Whitesburg KY

Letcher County’s ‘barn quilts’ . . . What are they?

Did you know Letcher County now has 40 of the beautiful “painted barn quilts” on display on buildings, porches, homes, barns, and in yards, etc. — all over the county? The quilt patterns used and the colors chosen are truly eye-catching.

You will find the “barn quilts” from Eolia to Deane, from Linefork to Jenkins, and most communities in between. Neon has one, Blackey has one, and Whitesburg has several. You will find them on Route 7, Highway 119, and all Main Streets in our Letcher County towns.

If you want to go on a real adventure, take a tour of the county to see how many you can find. This is a current listing of the squares. If you have one and it isn’t on the list, please call the Letcher County Extension Office at 633-2362 and your square will be added.

Letcher County Quilt Heritage Project, quilts on display as of April 12: Mt. Heritage Festival Committee in Mountain Heritage Village on street side of offi ce building, “Maple Leaf” 3×3, painted by Richard Smith; Stella Elam’s home, 4638 Hwy. 7 S (between twin bridges), “Solomon’s Star” 3×3, painted by Richard Smith; Eolia Christian Community Outreach at ECCO Center, 125 Emily Lane, Eolia, “Homespun 4-Patch” (farmer, coal miner and Dutch girls”, painted by Yolanda Miranda and Tiny Creech; three squares at Mountain Heritage Village on street side of stage “4-Patch of festival patterns” 4×4, plus two separate 2’2’ LeMoyne Stars, painted by Bessie Shepherd and Ked Sanders;

Beth Sexton Little’s family’s barn at 2830 Hwy. 806, Eolia, “Trip Around the World” 4×8, painted by Yolanda Miranda, made to honor Beth Sexton’s greatgrandmother and grandmother, whose birthdays are in September (hung in August); Yolanda Miranda’s home, 288 Green Valley Dr., Eolia, 20 small squares in various patterns painted on a sectioned garage door by Yolanda Miranda and Tiny Creech; Mitch Whitaker’s barn, 9063 Hwy. 588, Roxana, “The Mountain Eagle” 4×4, painted by Mitch Whitaker; Crafty Cut-Ups Homemaker Club at East Main St., Whitesburg, on Hunsucker Investments Bldg., “Bear Paw” 6×6, painted by club members;

Whitesburg City Hall, East Main St., “Stained Glass” 8×8, painted by Ked Sanders and Bessie Shepherd; Billie Ann Gilley’s home, 33 Hwy. 2035 (Little Cowan), “Patriotic Rail Fence” pattern on her carport, painted by Pat Robinson; Lillian Webb Library, 1049 Main St., Neon, “8 Pointed Star” 8×8, painted by Jenay Hall, Legina Adams, and Tazsha Hall; Harry M. Caudill Library, 220 Main St., Whitesburg, quilt is hung on Broadway St. side of building, “Trip Around the World” 8×8, painted by Jenay Hall; Virginia Brown’s barn, 58 Walnut Gap off Little Cowan, “Red Cardinal” 4×4, designed and painted by Virginia Brown; Randy Browns’ barn, 80 Walnut Gap off Little Cowan, “Virginia Reel” 4×4, painted by Virginia Brown;

Clayton Banks’s cabin, Bernard Drive off Little Cowan, looks like a real log cabin painted red, white and blue with stars like a flag; Ricky Lucas’s barn, 60 Hwy. 2035, near mouth of Little Cowan, “Autumn Star” 4×4, painted by Jeana Lucas; Jenkins Public Library, 9428 Hwy. 805 (Main St.), Jenkins, “Blazing Star” 4×4, painted by Ked Sanders; Creeda Isaacs’s home, Hwy. 7 N at Deane, “Tumbling Blocks” with “Isaacs” in center, 4×4; Millstone Methodist Church near mouth of Millstone, “The Road to Jericho” 8×8, painted by Women’s Auxiliary; Whitesburg Post Office (inside building), black and yellow checkered star 2×2, painted by Virginia Hoskins and Teresa Howard; Rural Strategies Office, 38 East Main St., Whitesburg (in City Hall Bldg.), “Grandmother’s Fan” honoring Ruby Caudill, a Carcassonne quilter, 2×2, painted by Ked Sanders and Bessie Shepherd; Jeff ’s Body Shop, 9868 Hwy. 119 N, Payne Gap, center is similar to “Variable Star” with Biblical theme, “Aloheim” (corners seem to be compass points) 8×8, painted by Patricia Blackson, Tina McElroy’s sister;

Campbell’s Branch Community Center, 3104 Hwy. 1103, on Rt. 7 end of building, “Star Pinwheel” 8×8, painted by Sue and Wayne Whitaker; Blackey Public Library, 296 Main St., Blackey, “Bird of Paradise” (now on display inside the library) 8×8, painted by Richard Smith; Pine Mountain Craft Co-op, 331 Hwy. 119 N, Whitesburg, “Dresden Plate,” made to honor Coop’s QVC Project in February 1995, 4×4, painted by Mitch Whitaker; Ermine Senior Citizens Center, Hwy. 2034, Whitesburg, two 4×4 squares, “Star of the East” and “Feathered Star”, painted by Judith Vermillion; Joanne Adams’s home, Sycamore Loop, Jeremiah, two squares, “Star” 3×3, painted by her daughters, and “Windmill” 2×2, painted by Joanne; Peggy Blair’s home, 154 Sycamore Loop, Jeremiah, “Nine Patch” 2×2; Croucher’s Service Center, 440 Rt. 7 S, Jeremiah, 4×4; Jenkins Board of Education Building, Main Street, Jenkins, 8×8 “Jewel Tone Star”, Jenkins High School art classes;

Letcher County Extension Office, 478 Extension Dr., Whitesburg, two 4×4 squares, “4-H Clover” and “Crazy Quilt” with various Extension programs and program areas depicted with traditional “embroidery stitches” used as embellishment and painted by Extension Staff members; Mountain Vendor’s Mall, “Moon Over the Mountains” 4×4, painted by Nancy Brown; Ella Preston’s home, 867 Hwy. 2035, Whitesburg; Jim Webb’s home, Hwy. 119, Whitesburg, 4×4 “Log Cabin Star” with pink flamingoes in the corners, painted by Bessie Shepherd and Ked Sanders.

If you would like to paint a quilt square to display at your home, place of business or in your area, call the Extension Office at 633-2362 to get recommendations on the type of plywood to use, paint suggestions or pattern ideas.

The Quilt Heritage Project Group plans to print a brochure with photos and information about the barn quilts in the near future.

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