A new American art form is popping up around the Rio Linda area; “barn quilts” are painted quilt-like squares that are typically mounted on boards and posted for display. Created by members of The Rio Linda Elverta Quilt Trail Project, the quilts are currently hung near Sacramento County’s Dry Creek Parkway at Depot Park and other spots in Rio Linda.
The Rio Linda Elverta Quilt Project first began when founder Debra Crowe and her husband were hunting in Nebraska and a barn quilt trail caught her eye. “We met with the Lake County barn quilt members and from there we started our own group of eight members who meet once a week,” Crowe stated.
The original quilt began when Donna Sue Groves wanted to honor her mother and her Appalachian Heritage in Ohio in the early 2000s. Since then, quilt trails have spread to 48 states as well as Canada, creating an imaginary clothes line that connects communities. The Rio Linda Trail Project contributes to this tradition by promoting community pride and creating a public art project.
Each quilt pattern tells a story and has a background; they are typically comprised of simple geometric shapes taken from traditional quilt patterns. The quilt blocks also feature vibrant colors that can be seen from afar.
“We choose the designs based on the land and the land owner’s preference; Rio Linda is known for chickens, so you will see a lot of designs with patterns of chickens,” said Crowe.
A feature of the Rio Linda Project is the Underground Railroad quilt block code, honoring the important usage of quilt squares during that time. The quilt squares contained patterns that conveyed information about food, shelter and directions for escaping slaves.
Rio Linda Elverta Quilt Facebook Page
Map to Rio Linda Elverta Quilt Trail
Writer: Alicia Solheim, Communication and Media