The Quilt Barns of Carroll County Maryland

September 14, 2018  •  2 Comments

#22 Churn Dash Quilt#22 Churn Dash Quilt

Yes, I know, the title of this blog, and the accompanying collection, sounds like a Clint Eastwood movie involving bridges. Unfortunately, I didn't find Meryl Streep on the back roads of Maryland, nor do I expect this will result in a layout in National Geographic. But it is my first "project," per se. I've been photographing for many decades, but only sporadically, situationally, and casually. For the first time, I committed to a specific goal and time period: I would photograph all 31 of the barns on the Carroll County Quilt Barn Trail and I would complete it this summer. I have to credit a friend of mine (C, you know who you are) for encouraging me to do this.

I found this project fun and challenging. Actually finding the barns was a bit like a scavenger hunt! Sometimes the quilt blocks were in plain view, facing the address given by the Carroll County Tourism Map. Sometimes the spot on the highway that the street address marked, was a country mile from the barn. Sometimes, the barn and quilt block are only visible from parallel or adjacent roads. And at other times, the quilt block was placed where there was either a crop, ready for harvest, or a sloppy barn yard immediately in front. Photographically, I had to use the available light, at the time of day I found the barn, even if it was the worst possible lighting for the particular location. And of course, you can't just cut down the wires hanging in front of the quilt blocks. The barns themselves were located all over the country, in areas that I didn't even know existed. Much of the time I could have just as easily been in Madison County, Iowa or even Kentucky. It was fun to travel these roads less traveled and see rural America. Inevitably, I ran into some of the local farmers and their neighbors. This too was a joy, as talking to people from diverse backgrounds was the greatest pleasure of my former career. If you can get people to talk, shut your mouth, and open your ears, you will learn something from everybody.

I hope you enjoy the photos in this collection. They may not be my best work, but they certainly got me excited to do another project. You'll just have to wait and see what it's going to be. Please see my photos at: Quilt Barns of Carroll County

Carroll Country, MDCarroll Country, MD


Comments

Les(non-registered)
Beautiful work and the pieces hang together so well! I am glad that you had fun while working on this project!

Les
Carl Kriigel(non-registered)
Mark, what a great project!! I absolutely love it! I have seen quilts on barns at various locations and have often considered a collection of them. My wife is a quilter so the names of the patterns are very familiar. I can image hunting for them and all the stories you must have behind each one. Your skill as a photographer really came through as you were able to capture each barn creatively no matter the location or lighting. Well done!
I can't wait to see the next project.

Carl
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