Garden Quilts

I have a plethora of art supplies I need to use up.  I had two tubs of those little paint tubes you get for a dollar – most of them had been opened and partially used, and they had been sitting for at least 3 years.  Not the kind of thing you can just pass on to someone else.

I was thinking about the big quilts people paint on their barns, and I decided to make small quilt signs to hang in my garden.  Fortunately I also have a ton of wood scraps and spray paint, so I got to work.

Wood scraps

The wood scraps, ready to be spray-painted.

Base coat

A board with a few coats of spray paint.


A basic grid is pencilled on the board.

After I spray-painted the wood pieces and let them dry, I measured one board and then divided it into equal size squares.  I wasn’t worried about the measurements being perfect, because this isn’t anything that will be looked at close up.

I picked Jewel Box for the first design.  It seemed easier to create in paint than in cloth!  I outlined the sections with a three-dimensional line of paint, and let it dry overnight.

Jewel Box outline

Outline for the Jewel Box block

Then I traced around an old plate for a String Circle pattern.  I divided the circle into equal wedges, and then drew random lines across the wedges.  I outlined this with a three-dimensional line of paint too – sort of like making a stained-glass window design.

Tracing a plate

I used a plate to trace for a circle pattern.

String Circle pattern

I outlined random sections to make a String Circle design.

After the outlines had dried overnight, I just filled in the sections with different colors of paint.  My favorite was the Plaid “Keepsake Color” gel paint – it spread easily and looked translucent when it dried.  I didn’t do all the colors on the same day – I painted about a third of the sections at a time, and let them dry overnight each time.  I probably could have hurried this along, but I usually only have a few minutes to work on something anyway.

 Painted Quilt Blocks

This is what they look like filled in with color.

Jewel Box in the garden

The Jewel Box design in the garden.

This project is quick in that it doesn’t take much hands-on time at all.  I probably spent 10 – 20 minutes on it each day for 5 days.  But it does take a lot of drying time.    I didn’t use up all of my paint tubes, so I will probably make a few more!  They’re not masterpieces but I think they add a little something cute, that will make my weeding time more pleasant.