Jesus Christ is our pattern for life. "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another." John 13:34

Friday, June 28, 2013


The painting and touch up is done. Turned out pretty good I think. I'll find a better back drop soon.

Thursday, June 27, 2013


Thought I'd show anyone who cared how that I am making my barn quilts. There is certainly nothing hard about making one but I think it takes a steady hand and eye....and enough patience to allow the paint to dry. There are some websites that show you how they make the barn quilts and not everyone does it the same or goes thru the same process. What I'll show you is just how I do it until I learn a better or more economical way. Feel free to contact me if you can help me improve.

Here are some pictures of a barn quilt that I am currently making. It's actually the first one that I'm getting paid to do. It's always a real treat getting paid to do something you enjoy. It makes me happy, happy, happy! :-)

Anyway, I start off with a sheet of 1/2" Hardwood Birch. I know this is cabinet grade stuff but, unless I went to 3/4" exterior plywood, there was nothing else worth getting at my local lumber yard. This stuff is strait and smooth and easy to work with. A little pricey but all lumber seems to be nowadays. I had the lumber yard cut it into two 4' x 4' pieces so I didn't have to. Their vertical saw is great.

Next, I cut some strips about 1-1/2" wide of either Pine or whatever else kind of wood I have and make a frame on the back. I glue and nail these to help with strength and also make it easier to hang.
Then, I paint two coats of primer/sealer on the front and back.
Then I lay out my design, masked off the areas that will be painted with the lightest color first. I then apply, at a minimum, three coats of semi-gloss exterior latex enamel. This design is called Harvest Star 4 and the customer wanted three specific colors.
This is what it looks like after I remove the masking tape with the first color done.
I then masked off for my next color. The customer wanted John Deere green, yellow plus black and told me where they wanted the colors to be. Because the background was going to be green, and because I did not want to be bumping up against the edge while painting the inside, I painted the black before the green.
Here's the result after removing the tape around the black. I also started taping around the circle as the black was drying.
I then started on the inner green color.
I then finished up with the first coat with the outside green. This was as far as a got this morning before heading to work. I'll show you the finished product next post.

Thanks for looking.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


I used to travel to Iowa where my wife’s sister’s family lives and would see a number of barn quilts along the way. Iowa has a lot of Barn Quilt Trails spread throughout the state. From my internet research this is what I have found about barn quilts and their history….and we all know the internet is never wrong.

From the website came this:

Barn quilts are painted quilt squares-usually fashioned on boards and then mounted on a barn or other building. While cloth quilts are usually made up of a series of squares of the same pattern placed together, a barn quilt is almost always a single square.

In many communities, an organizing group-an arts council, a quilt guild, a 4-H club, or simply a motivated bunch of residents-work together to organize their barn quilts into a trail. Some are guided walks in a downtown area that includes historical buildings. More often, quilt trails take visitors on a drive through the countryside where barn quilts are mounted on farm buildings, on homes, along fences, and sometimes on freestanding posts. A quilt trail may include stops at galleries, farm stands, wineries and other points of interest that make the journey a day-long event.

The pattern for a particular barn quilt may be chosen for myriad reasons. Often the barn quilt is a replica of a painted quilt that resides on the property or honors a loved one. A pattern may be selected because of its name; Corn and Beans is popular among farmers. Sometimes, the barn quilt is simply one whose pattern is appealing to either its creators or its owners.

Here is an excellent link to more information about barn quilts and FAQ's:
(sorry but you'll have to copy these links to your browser for some reason. Actually, I'm going to list these and other links off to the right soon so you can access them there.)

I would love to see a Barn Quilt Trail in the county of Scott where I live. It would be a lot of work but I think it would be well worth it….maybe someday.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


Over the years I have had a lot of hobbies; hunting, archery, Colonial reenacting, long distance bike riding, farm toy collecting, hot rods, and the list goes on. So, now I figured I was due for a new one....making barn quilts.

Back in 2008, I made a couple barn quilts for my parents, Vivian and Madge Bentley, for Christmas to hang on their barn. But, these were a little different, in that, they have a design on both sides. That way they won't get so tired of looking at one design and can switch them when they want.
It was a lot of fun making them and really not that hard. I actually hate to paint but I found that laying out the designs and doing the painting was really not too bad.
The top left design is called "Summer Star Flower" and the one on the right is "Nine Patch Star". The picture below shows the left pattern called "Father's Choice" and "Contrary Wife" on the right. They are 4' x 4' square.

Here's a picture of them mounted on the front of my parents barn. I'll try and show the other side next time they are changed.
So, recently, a lady mentioned to my mother that she really liked the barn quilts on display on their barn and wondered if I'd be interested in making her family one.

So, this blog will be my attempt at showing you some of the patterns that I make and how I make them. What you'll discover is that it really doesn't take a lot of talent to make a barn quilt, and not even a lot of special equipment; otherwise I couldn't do it.

In one of my next blogs, I'll try and give you some history about Barn Quilts. Thank you for looking and I hope you'll enjoy my blog.

Mark Bentley