, colorful designs are remarkable combinations of traditional art, history, and familial connection. Visitors love to seek out these wonders of classic woodcraft, that continue a centuries old public art tradition.

Barn Quilt history begins nearly 300 years ago in central regions of Europe; Germany, Austria, and the Netherlands, and the tradition traveled here with early immigrants. They were quite common among the Pennsylvania Dutch, not only as expressions of family and place, but additionally served as points of navigation for travelers.

Visitors to Shipshewana will find plenty of maps and tours to guide them to the local Barn Quilts on display throughout LaGrange County, as well as all the fun stops along the way, that could include produce stands, country restaurants, Amish cottage shops, nature trails, buggy rides, and so much more.

ALSO NEW in 2024 will be updated maps of the Off the Beaten Path Self-Guided Tour (including the expanded Quilt Barn Trail) as well as a new audio component! Choose either a CD or streaming option, and your tour will now be narrated with info, directions, anecdotes, and local folklore, to make your experience even greater. 

Planning a Trip?
Stop by the Visitor's Center for local tips, referrals, FREE coupon books and visitor's guides. We are located at 350 S Van Buren St.