Sunday, May 29, 2016

Building Barns with Julie's Help

I follow Julie S. over at her blog, Me and My Quilts - Exploring the Possibilities, and saw that her book was being published. I quickly ordered it and got it right away after its publishing date. The book is:


The book is really fun to read; she talks about her process of looking at barns, building quilt block barns, in a very fun and readable style. It's like talking to her while she makes her beautiful quilt. I saw this quilt in person at the AQS show in Des Moines a couple of years ago. It's beautiful and is way bigger than my little baby-size barn quilt. Julie inspired me to make a few barns and houses of my own. Here's my quilt top (hanging on top of some other stuff, so it's hanging wonky):

I made it small on purpose, and in my usual, impulsive style I made it quickly...not nearly as thoughfully as Julie built hers. Maybe I'll do another one some day soon and make the project more deliberately. As I drive around the countryside this summer, I'll be looking at barns, and maybe photographing them.

Here are the blocks that I built:
just a simple house with a tree

this one is a big, tall barn with a silo, and I decided to add some animals.. oh, why not some elephants? It's an elephant farm. I love picking fabrics for these kinds of blocks. I liked the ruler design for the silo.

another simple house... but what's that? Giraffes in the back yard! Must be my house.

I'm not following the exact order of the blocks as they are in the quilt. I wanted to show you this barn now, because I loved how the green fabric worked to look like furrowed farm land. It was kind of intentional, but mostly just a happy accident. I had the cutest farm animals on one piece of fabric. I meant to use them again, but I stupidly lost track of that fabric until weeks later. (That probably explains the use of elephants on one of my farms.)

After that happy accident with the farm land, I tried again several times.. I had that same line of fabric in several colors. None of them worked out as great as they did on that first one, but they make decent farmland, I guess. Just not as perfect as that first one. These animals are hard to see... they're rabbits.

a house and a tree.. I tried to make this house the way I draw houses at an angle, but it was harder to do in fabric than with a pencil. So it's just a wobbly house. I've seen plenty of those out on abandoned farms around the state, that's for sure.

another simple house. I decided to put a small, struggling tree in the yard, and then something possessed me to put a monkey in the tree. That tree is too small for that big ol' monkey! But, that's the fun of making houses and barns out of fabric. They don't have to be 100% believable, which is a very lucky thing for me. Then I added a dog house.

This is my last barn. I finally got the front door big enough. I was so pleased with that yellow fabric in the upper window.. the hay mow. I used to play at my friend's farm, and we had such fun in that hay mow. The yellow in this one reminds me so much of all the hay we jumped around in, and there always seemed to be some new kittens to discover in the hay, too. My friend's older brother must have just driven up in his shiny Corvette. (This never really happened, but a person can pretend, right?)

The middle block in this quilt was made by someone else. I often end up with people's orphan blocks, and I can't remember who made them. Sometimes I buy them; sometimes I am given them. After I got this all put together, I wished I had put a block of my own creation in the middle, but I don't think I will re-do it at this point.

That's my foray into building barns. I expect I will do it again some time relatively soon. Moo! Neigh! Meow! Oink, oink....and that deep rumble that elephants make.

8 comments:

Elle's grammy said...

You did acgreat job. I love this. My grandmother's barn that we played in the now, etc was just torn down :( thanks for sharing this. It tugged on my heart strings.

BrendaLou said...

Love the blocks, love the barns, the animals and especially that there are giraffes and elephants!

Browndirtcottage said...

Too cute!

Quiltdivajulie said...

What a fun, fun post --and there really is an elephant farm (actually a sanctuary) here in Tennessee. I think the rounded tops on your silos are great! (and, if it is okay with you, I'd like to share a link to your post on the BUILD A BARN blog later this week)

Allison CB said...

Very cute!

Marlys Gregg said...

Love the barns! Works for houses too. Such an interesting idea!

Carol E. said...

Thanks for the visits and the comments, everyone! I have seen that elephant sanctuary on TV, when that CBS guy did the story about the best friends: an elephant and a small dog. Very cute!

Valerie Levy said...

These blocks made me squeal! I want to live in a house where a giraffe could greet me in the second story window each morning....
Live. Every. Single. Block.
Awesome. Just awesome.