Some Carroll County barns are about to become county attractions. The Carroll County Arts Council, partnering with four other county groups, is in the final stages of organizing Carroll's first Barn Quilt Tour.
A barn quilt is an 8-feet-by-8-feet panel painted to resemble a design on a quilt that is then displayed on the side of a barn, preferably near an often-used roadway. Carroll is using e-panels, an industrial building material, for its quilts.
Garrett County is the only other county in the state to have a barn quilt tour, according to Sandy Oxx, executive director of the Carroll County Arts Council.
The Arts Council is partnering with the Carroll County Farm Museum, county recreation and parks department, Everybody's Quilt Guild and county tourism to organize the project.
Oxx said the plan is to display 12 barn quilts around the county this fall, including one on the side of the Carroll County Arts Center and one at the Carroll County Farm Museum.
The quilts are intended to remain on the barns, and it is Oxx's hope that the display will inspire the community to create more barn quilts.
"I would love nothing more than for the community to put up more," she said.
The Arts Council has completed 10 of the 12 barn quilts, but is still looking for barn owners willing to participate, Oxx said.
Lisa Picker, a member of the Carroll County Farm Museum Board of Governors, said the program would be a great opportunity for anyone with an agribusiness to attract more visitors.
Criteria for choosing barns includes the barn's location to main roads, room for visitors to pull off the road, color of the barn in relation to the quilt, and a property owner's willingness to accept visitors and answer questions about the property's history.
Picker said they are also looking for geographic diversity so the quilts are not all displayed in one area of the county.
Picker, who is credited with pitching the barn quilt project, said she was inspired by a documentary on historic barns in Maryland that featured the Garrett County Barn Quilt Tour.
"It just looked like something our community would embrace," she said.
Anyone interested in applying for the project should contact Jeff Degitz at the Carroll County Recreation and Parks office.