-Minnesota State Arts Board - Minnesota North Star

Minnesota State Arts Board–A Creative Investment, Celebrating Ten Years of Legacy Art and Impact


Barn Quilts of Central Minnesota. Lead artist Lisa Kajer

  Barn Quilts of Central Minnesota  
  Staples – Todd County  
  2017 Community Arts Access Project grant – Five Wings Arts Council  
  Lead artist Lisa Kajer  

Barn quilts, quilt blocks painted on wood squares, have a rich history as an artistic expression in rural areas throughout the United States. Central Minnesota joined this artistic revival with a new Barn Quilt Trail, working with residents in Wadena, Todd, Morrison, and Cass Counties to create a richly woven trail of Barn Quilts for all to enjoy.

A grant provided by the Five Wings Arts Council gave Barn Quilts of Central Minnesota their start. Each handmade quilt tells a story–of the quilter and point in time, with area residents creating uniquely and carefully crafted squares. Farmers and business owners display the barn quilts on barns, buildings, local businesses, fence posts, and other sites that are visible from the road.

The funding also allowed the group to partner with students at Staples–Motley High School to create barn quilts for nonprofit organizations in the area. Students take pride that their work is a permanent part of their communities.

Lisa Kajer started the Barn Quilt Trail in the Staples area, working with members and friends to launch the project. What started in 2016 with 7 barn quilts has grown to encompass 92 pieces. The barn quilt in this exhibit was created as a teaching tool.