This trend began way back before paint was readily affordable. Creative farmers used leftover paint to decorate their barns. They often depicted folk art, with quilt blocks being a favorite design choice (hence the name “Barn Quilts”). The trend died off but reappeared around 2000, adding artistic touches to backyards as well as farms.
They’re not hard to make, but be sure to size your barn quilt so it fits the space nicely. You may also need some help installing it on the side of a building.
You’ll need a piece of plywood cut to the correct size (Lowe’s and Home Depot will cut it for you). Some prefer to cover the board with primer. Others jump right in and start mapping out the design and painting it. Finish it off with a couple of coats of clear sealer.
Katey posted her process and instructions on Hometalk.com:
My mother is a quilter and for her birthday I made her a barn quilt square to hang on my father’s shed that overlooks their back yard and garden.
First pick out a pattern that is special to your family. It could be a quilt that is in your family or just one you like. I wanted a Texas Star since my mother is from Texas. Then pick out your colors.
Home Depot and Lowes will cut plywood for you. . . They sell small squares so look for those to save money.
Another good set of instructions can be found at Flimsy Pi. We suggest reading through both before collecting supplies and getting started.
Now that you know how to make your own barn quilt, here are some display ideas to get you started.
Barn quilt on a garage. From Flimsy Pi.
Barn quilt painted on a pallet and displayed in the garden. Found on Pinterest.
Barn quilt by the front door. Found on Maureen Cracknell Handmade.
Barn quilt hung indoors. Found on Flimsy Pi.
Barn quilt on a garden shed. Found on the Girotti Family website.
Hanging barn quilt. A small one could hang under your mailbox. This one was found on Etsy.
Barn quilts also give you the opportunity to display intricate quilt designs that you might not want to tackle when making a quilt. The following are especially lovely.
Confederate Rose barn quilt, Hopalong Hollow Barn, Rutledge, TN. Found on WayMarking.
Barn quilt by Chela Guyette (Barn Quilts by Chela).