With more than 100 barn quilts on homes and buildings displaying the heritage of the area, the Sampson County Convention & Visitors Bureau is excited to show people how to see many of them.
The organization recently produced a brochure with a guide to 78 quilts in the county. It is part of a project, “Barn Quilts of Sampson County,” which began in 2015.
Sheila Barefoot, director of the Sampson County Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB), began working with the project in 2016 and wanted to see it expand. Now, they’re not just on barns. They are hanging on businesses, organizations and municipal buildings. Town and city halls were awarded up to $200 to have their own barn quilts. The participants featured on the cover of the brochure are Autryville, Roseboro, Garland, Harrells, Clinton and Salemburg.
“It’s not on an old barn in a field somewhere,” Barefoot said. “They’re everywhere and it’s exciting.”
The objectives of the project are related to agriculture, cultural identity, agri-tourism, economic development, community service and visual arts.
“There’s so many stories behind all of these barn quilts,” Barefoot said.
The amount continues to grow. There’s more than 140 documented barn quilts in the county. Barefoot hopes to add this to the second edition of the brochure. As of mid-June, they have added four more to the list. Although it may take time, Barefoot said she wouldn’t mind if Sampson County became the barn quilt capitol of North Carolina.
“We encourage people who were not part of the first edition to give us a call,” Barefoot said. “We’ll love to get you on the next edition.”
To be featured on the trail project, designs must be visible from the road, for privacy reasons.
The brochure has listings for many communities in the area — Autryville, Clinton, Harrells, Godwin, Magnolia, Rose Hill, Salemburg, Roseboro, Garland, Turkey, Newton Grove and Dunn.
Another portion includes the signature quilt pattern by designer Ruth Holland. The representation includes Milling Around, the art project in downtown Clinton. Four barns centered around a millstone represent the farming heritage and others located at the Sampson County History Museum. Earth tone colors are included for agricultural heritage. Another purpose of the design is to represent the history of Native American culture.
The CVB project was a collaboration that also involved the Sampson County History Museum, Cooperative Extension Service and the Arts Council. Barefoot appreciates all the artists in the county who made contributions.
“We had some great artists within the county and definitely without them, this project would have not taken off,” Barefoot said.
For more information about the barn quilt program, contact the Sampson County CVB at 910-592-2557. Brochures may be picked up at the CVB office, 414 Warsaw Road, Clinton, or other locations throughout the program.