A story of Love. September 22 2017, 0 Comments

Love flowers?

Then you must take a drive by and see the lovely and beautiful iris barn quilt gracing the side of Patric and Ruthie Sicklesteel's garage, on the out skirts of Dorr MI.

 Often people ask me, "Marilyn, what's the meaning behind the quilt pattern I just selected?"

For sure, Ruthie's  iris pattern has a story! When I first talked to Ruthie about getting a barn quilt, she knew exactly what she wanted -a beautiful dark purple iris Quilt pattern. And here's the story why. It's a story that needs to be told time and time again.

When this sweet loving couple got married, Ruthie carried her favorite flower in her wedding bouquet, purple irises. She absolutely loves the color purple, loves irises, and was and is totally in love with Patric! What a wonderful story!

  And this purple iris barn quilt conveys that story of love to everyone who sees it.

 I've been blessed by meeting Ruthie, hearing her love story, and helping create this work of art and love. Don't miss it!!!

  This gorgeous barn quilt is located at:

2557 144TH AVE

Dorr MI 49323 

My Lone Star April 10 2017, 0 Comments

My Lone Star 2’x2’ Lone Star barn quilt that I have on my garage, is in honor of my sweet granddaughters, Adeline and Anna.

Ever since they were very small, they have always enjoyed camping and gazing at the night sky with us.

It is always a race between the two girls, as to see who could find Venus first. That is why I picked the Lone Star quilt pattern.

My granddaughters brighten up my life. So I told Marilyn, when I took her American Barn Quilt workshop, that I wanted something bright and beautiful like my granddaughters.

I had so fun creating my Barn Quilt and with the rest of gals there too. Marilyn was so helpful in the picking out the pattern and the colors with all of us.

My Lone Star barn quilt always brings a warm loving smile to my face every day.

I hope you enjoy my photo of it……

I can highly recommend letting Marilyn help you create something beautify unique, just for you.

American Barn Quilts Workshop January 20 2017, 0 Comments

Join us for a workshop that includes discussion on the history of barn quilts and creating your own 2x2 quilt!  2nd class you'll be going home, with your own unique barn quilt creation This workshop is a 2-day event on January 23 and February 6  from 6:30-8pm (Monday nights) at the Anderson Lodge   Dorr MI 49323. Please see contact me in advance if you'ld like to join this workshop...or take a latter workshop. or text me @ 616-299-9707   

Building a 6ft Barn Quilt Frame by American Barn Quilts January 20 2017, 0 Comments

A quick tutorial on building a frame for your American Barn Quilts quilt. Or order one with one from us as you pick out your products!

Think Spring! January 20 2017, 0 Comments

It’s been a long cold winter.
Your probably thinking... You could say that again!

I’ve been dreaming of Spring.
Of planting vegetables in my raised bed gardens.
How I love to see my perennials start to pop up from the ground, that was once was cold and frozen.

I long to see new life everywhere.
Like the baby chicks and ducklings at the Family Farm and Home store.

Seeds of all kinds …
How many different kinds of Burpee sunflowers are there?
How do I decide which ones to buy?
What all can I plant in garden plots in the back yard?

How can I make my little victory garden prettier?
Why not a barn quilt on the old grey fence we have?
Yes…..I think the Floral Cosmos is just the thing.

Come warm weather, we all want to get outside and enjoy our yards.
Do some planting, bring out our lawn art…
Do you have any Gnomes? (I do, thanks to my son Sam)
What do you place in your gardens to brighten up your surroundings?
Have you ever thought of hanging some artwork in your gardens?


Marilyn Anderson - Artist & Designer

American Barn Quilts 

Outdoor Art to Preserve Story 




A nice message from a customer that has just put up their barn quilt. July 18 2016, 0 Comments

I love getting these messages from satisfied customers. I am so happy to be able to share my passion for barn quilts and the designs with others.  Each piece tells a story- much like a quilt that covers a bed or a diary of a family’s history.
Barn Quilt on a patio
"Hi Marilyn,
I finally found a perfect spot for my (your) quilt. Since we couldn't put it on the old barn due to all the openings and the way the doors moved, I decided to put it on the back of my house above my patio!!!!!

It looks so great and I get to enjoy it close up. I love, love, love it.
I have shown it to some of my friends and emailed all of my friends and I am giving your website away, they all want one. I know of two who will probably order one....
This product is superior and to think that I was going to "paint" one on wood???!!!!!!  So happy I found your website. :) :)
THANKS so much for making these and letting me change colors."

Tennessee Rise & Shine July 28 2015, 0 Comments


One of the greatest things we get to do is learn your story and why you pick the quilt you buy. We love hearing from our customers as to why they decided on a certain quilt and the reasons behind it. Here, we feature a customer from Tennessee. Read why she chose our Rise & Shine quilt. 






"We have attached the barn quilt to the front of our house facing the eastern sky. We chose this quilt because we have chickens on our 30 acre farm in east TN..also because we should rise and let our light shine before the world. The light and love of Jesus Christ. I am sending a couple of pictures that I took this morning . God is great and greatly to be praised."



If you have a story for your quilt, please share with us! You can post to our Facebook page or email us at





August Barn Quilt Workshop July 13 2015, 0 Comments



Due to a overwhelming response for participation for our July workshops, we will be holding an August workshop! This event includes a class on the history of barn quilts and a workshop creating your own
2’x2’ Barn Quilt.

Lead by Marilyn Anderson, local artist.
  Two-night workshop on Monday, Aug. 10th & Monday, Aug. 24th
6:30 to 8:00 PM
at 4330 22nd Dorr MI 49323.
There is a $25.00 non-refundable registration fee and $65.00 due at the time of the first class.
Refreshments served.
If you have any questions feel free to call Marilyn at 616-299-9707 or email




Phone____________________________ Email______________________________________

Please note: this is a 2 night class to be held on Aug. 10 and Aug. 24, 2015

Please send form along with a $25.00 registration fee by Aug 4, 2015.
Please make check payable to:

Marilyn Anderson
4330 22nd
Dorr MI 49323.

Mariners Star July 06 2015, 0 Comments

Navigation is a part of life on the water. Mariners use maps, compasses, and lighthouses to guide their way home. This quilt came out of inspiration from a customer looking to hang a quilt on their cottage to help guide and welcome them back home after a long day of fishing and boating. If you're looking for something special to guide you home from the waters let us know what you have in mind! Contact us at or 616-299-9707 if you would like a nautical quilt created to welcome you back to your house or cottage!


Spring Has Sprung April 03 2015, 0 Comments

Spring has sprung and warmer weather is here to stay! Check out the website for our quilts that radiate Spring like this one! Our quilts will last you years as they are made from vinyl that withstand all weather.

Flag in the Barn Window September 18 2014, 0 Comments


We all love receiving gifts, but how many of us find pure joy in giving gifts to others?

I believe that Shauna does. She purchased this quilt for her mother's birthday. What a sweet daughter!

A barn quilt was the perfect gift idea, since her mother had been admiring them on scenic drives and talking about how much she loved them. Shauna knew Flag in the Barn Window was the quilt for her mother because of her patriotism and love of everything country themed. I asked where her mother and father might hang it up, to which Shauna replied, "she wants the quilt on the shed (in the newly landscaped backyard) so she can look at it while sitting on their new patio."

Out of curiosity I asked if there were any quilters in Shauna's family, she replied, "I believe my grandmother quilts." I wonder if this is why Shauna's mother is so intrigued by barn quilts? Either way, Shauna assured me that she couldn't have "found anything more perfect" for her moms birthday gift this year.

I dare you to get into giving again. Share the love with your family and friends with a special gift that will be cherished for a lifetime.

Martha's Larakeet Flower Barn Quilt Story September 16 2014, 0 Comments

  Recently, I made this quilt for Martha from Cranford, New Jersey.

  It always excites me when new clients are as enthusiastic about barn quilts as I am. When I received Martha's order for this specific design, I asked her what got her interested in barn quilts. She proceeded to tell me about a trip she had just taken where she noticed quilts on barns and homes. She wondered, "what were these beautiful pieces of art? They were not Amish Hex Signs, but we're big, beautiful and full of vivid color! What did they mean?" Unfortunately her tour guides did not know much about the quilts, but after hopping online she found me in no time.

  Martha decided on the Larakeet Flower for its vivid colors and beautiful design. She states, "my home is a gray color with blue shutters and this color design will really draw your eye to the quilt." To her belief, she will be the first in her home town of 23,000 to have a barn quilt on her home. This news is just as exciting for me as for Martha! "My hope is that other people will see my beautiful quilt on the front of my home and want one of their own, I would love to see this art form on as many houses in Cranford as possible!"

  I'm so happy to be a part of this new found joy in a town far away from mine and hope this beauty can be spread far and wide in the years to come :-)

  Thank you Martha, I hope you enjoy your new quilt!

Coopersville Farm Museums " Lone Star" barn quilt July 28 2014, 0 Comments

What a fun day that was to see American Barn Quilts, Grand Rapids ArtPrize 2013 entry go up on the Coopersville Farm Museum. The “Lone Star”.

Lee Ann, the gal who runs the farm-museum, had a friend who was working a bucket truck right down the street renovating the train station a few buildings away. We scheduled all of us to meet around 4:30 last week Tuesday 7-8-14 In no time at all, the Lone Star was lifted up and attached to the Farm Museums silo with heavy duty zip ties.

In through the grommets, then around the metal bars that held, the silo together.

I truly believe this is the perfect place, for this big 6x6 foot “Lone Star” barn quilt to be.

The Coopersville Farm Museum has a yearly Quilt Show, a Quilting Bee that meets every week, a Farmers Market, and Kids Crafts. Oh, did I mention a Jam Night, every 1st & 3rd Tuesday of every month.

The  Coopersville Farm Museum is such a creative place for teaching, sharing and enjoyment. The " Lone Star" barn quilt was my way of honoring all of those great and generous folks, who teach and share their talents with those around them.

What better place for American Barn Quilt 2013 ArtPrize entry to be displayed then on the silo of the Coopersville Farm Museum.

Keep on the look out for all the different barn quilts, on the many Barn Quilt Trails here in Michigan.

I've been told that only 3, of the 50 states in the US, don't have Barn Quilt Trails.

That's a lot of Quilt Trails and tons of barn quilts to see.



Nellies Friendship Circle Quilt May 05 2014, 0 Comments


This Barn Quilt design, is in honor of My Mother, who has passed away and gone to heaven.

I have always heard everyone say, she was such a great friend.
From my Aunt’s, Uncles, and all of her dear friends.
She was such a loving and very caring person.

If my Aunt Ruth called her, she was ready at the drop of a hat, to have coffee and cookies.
Let’s not forget, Monday morning girl’s breakfast at Mr. Fables. (smile)

My mom was a woman of faith. She was the best prayer warrior a child could have.
I can still hear her saying that she will pray for me. As I too, always prayed for her.
Her tenacity in the midst of RA (arthritis), was a fine example of her faith and love for her family.
Now on these damp days, I realize just a bit of what she was suffering from.
(Arthur has come to visit me too).

Here is a song for those Praying Mothers like mine.

I hope that you enjoy it…

Mom (Nellie), your friends and family and grandchildren miss you, and so do I, very much!

This barn quilt is my way of Honoring You, my dear mother/friend.
Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!

love you, and thank you for the life and faith you have given me.

What are you giving your MOM for Mothers Day?

Or, how are you Honoring your MOM?

Honor your mother and father, so that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on this earth...

Happy 46th Anniversary April 28 2014, 0 Comments

Happy 46th Anniversary, Vicki and Curtis “G” in Kentucky!

This barn quilt request is so very special to me.

Why, you may ask?…..

This order came in on the very day of our Wedding Anniversary,

Vicki and Curtis are buying this as their own 46th Anniversary gift for each other.

Curtis said this was his favorite quilt pattern on my barn quilt website.

He said when he showed the website to his wife….

She fell “In Love” with the same one he loved, the Giant Dahlia in Gold.

Curtis told me the beauty of being married for so long;

We seem to know each others likes and dislikes, and we love many of the same things.

I am so blessed to have a small part in this couples 46th Wedding Celebration.

Blessings to You, Vicki & Curtis!

May the two of you have many more sweet years as “Husband and Wife”.

Oriental Poppy Barn Quilt March 25 2014, 0 Comments

Have you heard the song "Momma Like the Roses", by Elvis Presley?

Well my friend Kam, loved her Oriental Poppies.

She had them. Masses of them in her yard, when she lived here in MI.

Now she lives in Ohio (I miss her so), this barn quilt is to Honor you and your gardens.

I’m planning on planting a lot more flowers in my yard this year.

Soon we’ll head over to Horrocks and buy a few more poppies to plant in our yard.

They are so beautiful... I just wish the petals would stay on all summer.

So here is an Oriental Poppy who’s petals won’t fall off.
They come in all sizes and colors… just for the choosing.

For those who follow my blogs…
I’m joining the Garden Club at the Dorr Library.
So you might see more Barn Quilts with flowers on them.

A Yellow Rose Welcome to All Who Enter. February 26 2014, 0 Comments

What a pretty yellow home this is, in a beautiful country setting.

A big old red barn, a chicken coop, and a stone smokehouse with a tin roof.

Mary’s gardens were like Martha Stewarts must be….
filled with beautiful flowers, amazing vegetables, chickens, and few little goats.

(Are you picturing this in your minds eye yet?)

When I entered her home, it was like walking into a Country Living magazine.
She even was baking bread and snapping beans with her children that day.

As we chatted a bit, she invited me out to her back porch, where she entertains family and friends.

Mary quickly said, "Marilyn, I would love that 2ftx2ft Yellow Wig Rose barn quilt over here. How do you think it would look?”
My immediate thought…… “it fits her home and family to a “T”!"

What a pleasure to meet this down to earth family.

I believe the symbol of roses, are Love.
And love seems to abound in their home.
Their love of each other, nature, animals, and their God.

Blessings to you Mary,
and all who enter the pretty, yellow door of your home.

Marilyn Anderson - Artist & Designer
American Barn Quilts 
Outdoor Art to Preserve Story 

One sunny winter day~ February 08 2014, 0 Comments

One sunny winter day, my husband and I decided to take his parents out for a really nice dinner.
We took them to a place they had never been before, The Grill House, in Allegan, MI.
This updated old historic home is a great place to enjoy a fantastic steak dinner.
We all enjoyed being able to choose our own cut; fillet, porterhouse, or rib-eye, from their large display case.
We could grill it ourselves or have one of their outstanding grill masters grill it to our liking.
OK, I need to stop dreaming of that 44oz (that's not a type-o) rib-eye my husband and I shared and get back to my blog about the barn quilt.
On our drive to the restaurant I spotted the "Crown of Thorns" barn quilt I created for a quilter friend that I met a few years ago.
Without thinking  I shouted out...."There's one of the barn quilts I made!!".  :-)
What excitement we all felt,  seeing one of my barn quilt creations displayed on this pretty 2 stall garage.
My barn quilts get shipped all over the USA. Not very often do I have the enjoyment of driving by one that I created.
If you have the opportunity, you HAVE to try out this fabulous restaurant. Its called "The Grill House". 
Tell them the "barn quilt lady" sent you. :-)
I would love it, if you have a barn quilt that you send me a photo of it, so we can all enjoy its beauty.
Marilyn Anderson - Artist & Designer
American Barn Quilts 
Outdoor Art to Preserve Story 

Barn Quilts - The story. January 01 2014, 0 Comments

The history of the American Barn Quilt can be traced back almost 300 years, to the arrival of immigrants from the central regions of Europe; Germany, Austria, and the Netherlands. 

It is widely believed that barn painting/quilting originated in Pennsylvania with these immigrants and then spread too much of the New England and Midwestern states. Paint was very expensive in those days and painting a decorative yet distinctive quilt pattern on their barns was a wonderful way of allowing for decoration. It also became an excellent way for travelers to find particular families or cross roads, as towns people would just tell them which pattern to look for. 

Paint became less costly around the 1830's to 1840’s and at this point, barn painting/decorating became an actual trade with specialized artisans. These artists combined many folk designs as well as specific geometric patterns from quilt squares: Snail trail, Bear claw, Mariners compass and Drunkards path.

Decorating barns with colorful designs and quilt squares peaked by the beginning of the 20th century and slowly gave way to a more pragmatic form of barn painting; advertisement. Gone were the colorful quilts and in their place came the paid ads for Red Man Chewing Tobacco, Ceresota Flour, and Mail Pouch: A nostalgic part of the history of American barns in their own right. 

Today, barn quilts have become popular again, with more and more becoming visible. Quilt trails have been developed in many states. After a number of barn quilts have been displayed in an area, a map is developed that guides the viewers to the location. The map will have an address, maybe a picture of the square and a name or explanation of its meaning. A few of the states that have developed quilt trails include: Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Iowa and of course, Michigan.

The quilts can be put on any type of building; from houses, garages, and sheds to parks or yards where they are mounted on two posts and displayed.

Railroad Crossing in Reed City December 16 2013, 0 Comments

This is one of my photos of a Barn Quilt on the Reed City Chamber of Commerce building which is on the Osceola County Barn Quilt Trail. The pattern is called "Railroad Crossing."

Last year my Aunt Ruthy invited me to go on a bus tour, to see the Barn Quilt Trail in Osceola County. Boy did we have a good time! Our 1st stop was for lunch at the Marion United Methodist Church, boy, oh boy did those church ladies feed us a wonderful home cooked meal. They even served us dessert!

Then soon we were back on the bus, with Elsie Vrendenburg as our knowledgeable guide. She was so full of information to tell us, about all the wonderful barn quilts we were driving by. As you can imagine, being a barn quilt designer and the website owner of, I was thrilled all day long looking out the window on that bus tour.

Then that Saturday, they had a gathering of people who would like to start a Barn Quilt Trail in their own areas of the world. I was there with bells on and wearing big smile! 

I've been doing a lot of brainstorming and gathering after the bus ride....So now I'm here to let you "In" on my latest Barn Quilt project. Coming soon to Wayland MI....(Dorr, MI is jumping on the band wagon too) our local small businesses are having their own short term Barn Quilt Trail. Each business will be offering their own discounts. (You'll love the country hospitality they have) I hope you all will come out for a lovely drive, see the Beautiful Barn Quilts, and check out these great little shops. Why not get in on the deals they are giving to our special Barn Quilt friends

My "GOAL" is to help the area small businesses to draw more people out, to feel the warmth of their quaint shops, and to see the beautiful sights along the way.

Coming soon to a small town, not far from you. Stay tuned for more info, next week.

If you would like a list of the businesses that are already on the Barn Quilt trail email me at:

Check them out I would love to hear from you... would you like to be a part of the Bus Tour Group going on a trip? Let me know.....

Horse Quilt! December 09 2013, 0 Comments

Have you ever fell in love with one of your animals?

Well, one of my daughters loves horses. She loves to train them and give riding lessons…well just about anything, that would deal with horses.

I got to ride this handsome horse, which was on my bucket list, while getting a horse riding lesson from my daughter.

Isn’t he just the most beautiful horse you’ve ever seen?

While looking at her photos the other day, I saw this amazing picture of Tecumseh, yes, I have fallen in love with him too.

I decided to do some creative designing…. I wanted to see, if making a photo of him into a Barn Quilt might be an awesome thing to do.

Well, what do you think?

What pet would you put on your Barn Quilt and what caption would you put under the photo?

If you might like something like this, contact me at: or email me at:

Tina’s symbol December 02 2013, 0 Comments

Nothing warms the heart like a fire in your Wood Stove, and a beautiful Quilt.

Here is Tina's symbol of both!

Blessings, my friend. May you and your family stay warm this winter.

A True Horse Lover August 15 2013, 0 Comments

A True Horse Lover

A True Horse Lover

My brother Don was a true horse lover. When he was a little shaver he had a sweater with a horse on it. I believe if you were to ask him what his favorite sweater was, he would have told you, his horse sweater.
While driving down my country roads, I look at all the barns. I think to myself, "what kind of barn quilt is that barn calling for?" Like I think the barn might personally talk to me…

There is a horse stable down the road from me, and it makes me think about my brother Don and his love of horses when he was a kid.
So one day I sat at my desk, feeling inspired to make a barn quilt with a horse on it. Hours passed by and finally I had one I was happy to call Tarzan. Named after my oldest brother’s horse and pony. Yes, they both were named Tarzan.
My hopes were to make one up and give it to him as a gift. But he moved on from this temporary home, to a permanent one. Before I could have the pleasure of giving one to him.

I decided to put it up on my American Barn Quilt website, where people can purchase the barn quilts I design. Much to my excitement, an order came in for, a “Tarzan” barn quilt! How exciting it was to chat with this gentleman about the “Tarzan Horse” barn quilt he was ordering from me. He said, I’m getting this design to hang on my barn, because of my love for horses. Just typing about this now, brings a big smile to my face. I’m sure my brother would be smiling about this too.
Now there is a 4×4 ft Barn Quilt displayed on a red barn in Kentucky honoring the man who loves his horses, and honoring my brother at the same time.

I love how making barn quilts connects people with beauty, love, honor, and their passion.
What are your loves and passions that you could share with others?


Marilyn Anderson – Artist & Designer

Thanks Son! June 28 2013, 0 Comments

Yes, this fabulous barn quilt, was a custom order. I had to step out of my box and draw this out on one of my software programs.

Okay…. I tried for 15 or so hours, and didn’t get very far. Until one morning, after letting go of the “I will do this” mentality, I woke up, and my thought was….. hire this to be done, by a tech geek. Wow, what a idea. Who could I call to help me? My #3 son, Ben.

I called him. He said, "Sure mom, I can help you with that!” He was even happier to help me, after I told him it was a paying job.

He came over, and within a much shorter amount time than I could ever spend, he figured it all out.
I did some finishing touches... and voila, I just love how it looks.

Every day is a new learning experience. Some days you learn that you need to ask for help.
Just as quilters sometimes need help, their quilting bee.
Sometimes we too, need to ask for help.

Has there ever been a project or time in your life where you needed to ask for help?

Thanks Son. I’m so proud of our work together. We made a great team.
Love Mom.

American Barn Quilts