Where to Install on Barn

Gable end: they’ll see it more miles, but from only one direction.

Front of barn: they’ll see if driving past from either direction but the view will be briefer.

Lower wall: cheaper and safer to install but the setting may be compromised when the corn is 8 feet tall.

North facings: are protected from the fading rays of the sun, but are in shadow during the cold months.

South facings: are lit brightly all year, but will fade more quickly.

Distance from road: an unobstructed brightly painted 8 foot square barn quilt will show up at a long distance but there are limits.

Framing the Barn Quilt

Here is Tom McCallum describing how to build a frame for the barn quilt panels:


Installing on a Barn Gable

We love Tom McCallum’s hanging frame design. The framed quilt block has a hook which fits over a hanger on the barn. It’s very strong but heavy.   Check this out:

Installing on Posts

Tools required:

tape measure
red Robertson drive
skill saw
4 saw horses
1/8” & ¼” drill bits

Tom’s Written Instructions

Prepare two template patterns made from ¼” plywood, 4” wide by 8’0’’ long. Fasten one edge of the pattern to the piece of 1” x 2” x 8’0” with dry wall screws. Scribe a line with a pencil down the entire length of the centre of the pattern or 2” in from edge. Drill pilot holes with 1/8” drill bit at 24” centres down the length of the pattern on the scribed line. First hole and last hole should be started at 6” from the ends of the pattern.

Second pattern will have a scribe line down the centre of the pattern same as the first. Then measuring from each end of the 8’ pattern drill pilot holes on the scribed line at 6” from each end, then at 24” from each end and at 42” in from each end.

The template was created so that installers are consistent in the screw placements on the finished product. This eases the job at the barn site installation.

Layout and assembling the frame: materials required

5 straight 2” x 4” x 8’ pressure treated
1 straight 2” x 8” x 8’ pressure treated
44 aluminum washers with a neoprene gasket attached
44 – 1 3/4” x # 8 green deck screws
8 – 4” x #10 green deck screws

To lay out, cut 2 of the 2”x4” at exactly 8’0” long and the remaining 3 at 7’ 5” long. The 2” x 8” should be cut at 7’5” long and a 45 degree cut the length, approximately down the centre so the 2 pieces left are equal in width. Starting with the 2- 2”x 4” x 8’ lay them parallel on the saw horses 7’ 5” apart. Lay the 3 – 2”x 4” x 7’5” starting at one at the end, between the 8’ers and the remaining 2 at 32” centres from the starting end.

One half of the 2”x 8” now with a 45 degree angle will be placed at the other end of the 8’ers with the angle facing up and in, leaving the square edge facing out. This final piece will be the top of the quilt board frame.
To assemble frame, drill 1 – ¼” pilot hole in the 8’ers 1 ½” deep where each of the 7’ 5” pieces butt into the 8’ers. With the #10 deck screws fasten each 7’5” cross pieces to the 8’ers.

Now with the frame assembled, measure from corner to corner of the assembled frame to get frame square. Once square, carefully lay the 2 – 4’x 8’ quilt boards onto the frame so as not to move the frame out of square. When all edges are inline and the pattern of the quilt boards line up, take the first of the two patterns and lay it on the surface of the quilt board.

Starting on one edge of what will be the vertical sides, making sure that the 1” x 2” is hanging down and tight against the edge and the ends of the pattern do not over hang the top or bottom of the boards, using the 1/8” bit drill pilot holes through the pre drilled holes in the pattern through the quilt board surface into the pressure treated lumber below. Once the first edge is complete do the same for the other side.

Using the second pattern, lay it along the top of the quilt board keeping the edge of the pattern flush along the edge of the quilt board and making sure the ends of the pattern do not over hang the quilt board. Repeat for the bottom edge. Using this same pattern locate the two middle cross pieces at the 32” centres.

Lay the pattern on the surface of the quilt board and measure on each side from either top or bottom of the quilt board to the scribe line on the pattern 32”. This will centre the pattern on the lumber under the quilt board. Using the 1/8” bit, drill pilot holes through the holes in the pattern through the quilt board into the pressure treated lumber.

Once all pilot holes have been drilled, use the washers and the 1 ¾” green deck screws and fasten quilt board to frame. The remaining piece of 2” x 8” with the 45 degree angle can be fastened to the structure the quilt board is to be hung.


Make sure it is installed level and the angle is facing up and away so that the angle on the quilt board frame will lock into it when the quilt board is hung. To secure to the structure, remove a few of the 1 ¾’ deck screws and using 4” # 10 deck screws with the washer in place, screw through the existing pre drilled pilot holes through the quilt board, pressure-treated lumber and into the structure it is to be mounted on.

Design by Tom McCallum

Barn Quilt framing materials and labour:  rough cost estimates

2” x 4” x 8’ pressure treated lumber – 6 per barn quilt block $30/block
Screws 1‐1/4” $1/block
Washers $2/block
Tools (hammer, cordless power drill, drill bits, measuring tape, level)
Vehicle (possibly trailer) to transport barn quilt blocks
Blankets/ cover sheets to protect barn quilt
Qualified carpenters

On Barns:

Lift truck rental with padding on cage $350/day
Screws to install frame hanger to barn $2/block
Rigging to raise quilt block panel
Qualified lift operators and carpenters $150/block

On Posts:

6” x 6” x 16’ pressure treated lumber – 2/barn quilt block $100/block
Installed 4’ into the ground by qualified people based on approved site locates $100/block
2”x 4” x 8’ – 3 more (1 for ledger, 2 for ground supports) $15/block
4” x 4” x 4’ (optional for ground supports) $15/block
Screws to install 2 x 4’s to posts $2/block
Ladder with protective padding to reach top of quilt block panel
Qualified carpenters $150/block