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mavis fodness, reporter

Freshly painted barn brings dreams of very own quilt design
Sac County, Iowa, has more barn quilts than any other place in the country ­ or so its website indicates. Visitors can even run a self-guided tour to all 58 sites by printing the simple map off the Internet.
For the past couple of years, my self-guided tour of the large, hand-painted designs on the front or sides of barns has consisted of those along the way to and from my daughter’s home near Schaller, Iowa, in Sac County.
In my opinion, the barn quilts are about the coolest thing since the invention of ice cream. I definitely want one.
But I don’t want just any barn quilt. I want one that I have designed and painted myself.
The desire for a barn quilt increased recently when my husband, Bryan, painted our barn a very crisp and very bright white. The blank palette begs for some color from a barn quilt.
But what should those colors be? I turned to my family for some suggestions and asked them what their favorite colors are.
Bryan’s favorite color is yellow. It is also the favorite color for both my sons. One daughter likes royal blue and the other orange.
So I have yellow, blue and orange to work into the design. I admit I don’t have a favorite color. I like all colors, and the favorite depends on my mood. If I am forced to choose, it’s maroon that catches my fancy the most.
So, it’s maroon, yellow, blue and orange.
I did ask the males in the family to break the yellow tie with their second favorite colors. I garnered green and black from that conversation.
With the six colors nailed down, the next decision is which pattern would look the best for my barn quilt. Patterns generally are taken from the sewing of actual fabric quilts but not always. I so like the geometric shapes of quilts, but after looking at several hundred star patterns, I admit I am seeing stars in my sleep. I am leaning toward circles. I just can’t decide how many or how big.
I would also like to include something special in the geometric design.
I haven’t decided if something special is a word (Fodness), or an initial (F) or a date (1928 or 1957). The two dates are dependent on whether I recognize the year the farmland was purchased or when the site was homesteaded. I am leaning toward the latter.
One design I do know I won’t include is a family crest or a combination of colors and designs of our nationalities’ flags. (Germany, Norway and Belgium).
I do know once the barn quilt is finished, it will definitely have a story behind the design. Its creation may also be the start of a self-guided tour of barn quilts of Rock County, Minnesota.

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