Design Block

Thousands of quilt block designs are available from quilting stores, quilting magazines, on-line, and fabric stores. The choice of patterns is limitless.

  • Choose Pattern
  • Design your own block from a treasured family quilt, historical quilt, or your imagination.
  • Create a block from an image or picture.
  • Choose from Electric Quilt Company's four thousand patterns. 

When designing fabric quilts that will inspire a series of barn quilts for a barn quilt trail, the painters and quilters should work closely together during the planning and design process. 

Designing your own patterns sounds great, but puts a burden on the quilters, the graphic designers, and the painters.  


Respect copyright. Use designs that are in the public domain so you can use them for advertising, souvenirs, on-line publishing and posters without worry.  

For those special designs, get permission from the creator.  They will be thrilled to be featured in your project.

Choose Colours

Keep the designs simple.  Limit the number of colours.  Muted colours may look great on the quilt, but disappear on the side of the barn.

  1. Choose bold, vibrant primary colours.
  2. Limit the number of colours per barn quilt block. (Every new colour is a separate can of paint and bolt of cloth.
  3. Avoid natural fall colors (grey, beige, muted tones).
  4. If the viewer is close to the block, more detail is needed.
  5. Sometimes geometric shapes need to be outlined with a black band. The farther the blocks are from viewers, the less detail is needed.

Learn about colour.  Ask someone experienced with graphic design to help plan quilt block colours on the computer. This allows a visual look at  color combinations. 

Colour choices get tricky when you are stitching a quilt (fabric); painting the barn quilts (paint); and creating computer graphics (digital).  Your team will be juggling and matching each colour in three media!


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