Displaying brightly painted quilt blocks on barns is a new American art form inspired by Donna Sue Groves. In 2001, Groves and friends created a block to memorialize her mom Nina, and hung it on the family barn. Quilt blocks soon began to appear on barns, homes, and businesses across the Midwest and Canada. The network of barn quilt trails now numbers over 3,000 barn quilts that stretch across the country on an imaginary clothesline.
Rick and Debra Crowe discovered a barn quilt trail by accident while on a deer hunting trip in Nebraska. Debra brought the idea home to her local quilting group, the Rio Linda Elder Craftsman. Several members of the group formed the Rio Linda/Elverta Quilt Trail Project to start a quilt trail in their hometown.