Barn Quilts

The only sewing I did yesterday was to hand sew the binding for Wyatt's World. Ms. Ears was my assistant for this endeavor.

We were planning to head out for a drive. There was a wine shipment to pick up, and we were going to take a Sunday drive on Tuesday to enjoy what might be the last of the sunshine we'll see in 2020. When we were ready to leave, I'd turned two corners, and was bearing down on the third.

Things are looking very "autumn" in our part of the world. We passed by a winery we'd visited with Erik and Mae last month. You can see how the vineyards are turning orange in the background.

And we passed by McKibbon's Barn in Yamhill. I posted a picture of McKibbon's Barn some time ago. There's a story behind those quilt blocks. Mrs. McKibbon added the quilt blocks to the side of the barn in memory of her husband. They were some of his favorite quilt blocks.

Seeing the barn gave me the idea for us to take a little tour of the Washington County Quilt Barn Trail. There are several routes one can take to see all of the barns. Some of the women from my former guild went to a lot of effort to establish this trail. Washington County had a sign ordinance that needed to be changed to allow quilt blocks to be added as "works of art," rather than "signs," which required some kind of fee. I don't remember the whole story very well, but a few women were persistent in their several-years-long effort to lobby for change. Their efforts paid off eventually, and the Washington County Quilt Barn Trail was established. There are now some 60 quilt barns along the trail. You can read more about it right here. We'll do that today since we still have a few days of sunshine left.

And that got me thinking about my next sewing room project...sewing the hand-embroidered Appalachian Memories quilt blocks into a flimsy. Here are all the  blocks:

Here's the cover from the pattern, and you can see how they were set by the original designer.

Okay, so please bear with me while I think out loud in writing...or don't. It's entirely your choice. You can always move along if the smell of the smoke coming from my ears bothers you. (It happens every time I think.)

So, I have this beautiful panel of barns given to me by my dear friend Sharon. We were lucky enough to visit Sharon when we made our trip around the perimeter of the USA a few years ago. Sharon knows I love barns, and so she gave me this panel.

It's been tucked away in the box along with the rest of the supplies for the Appalachian Memories quilt for some time. I was hoping I could figure a way to incorporate the barns into the quilt. Also, I have this panel, which was one of the first regional prints I purchased on that same trip. This panel came from a shop called The Dysfunctional Quilter in Whitehall, Montana.

It appeared in the center of the Shop Hop quilt. You can see it right there in the middle. The scene was long, and so it took up the space of two blocks.

And then, I also picked up this panel at One Quilt Place in Fredericksburg, Texas. The woman working in the store was so very careful cutting this piece so I would get all the blocks in my one-yard purchase.

Here's the information from the selvage edge of this fabric.

Okay, so backing up to the original picture of the Appalachian Memories quilt top...

the center dark portion of the cornerstones is 2-1/2 inches. Measuring the little quilt blocks in my fabric, I discovered they could easily be fussy cut to be that size with plenty leftover for a seam allowance. And then, I got so excited, because I knew exactly how I wanted to set the blocks for this quilt! Does that happen to you too? It was all I could do to not dump everything else from my life and start working on it right then and there.

Sadly, this plan will not include the two panels I mentioned. For one thing, both are too large, and the Appalachian Memories quilt, as pictured, is already 74 x 92 inches. If I add more size to it, I'm going to end up with a quilt as big as all outdoors. But, not to worry, because I remembered this pattern that falls under the PINS category (Projects I Never Started). I'm just about to open up another slot on my hand-embroidery dance card, and so I'll start this "Heartland Barns" project next.

I can figure a way to use both barn panels around the outer border of this quilt. And doesn't that seem like a way better idea than all those "broken dishes" blocks? Phew. That's enough to make any quilter crazy. No wonder I never started this project.

Okay, so I managed to tear myself away from my thoughts and went back to work finishing up the binding for Wyatt's World.

Here's how it looks from the back. Having enough of that backing fabric was a very lucky break. And the binding...another lucky break to have enough to piece together the length I needed.

The little matchbox cars arrived yesterday too, and so this will go into today's mail. I'm hoping Wyatt's dad will send me a picture of little Wyatt with his quilt.

Our sunrise was pretty and pink this morning, and we're expecting another nice day of sunshine.

We're going to head out for another drive today, armed with a map and list of the quilt barns along the route. Pictures to follow. It'll be a nice way to spend the day. I hope you have a good day planned for yourself too.


Barbara said...

Through the ample open door of the peaceful country barn, A sun-lit pasture field, with cattle and horses feeding; And haze, and vista, and the far horizon, fading away. ~ Walt Whitman

gpc said...

Wow, we had read about the smoke drifting our way from your side of the country but had no idea it was the result of all that thinking! I am impressed and amazed, as always. The barns are wonderful, and the quilt trail sounds like a lot of fun. We don't have much sunshine left, either. I need to find a sunday drive adventure closer to home. Thanks for the inspiration. :)

Julierose said...

I enjoyed reading about your setting for the barns process--(really, I did!). ;))) It is hard sometimes to just have an idea in your head--when you talk or write it out something just seems to click--at least for me.
I love your barn embroideries they are so special...I will be looking forward to seeing how they come together...

I have only 3 more butterflies left to embroider--they take a while, believe me (after a bit, those x's start shifting in front of my eyes--egads!!). So, little bits at a time...
hugs, julierose

Jenny said...

Your embroidered barn blocks are so special, I'm sure you will come up with a stunning plan to assemble them. You must be a really good thinker to have smoke coming out your ears! I will await with I terest to see what you come up with.

Edith said...

Well I’ll try again. Your embroidered barns a beautiful. The panel was fun too. It occurred to me that you might try alternating the embroidered barns with the panel barns and you could make 2 quilts with different designs. One could be on point and one not or different color ways etc. You could double your fun and use up your fabric 😀. Whatever you do I’m sure it will be fab!

SJSM said...

Brain cells rubbing together is great for keeping the brain young. Think of all those cobwebs you cleared with that burning brain. I’m looking forward to seeing your plan develop. Clear skies, cool nights (48*-54*) and bright days (83*) make beautiful autumn weather. We could use some rain to quench the remaining smoldering fires. Dog pajamas are on the work table currently. They are the muslins to check the fit for the family gift of cow PJs for the dog parents and grand dogs. Waiting for the batting to arrive today to complete the second tree skirt for the family shelter.

Tilly said...

Your barns look great, and the binding on Wyatt's quilt is just made for it.
Greeting Tilly

Christi said...

I can't wait to see how you do the setting of the barn quilts. I have been working on the same Appalachian Memories blocks. It is my oldest UFO. I am almost finished with my 7th block. I do not get to spend time sewing every day like I would like to, so it's taking me years. I am trying not to start any other embroidery projects until this one is finished. I am (mostly) sticking to it. You have my permission to drop everything and work on this quilt! I just can't wait to see one completed to a flimsy.........maybe it will keep me motivated! Love your blog!

piecefulwendy said...

Oh my gosh, that broken dishes border - no thanks! I like how you're thinking on the layout of your barn quilt(s). Will be fun to see it take shape. I see if I can find the barn quilt tour here in MN and send you the link, for your travel files.

MissPat said...

Hopefully the smoke from your thinking didn't bring back bad memories for Sadie. I can understand the temptation to drop everything and start in on a new inspiration. When I set things aside for later, I sometime forget what the plan was. I must get better at making notes to self. And I must remember to label said notes since I'm always finding scribbled scrap paper with no indication of the project it was meant for. Kinda like the fabric pulls I find that I can't remember why they were pulled. Getting old can be a bother.

Magpie's Mumblings said...

Oh my - such a lot of fun things to read about! First of all, I love seeing the quilt patterns on the barn. We have a few here but not anything near what you have. And of course you already know how much I love those Appalachian barns (not that I don't have a thing for barns or anything of the sort!). The barn panel is amazing too - lots of inspiration in that as well.And the fun car mat/quilt for Wyatt - he's going to be over the moon when it arrives!