Barn Quilts for Your Home + Giveaway

Barn quilts are quilt blocks that are typically painted on boards and mounted on barns. If you’ve been on a road trip recently, perhaps you’ve spotted some–they’re popping up all over the country!

Mark Fitzgerald of the Classic Metal Company has seen them too, and they were his inspiration for quilt blocks made from steel. You don’t need a barn to display these beauties. Maybe you admired his barn quilts in Quiltmaker’s  November/December ’12 issue. We asked Mark to share a little more about his product:JeansHouse Barn Quilts for Your Home + Giveaway

How did you get started at Classic Metal Company?

An old friend of mine, Ted, invited me to take a tour of a machine shop he was managing. I watched in fascination as his computer-guided laser cutters cut large sheets of thick steel as if they were made of butter.

A short time later, I had a “divine spark of inspiration” to make barn quilts using this process. I had always admired both barn quilts and fabric quilts I had seen, but had no experience with quilting in my family. I made one prototype and showed it to Tami, a co-worker who is a quilter. She gave it her hearty approval and thought other quilters would like them too. After building an on-line store to showcase the barn quilts and attending several regional quilt shows, I was convinced that I should pursue creating barn quilts full time and quit my career of 27 years. It was a great decision–I couldn’t be happier being a part of the quilting community.

What inspired you to make your barn quilts?

After coming up with the initial idea, I thought about how barn quilts were becoming so popular across the country. Most people don’t have barns or don’t want to make a traditional painted wood block, so making it easy for everyone to enjoy the artistry of a barn quilt seemed like a good niche to fill. Having come from a commercial printing and graphic design field, I also enjoyed the beautiful designs I discovered as I started collecting books devoted to quilt block designs.

P1000364 1024x768 Barn Quilts for Your Home + GiveawayCan you tell us a little more about the manufacturing process?

First, I create a design for a quilt block in Adobe Illustrator. I have to think in reverse because the parts I draw are the parts that are cut out of the metal. What is left becomes the barn quilt. I then email the design to Ted’s machine shop and he converts my drawings into a language his computer uses to guide the laser-cutter. The barn quilts are cut from 4′ x 6′ sheets of heavy gauge steel.

The barn quilts are then taken to another facility for powder-coat painting. The metal squares are washed several times and then are hung on a conveyer that slowly takes them through a paint booth where they are coated with paint powder. The blocks move through a very hot oven where the paint powder melts and spreads–totally covering the barn quilts for a durable, outdoor finish.

P1000368 1024x768 Barn Quilts for Your Home + GiveawayDo you have plans for other block designs and sizes?

I plan to add new designs on a regular basis. Larger 3 and 4 foot sizes have been recently added. I don’t stock many of the larger sizes–at this time they are created as custom orders.

I am also adding napkin holders (or fat quarters) utilizing the barn quilt designs. Many other home decor items incorporating the barn quilt designs are in the design stage and I plan to start introducing them in 2013.

Is there anything else about your barn quilts that you’d like our readers to know?

I attend 6 to 8 regional quilt shows a year and invite quilters to stop by my booth. I really enjoy talking with quilters–they inspire me with their creativity and fun ideas. At a recent quilt show, I learned that one of my barn quilts now adorns an outhouse! My event schedule is listed on my website:

P1000554 1024x953 Barn Quilts for Your Home + Giveaway

Large, 3 foot Mariner's Compass Barn Quilt

Mark has generously supplied five barn quilts of various sizes (including the large Mariner’s Compass barn quilt above) for a Quiltmaker giveaway. To qualify, leave a comment below telling us where or how you would display the barn quilt or suggest a traditional quilt block you would like to see Mark add to his list of designs. Leave your comment by 12 noon MST on Monday, November 26, 2012.  We’ll draw five winners at random.

The winners are: Robyn Brown (#33), PaulaK (#66), Dee Davis (#326), Martha Moore (#457) and Judy Johnson (#94). The winner of the large Mariner’s Compass is  Donna Amos (#160). Congratulations to all the winners! Thank you everyone who participated!

About Eileen Fowler

I am an Associate Editor at Quiltmaker. My quilting hobby, that began over 20 years ago, turned into a career when I was hired by Quiltmaker in 2008. My quilting passion is slowly taking over every nook and cranny in my house. I have a supportive husband who makes it all possible.
This entry was posted in Giveaways & Contests, QM Issues, Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

617 Responses to Barn Quilts for Your Home + Giveaway

  1. I cannot thank you enough for the article.Really looking forward to reading more. Want more.

  2. As a website developer I believe the material here is truly fabulous, regards.

  3. PaulaK says:

    I am so excited to be a winner! Thank you so much for the awesome gift and all the inspiration!

  4. Elizabeth says:

    I would place the beautiful barn quilt on the side of my house that you see coming up my long driveway. :)

  5. Chris Carlson says:

    I have just the spot for one of these little beauties on the front of my house near the door. My neighbors see me coming and going with my sewing machine all the time and always ask to see what I’m making. It would be a perfect statement for my little blue house!

  6. Melissa Korlin says:

    These metal quilt squares are absolutely beautiful. I have the perfect spot for one — right by my front door. Quilting is my new passion, and this type of art would be a special addition to my front porch!

  7. Terri Bayne says:

    I would love one. Very neat.

  8. One of these would look really nice on the front of my house. Thanks for the chance to win one.

  9. Jean Cassell says:

    I looked at these at a fair I still remember them – They are great looking and would love to have one on the barn or the log cabin where alot of quilters spend time

  10. Peggy Mlynek says:

    Having made several Easy Elegant Lone Star quilts and planning to make many more, it would be wonderful the have Lone star block made by you for the wall outside my studio. Your idea was fantastic-kudos for running with it!

  11. Karen says:

    Good timing! I am in need of a barn quilt to hang next to my front door. The Home Sweet Home heart that hung there has disappeared after 14 years. I guess it was due to be replaced.

  12. Marge Burkheiser says:

    the blocks are awesome! so simple looking in their basic outline design. nice to see this as a growing movement.

  13. Delyn Holder says:

    The Barn Quilts are amazing, and your work is amazing. We have a 20ft Moss Rock wall with Fireplace and Mantle, a Grouping of these would look Awesome. I come from a quilting family, my mom, mother-in-law, aunts, and even one of my uncles. It would be a blessing to win one of your Barn Quilts!

  14. Donna Shaw says:

    Beautiful much talent involved when it comes to making things like this. Our local FFA group began painting ‘barn quilts’ and hanging them on our local farmer’s barns. This has become epidemic here in Iowa. Your designs are awesome and would look great anywhere! I own an older 2-story building in my small rural town. Built in 1890. Just having a vision of what these style barn quilts would like like mounted on the upper windows at 25 foot with some special lighting! Keep up the great work you do! I love seeing these!

  15. Vicki Chang says:

    Love the barn quilt!! Would be perfect for my front porch.

  16. Sue Monsey says:

    What a beautiful product to sell to us quilters! There are so many places I can think to hang something this pretty. We have a beach house that would benefit from your art – I have to admit, I have been looking for just the right thing to put there. It would have to withstand beach life and that has always made it more difficult to choose materials. On the other hand, I have a beautiful fence in my backyard that I look at (complete with squirrels that play in my backyard) that would provide me with a perfect place for one of these. It would not be seen so much by the public, but would be enjoyed by my family and friends (especially my quilting friends that come over to sew and use the longarm). Needless to say, I WOULD LOVE TO WIN ONE OF THESE.

  17. vickie blose says:

    barn quilt would be great mounted above my couch.

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