Create a Barn Quilt as Garden Art
Nancy K. Meyer, from Iowa, has embraced the barn quilt tradition! See the barn quilts on her farm and she’ll show us how to make a barn quilt in a small size.
Nancy made the barn quilts that grace her family’s barn buildings, the shed and in her garden. For our Flea Market Gardening ‘Signs of Spring’ Challenge she made a smaller version for a spot in her garden and show the materials and steps she took below.
Most barn quilts are four foot square to show up from way up at the top of the barn.
“These are finished, drying, and waiting to be hung. Small one with our shop cat. “Snow” in it ~~needs to be finished for a friend.” Nancy has helped when her local library has held a few barn quilt workshops.
Nancy says, “These two 4×4 footers I worked on, red and gray are the local school colors. Both are framed in white. The pattern names are: Shoo Fly and 4M. I find painting these very relaxing and my hubby is helping with the cutting, framing and hopefully the ‘putting up,’ when we get that far.
Painting barn quilts on a smaller scale
Nancy says, “The 12 by 12 inch square barn quilt will go on my garden trellis by the tippy pots. I made the pattern up and I’m not sure where I got the idea!”
“The “M” was done free hand with help from a straight edge. The lines are not so perfect because my brush is worn. Once I paint the center, I will let it dry several days and then seal it with a spray or two of clear polyurethane.”
From Heritage Barn Quilts:
The history of barn decoration dates back to the mid 1800’s. Painting symbols on barns originated from traditional folk art passed along from the German and Swiss immigrants who settled the Pennsylvania Dutch region in southeastern Pennsylvania.
Once these groups including Lutherans, Moravians, Mennonites and other Christian reformists, built their family farms and communities, they would paint small patterns on their barns to celebrate their heritage and bring good fortune. Originally these patterns were simple stars, compass roses, or stylized birds from traditional folk art.
Today’s barn decorating revival became popular with a woman named Donna Sue Groves, from Adams County, Ohio. She wanted to honor her mother by hanging a colorful painted quilt square on her barn.
Instead of just one quilt square, she began a community project with twenty quilts being displayed along a driving trail to encourage visitors to travel through the countryside. This was the start of our first quilt trail in America.