Washington County

Barn Quilt Trail

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a barn quilt? 
Barn quilts are quilt patterns painted on a special type of wood that can be hung on barns or buildings; or can be free-standing on posts in yards, gardens, or pastures. 

Although some barn quilts are painted directly on barn siding, most barns have weathered wood (some with wood over 100 years old), therefore it would not hold the paint as well as new wood.

How big are the barn quilts?
The quilts on the Washington County Barn Quilt Trail range in size from 2'x2' to 7'x7'. 

How long does it take to paint a barn quilt? 
The number of hours it takes to paint a quilt depends on how many colors we use and the complexity of the pattern. Friendship Star, for example took about four hours to paint while Around the Corner took many painting sessions that were multiple hours.

Each color is applied separately and the area to be painted must be taped off. Each color has between 3-6 coats of paint depending on its shade. Each coat of paint must dry before the next coat can be applied. 

Weather - high humidity, especially - prolongs the drying time. 

I would love to buy a barn quilt. Will you make one for me?
All of the barn quilts for the Barn Quilt Trail were created by volunteers and have been installed at this time. We do not plan on making additional barn quilts at this point.

Did the barn quilt recipients have to pay for their barn quilt?
As in the spirit of The Quiltmaker's Gift, no organization or individual was charged for a barn quilt. All the funds raised were used to purchase supplies to create the barn quilts. 

What kind of plywood did you use?
We use 1/2 inch MDO plywood.  This plywood is supposed to hold the paint the longest. It is more expensive than regular plywood, but well worth it if you are going through the hours of graphing, priming, and painting each quilt.

Do you put a sealer on the barn quilts?
No. We read that sealers can yellow as well as can interfere with the natural light and create reflections and shiny sections on the quilts when they are photographed. Also, when the time comes to touch up the block, a sealer would have to be removed. 

How did you hang them?
We used six-inch lag bolts to attach the quilts to the barns and posts. Hanging each barn quilt posed its own challenge, and was - by far - the most difficult part of this project. With each quilt weighing between 30-100+ pounds, they are very awkward and heavy to move and install.  

How long does it take to complete the tour?
The trail is 16.4 miles long. It could be completed in as short as 30 minutes to as long as a full day. It depends on how many stops are made along the way, how many pictures are taken, and if any tours or hikes are taken.