- Choose your design. Often a family quilt will serve as the model for a barn quilt, with a single block from the pattern used and the same colors used. For those who don’t have a family quilt, barn quilts may be designed using traditional geometric blocks that can be found in a quilting encyclopedia, books, and online.
- Choose size, common sizes are 8’ x 8’, 6’ x 6’, 4’ x 4’, 3’ x 3’
- Cut your plywood to size, fill edges with wood putty, sand edges
- Prime all sides and edges of the panel with two coats of exterior primer
- Draft your design on the panel (use grid method, if appropriate)
- Apply tape lines around the individual drafted shapes to create the clean lines.
- Burnish/press the tape down firmly so the paint doesn’t leak under it
- Paint in your design with a brushless look. Try brushing using a cross-hatching method to spread your paint out evenly. Apply two coats to each section of color
- When the paint is cured, apply a varnish or top coat with UV protection
Measuring and drawing a basic grid simplifies the drafting process. The Ohio Star seen below is a classic nine block pattern that is perfect for all abilities and only requires a ruler and a straight edge. There are endless beautiful variations based on this layout. It is an easy one to get creative with and embellish to your liking. More difficult patterns may require additional drafting tools.
- Cut two pieces of 1” x 3” pressure treated strapping to length so it overhangs the top and bottom edge of the barn quilt by 3”
- On a 4’ x 4’ barn quilt, place the strapping around 8” in from the sides
- Attach the two pieces of strapping to the back side with wood glue and screws
- Paint the overhanging tabs to match the building color that the quilt will be hung on
- Attach the quilt to the building with appropriate hardware through the overhanging tabs. (Consult with your local hardware store what hardware would be appropriate for the specific structure.)