Barn Quilts

Talara Parish: Barn Quilt Artist

Western North Carolina

Photograph by Talara Parrish

I had no idea what a big business barn quilts were until I met Talara Parrish. Having painted over 700 barn quilts in the last 18-20 months alone, she can hardly keep track of where her barn quilts end up! In the Barn Quilt Enthusiasts Facebook group I’m a part of, I posted a couple of beautiful barns nestled together in Todd, North Carolina. To my delight, Talara identified herself as the artist of one block and the probable artist of the second. Curious, I took the opportunity to get some more information from her about the art of barn quilts. She happily obliged!

Talara working in her studio.

Photograph by Talara Parrish

Talara got started in barn quilt production in collaboration with a friend. Tara would meet with clients to design them and her friend, Susan Zeilaskowski, would paint them. Eventually, Susan’s health rendered her unable to continue painting. With over 180 barn quilts on order, Talara picked up where Susan left off and never looked back! Currently, the wait for one of her barn quilts is 8-12 months! Her business has grown so that she only takes custom orders now. Each completed barn quilt is posted on her Facebook page. Talara provided me with a sampling of her completed barn quilts pictured just below.

“Homes are now the most popular places for barn quilts.”

First a quilter, Talara is so busy with her barn quilt business she doesn’t have time to make cloth quilts anymore. (For shame, ha ha!) In working with clients, she makes the process easy. First, you choose your pattern. Second, give her an idea of the color options you have in mind. Then, she provides eight options for you to choose from. This way, clients can see what their design will look like before it is painted. She offers this design service to everyone. Clients can take her design to a local artist if they live too far away, although she has shipped to Oregon, Texas, Arizona, Florida, etc.

Another option Talara offers is “Paint Your Own.” Individuals or small groups can schedule time in her studio to make their own barn quilt. She provides all the materials. You provide the labor. She charges per piece completed, not per person.

A night owl, you can find Talara in her studio in the late afternoon through the wee hours of the morning. Living within walking distance of her studio allows for flexibility for meeting with clients. She prefers you make an appointment to meet with her to design or create your very own barn quilt.

This is how Talara organizes her orders.

Photograph by Talara Parrish

Talara hard at work.

Photograph by Talara Parrish

At intersection of Meat Camp Store in Todd, NC.

Photograph by Emma Powell

The barn quilts above are what brought Talara and I into acquaintance. She immediately spotted her work in my Facebook post to our group.  The mountain scene in the center of the star was a middle-of-the-night inspiration. The star is a simple pattern she can add different images to. Having such a high volume of sales, it can be difficult to keep track of where her barn quilts end up. She couldn’t recall who owned these barns. It is probable the barn quilt behind was hers, although she couldn’t positively claim it!

If you would like to contact Talara, you can find her here:

Talara Parrish
Barn Quilt Headquarters
Upstairs in the Historic Old Hotel – West Jefferson
Margret Mae’s Emporium – West Jefferson
Facebook: Barn Quilt Headquarters of the Blue Ridge

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