Being a former quilter, and living just up the road from the National Quilt Museum, and having a blank canvas of a barn, it was kind of a no brainer to join in the party. The Barn Quilt Project and Trail have been around for a while. My barn however, is new to me. With a stunningly bright teal chicken house set against the dull, dusty sienna grassland, I thought the tan barn could use a boost. Thus another project was born.
A barn square is a 4x4 foot square of plywood. The pattern can be a traditional one, or an original one. It can be chosen at random for the simple love of the pattern, or can have a family link or history, or can be picked for a significance to the name.
I looked, and search, pondered, and studied. I couldn't find anything that suited the style I wanted, which is transitional with a modern flair. Nor for the area, which is land and beach. Or the color combinations I wanted to use. I knew I wanted to use the bold teal on the coop and a neon yellow.
When all was said and done, I decided to come up with an original square. I started with the traditional mariner's compass. I decided to make it dimensional. I also wanted a wedding ring, but then decided to intertwine it in the star. Then I decided to balance the front star with a peak a boo star behind.
|A 4x4 foot square of 1/2 inch plywood. Smooth and sanded.|
I sealed it on both sides with left over light coloured exterior storm
coat paint. Light colors layered above will come out cleaner looking
if painted on a lighter base.
|The pattern was measured off and drawn with a watercolor pencil.|
I then used FROG painters tape to mask off areas so I would get clean lines.
|I only needed small amounts of the secondary colors, so I opted to|
purchase small sample colors from the hardware store. They only run
$2-$3 per container and are perfect for smaller projects. In this case, bright
yellow and a classic gold.
|I moved on to the background teal which matches the henhouse. Valspar's|
True Teal. Then taped off the next section of points.
|Just look at the dimension starting to pop right off the board!|
|Each layer of yellow/gold took 4 coats to really make the color sing. The background |
Needed two coats.
|The ring is Cut Ruby. It took three coats to be solid and bright |
enough. I just freehanded it. I created the arc with a pushpin, some string
and a pencil.
|I taped off the background star and painted them with two coats|
of white primer sealer.
|I taped off one side of the background star so I could paint it |
UPDATE - I called several local contractors as this project was going to need a small cherry picker to mount on the barn. The grade behind the barn is not favorable to using a ladder and the extension ladder was 2 feet too short. The size of the square and the wind we normally have would just make it lethal for US to try to put it up. This is one of those situations where it is well worth it to hire someone to DO it for you.
All of the contractors were not only disinterested, but booked out for months. Brain storm ! A TREE TRIMMER! This isn't their busiest time of year, and with the holidays, who couldn't use some extra cash?! I called the closest tree trimmer to the house, 30 miles, and described what I wanted done. He'd seen some barn squares, but didn't know about them. After I assured him that he could drive his truck right up next to the barn and screw in the board, he gladly said yes! We had to wait ten days for the weather to cooperate, but he came today and it's UP! I had it all predrilled. I put 1 inch thick silicone grommets on the back to hold it away from the siding, which he thought was BRILLIANT! There is a screw at each corner, and one on each side. It's NOT going anywhere.
In the bright sunshine (NW) roadside of the barn, it shines like a diamond. It is the same teal as the coop, which also shines in the dusty grey winter, and the bright winter snow! We've already had people slowing down on the road to look. YAY!