A Complete Guide on How to Make a Barn Quilt Patterns 

by Ingrid Svensson
How to Make a Barn Quilt

Don’t you think barn quilts have been famous for adding charm and color to outdoor spaces in the past few years? These painted quilt squares are mostly placed outside the barns to show off the creativity and history of many countryside areas.

In this article, we’ll discuss how to make a barn quilt step by step, from choosing a design and collecting the materials to painting the quilt squares and finally displaying them.

Making a barn quilt is an easy and fun way to showcase your talent and leave a long-lasting mark on your property, whether you’re an experienced artist or a newcomer.

So let’s start and learn how to make a quilt that will brighten your barn with vibrancy, telling a story that captivates everyone’s attention. For a better understanding, let’s first see the history of barn quilts.

What is the History Of Barn Quilts?

Before we start understanding the process of making a barn quilt, let’s first take a moment to realize what it is. A barn quilt is simply a piece of painted wood that resembles a quilt block. The barn quilt pattern is generally based on traditional designs, primarily geometric shapes, bright colors, and complicated ways. These beautiful works of art are put up on sheds, barns, or other big outdoor spaces of buildings to make a stunning display.

What is the History Of Barn Quilts

Barn quilts have a long and fascinating past as they come from the traditions of rural America. In the middle of the 2000s, Donna Sue was born and raised in Ohio and wanted to honor her mother’s love for quilting. So she decided to paint a quilt pattern on a square wood and mount it on her barn.

The idea behind this caught on quickly, and soon, there were barns, sheds, and several other buildings all over the country. In today’s world, these barn quilt patterns are a popular form of public art that turns ordinary buildings into colorful canvases that showcase the community, their imagination, and their history.

Barn quilts are beautiful not only because of how they look but also because of the stories behind them. Each barn quilt pattern has its meaning and symbols, often based on the place’s history, natural surroundings, and customs wherever it is displayed. From flower themes to geometric patterns, barn quilt patterns give you many ways to showcase your style and capture the spirit of your surroundings.

How to Select a Design While Exploring Barn Quilt Patterns?

While making a barn quilt, the first step is to choose a style and design that resonates with you. Since there are so many barn quilt patterns, you should be able to find the perfect one that fits your style preferences and captures the essence of your surroundings. So let’s take a look at some of the most exciting barn quilt patterns:

How to Select a Design While Exploring Barn Quilt Patterns

1. Star of Ohio

Star of Ohio Design is one of the world’s oldest and favorite barn quilts. This design has a giant star in the middle and is surrounded by the other eight triangles. The Ohio Star is mainly a tribute to the state of Ohio, as it was the first place where the barn quilt trend took off. Its classic symmetrical form makes it the most eye-catching part of any barn.

2. Flying Geese

The Flying Geese design is perfect for a barn quilt pattern showing movement and freedom. This pattern shows a group of geese flying together, showcasing how beautiful their wings are and how well they move together. The Flying Geese pattern gives you the outside space of the barn for a bit of movement and energy, catching the spirit of animals and nature.

3. Log Cabin

The Log Cabin design is a long-lasting and versatile choice for a barn quilt. Strips of paint or fabric are usually put together in a square pattern to create an image. This pattern also represents the safety of home and warmth, making it a popular choice for other buildings and barns that make people feel at home and welcome.

4. Carpenter’s Wheel

Carpenter’s Wheel is a perfect pattern for people who want something more exciting and complicated. This pattern comprises overlapping circles and has a complex color scheme that makes it look more intricate and fascinating. The Carpenters Wheel Design takes attention and accuracy to detail. It makes a beautiful and thoughtful barn quilt.

5. Sunflower

Another great choice is a design that looks like something from nature. The sunflower pattern shows these beautiful flowers’ bright yellow petals and brown hearts. These flowers also add a burst of happiness and color to any barn it is put on. It represents health, happiness, and the beauty of nature.

When selecting a barn quilt pattern, you should always consider the scale and size of your barn and its scenery. Larger barns can handle more complicated designs, while the smaller ones can look great with simple and basic techniques as they make strong statements. You should also consider the colors in your chosen patterns and see how they will look with stains already on your barn and surrounding area.

One of the most fun experiences of making a barn quilt is looking at different designs until you find the one that speaks for you. Think about your preference, style, the story you want to tell, and the effect you want to make. That’s because by choosing the correct pattern that speaks to you, you’ll be well on your way to making barn quilts that add charm and color and become meaningful pieces of art that represent you and your culture.

What Are the Materials Required for Creating a Barn Quilt?

Once you’ve selected an interesting pattern for your barn quilt, it’s time to get the materials you’ll need to make it come to life. To make a barn quilt that will look nice and will last long, you need to plan and choose your materials carefully. So here’s a list to help you with the things you might need.

What Are the Materials Required for Creating a Barn Quilt

1. Paint

Pick a paint color that is made to be used outside. Rubber or acrylic paints are often used for barn quilts as they have bright colors, last for a long time, and, most importantly, are easy to use. So think about choosing a range of colors that go well with your selected pattern and fit in well with the surroundings.

2. Exterior Grade Plywood

Choose an excellent exterior-grade plywood sheet to create a strong base for your barn quilt. The size of the plywood will depend on the barn quilt you’re making. So make sure the board is thick enough to stand up to the weather outside and give you a stable surface to paint on.

3. Primer

You must put on a coat of primer to ensure the paint sticks to the surface and is smooth. Choose a base that can be used outside and will work with your paint. Primer stops damage and seals the plywood from moisture, and makes your barn quilt long-lasting.

4. Rollers and Brushes

Having a variety of rollers and brushes on hand will let you make different paint effects and cover significant areas easily and quickly. Pick the right brush with plastic bristles, which can be used for latex and acrylic paints. Rollers are great for spreading a base coat evenly and quickly, covering a more extensive area of the quilt pattern.

5. Sandpaper

Before painting, you should lightly sand the plywood’s surface to prepare it perfectly. This step helps in making it a smooth, even surface for painting, which helps the paint stick to the wood better.

6. Measuring Tape and Ruler

It would help to use accurate markings and exact measurements for a visually appealing and symmetrical barn quilt. Use a measuring tape and a ruler to draw the size of your quilt square on a board, and make sure that the lines are correct and of perfect size.

7. Piece of Plastic and Drop Cloth

Put down a plastic sheet or a drop cloth to catch any paint spills and cover your work area. It will make it easy to clean up and keep paint from getting on the ground or other nearby areas.

If you properly prepare the materials, you can make your barn quilt stand up to the weather and keep its bright colors over time. Invest in good-quality materials and use tools that will help your barn quilt look better and long-lasting, making it a treasured piece of outdoor art.

Once you have everything you require, you can start making your barn quilt. With attention to detail and careful planning, you’ll be on your way to turning a simple piece of plywood into a beautiful piece of art that can add charm and character to your barn.

How to Create the Final Barn Quilt?

Now that you’ve everything you require, you can start making your final barn quilt. To create your masterpiece, you need to follow these instructions:

Final Barn Quilt

1. Plan the Design

Use a measuring tape, a ruler, and a pencil to make marks for the required size of your quilt square pattern. Cut the smaller pieces into squares based on the plan you want for your quilt. It will help you figure out how to paint each part of your image.

2. Get the Wood Ready

Firstly, clean the board to get rid of the dust particles. Start sanding it lightly to make a smooth surface for painting. Then put a layer of paint and let it dry all the way.

3. Start Painting

Start coloring your quilt squares background. Select a color that goes well with your preferred design. Apply an even coat of paint with a brush or roller, let it dry completely, and then move on to the next step.

4. Add Patterns on The Quilt

Now it’s time to make the barn quilt pattern you picked come to life. Refer to your design plan once, and then use different colors to paint the different parts of the pattern. For small details, use small tools and take your time. If you’re unsure about your ability to paint by hand, you can use stencils to create straight lines and shapes that look the same.

5. Add Some Last Touches

Once the painting is completed, step back and look at your barn quilt. Make all the last touches and changes required to ensure the end result looks clean and professional. Apply a clear coat of protection to the whole quilt to keep it safe from the weather and brighten the color.

How to Display Your Barn Quilt?

Final Barn Quilt Display

When you are finally done making a barn quilt, you need to find out the best place to show it off. Most people put it outside a barn or a shed, but you can also place it in a garage, fence, or any other prominent outdoor structure. Make sure the surface is clean and ready before using screws and nails to display your barn quilt securely.

Do not forget that barn quilts aren’t only trendy in rural areas; they also add color and personality to neighborhoods in the city. If you don’t have an excellent place to display it, you can put it on a solid wooden frame and hang it on the wall. So congratulations! You’ve done a great job making your barn quilt.


Making a barn quilt is a creative and fun project that lets you add a colorful touch to your barn, show off your artistic skills, and honor country traditions. From looking at barn quilt patterns to getting the materials ready to paint the quilt square, each step adds to the work of art that will look charming and beautiful in your barn.

By selecting a design that fits your style and you like, you can give your barn a unique look that makes it stand out in the scenery m. Whether you choose a traditional pattern like an Ohio star or a design inspired by nature like a sunflower, your barn quilt will be a visual treat of your creativity and a sign that values rural history.

So please take pleasure in creating your barn quilt, enjoy making your design come to life, and let your mind run wild as you create a work of art that inspires and captivates everyone who sees it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can We Still Make a Quilt if We Don’t Have a Barn?

Absolutely Yes! You can still make a quilt even if you don’t have a barn. Barn quilts can be hung on barns, sheds, fences, or even on the wall hanging inside. You can also outside the box where you can display your barn quilt.

How Much Time Do We Need to Make a Barn Quilt?

The time it takes to make a barn quilt depends on how intricate the design is, the size, and your experience. Depending on how long it takes to prepare, paint and dry, you can have a few days to a few weeks.

How to Keep Your Barn Quilt in Good Shape?

Your barn quilt can last long if you check it every day to see the signs of damage or paint that is coming off. Touching up any spot that needs paint of the same shade. Adding a protective coat every few years can keep the colors bright and protect the quilt from the weather.

Can We Make Our Plan for Creating a Barn Quilt?

Yes! Making your design lets you show your creativity, not just these traditional patterns that have become common these days. So use your creativity, get ideas from your surroundings, or use symbols that mean something to you to make your pattern.

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