"I do it for love, to make someone lonely smile, to bring comfort and cheer into the lives of children and elderly."
Linda Radamacher, Quilt Artist
Growing up on a southeast Michigan farm, Linda Radamacher learned early on the value of love of family, faith and country, putting these time-honored virtues into action with a life of service to mankind. Linda spreads the joy of giving and goodwill throughout the year by sharing, and selling, her beautifully designed hand-loomed Quilts. Owner of Bennington Hills Kennels. Meet Linda on this specially created YouTube presentation:
Donna Sue Groves: Pioneer Originator of Quilt Block Barn Trails
Fabric of America
Weaving in Colonial America: www.aghistoryproject.org
International Quilt Study Center: www.quiltstudy.org
Donna Sue Groves
Courtesy Appalachian Quilt Trail
On barns throughout the heartland of America several rural communities showcase delightful, and meaningful, quilt blocks. Although these eye-catching cultural icons seem to have always been with us in reality they are realitively a new phenomenon. The fabric of America depicted on barns, both pleasing to the eye and generating warmth of spirit, actually originated from the life of an Ohio woman, Donna Sue Groves. A cancer survivor, Donna Sue Groves created her simple idea of "painting colorful quilt squares,” from childhood excursions with her mother, Maxine Groves, who drove her young children through the West Virginia and New England countryside making up a game to pick out barns with advertisements on them to pass the time.
CLOTHESLINE OF QUILTS, 2001
In the early 2000s, Donna Sue's quilt designs placed on barns was a coordinated effort with volunteers in her rural Adams County. Donna Sue Groves painted a series of twenty squares that she unveiled in 2001 called a Clothesline of Quilts.“
"The idea was to create a driving trail of 20-squares so that tourists would come to the area and sees the quilt barns and stop at the local merchants.”
Quilt trails generate a new enthusiasm not only for placing handmade quilt blocks on barns, but in addition, increasing revenue to rural communities many with former agricultural operations extinct. Keeping the American tradition of quilt making alive cannot be overlooked, and we have Donna Sue to thank for all of these blessings.
Did You Know?
*There are approximately 150 known barn quilt trials in the United States.
*Alcona County Quilt Trail is considered one of the first in Michigan.
For more information: Barn Quilts and the American Quilt Trail Movement by Donna Sue Groves and Suzi Parron (Ohio University Press)
and YouTube Film "The Hardest Year "
Delores DeBacker, 92, grew up in rural communities, and has lived in Ohio, Wisconsin and Michigan. She continues the hard-work ethic exemplified by her family. Of American-Mexican heritage, Delores's travels has taken her all over the United States. Decades before the popular specialty "Food Truck" restaurants, Delores once owned a bus equipped with a kitchen serving construction workers. An amazing entrepreneur, today she pieces together beautiful multi-colored blocks and designs one-of-a-kind, Quilt Tote's. Delores carefully selects material for each one, and quilts each in a variety of colors. "I make each one different, and in various sizes." Since no two totes are exactly alike, they are truly Americana at its best.
Delores's Quilt Tote's make great Bible carriers as many in her church, Mount Hope Church, Corruna, can attest. Her devout faith in God, and devotion to family inspires all who know the Shiawassee County, Michigan resident.