Raising the Barn Quilt

Raising the Barn Quilt via thefarmerslife.comWe just installed a barn quilt on the barn at our farm. My sister describes the history of the quilt as follows. “In the early1900s, 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.”

Barn Quilt via thefarmerslife.com

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.

Whig Rose Quilt via thefarmerslife.comThe original quilt made by my great-great grandmother.


Barn Quilt via thefarmerslife.comThe 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.

Barn Siding via thefarmerslife.comThe 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

Father and Son via thefarmerslife.comMy 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.

Barn Quilt via thefarmerslife.comGoing 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.

Barn Quilt Raising via thefarmerslife.com

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!

Wooden Barn Beam via thefarmerslife.comWhen 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.

Barn Quilt Raising via thefarmerslife.comOnce 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.

Barn Quilt via thefarmerslife.comAlmost 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!


  1. Hello Scott Farms, Family,

    We love this honorable raising of the quilt. It is so beautiful and places great honor on our heritage, and that coincides so well with the heritage, love and strength of Scott Farms. Well done everyone!

    It also is amazing to see the original quilt, as Inez Newton was mypaternal great grandmother, with me being first cousin to your mom. From Hawai’i we send our love. Aloha, Gael Ross Ito and Family


  2. How beautiful this is!!! I love the original and the painted version honoring your heritage as farmers., and also honoring your great, great, grandmother who lovinigly made the original. What really is wonderful and heartwarming to me, is to see the four generations of men, working together to do this! That is so grounding and really gives a true message of midwest heart….and heartland love of family, of farming, and of working together to get true sense of joy in all work ! Thanks , for this post, and going back now to re read it again and study that design. —Merri in Minnesota

  3. Thank you very much for sharing this story. My mom is in the processing of creating our own barn quilt. Last summer she had a crew of young amish men spruce up our old hip-roof barn. It looks brand new! So, the goal this summer is to get the barn quilt assembled and hung! I am sharing your post here with her, she will be fascinated to read about the history behind your quilt. It is beautiful and thank you for sharing how you assembled and hung it.

  4. What you and your family have done links generations, farming, the state and the entire Midwest region. It’s a wonderful connection that radiates in many directions. Thank you!

  5. What a great post! I really enjoy reading you blog and this post in particular. It is photos of gorgeous days with lovely fields of corn and dusty but sturdy barns, as in your photos, that really have me pining for the Midwest.

    That quilt is gorgeous and definitely deserves of honor you have given it.

  6. Good morning!

    I just a watched RFD TV program in which i learned of your social media activity about farm networking. After searching for your site i read about your intrresting barn quilt story with installation pictures. What are the dimensions of this quilt? Thank you for your time and effort in telling current life and times of rural American reality.

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