how to make a DIY barn quilt

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This post was republished with permission from Newlywoodwards.

I’ve been planning to make a barn quilt since we first took down the old barn to rebuild on our property (in 2012).

What can I say? It takes a long time to see some of my plans come to fruition.

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But oh … I think it was worth the wait.

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Come ON? I’m doing a happy dance just looking at pictures. It’s like that little barn quilt was meant to live on our barn. I want to make 100 more.

I started doing research on barn quilts late last year. Since I’m a (novice) quilter, I love the idea of hanging a quilt square on our barn. It feels very rural Americana and I love that you can choose a square that tells a story. (Read more about the history of barn quilts at Barn Quilt Info. And check out the interactive barn quilt tour map.)

To decide on the quilt square to use, I checked out a few books on barn quilts from the library last fall. Ryan and I narrowed the options down of quilt patterns and finally settled on the Ohio Star. (This photo is from Lewis Mountain Herb, as shown in the book Barn Quilts and the American Quilt Trail Movement.)

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We liked the classic look of this square. I choice navy, grey and white to play off the red barn.

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Here’s how I made our version:

Ryan cut a piece of plywood to about 38″x38″. (In my barn quilt research, I found that the standard size is a 8 ft. square. But you can choose any size that works for your space. The world according to Kim.) I painted the square with exterior Behr Premium Plus Ultra in Ultra Pure White as a base. (This is the color I use on all exterior white trim so I had plenty on hand.)

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2. I wanted to have a frame of white along the edges, so I taped off the sides at about 1 inch with painters tape. (I found it easiest to use a quilter’s ruler for this.)barn 6

3. Then I used a pencil and ruler to split the board into thirds. (Each third was about 12 inches wide.) Using the inspiration photo above as a guide, I created the design. (The Ohio Star is really simple. Big bonus.)

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I created this super fancy, totally to-scale outline of the block with the colors. I know you are probably thinking I should be a graphic designer. Not.

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4. Now it’s just like paint by numbers. I started with the blue – Behr Starless Night. (Instead of bothering with painter’s tape, I just used a detail brush for edges and a larger brush for the center.)
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5. Then I added the grey – Behr Elephant Skin. After all the painting was done, I just pulled off the painter’s tape around the edges to show the white.barn 10

I thought it would be fun to add our name to the star, since we’re going to make this barn our home soon. I cut it from white vinyl on my Silhouette and applied with transfer tape. Ryan wasn’t sure about adding the vinyl – he thought it wasn’t traditional enough. But, in the end, we both liked the addition.

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After installing the barn quilt, I brought out this old ladder that belonged to Ryan’s grandpa to display near the barn quilt. It’s covered in paint and old and chippy and I adore it. Just the way it is. barn 12

The planters are made from cans I upcycled from the DQ.

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In the end, the quilt square feels at home on our 100-year-old barn. And it’s modernized and Woodwardized with our monogram.barn 14

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