ALLISON POTTER ALLISON POTTER
THE barn quilt hunting game requires a sense of adven-ture,
a good eye, and map reading skills, because there
is a good chance your phone won’t have service in the
country. Also, the driver must be adept in the fine art
of U-turns, because, oh yes, those tricky multi-sized quilts
will be difficult to spot. Thankfully, the quilt tour data on
VisitSampsonNC.com gives excellent hints where to look, such
as “under carport” or “on the back building.”
Savvy hunters will be prepared, having seen the images of
some of the 150 quilts on the trail website — which touts the
county’s claim as the “Barn Quilt Capital of North Carolina”
— and plotted a course before leaving home. Or they will have
contacted the Sampson County tourism bureau for even more
hints and route suggestions.
For the beginner, it may be important to know that the “quilts”
are not fabric but are mostly painted on wood. Sizes vary from
30 july 2022
2x2 feet to 8x8 feet. Less than half are on barns. Most are on
buildings, including sheds, market pavilions, offices, businesses
and schools. Some are located on houses, chimneys and fences.
They all have one thing in common — to be listed in the tour
guide, they must be visible by public access.
“Your quilt will only be listed on the trail if it can be seen
from a road, not a driveway,” says Sampson County tourism
director Sheila Barefoot. She says the trail map will soon grow
to 180 quilts.
Sampson County, which is north and slightly west of Wilm-ington,
is the second largest county in North Carolina at
945 square miles. With that and gas prices in mind, your first
quilt hunting trek may need to narrow to one or two places.
“With 150-plus quilts, it is nearly impossible to see them
all,” says Barefoot. “Only about three people have that I’m