How to Make a Barn Quilt–2014 Edition

It’s that time of year again – time to paint barn quilts!  This year I’ve been commissioned to paint two different barn quilts!  One is a 6’ x 6’ quilt and one is a 8’ x 8’ quilt.

Jackie ordered the first barn quilt – a 6’ x 6’ to hang on her white barn. 

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After a consult she decided on this Americana Ohio star block.  The white on the inside will look like ‘cutouts’ once it’s hung since the barn is white.  I think it’s going to look great!

Nancy ordered the second one.  Her barn quilt will hang on a red barn. 

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Our consult led her to choose the ‘Dutch Rose’.  This will be the most complicated barn quilt I paint…but it will look gorgeous in the end!

My husband put together the wood portion of the barn quilts for me.


Once they were put together it was time to prime.  I use four coats of primer for the base of the quilts.


I drew out a 3 x 3 grid at 2’ intervals to draw out the Ohio star quilt.  I just connected the dots for the diagonals.  This went really fast since I used a 5’ metal ruler as my straight edge.  Definitely worth the $10.  IMG_9312

For the Dutch Rose design I gridded the whole block out into 1’ square sections.  Then – I connected the dots to make the design.  It was pretty complicated and took awhile but I’m pretty sure that was the most tedious part for this design.


Finally!  It was time to tape out the first color!  I paint the colors from lightest to darkest…which means I’m starting with white.  Not super exciting but necessary.  I used frog tape to outline all the sections that are white.  The key to a good taping job is to try to get all your straight edges lined up with just one length of tape per edge.  It’s much harder to match up the line when you have to add a piece of tape to the same edge.  As you can see above – some of my edge outlining overlaps into the sections that need to be white.


Using a metal straight edge and a raiser blade I scored the frog tape.


Once the tape is scored it’s easy to remove the little overlapping corner. 


Now the Ohio star is ready for it’s first coat of white.  Before it’s all said and done – I will be painting four coats of each color paint with a minimum of 8 hours dry time between coats.


I also taped the white portions of the Dutch Rose quilt.  I can put on the coats of paint at the same time since I’ll be out in the shed painting anyway.


I know…not very exciting looking yet but the first coat of white is on!


And it’s on the Dutch Rose too! 

The process I described in this post – drawing the design, taping out the first color, painting the first coat, and clean up took me about 3 hours.  From here on out it won’t take me as long as I paint each coat – it’s just a matter of remembering to head out there every 8 hours or so. 

Stay tuned as I post progress pictures of the barn quilt!  I should have all four coats of the second color done by the end of the weekend!

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