Recently opened is "Quilt Square Girls" here is West Jefferson in the formerly old Shoe Shop building located at 5 East 2nd Street. Syndi and Renee Brooks have renovated the building and now it's as quaint and charming as can be. It's a combination workshop, gallery, and lounging area complete with sofa and coffee table.
From this location they create the colorful barn quilts one observes not only on barns but houses and other structures throughout Ashe County and the High Country. Many of their creations travel many miles before finding their home.
Native Ashe County girls, Renee and Syndi , lived in Winston Salem for many years and returned to Jefferson due to a family member’s illness. When Renee saw the Barn Quilts created by the Ashe County Arts Council she fell in love with them and subsequently convinced Syndi to help her paint one. This one “Log Cabin Star” invited a great deal of interest from friends and neighbors and the Quilt Square Girls were born. Since that first Barn Quilt experiment they have created about 800 more – shipping some across the U.S.
People have them paint the barn quilts for many reasons: memorials to loved ones who have passed, cherished memories that one had as a child, or to celebrate hobbies or just to express individually. The crafted squares can be hung indoors or outdoors. Whatever the reason or wherever you choose to hang them they have become beautiful public displays of art.
“Many of the patterns we use are traditional quilt patterns,” Syndi said, “and we see it as a way to honor the contribution of rural people and the contribution of women in particular, but at the same time, quilt squares make an individual statement as well.”
The cost for a basic pattern at 2 feet by 2 feet begins at $65, but the price does increase with more complex patterns and larger sizes.
“The shortest time it takes to complete a barn quilt is about a day, and the longest most complicated patterns can take up to two weeks or more,” Renee said.
Individuals who would like to purchase a barn quilt as a gift, including for Christmas, should allow eight to ten weeks for order completion due to a back log, Syndi said. However, gift certificates are available. Visit their website www.ilovebarnquilts.com and view many of their designs.
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