This blog post was originally posted here and was written by Brian Scott on his blog called The Farmer’s Life. 

Brian Scott is an Indiana farmer and a graduate of Purdue University’s College of Agriculture.  His blog takes you through daily activities of a farm (with crops including corn, soybean and wheat) as well as explores emerging technologies in mobile and biotech.  

We just installed a barn quilt on the barn at our farm. My Photo 1sister describes the history of the quilt as follows. “In the early 1900s, my maternal great-great-grandmother Inez Newton made a quilt using her own variation on the Whig Rose Pattern. Around that same time, a barn was being erected on the ground that would eventually become the heart of our family farm. Yesterday, those two creations came together and Scott Farms raised this beautiful barn quilt – with the original quilt as a special guest! Tremendous thanks to the talented Ed Ward for painting the piece!”

My sister provided most of the photos seen in this blog post. Check her out on facebook at Goodnight Irene Photography.

For anyone reading who has visited or is from the Monticello, Indiana area you probably have seen Ed Ward’s work if you have ever stopped at Indiana Beach. If there’s a hand-painted sign there, and there are many, Ed probably has painted and repainted it. Read on for more pictures of the quilt!

What is a barn quilt?

Barn Quilt Info describes a barn quilt.

“Barn quilts are painted quilt squares-usually fashioned on boards and then mounted on a barn or other building. While cloth quilts are usually made up of a series of squares of the same pattern placed together, a barn quilt is almost always a single square.”The original quilt on display with the newly raised barn quilt. We still have to get that door fully closed in the hay mound. It was nailed shut years ago, and it’s a tight fit with tight hinges.

Photo 2The original quilt on display with the newly raised barn quilt. We still have to get that door fully closed in the hay mound. It was nailed shut years ago, and it’s a tight fit with tight hinges. Photo 3The original quilt made by my great-great-grandmother.

PreparationPhoto 4

The quilt is actually two pieces. The quilt itself is mounted on an aluminum frame we had built at the local welding and machine shop. We attached a u-bolt from a large exhaust clamp as a point to hook on and pull the quilt up the side of the barn.Photo 5

The old Scott Farms sign had to come down in order to make room for the barn quilt. Obviously this meant there was some painting to be done! I think we’ll be moving the sign across the drive to the newer tool shed.

Raising the Barn Quilt

Photo 6My son and I securing the rope to a chain hooked on the u-bolt. We used the chain so we would have an open hook rather than a knot to untie while hanging out of the door high above the ground.Photo 7Going up! I’m giving it a boost off the ground while Grandpa steadies the load. Dad is up in the hay mound pulling the rope with help from a pulley.Photo 8

Dad straining to pull the heavy load! I had to leave the ground crew and head up into the barn to add some more muscle. It was hot and dirty up there!Photo 9When Dad and I needed relief the barn was there to help. Tying the rope off to the wood beam gave us a few minutes to get our strength back.Photo 10Once high enough we were able to use a ratcheting come along to take the weight and lift the quilt into the final position where we could bolt the frame to the barn.Photo 11Almost there!  We had a little trouble getting caught on the ledge just below the door. I had to reach out with one hand to push the hanger away from the ledge while we pulled higher.

What do you think about our quilt and its story? Leave me a comment below!


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