Barn Quilt Demo

I was asked by our Quilt Show committee to be one of the demonstrators during our recent quilt show for Ocean Waves Quilt Guild.  They requested I do a Barn Quilt demo.

I had so much fun taking Suzi Parron’s classes in March 2015 that I felt confident I could present something useful.  As Suzi comments on her website (just in case you have never heard of these)  “Barn quilts are painted quilt squares-usually fashioned on boards and then mounted on a barn or other building. While cloth quilts are usually made up of a series of squares of the same pattern placed together, a barn quilt is almost always a single square “.

My first order of business was to order Suzi’s book Barn Quilts and the American Quilt Trail Movement.  Oh my, what a great read!!  Yes, there are great photos,  but it is so interesting to sit and read.  You can order one directly from Suzi’s website – Barn Quilt Info   . (I was so busy with my duties as Vice President during Suzi’s visit that I failed to buy a copy of her book when she was here!)

I recently saw a photo of a quilt using a pattern by Eleanor (Quilt in a Day) Burns. She has a book out called Quilt Block on American Barns.  What caught my eye on that quilt was the barn in the center, complete with a barn quilt on the barn. It made me laugh, and I had to get her book.  Along with the great patterns are some wonderful photo’s of Barn Quilts (yes, the non – fabric; hanging on barns.) Check it out on Amazon!

The next “order of business” was to get the two Barn Quilts I painted in March and check them out and see if they were “quilt show ready”.  I had not hung them yet, as I had great intentions of touching them up following the class. (Good intentions but little follow thru!)  So, I spent a couple of afternoons working on them, preparing them to be viewed by someone besides me, up close!

I realized that there were “paint line ridges” between colors, so I broke out the trusty sand paper, and sanded the lines, and then sanded the entire board lightly.  The tricky part was the paint.  Suzi had sent us home from class with a container of paint for touch ups.  I had “JUST ENOUGH” of my red paint.  Along the way, my hubby gave me some paint/tape tips to prevent those ridge lines.  I followed his tips and I was very pleased.

The weather was so nice, I set up “shop” on the patio next to the pool. (You have to do SOMETHING while the paint dries!)

The final “order of business” was to get  new boards prepped for the demo.  My hubby had some 1/2″ oak from a previous project, and I gave it a little light sanding, and  3 coats of exterior latex primer.  What a difference that thicker wood was to work with. Heavy for one thing.  I did this over a couple of days, and let the primer dry well.  Perfect job for sitting out at the pool too!

Once my 2 boards were ready, I decided I should select and lay out a design, taping off areas to paint, and “refreshing my memory” on the process so I could speak about the process easily. My goal was an easy pattern that could start out as a 9 patch.  I figured if I had 2 boards prepped, showing different parts of the process, it would make sense. I dug out 3 cans of exterior latex paint, left over from our last round of painting our house, and got it stirred up and portioned out into small containers to take with me to the show.  (You should have seen the faces when I pulled out those “laboratory specimen cups” with the paint! Hey, the lids stayed closed, and they were “NEW” when I filled them with paint!)

I had fun at the Quilt Show doing the demo, and appreciated the attention and questions I got from those that came to listen.  I began my demo explaining that I am not an expert, and I am not an artist.  With my handy yardstick, ruler, blue tape and razor knife, I could, however, make a barn quilt.  If I could do it, then anybody else could too.  As I only had 30 minutes to demonstrate, I taped off just two areas on the sample boards and I asked for paint helpers!  The two ladies that painted seemed like they had fun!  Overall, I had a successful demo based on the feedback I got from those attending.

Many thanks to my hubby who cut the wood for me, got my photo’s running on a slide show, and helped me get the laptop, the computer monitor, cords, power strips, electric cords, paint, books and samples into the show and set up.  Bless his heart for putting up with me & my hobbies!  Thanks to my friends Barbara & Elli for sharing their barn quilts from our class in March.  Nice to have so many samples to generate interest.

Now that I have the boards back home, perhaps I should finish both of them! (I shouldn’t wait 4 months to look at them!!) And I want to take the original boards and get them hung!  One is going on the fence, and one on the garage near the entrance to my quilting studio.  Not quite sure what I will do with the two done in oak, but I will get them finished. Maybe I should pick up one more color of paint, just to jazz things up a bit!  I put together a handout with general information on how to make your own barn quilt, and lots of links to resources around the web too.  Seems there are lots of people making and selling them, both in wood and in metal.  They are becoming very popular and they are fun and easy to create, at least in the smaller 2×2 size that I used.  Now, if I only had a barn……….

If you are interested in the handout I gave during the demonstration, it is available here: barn quilts

The document is a PDF,  and has multiple links for more information.

Happy sewing and painting.


Quilt Show Today & Tomorrow

Ohio Stars and Rails

Ohio Stars and Rails

It is FINALLY here! A years worth of work, and so wonderful to see the quilts go up yesterday afternoon.  We worked from 2:15 to 8 pm getting over 250 quilts hung at Cape Henlopen High School in Lewes DE getting every thing ready!

I had to take a photo of MY quilts that were hanging…My Ohio Stars and rails for Quilts of Valor hangs pretty nicely.

This Boxy Stars quilt that my bee, The Material Girls,  worked on together turned out well.  Our challenge was to make a Red White and Blue Quilt for Quilts of Valor.  One member , Judy B.,  really got us organized. My part was to work on paper piecing some of the blocks and helping with the layout. Other members sashed and joined the blocks, made the binding and hand stitched it on.  The custom quilting was done by Pat Kost.    This is the first time I have seen it since we made the blocks in January.

Boxy Stars made by the Material Girls

Boxy Stars made by the Material Girls

Both of these quilts will be donated to Quilts of Valor after the show.

The very first quilt hung was one of mine and I got to hang it.  After looking at this photo, I realized it needs to be on shorter hooks.  Oh well, maybe one of our many “quality control checks” caught that.  This picture was taken about 10 minutes after it went up….so I am hoping in the next 4 or 5 hours somebody adjusted it!.

Tshirt Quilt in Honor of Edward Mahoney for Karen Rupp

Tshirt Quilt in Honor of Edward Mahoney for Karen Rupp

So; take a road trip and come to see the show!  The vendors were working just as hard as our guild members getting ready!

click on the link to get       Ocean Waves Quilt Show Info

Ocean Waves Show logo

I promise to take lots of pictures today and tomorrow!  I have lots of jobs at the show, including a BARN QUILT demo.  So, if you are coming to the show; look for me on Saturday at 11:30 .  I will be the one painting back in the corner!

I spent  part of the week getting my sample boards prepared –  here is a peek at those too:

Time for me to “get busy” !

Another Barn Quilt Adventure

I had a great time, attending another class with Suzi Parron!  Earlier this month I took a class with Ocean Waves Quilt Guild ( ) and I could not pass the opportunity by to take another.  Suzi was teaching this time for Delmarvalous Quilt Guild and they had space left in the class. It was fun to go with 3 other members of my quilt “bee” – the Material Girls!

My hubby is a car guy, and wanted me to do a Chrysler Pedistar symbol, but I did not have a chance to draw it out ahead of time in quadrants that I could then “paint”.imagesMy brain just would not “work” and get this from paper to the 24″ square piece of wood.  I tried….really….thank goodness Suzi had a BIG eraser!!

So, I settled for a quilt design I could draw out.  Since I am currently working on a Quilts of Valor “Bonnie Hunter Quilt – Ohio Star and Rails pattern”, I decided that would be my block.  I was going to actually do the “barn quilt” in the same color as my quilt. ( )

But, when I got up to the table to pick out my paints, I saw she had a couple of containers of an interesting teal……and so this is the result:

Ohio Star - Colors that match our home

Ohio Star – Colors that match our home

Still need a little “trim work”; but paint was so wet and it was so humid, I thought it best to leave it rest a day in the garage to dry and then I will go back to work on it.  Hubby thinks a little “pin striping tape” would really set the blocks….and then I would not have to do much more taping and painting.  (The red needs another coat or 2.

My friend Audrey did this one:

Audrey's block

Audrey’s block

My friend Francie is working on this one:

Francie's block

Francie’s block

I can’t wait to see what she does with the other colors!! Update. … Francie just finished….awesome

Here is Cindy’s block –  wpid-img_7028.jpg
She has a bit more work to do on hers too.

It was a long day, lots of standing etc while you tape your areas etc; and there was an issue with the power in the room that kept us from using two or more hair dryer’s. So, getting completely finished was a challenge for some.  It was overall another good class by Suzi Parron.  Do go back and check out the links in the post ( about Suzi and her book.

So, no sewing; just paint and pencils and rulers and tape!  Fun and not one seam ripped!

Barn Quilt Class

Barn Quilts and the American Quilt Trail Movement by Suzi Parron

Barn Quilts and the American Quilt Trail Movement by Suzi Parron

What a great time I had yesterday! I participated with my guild, Ocean Waves Quilt Guild, Lewes Delaware, in a Barn Quilt class.   I know, sounds confusing…barns & quilts…. No fabric – no sewing machines – no thread or irons were used in the creation of our barn quilts.

First I must tell you about our instructor.

Our instructor was Suzi Parron. Suzi Parron,  is an author with Donna Sue Groves of Barn Quilts and the American Quilt Trail Movement.  Suzi spoke at our guild meeting on Monday, and stayed to teach a class on Tuesday. If your group or guild is interested in a wonderful speaker, you should consider engaging Suzi. She is an energized speaker and has a great presentation.  Suzi and her husband are traveling the “back roads” of America in their RV.  Her website shows where she is speaking.  Don’t miss out.

If you have never heard of or seen a barn quilt, you should check out her website, blog or Facebook page.
website :
blog –
Facebook page – Barn Quilts and the American Quilt Trail.!/pages/Barn-Quilts-and-the-American-Quilt-Trail/133036866706550?pnref=story
One thing I like about Suzi’s website is the map that keys you into where you might find Barn Quilts in your state or along your journeys.

You can order Suzi’s book right on her website.

Of course, painting barn quilts is not simply limited to quilters. It is a great way to honor quilters in your family, and a fun way to spruce up a barn, garden shed, fence line or garage. Suzi told us about various groups that have gotten the Barn Quilt movement going, and it wasn’t “just quilters”.

For our class, Suzi provided all the materials for making a Barn Quilt and kept us on track while we worked away! We used 24″ x 24″ PLYWOOD squares, painters tape, yardsticks and exterior house paint. Suzi had gloves for us to wear (not me of course); sponge brushes and a variety of colors that she mixed as we desired. (Of course, I had her mixing orange and pink and yellow and blue). You will see us using hair dryers to speed up the drying process. The reds and blues took 4 or 5 coats to get the depth of color and coverage needed. Some students came with a pattern they wanted to use, while others looked at books and designs that Suzi provided. I printed out several blocks that I was considering using and took them along to use and share.

Some of the projects made by our group of students will end up on sun porches, front porches or in my case, near the door to my quilt studio on my garage. I only know of one barn in our group.

Enjoy the photos!

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This last picture is my block — I love daffodils. I planted about 1000 of them on our property and always love to see them in the spring. I am no artist, but I did pretty well laying out the tape lines. All ruler work! My master-gardener friend Wendy said if I add a little shading I will have created a Rembrandt Daffodil.  So, I played with the oranges, yellows and pinks. All I need to do is a little touch up and then engage the hubby to hang it on the garage for me.  (After tomorrows snow storm)

Daffodil block

Daffodil block

I scheduled the speaker/instructor, I always am concerned that the guild members have something unique and interesting and fun to do. This class hit all the right marks for me. I think everyone enjoyed the class and most took home a finished project. I am waiting to see what a couple of our “over achievers” do with their very complex blocks. They were all beautiful.
If you haven’t seen enought Barn Quilts yet, check out my Pinterest board:
Now, back to sewing……