Amish Barn Quilts and Hex Signs: Exploring the Folk Art Traditions of Pennsylvania Dutch Country

The Pennsylvania Dutch are known for their rich and vibrant folk art traditions, which reflect the cultural heritage of the German-speaking immigrants who settled in Pennsylvania in the 18th and 19th centuries. Two of the most well-known forms of Pennsylvania Dutch folk art are the barn quilt and the barn hex, both of which were created during the same time period and reflect similar cultural influences.


DAHLIA BARN QUILT - Hand Painted "Sunburst" Design


Barn quilts are painted quilt blocks that are typically mounted on the sides of barns and other buildings. They originated in the early 20th century and were largely inspired by the quilting traditions of the Pennsylvania Dutch community. While the exact origins of the Pennsylvania Dutch barn quilt tradition are unclear, it is known to have been revived in the 1980s by a woman named Donna Sue Groves, who painted a quilt block on her barn in Ohio as a way to honor her mother's quilting legacy. Groves began working with her community to create a "barn quilt trail," which eventually spread to other communities and states.


red barn with patriotic barn quilt


Barn hexes, also known as "hex signs," are painted designs that were traditionally believed to offer protection and good luck to the barn and its inhabitants. They originated in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and were particularly popular in the areas around Lancaster and Berks counties in Pennsylvania. The designs used in hex signs often incorporate traditional Pennsylvania Dutch symbols and motifs, such as stars, rosettes, and hearts.


5 star spin barn quilt


While the exact origins of both barn quilts and barn hexes are unclear, they both reflect the cultural influences of the Pennsylvania Dutch community and its rich history of folk art. Both traditions continue to be popular forms of folk art today, and barn quilt trails and hex sign tours can be found in many parts of the United States.



AUTUMN SPLENDOR BARN QUILT - Hand Painted "Cinnamon Spice" Brown Leaf


The use of barn quilts and barn hexes not only serves as a form of artistic expression, but also preserves the cultural heritage and traditions of the Pennsylvania Dutch community. They are a colorful and distinctive part of the landscape in Pennsylvania and other parts of the United States, and continue to inspire new generations of artists and artisans.


house with barn quilt

  Our Amish hand-painted Barn Quilts are a beautiful addition to any outdoor or indoor space. Each quilt is individually handmade-to-order by skilled Amish craftsmen, ensuring that every piece is unique and of the highest quality. The use of exterior-grade MDO plywood and semi-gloss exterior paint ensures that our barn quilts can withstand the elements and last for years to come.


stone house with amish buggy barn quilt


In addition to their durability and beauty, our barn quilts are also a testament to the rich cultural heritage of Amish communities in northern Indiana. By purchasing one of our barn quilts, you are supporting a small, family-run business and preserving a centuries-old tradition of craftsmanship and design. Whether you hang it on a barn, shed, or inside your home, our Amish hand-painted Barn Quilts are
sure to become a cherished and beloved piece of Americana.


amish handmade barn quilts at saving shepherd


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