Quilt Barn Trail

It's finished! My oldest UFO is finished! If you've been following along, then you know I started this quilt on May 18, 2011, as a project for an online class I took from the former Quilt University, now doing business as Academy of Quilting. My class, "Quilt your Favorite Photos" was taught by Betty Alofs. While perusing that website, I realized that the class is still available on demand.

It was actually the second quilt I started for the class. The first quilt was a little too complicated for me, a beginner at the time, and so I selected a different photo. The original quilt ended up as an "orphan block" donation to a woman who took a treadle sewing machine to the Burning Man festival and set up shop allowing folks to sew quilts. Isn't it interesting where our creations end up sometimes?

The pieces were all in place, and so yesterday's task was to quilt in the details. The batting was spray basted to the quilt top, but I didn't add the quilt back until almost all of the quilting was complete. I quilted siding onto all the structures.

Added some detail to the cupola. The roof was a corrugated metal roof, and after this picture was taken, I added some straight line quilting there.

Then I added more siding and "shingles" to the red structure, bricks to the chimney, and stitched in window panes.

Then, I added trunks and branches to the trees and after this picture was taken, added in some green for texture.

All that was left then was to quilt in some grass and the stems and leaves for the sunflowers. That serves the function of quilting, but it's really something on the order of free motion machine embroidery.

And then it was ready to have the quilt back added. My little cat was helping me the whole day.

For the quilt back, I selected this wheat fabric. It seemed like the best choice from my stash.

While the batting was adequately quilted to the top, I quilted in the suggestion of clouds in the sky to anchor the back in place as well.

And then it was ready for trimming and binding.

For the binding, I selected this branding iron fabric I picked up somewhere along the dusty trail...Wyoming, possibly? I looked back through some old blog posts trying to figure out where I'd purchased this, but couldn't find it.

This morning I was up bright and early to finish it. As a reminder, here is the original photograph:

And here is my finished quilt. Ta-Da!

It feels pretty darned good getting this one off my list of UFO's. It measures 13 x 19 inches. You wouldn't think a quilt so small could take 5 1/2 years to complete. I was going for a new world record. And that makes my hand quilting project, Mumm's the Word my longest running UFO. It was started in August of 2012.

At least I'm actually working on it, and not letting it sit on the back burner as the barn quilt did for so long.

There's just one tip I want to pass along to you today. Remember me whining about how hard it was to thread that 60/8 needle with the Invisifil thread? Well...smart friend of the blog Nancy E. suggested holding a little square of white cardboard behind my needle, and so I gave it a try. Here's how the needle looked (if you could actually get this close with your eye):

You can see the eye, but you can see how it also blends in with the foot at the back...also, note the blur. The camera was a little too close, but that's kind of how it looks to my eyes as well. So, enter a little slip of white paper and the eye becomes much easier to see.

Cool! And that worked great! Thanks for that suggestion, Nancy! It made a big difference.

Since I was up at 4:00 a.m., chomping at the bit to get at that quilt binding, I'm probably going to go back to bed. As for the rest of the day, I'll be adding more flour and water to my seed culture today. When I looked at it this morning, it had risen at least 50%. The top of the tape marks where it started yesterday.

Sorry for the blur...like I said, it was early. Also, there were bubbles visible, indicating that indeed, the starter is fermenting. That's exactly what it's supposed to do. I took a whiff of it since I was warned it would give off a bad smell. It wasn't too heinous, but less than appetizing. It's supposed to smell better within a day or two.

Also today, I'll be making up the first embroidered block for the Summer Holiday quilt...this one:

It's a combination of embroidery and machine applique.

There is snow in our forecast for this afternoon...it'll be the first snow of the season. Apparently, winter is here. It's a good day to stay inside and keep warm.

19 comments from clever and witty friends:

QuiltShopGal said...

Congratulations on your finishes. They are both beautiful. I hadn't clicked that classes from Quilt University are now available at the Academy of Quilting. Thanks for sharing. Not sure if you know, but Betty Alofs passed away this past Fall. She was a talented lady, with a very kind heart whom will be missed by many.


Vroomans' Quilts said...

Oh, that came out wonderfully!! It needed to wait for you to build skill and you certainly did it justice.

DeeDee said...

Congrats on getting your UFO finished. That's fantastic. It's also an inspiration to dig into my UFOs and get some of them finished. As I'm typing one of my little helpers, Doodlebug, is sitting next to me grooming himself and having a little snuggle. He says to tell Sadie and Smitty hi!

claudia said...

I am so in love with your barn quilt!!! It is amazing! I am so happy to have gotten to watch your progress on it here lately.
You are such an inspiration to me. I love watching the progress on all of your projects. I just wish I could smell the bread as you make it!

Doreen Auger said...

Amazing doesn't adequately describe that UFO!!! It's a great creative achievement! The snow has stopped here, so the storm has moved on (watching the Packers play Dallas and see that the snow has been creating challenges at Lambeau!!!!!!). The snow is inevitable BUT I can really live with a brown-ish Christmas.....hehe

FairviewFarm said...

Your Quilt Barn Trail is awesome! It looks just as I imagined it now that you've added the decorative stitching and quilting. I hope you'll be entering this in shows next year so others can see it in person.

Shirley Elliott said...

The barn quilt is absolutely wonderful! It is amazing to see how it progressed. You have become so proficient with your quilting. When you started showing it and planning to work on it again, I thought it would be interesting but it is one of my favorites of your quilts.

Brown Family said...

THe barn quilt is beautiful. Persistence got you through! I know how good it feels to finish a long running project!

Dana Gaffney said...

The barn quilt looks great, adding the depth to the sunflowers makes them look just right :) Congrats on getting it done!

SJSM said...

What a lady! So glad to see you get that one done. There is hope I can finish a few of my UFOs, too. I'm really liking your Mum's the Word. It may be difficult to do that quilting. I think you will be happy with the results. Happy stitching!

Quilter Kathy said...

Congrats on a wonderful finished photo inspired quilt!
And I just love your Mumms the Word quilt with the big red stitches!
And you're starting a new stitchery?? Looks like fun!
Thanks for sharing with the Slow Sunday Stitchers!

Susan said...

Congratulations on finishing the barn quilt. I like how it turned out. The "free motion embroidery" really made a difference. It gives the quilt some depth. The sunflowers now look like they are a distance from the barn rather than actually on the barn.

Wendy Tuma said...

Yay for you finishing the barn quilt! It's really very pretty. I love the sunflowers! I use the little white cardboard trick too -- sure helps! Wendy at piecefulthoughts@gmail.com

Nita said...

Yay the barn quilt! It's delightful.. I hope you'll hang it in a place of honour. :)

Auntiepatch said...

It's beautiful! Love the little kitty, too!

Rachel said...

Congrats on your long term finish! That barn quilt is cute!

quiltzyx said...

Excellent finish on the barn quilt. What a difference in depth the sunflower stalks made! It's wonderful!

Kate said...

Congrats on getting the oldest UFO off your list. It turned out beautifully, you definitely made all the elements work. Where does it go from here?

Michele said...

Really nice! I'm sure you are happy to have it finally done.