It’s up and it’s beautiful!
Barn Quilts (technically they are Barn Quilt Blocks) are everywhere here in Wisconsin – people even make smaller versions for garages, sheds or even the sides of houses. We enjoy them. There’s something about a quilt on a barn that makes us feel comfortable.
Barn Quilts in Wisconsin and throughout the Midwest are sometimes featured in “Barn Quilt Trails” maps, usually organized by county agencies, departments of tourism or local quilt guilds. You can enjoy a day in the country, seeing all of the different quilt blocks!
How to make a barn quilt: My sister Cory and I made this one with two 4’X8′ sheets of top quality plywood. We started with a few layers of primer and then drafted out the pattern, working on one board (half of the block) at a time. We used the same heavy-duty enamel paint that they use on their farm equipment, in John Deere Green, Ford Blue, IH Red, and Ford Yellow!
Hauling those sheets of plywood in and out of the barn while we alternated so we could paint and let it dry between layers and edging was hard work!
The pattern is called “Bright and Morning Star,” one of the names of Jesus Christ, to reflect the faith of the Pearson family farmers.
How to install a barn quilt: Leave town and let the farmer do it. I am related to some very resourceful men! My nephew and brother-in-law took care of this part of the project. They rented a lift for the day and had to drill through the (fairly new) siding and wall of the barn to mount the block securely.
My sister and her husband farm in Ramsey, Minnesota, just north of Minneapolis, in an area that has become quite suburban since the farm was established three generations ago. It’s hard to farm in the city! To supplement the income from “real” farming, they have diversified to include seasonal sales of pumpkins, straw bales, fall decor, popping corn and corn stalks, etc. They do hay wagon rides and have a small corn maze. They sometimes have special community events with live music and games for the kids. This “Fall Sales” season is short, but it’s a significant part of the farm’s income. The quilt block, which is visible for a long distance along the major road that passes directly in front of their farm and also from the commuter train across from that, will be good promotional advertising for them. And we think it looks great!