Sandra Beach


Barn Quilts Celebrate Country Life

After thirty years of running around the country working on massive theater sets, Sandy Beach (yes, that’s her name) and her husband Ken have semi-retired in the Fremont area.  Glad to be home, but determined to use her trade in some creative way, she now focuses her attention on the increasingly popular barn quilt designs that are popping up  not  only on  barns, but decorating the outside of homes, cottages, and even fireplace mantels.  “Wherever there’s a bare wall, there’s a possibility,” Sandy says.

Barn quilts can be traditional in design, sporting a more modern take on the quilting craft, or a combination of anything that is meaningful to the barn owner.  Sandy often uses traditional quilt patterns on the perimeter, then paints striking designs centered on the block.  Blocks can be 2’, 3’ or 4’ square, though Sandy has made custom sized blocks and designs for customers.  Some of her favorites incorporate the American eagle and military designs and colors, a favorite among veterans.  She has used pictures of family pets and placed them prominently in the quilt block.  One of her best sellers, she calls it “Sail Away,” Is a colorful Combination of lake life:  a sailboat surrounded with what looks like waves around the perimeter in blues, yellows and corals. The boards are hand painted.

She then weather proofs the boards to withstand Midwest winters. There are barn quilt trails in many states which encourage travelers to pick up a map and follow the trail through the country by car or cycle.   Michigan has 28 counties sporting barn quilt trails, including Kent, Mecosta and Old Mission and Grand Traverse.  The trails are a great way to get outside in the comfort of your own vehicle, wander down country roads, and enjoy the surprises that come with new sites.  Bring a picnic lunch and pull off the road as you go! 

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