Barn Decorations: How to Make Barn Quilts

A barn quilt is a large, hand-painted wooden block typically displayed on the front or side of a barn. They usually measure 8' x 8'. Created in Ohio by Donna Sue Groves as a way to honor her mother, the barn quilt movement has now spread to over forty states (as well as Canada!). Barn quilts are an excellent way to bring communities together and promote agri-tourism. Keep reading to learn more about the history and significance of barn quilts, as well as instructions on how to build, paint, and frame one.

This article describes the history of the quilt trail movement, in which townspeople get together and decide to paint quilts on the sides of barns in their communities.

A very helpful resource with step-by-step instructions for building a barn quilt.

Another useful resource describing how to tape, paint, frame, and mount a barn quilt.

This article from Sac County, Iowa discusses the history and purpose of barn quilts.

In this instructional leaflet, Washington County discusses why they chose to take part in the barn quilt movement. Includes county objectives that would be helpful to anyone considering creating a quilt trail.

This page from a Wisconsin county describes the purpose of barn quilts and why they joined the movement.

A short article describing barn quilts and quilt trails. It also offers a small sampling of quilt block patterns.

This FAQ page answers questions about the construction, longevity, and patterns of barn quilts.

Scheduled for release in 2015, Pieced Together is the story of Donna Sue Groves, the founder of the barn quilt movement.

This illustrated guide of McLean County's barn quilt trail offers many examples of quilt patterns for those looking for inspiration.

This page offers several quilt block patterns that would be useful when designing a barn quilt.

An article describing the history and meaning behind barn quilts.

This interactive tour gives readers a chance to see the fifty beautiful barn quilts on display in Kankakee County.

This illustrated flyer gives directions to many barn quilts available to see in Illinois.

This is a helpful FAQ all about the history and meaning behind barn quilts.

A virtual tour and map of the barn quilts on display in Carver County, Minnesota.

A brief history of the barn quilt trail movement.

This page includes many photos of quilts on barns, sheds, garages, and houses.

A page full of many quilt block designs that would be helpful for those looking for unique quilt patterns (click the photo for a larger view).

More examples of regional barn quilts on real barns. Read about the history and families behind each quilt.

This slideshow is full of unique examples of barn quilt blocks.

A gallery of many recent barn quilts from Remillard Signs and Barn Quilts. Includes several classic and unique designs.

These patterns are for traditional fabric quilts, but they could also be used for barn quilts. Click each photo to see a deconstructed version of the pattern.

Many examples of common barn quilt designs.

This page from Wabash County, Indiana offers many free barn quilt patterns.

A how-to guide for building an 8' x 8' frame for a barn quilt.

This video follows the process of the barn quilt trail movement in Northeast Iowa.

An excerpt of the book "Barn Quilts and the American Quilt Trail Movement" by author Suzi Parron and founder Donna Sue Groves.

A selection of free (fabric) quilt block patterns from McCall's Quilting.

This map of the barn quilt trail in Shawano County, Wisconsin also includes illustrations of the barn quilts on display.

A short page with examples of popular barn quilt patterns.

A set of instructions for drawing, painting, and framing a barn quilt.

This brochure from Rock County, Wisconsin describes the history of the barn quilt movement and its significance to Wisconsin.

An informative article about Maryland communities that have chosen to participate in the barn quilt movement.

This study discusses the positive impact of the barn quits in Ohio.