Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Barn Quilt Update

Soooo . . .

Is it really almost the end of summer?

It looks like the last time I posted, I was thinking about barn quilt designs.  And no, it didn't take me five months to do it, just to write about it.

So here goes.

I found a website that explains the meaning behind some common barn quilt designs here.  I made one for our barn, and then another one for our Realtor, who actually just lives up the road from us on a chicken farm.  I chose "Hen and Chicks" (see below, left) for hers, and "Prosperity" (see below, right) as our pattern.

So I went to Lowe's and bought a 4x8 sheet of 3/4" thick plywood and cut it in half, so that I had two 4' x 4' pieces.  I started by priming them with two coats of white primer, so that I had a nice primed surface to paint on.  Since these are made to be hung outside, I wanted to make sure that the paint would adhere well.  I also coated them with a clear, UV-resistant and waterproof acrylic sealant to keep the colors from fading over time, and to keep the wood from getting wet in the rain.

I laid my patterns out in AutoCAD and then measured how long each line or section would be.  Then I got out my pencil, T-square, and ruler and make my marks on the boards for where each line would be.  I just used acrylic craft paint to fill in the colors for each section, with two coats total, to cut down on seeing the brush strokes and get even color.

So here is how ours turned out:

We did have to put it slightly off-center on the front of the barn, since we wanted to still be able to open the loft door (just to the left in the photo above).  Although we don't go up there much, we didn't want to block it in case we needed to use it sometime in the future.

Patrick climbed up the ladder and steadied it on the top step, while I backed up and made sure it looked straight from the end of the driveway.  I think I was more nervous than he was!  That puppy's heavy.  He mounted it by just driving some long nails right through it - we didn't bother with adding a hanger on the back or mounting a cleat to the barn to hang it on.  You can't see the nails at all, since it's up so high.

We've had several of our neighbors stop and ask about it, and have received lovely compliments from them.  I'm so glad that they like it as much as we do!  It makes our house easier for people to find, since we can just say, "Look for the big white barn with the blue, green, white and magenta barn quilt!"

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