Barn Quilt, the Sequel “Live and Learn”

In Creativity, family, farming, Projects, Quilts by Brenda1 Comment

It’s barn quilt time again at Johnson Family Farms!  It all started back in the spring of 2015 when I learned to make one myself.  I did 5 blog posts about that process.  Here is one of them.  It was quite the process to learn about how to paint one, and what materials to use.  Well, I’ve learned along the way that mistakes can be teachers as you may remember the surprises I had with my second attempt.  (You may remember the second barn quilt I hung on our barn addition.)

Recently we had some electrical work done and the electrician brought his bucket truck.  He was so gracious to bring down my quilt and the windmill for some refurbishing.  The second one I had hung looked horrible by now.  Maybe it was the Minwax polyurethane or maybe it was because it was in the shade, but that sign has looked bad for some time.  You may remember I didn’t like the color I had painted on the windmill (it didn’t stand out), so I wanted to correct that too.  We may change where that will be hung if it works out too.

The process of painting the quilt sign was familiar to me, so the process went much faster. I am ever so thankful that I recorded that process on my blog, as I referred back to it and learned a lot too. The only big problem I ran into was the color. I wished I had recorded that on my blog posts. I still had the jars of color from last time, but one of them was missing.  I must have used the dark periwinkle color up and threw it away.  Well, that was a mistake.  I ended up making 5 trips to Menards and painting both shades of periwinkle twice.  The colors I used in the final version this time are similar, but not identical to the original. I used Dutch Boy MaxBond Plus in the sample sizes at Menards.  It took two of the dark color. I think I bought two of the others also, but probably not necessary because of the mistakes and repainting.  I used Frog Tape, better than the blue painter’s tape that bled through a bit.  This time I used the same green (dried mint CI 177) and red (brownberry path dc315) and the new periwinkle colors are the lighter periwinkle (periwinkle in time sc497) and the darker shade (indi-blue 141-6db).

I will share my mistakes, as they taught me a LOT!  Value is EVERYTHING!  Since I didn’t have the original colors, I told myself I could wing it.  I know what periwinkle looks like.  “Just get two with one being darker than the others, and it will be fine.”  WRONG! I didn’t consider carefully enough the value of the other colors.  I again used my camera on my phone in black and white to determine the value.  The light periwinkle I had chosen was too light and blended right into the green in my black-and-white photo.  I knew I had to change it.  I painted it a darker shade, but I still wasn’t happy.  Mike could sense it too when he looked at it.  This is recognized by the artist and the rest of the world.  It matters!  It was to be hung on Monday after lunch.  After 11 pm on Sunday night, I realized what would fix it!  (At that point, I was going to hang it the way it was, although I didn’t like it as well.)  I needed to get a darker shade of the dark periwinkle.  I had the paint chip strip at home and the black and white photo including the new darker color confirmed it.  Each color on my sign is a different value.  It goes from lightest (the green) to the darkest (the red) and the periwinkles had to be at the proper intervals in between.  I only slept two hours that night.  Menards opened at 6 am, so my plan was to set my alarm so I could get the color and come home and paint it with enough time for it to dry well before hanging it.  I figured Mike would think I was crazy, but not at all.  He saw a great improvement from this adjustment. This sign looks almost identical to the original, although the periwinkle colors may be brighter this time (or the original had yellowed or faded over the eight years it was on the barn). The photos on this page make the green look like neutral, but in person, it does show correctly.

I needed to research what went wrong with the deterioration last time.  It sounds from my reading that the polyurethane that was originally recommended to me to seal the paint may have been the culprit.  I used exterior house paint, so it is logical to assume that it could stand the weather on its own.  I decided to not seal it with polyurethane as before.  I made sure it was well covered and am happy with my results.  Time will tell how it wears with the weather and such.

When it came to hanging it this time, we had a safety discussion the previous day.  I was much happier with the results of that discussion.  There just so happened to be a grain tender cart sitting full of beans in the barn.  It not only made for a good scaffold but if someone fell, well, let’s just say it may be a little fun, or at least not fatal.  This did my heart good.  I don’t want anyone to get hurt helping me with a decorative project! Thanks to my son Alex and my hubby Mike for taking making this happen and happen safely.

In the meantime, I hear Mike is working on painting the half-windmill to reinstall in another location (another barn).  There is debate on whether it will fit or not, but time will tell.


Also, here’s an unrelated update in case you’re curious:

I have something to tell you about my last blog post.  I’m going to take a wild guess and say that my last blog post left you scratching your head.  I usually don’t post that sort of thing.  Here’s the answer to the mystery…

As you may know, I am a college student at the University of Cincinnati (yes, transferred from Wright State University last fall).  The opportunity presented itself for me to apply for a scholarship.  I decided it couldn’t hurt.  I had to write an essay on young adults investing.  After completing it, I was submitting it when they threw me a curve ball.  They wanted me to attach a link to where it was posted on my blog.  Well, I would have been pretty upset if I didn’t have a blog to post it in, as I found this stated nowhere before the submission.  I had already invested the time into writing it, so I jumped on and posted it!  The only problem is, I’m afraid they will find out that I’m a #freshmanat61!  I hope they won’t discriminate! (Someday soon I’ll finally be a sophomore!) So, sorry about diverging from my usual subject matter.  It was just a necessity.  I may take it down after the whole thing has blown over.




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