I love to see barn quilts painted on the side of barns and other buildings. Got me wondering what is the significance of a barn quilt. I have the answer.
Driving the backroads in the northeast, I came to the realization that I’ve entered barn quilt country. Barn quilts are everywhere, much to my delight. One of my favorite things to do is to drive off the beaten path. I lose complete track of time, and find myself fascinated with old barns. Nine times out of 10, I’ll pull over and take a few photos, hoping to catch the light at a good angle. But when I see a barn quilt painted on the side, then I’m taking photos, drawing sketches, and find myself thinking about how the owner came up with the design, and possibly how long ago the quilt was painted.
I’m a geek like that. Truth is, I’m completely fascinated with barn quilts. After seeing several, all of which were beautiful, I started to think about the significance of barn quilts, and how each farm claimed and / or designed a pattern that symbolized their own farm and barn.
Much like a quilt that you use to cover yourself up with, the same type of pattern can be found on the side of barns, sheds, or other buildings. No matter what these quilts are painted on, in my eyes, they’re beautiful. Got me thinking about our old barn.
We’re told that our barn was built in the 1700’s. The history proves it, and it’s pretty cool. At some point, we’re going to need to raise the barn and rebuild the foundation, and we will also need to replace the original roof, too, but we won’t dare change the footprint. Our barn is a treasure. A few years ago I painted a huge American flag on the front of our barn, and this past summer, I painted our own barn quilt on the back.
I took the many quilts that I had seen as my inspiration, yet I must admit that though I was drawn to those more elaborate designs, I needed to stick to one where the least amount of math was required.
I chose a design that’s laid out much like a grid pattern; squares were the base, and I taped off the pattern from there.
Choosing a traditional color scheme of blues, red, white and yellow, I followed a couple designs I had seen on one of my many drives that would hold significance to our little farm. The measuring and taping were tedious. Tried as I might, the math was inevitable. Seemed like it took me hours to figure out that the squares on the grid were to be 15 inches, still being mindful to keep the quilt centered on the side. Measure, tape, step back, repeat.
Ironically, after the pattern was in place, the painting took me about an hour, at best. Go figure.
But now; now we have a barn quilt on our barn, and somehow it feels so complete. Though it can’t be admired by those driving by, it looks as though the barn quilt has been there for years. And too, hopefully years to come.