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Barn Quilt Trail has 60 locations in Highland County

Published: Oct. 8, 2020 at 6:58 PM EDT
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HIGHLAND COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - It’s just about leaf-peeping season, when people will head into places like Highland County to look at the fall colors.

But they have another sight to see: barn quilts.

Like at the farm of Mike and Margie Boesch, who are getting another barn quilt out. It’s the product of her workshop.

“Mike’s idea was to paint a couple for our barns,” Margie remembered of the start of the business.

When others saw her work, “Before I knew it," she said, "The orders started coming in.”

It was the start of a now-10-year-old business.

“This one right here is a bear’s paw pattern," Boesch said, pointing out an ongoing project. "And these people live in Nelson County and they get visited on their porch by bears, who are trying to come into the house.”

Each barn quilt has a meaning.

“One of my favorites is on a barn over in Hightown that’s Jacob’s Ladder," said barn quilt owner Donna Bedwell. "And everyone in the community knows the barn belonged to Jacob Heavener.”

“You want something that says something about yourself," said Boesch. "What is it about you that you want to reflect in the barn quilt.”

“They’re just really beautiful works of art," said Chris Swecker, executive director of the Highland Co. Chamber of Commerce. "And it’s really neat.”

So the county has created a guide, a Barn Quilt Trail, for visitors to follow.

“We had the first Barn Quilt Trail in Virginia," said Swecker. "And we’re proud to continue it on and continue to see it expand.”

That gives visitors more than just pretty landscapes to look at.

“It preserves the heritage of the barns," Boesch said. "It gives people a something to look at as they’re driving through, and it gives them a reason to drive through the back roads.”

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