Barn quilt blocks

About a year ago, I first learned about barn quilts.  I hadn't heard of them until the Ag Heritage Park put two up on their barn.  My grandparents founded Ag Heritage Park in 1999.  My grandpa had a vision to honor where American agriculture has come from and show the future generation what the past was like.

My grandparents inside Ag Heritage Park 
View of Ag Heritage Park from the parking lot

My aunt, Connie Larson helped get the Kansas Flint Hills Quilt Trail started.  They have been putting on workshops in the Manhattan area to get others interested in making quilt blocks.  If you are interested in attending a workshop or would like to keep up to date on the latest quilt block news visit Kansas Flint Hills Quilt Trail's facebook page.

Last month my grandma asked if I would help with the barn quilt block workshop being held at the Ag Heritage Park.  I said I would help not knowing what I was getting myself into.  I started a block that day and now I am addicted!

I chose to do a pattern that used four colors.  I wanted to incorporate my favorite colors, purple, pink, orange, and green.  I drew out the pattern on the 2' x 2' board and then used Frogtape to tape all the lines around the first color.  I decided to paint the biggest portion of the board first.

Quilt block after first paint color with tape still on the board

The paint has to dry in between applications.  Some colors, like red and orange, can take up to six coats.  When the paint is dry and thick enough, the tape can be peeled off and a new color can be taped.  I took some pictures in between the first coat and being finished and they disappeared from my phone.  You will have to use your imagination to see how it looked right before it was completed.

This is my quilt block after I finished it....the first time

After looking at the block that I painted for awhile, I wasn't completely satisfied.  My mom helped me redesign in so I wouldn't have to completely repaint.  We decided to extend the purple lines to meet and add green and purple triangles.  I think the after is much better!  Let me know what you think!  I plan to do a step by step post in the future and I will make sure the pictures are saved on the computer!

The after picture
I decided I would make my mom a quilt block for Christmas.  I made it last weekend and I think it turned out really nice.  She added some final touches to it since she is more artistic than me.  It turned out great.  The block I made is on the left and Mom's first quilt block is on the right.

Quilt block made by me on the left and
Mom's first one on the right

My Grandma Zimmerman has made two blocks so far and is working on her third.  My aunt has made too many to count.  Her skill is much better than mine!

Grandma Zimmerman even made a couple.
Here is her "Farmer's Daughter" block.
If you would like to see our quilt blocks and many other ones, come to the Ag Heritage Park (103 S. Main  Alta Vista, KS) on September 28, 2013.  There will be a quilt block show from 9 am - 4 pm in Alta Vista.

Like Ag Heritage Park and Kansas Flint Hills Quilt Trail on Facebook for more information!


  1. I have been wanting to decide on a quilt square design for our farm. We live in the Southeastern U.S., but my husband is from Kansas. Any suggestions for a design that could bring these together?

    1. Thank you for reading our blog! I would suggest first thinking about anything that means a lot to you and your husband. Do you have an old quilt that has a design that you like? Are there symbols that mean something to you? (wheat or sunflowers for Kansas, oranges for Florida, peaches for Georgia, etc) The majority of my mom and I's blocks are made up designs or altered quilt blocks. They can be anything. I would suggest looking for a quilt block book or looking on the internet and just browse. I have spent hours browsing blocks looking for one that speaks to me. Does that help?


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