Barn Quilts of Black Hawk County
If you'd like to have a Barn Quilts of Black Hawk County brochure mailed to you, or if you'd like to submit your barn quilt for the brochure and web page, please contact us.
Turn-by-turn directions for the Western Black Hawk County Barn Quilt Tour are available to download and print HERE. The tour includes 13 locations, 22 quilts and 2 businesses. Driving time of the tour is approximately 1.5 hours.
NEW! The turn-by-turn directions for the Eastern Black Hawk County Barn Quilt Tour are available for download HERE.
Gene & Diane Anderson
9406 Barclay Road, Dunkerton
“This barn quilt was a complete surprise from my husband, Gene, to me. It is a 4x4 square with four big, beautiful tulips, of four colors: yellow, pink, rose, and purple. I’ve always loved tulips and have many in my flower gardens. I am partial to them because of my heritage of my father’s side, which is from Holland. I can see it from our kitchen window and enjoy it every day. It was painted by Jan Jefferson of Dunkerton, Iowa.”
Joe & Teresa Bartholomew
3845 East Big Rock Road, Waterloo
"I have been a quilter since approximately 1985. I knew I wanted a barn quilt but struggled deciding on the pattern. I chose the Windmill Block because I feel it shows movement. The bright primary colors show up nicely on our red barn. Since I'm a quilter, not an artist, I commissioned Jan Jefferson of Dunkerton to paint our block. We love the result!"
Kris Boettger, Owner
11310 University Avenue, Cedar Falls
"Barn Happy Original"
“If it weren’t for some of my regular and rather persistent customers, the barn quilt may never have come to be. I had customers approaching me for three or four years suggesting we had the perfect barn for a quilt. I liked the idea but had some resistance from my husband, Tim. We have had a business called ‘Barn Happy’ for ten years in the old dairy barn on our property. One thing Tim and I could agree on was that it would be neat to combine the idea of a simply designed quilt with our store name. We called Jan Jefferson from Dunkerton and she designed the perfect square. A vermilion red geometric design with our store name in the middle has made the whole family and the Barn Happy customers very satisfied.”
2134 West Tama Road, Buckingham
“The original barn quilt at the Beck Farm was created by Bill and Jeanine Davidson as a tribute to my husband, Don Beck, who died in June 2010. It was a spectacular 8x8 foot pattern placed high upon our white 1890s barn. It was visible from a mile away. A fire in May 2011 chanced the backdrop of our farm life when the classic barn and our precious barn quilt were ruined. Twelve days later, an identical quilt was delivered by our friends, the Davidsons, and installed on the north barn.”
Gilbert & Mildred Burger
4617 Burton Avenue, Waterloo
“After seeing many barn quilts on buildings throughout Iowa, we wanted to display a square that was eye appealing. We also wanted it to be unique to those usually seen on barns with the bolder, bright colors, and yet colorful with ties to our rural life. The square we chose is called ‘Double Aster.’ We have a real fondness for flowers; especially those with soft colors which led us to choose this pattern. Five colors were chosen for the quilt. These are vibrant and showy when seen from the road, yet still compliment our yard landscaping. This design also blends in with the area where we have many flowerbeds and assorted metal sculptures to accent our gardens. We feel that we have created a setting that tends to be both relaxing and enjoyable and still quite visible to those viewing the quilt square.”
Don & Elaine Chapman
2822 Walnut Street, Cedar Falls
“As we are both from farm backgrounds, we were interested in having a barn quilt. Since we don’t have a barn, we opted for a smaller version on our garage. Being a quilter, with an interest in the Amish culture, we chose to make our background black to make our pattern stand out more. It is the ‘Double Aster’ pattern. Visitors are welcome!”
Bill & Jeanine Davidson
3920 S Hudson Road, Cedar Falls
"Wheel of Fortune"
“After going to a farm sale in neighboring Grundy County in the summer of 2009, Bill stumbled onto the barn quilts in that county. He took pictures of most of them and came home enthused about making one for our machine shed which faces Highway 58. From the pictures he took, we chose one design we liked and changed the colors so they would enhance the design more. After we had it mounted on the machine shed wall, we decided the one barn quilt looked ‘lost’ on the 90 foot long wall. We decided to add two more, selecting designs which complimented each other but were different. We used the same three colors on each because they show up well from a distance and the three designs together make a nice impact. We plan to put a fourth barn quilt on the end of the machine shed.”
Wayne & Maxine Fitkin
6804 Fitkin Road, Cedar Falls
"8 Point Star"
"4 Point Star Modified"
Wayne and Maxine Fitkin are the owners of this Century Farm at 6804 Fitkin Road in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Wayne and his sons, Steve and Jim, farm the land and wanted to honor those family members who farmed the land before them by making the three barn quilts. Those relatives were: Wayne’s parents, Kenneth and Mabel Fitkin; his grandparents, Nathaniel and Charlotte Cook Fitkin; and his great, great aunt Helen Ford.
“Our 1950 barn burned in 1996 so we built a pole barn and a hay barn. The three quilts are hanging on the south side of the hay barn. The first block is a Pinwheel design in red, yellow, blue, and white. The middle block is a patriotic eight-point star in red, white, and blue. The third block is a modified four-point star in yellow, orange, and brown. It was an enjoyable project for them to work on this winter.”
Michael & Pam Flanders
202 South 3rd Street, Raymond
"We both retired in Febrauary 2012 and friends gave us a 4x4 barn quilt to be made by the Bremer County Extension Office. When we went to select the design and colors, we decided to purchase another one for the other end of our barn. Mike wanted UNI purple and gold colors and I wanted Norwegian colors - red, white, and blue. We had them hung in a diamond shape and are really enjoying them."
8461 Lincoln Rd., Hudson
The Hansen's Dairy farm has been in the Jay and Jeanne Hansen family since 1864. The farm sits close to the Black Hawk/Grundy county line, and since both counties are known for their barn quilts, it seemed logical to include one somewhere on the farm.
"We really don't have a tall, iconic barn on the farm, so when our Tour Center complex was completed in 2012, it was the perfect place to hang a quilt block," said Jordan Hansen, who painted the 8-foot-by-8-foot piece. "I wanted it to have interlocking squares representing all the family members who live and work here. The colors are a nod to our logo (the milk splash seen on the wagon) and also to Iowa State, where several family members attended."
The Tour Center faces west, and the quilt square can be seen from quite a distance when driving east on the Zaneta blacktop.
Raymond & Darlene Hoffman
4405 East Big Rock Road, Waterloo
The cabin quilt pattern, Jacob's Ladder, was chosen by Teresa Hoffman Bartholomew, a great-great-granddaughter of Jacob Hoffman (1836-1920). Jacob was an early pioneer traveling from Illinois to homestead this farm in 1855. He returned to Illinois, enlisted in the Union Army from 1861-1866 during the Civil War. After the war, he came back to Waterloo, building a cabin on this spot of land in 1867. The replica of his cabin was constructed by his descendants in 1989. Jacob's heritage makes the cabin quilt a special display. You can learn more about Jacob Hoffman when visiting the Grout Museum in Waterloo, Iowa. See another replica of his cabin in Overman Park in Cedar Falls, Iowa.
Bruce & Janice Jefferson
9529 E Dunkerton Road, Dunkerton
“I decided to paint a barn quilt because we have a greenhouse business using parts of two old attached barns. It added a unique touch after maintenance had been done with roof repair and painting them. I painted it in 2007 – put it up in November. The design came from studying quilt patterns, searching for the ‘right’ one. Its uniqueness is in details and colors. The colors are typical in Norwegian rosemaling – reflecting my heritage. Because I taught French, I put the fleur-de-lis design in the eight squares that are also points of a star.”
La Porte City Nursing and Rehab Center
1100 Highway 218 North, La Porte City
"Lodge Pine Tree"
“As a nursing facility for seniors with an agricultural background, we felt it would be a good idea to have our own barn quilt here. For over 30 years, we have had an annual quilt raffle to raise money for residents' Christmas gifts so quilts were a major part of our service, here too. Our facility nickname is "The Lodge" due to our facility decor and our logo includes a pine tree so we thought it was fitting to have a barn quilt of a tree. The Union High School art students agreed to paint the barn quilt if we supplied the materials. The quilt was completed and hung on the patio side of the building in 2012.”
Ted & Linda Mahood
11530 La Porte Road, La Porte City
“My family made the frame for my 60th birthday. I painted it and then my family hung it on the barn. I picked the block ‘Good Fortune’ because I feel we have been fortunate in life. Because we are ½ mile off the highway, I thought a two-color block would show up better.”
Kenny & Nancy McKenna
208 N 3rd Street, Raymond
“We’ve been big fans of the barn quilt phenomenon, noting especially the barn quilts in Fayette County on our frequent trips to northeast Iowa. Several years ago, Kenny attended a meeting at the Extension Office, hoping there was a groundswell of support for a quilt project in Black Hawk County. While that never materialized, he did meet Jan Jefferson there. In 2009, we celebrated 25 years on our acreage and thought it was the perfect time to display a barn quilt of our own. We wanted to find a design that reflected our favorite feature of old farmsteads – the windmill. We approached Jan with our ideas. She helped us find the perfect ‘double windmill’ pattern and painted the quilt for us. In the fall of 2009, we hung our quilt on the north side of our barn, and it welcomes everyone traveling south on V49 into the town of Raymond.”
4012 Hudson Road, Cedar Falls
"Modified Churn Dash"
“College View Farm has been home to me for most of my life. I grew up here as did my dad. I’ve enjoyed quilting for many years, so a barn quilt mounted on a building built by my grandfather seemed like a great idea. I found a pattern at a Kalona quilt shop many years ago that I really liked. It was appropriate for a farm. The red, gold, and white colors are favorites and are from my Danish heritage.
The pattern, Modified Churn Dash, is so called because the triangle and rectangle perimeter of the inner block resembles a butter churn and the center square resembles the stick (or ‘dash’) of the butter churn. Our 1932 corn crib was in need of repairs. Although I finished painting the quilt in June 2011, it wasn’t mounted until after repairs were finished in November 2011 by Amish carpenters.
The crib was built by my grandfather, C.M. Christensen. He bought this farm in 1918, and named it College View Farm in 1921. The crib had a grain elevator to carry grain to storage bins in the upper floor. The building also had a floor scale that was used to weigh grain wagons. The scale area was filled in many years ago when my dad, Bob Christensen, was no longer using it.”
Nick & Nancy Meier
12925 Dysart Road, La Porte City
"I love to quilt and chose cardinal and gold, the colors of Iowa State University, as the main colors for this barn quilt because not only are we longtime fans of ISU, but are also proud that our children and their spouses graduated from ISU. The gold center square represents our immediate family, four sides for our four children. From there the square grows to represent each of our children's spouse, hence the additional squares for a total of eight sides, with each outside corner representing their individual families. We take pride in our Iowa country heritage and are proud to display it in this quilt called 'Country Pride' "
Nick & Nancy Meier
2301 E. Eagle Road, Waterloo
"As I've admired barn quilts throughout the countryside, I wanted this one to represent our farm heritage. The green color represents the green crops growing in the fields and the promise of a bountiful harvest, while the yellow signifies the amber color of harvested grain. The blue symbolizes the beautiful sky from the countryside view, as well as the rain and moisture we are blessed with to grow the crops. Since farming is one of the most important occupations in the world, this barn quilt is named "Harvest Blessings" to represent not only ours, but many farm cultures."
Roland & Arlene Riensche
"Blue Diamond Farming Company"
11007 Rickard Road, Jesup
11607 Rickard Road, Jesup
6814 Jesup Road, Jesup
7770 Reuter Road, Jesup
“In the old days, signs were painted on barns and other farm buildings to advertise feed and grain products or local tourist sites and now they boast beautiful quilt blocks. About five years ago, we put up a very large machine shed with a very blank side. I decided it needed some decorating. So I bought two 4x8 sheets of finished plywood and three cans of basic colors (Carnival Red, Acorn Squash, and Stunning Sapphire) as I feel pastel colors do not ‘make a statement.’ I put on four coats of paint.
We farm with our son with the logo ‘Blue Diamond Farming Company’ and have the diamonds on various trucks and machinery. I wanted to put this design on the quilt and wanted the four grandchildren to feel the connection, so I drew that into the plan. When I showed them, they drew my attention to it looking like a Swastika. My next pattern was the present one. Four other of our farmsteads are nearby so I made smaller 4x4 foot quilts for buildings there. In our yard I have a gazebo made of a cutoff wire corncrib and I’ve hung old saws and etc to adorn it. A three-foot circle saw blade looked the perfect item to put a quilt on and hang it up there – thus my 5th and all alike beauties to help decorate our south east corner of the county.”
Wayne & Jo Weber
6226 S. Canfield Road, Janesville
"I got the idea to paint a barn quilt from seeing them in Sac County where I visit my sister there. I bought a brochure with pictures to get ideas."
"I am a Iowa Hawkeye fan so that is why I drew and painted a Hawkeye quilt."
Tammy Stevenson-Wenzel & Darrell Wenzel
9936 W Cedar Wapsie Road, Cedar Falls
"Patriotic North Star"
The property was homesteaded in the 1850s by John Pashby. The house was built in 1860 with limestone from a quarry one mile away. After John, his son George Pashby lived in the house. George’s neice, Vera, and her family moved into the home in 1944 to help George farm. The land has stayed in the family and is currently owned by Vera’s daughter, Bonnie Stevenson. Bonnie’s daughter, Tammy Stevenson-Wenzel and her family now live in the house. The land is still owned and farmed by family. The barn quilt was made by Bonnie and installed in 2009 in a Patriotic theme in honor of various family members’ service in the military, most recently Tammy’s service in the US Army Veterinary Corps and deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
521 Progress Avenue, Waterloo
“When my garage was sided last year, a blank space appeared. Voila! A spot for a barn quilt! Fifty years ago I had sent a newspaper clipping for a quilt pattern called ‘nosegay’ or ‘bridal bouquet’ to Mom hinting that she might do that for our wedding. She did! So I used that pattern for my barn/garage quilt! I’m quite proud of both the 50 year old quilt AND my 4x4 garage quilt.”
Western Home Communities
5300 S Main Street, Cedar Falls
"Western Home Windmill"
"Seasons of Our Lives"
The Friends of Western Home Communities major project for 2010 was to create barn quilt designs for the red maintenance barn and the historic Rownd family large round, hollow tile barn on the Western Home South Campus. This barn was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1986. Ten women formed the committee of “Quilt Squares” to create and paint these barn quilts. The red barn shows the Western Home "Windmill". The four designs on the Rownd barn were designed as the “Seasons of Our Lives” – Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter. The completion of these quilts began the project of consolidating the barn quilts of Black Hawk County through the Cedar Falls Tourism and Visitors Bureau.
Dennis & Sally Wetherell
8106 Finchford Road, Janesville
“The antique saw blade, purchased at a yard sale for $1, had been used at an old saw mill on a farm in the Cedar Valley. After it was sandblasted and primed, the ‘quilt’ was painted and hung on May 27, 2008 on a newly erected garage along the West Fork of the Cedar River. The garage was built one foot above the 100 year flood stage, but on June 10, 2008, the Cedar River crested at the West Fork and reached a level of four feet inside the garage Viewing the flood waters and all the damage saddened us, but above all the water, our ‘morning star’ reminded us that the ‘sun will come up tomorrow.’”
Mick & Earline Williams
9334 Independence Avenue, Waterloo
“The inspiration for our barn quilt came from a family quilt made by my mother, grandmother, and aunt during the 1930s. The quilt is in our possession, currently being used.”