Barn Quilt Revisited…. successfully this time

A few weeks ago I posted about going to a Barn Quilt class and posted my mostly unsuccessful block….

I enjoyed learning about the technique and was determined to not be beaten by it. I sanded the board well, covered it with several coats of Kilz, and painted it with a base coat…..

As I looked at the colors of paint that I had available, I decided to go with an Autumn themed block to start with. I mixed some brown and white paints to get an interesting color and started the process. As in the class, I marked the center points of each of the “patches” in the block but didn’t actually draw the lines in. Instead, I used painters tape to mark off each section before painting.

After removing the first line of tape, I came to the understanding that I didn’t know exactly what I was doing…..


Then I remembered that, when I had helped to decorate the church for Vacation Bible School, we stuck the masking tape to something else first so that some of the stickiness was gone and it wouldn’t take the paint off of the walls. I started out by sticking it to my clothing but was still having trouble with it pulling the paint off. Then I started sticking it to skin so that the oils would definitely take out some of the stickiness……

I also realized that I didn’t need to stick the entire piece of tape down, but just needed the painting edge to stick well. I re-taped the inside and covered up some of my mistakes……

….but now I need to fix the outside squares and triangles. That caused a problem since I had mixed the original paint and was never going to get the color the same. So, even if all of the pieces didn’t need to be repainted, I mixed up some more paint…..

…..and easily repainted the outside patches……

Now it was time to tackle the inside pinwheel, but I had gained a few insights that made the process easier.

Firstly, I used pieces of tape that I had already painted on but just used the opposite side. It definitely saved some time!! I then used the tape edges to mark out the area that I needed to paint…..

After a light coat of paint, I moved to the hair dryer and gave it a quick going over…..

Then back for another light coat of paint and immediately, CAREFULLY, pulling the tape off…..

After another stint at the hair dryer, I was ready to move to the next area to be painted. I continued in this manner and, before I knew it, the block was fully painted.

One of the things that I learned as I went along was to use two thin layers of paint rather than one thick layer. Since I was having good success, I decided to go back and fix a few areas that hadn’t painted well when I had started, like these brown streaks…..

Once I had figured out which color of paint I had used……

….it was a simple task to make the quick corrections.

I am thrilled with the final result…..

I had worried that it would take much longer to do the block with tape rather than free hand but, in fact, I worked for less than 2 hours on the design.

I am planning to hang it on my front porch so will need to seal it well before I can call it completely finished.

This was so much fun and so simple to do and I am thinking that all of my friends and family might expect to see one coming their way at Christmastime…..oops I shouldn’t have said that!!!

Friday Evening Block Party

Several years ago we had a guild speaker who talked about the history of Barn Quilts……

As often happens, I was madly in love with them and started immediately planning one to go on my front porch (in lieu of a barn). I researched it online, bought paint and wood and planned my 48 inch design. Then I started trying to figure out how to mark the design, how to attach it to the brick on my house and many other how to’s……

At this point I was paralyzed into inactivity and, as I tried to work out of my paralysis, the wood started to warp……argh!!!! The project died there.

So, a few weeks ago one of my friends posted on Facebook about signing up for a Barn Quilt class at a local-ish Bed and Breakfast. I contacted my friend Linda and off we went!!!

The class was held at The Firefly at Madison (, an “Artistic Country Retreat”……. “The Firefly at Madison is a breath of fresh air. A petite French Country estate, complete with lavender, roses and herbs, chickens and ducks (and fresh healthy eggs!) and a peaceful setting just outside lovely small town Madison, Georgia. Ellie can offer you art and creative writing classes and workshops in her open, sunny, copper roofed studio or you can just relax on the charming brick patio or sunroom with a cup of fresh mint tea and listen to the tumbling water of the rocky falls.”

We arrived to find a beautiful setting for our class…..

We were given a 12 inch lightweight board to work with…..

….and started the first step by painting the background…..

Next we had to draw the quilt block in pencil, starting with marking dots at every intersecting line in our grid and then drawing in our design……

Probably the biggest hint of the night was to NOT draw in the actual grid lines, but just the lines that you are going to paint on!!

Then we started painting in the design….

Now, at this point, I did NOT shine. I have done very little painting and it was obvious that my “brushwork” was not up to par. The woman across from me really had it down pat…..

….as did others in the group…..


This was my end product…..

I am not super happy with this particular board, but I now know how to get started on one of my own….but I will probably use painter’s tape to mark out the designs rather than doing them freehand.

It was a fun and relaxing way to spend a Friday evening and I came away with a new skill…..what could be better!!!