Barn Quilts are Awesome

What the heck is a barn quilt?  Well, it’s a piece of art on a barn.  Honestly, it’s a quilt design hand-painted onto a piece of wood.  The maker then suckers someone into getting on a tall ladder to put up the lovely piece of work.  Afterward, everyone that drives by can see the artwork from the road.  See the bottom of the post for more information.

Somewhere in West Virginia

If you’re riding in a car with me and I see a barn quilt I yell, “BARN QUILT!”  Everyone flinches and wonders what the heck I’m yelling about and pointing to frantically.  It’s a fun game in the car for me.

Over the summer I decided my garage needed some artwork.  P and I went to JoAnn’s to grab the supplies.  He got to pick out the colors.  Surprisingly, he did not pick orange or neon green.  The kid loves orange.  You can use scrap wood or purchase the pre-cut versions at JoAnn’s.  Lowe’s has pre-cut squares available as well.

My version

My inspiration comes from this block on Pinterest.

I marked up my wood square as best I could.

Don’t look too close

I started painting within the lines the best I could.  It took a number of coats to cover up the pencil lines and get everything to look correct.

I swear I can paint within the lines.  Ha!  There were lots of touch ups throughout the painting process.

P’s version

I wanted P to make a version as well.  His square was painted with gray as a background since he loves to paint with racecars and monster trucks.  Who needs paintbrushes when you have cars?  We went outside for P to paint.  I squirted paint onto wax paper and P ran his car or truck through the colors he wanted.  Once the wheels were nice and coated, he moved over to his square.  He created a race track with his painting style.

The cars and P got a good bath after painting.  Once the paintings dried I sprayed them a number of times, front and back, with a clear matte top coat.  To create a way to hang these, holes were drilled in the top corners and twine ran through the holes.  For this next part, splurge on the outdoor Command hooks.  Not just the regular ones, they don’t hold up as well.  Minutes after taking these photos, my barn quilt had fallen into the garden.

I love having these outside and that P created something with me.

Have you made a barn quilt?  You can find inspiration and tutorials on Pinterest to help you create your own.

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts Finish It Up Friday and 

Confessions Of A Fabric Addict

 


What Are Barn Quilts?

http://www.accuquilt.com/shop/barnquilt/facts.html

 

Easy Baby Quilt with Solid Strips

Need an easy baby quilt?  Dig into your scraps and let’s get started.

Easy Scrap Strip Baby Quilt by quiltytherapy #scrapquilt #stripquilt #babyquilt #scrapbusterquilt

If you have been a reader for a while, you may know that I keep my scraps in tubs until it’s time to sort them.  Well, my solids are kept separate and they were getting out of hand.  The drawer could no longer even be stuffed close.  It was time to make something again.

Inspiration

Nothing was really speaking to me, so I headed to my Modern Quilting Inspiration Pinterest board for ideas.

An older quilt from Red Pepper Quilts caught my attention.  Rita’s version can be found here.  This is a step by step guide on how to create my version.

 

Design

Tip:  Without different hues and saturation, the quilt could run together.

Off to the scrap bin I went to start gathering strips to make my version.  I was able to collect many strips and have the variety of colors/saturations I desired.  However, I didn’t have many long strips like the inspiration quilt.

Based on my scraps I could create strips in 2 inch width to get the most from my pull of fabrics.  The lengths would be 5, 7, and 9 inches.  Feel free to create based on what you have in your scraps.

Each size stack was sorted yet again by color.  Orange, yellow, blue, green, brown, black, neutrals, and gray.  Sorting will help when piecing.  I wanted to avoid having too may of the same color right by each other.

Piecing

Grab randomly from each pile and begin piecing two strips together of the same size.  Rows include 28 strips, or 14 pairs, to make a baby quilt size.  Piece all 5 inch strips first.  Starch and press the seams all going one direction.  Next the 7 inch strips.  Starch and press the seams all going the same direction.  Finally, the 9 inch strip set.   Sew and press in the same manner.   Nestle the seams of the 5 inch row and 7 inch row together, pin if needed.  Sew the rows together.  The outcome is randomly placed colors without overthinking the process.

My version goes in this order:  5 inch, 7 inch, 9 inch, 5 inch, 7 inch, and 9 inch.  If you wanted a little larger baby quilt, you could throw another 5 inch row after the last 9 inch row.

I starched the top and pressed my row seams open.  The backing is a blue print I picked up a few months ago when a local quilt shop was closing out their inventory.  With this size quilt, I only needed a yard of the fabric.

Quilting and Binding

The quilt is randomly pieced, but I knew for the quilting exactly what I wanted.  Straight lines in a light gray horizontally in the middle of each row.  A few lines in the middle 5 inch strip vertically.  In your version quilt as desired.

The secondary shapes created with colors being close together was an unintended effect.  They could have been moved, but then the random process is lost.  That was more important to me as I just wanted to create.

Finally, I grabbed Corn Yellow Kona Solid I have had forever to create the binding.  The binding was 2.5 inch double fold and completely machine bound.

Final Thoughts

Love all the crinkles in this quilt after it was washed.  Wonder what the rows would look like in an ombre?

This quilt is currently on the way to a new home.  Check out my other quilts using just solids below.  The solids scrap bin is still too full.


Linking up with Oh Scrap! and Finish it Up Friday

Quilting is more fun than Housework

 

Favorite Things This Week

As my weeks have become more hectic, there are a few things that have helped through the chaos.  These are my favorite things this week.

Target

Who doesn’t love Target already?  There is one close to house I like to sneak off to and enjoy browsing items for inspiration.  They have a School List Assist feature on their Web site that I used this week.   P is starting Pre-K MONDAY! His school has a generic supply list and Target had it on their site.  I was able to just grab the list and load into my cart, presto!  There are a couple of little items left to pick up, but I’m done.

Did you also see that Target is now offering Lisa Frank pajamas for grown ups?  Just take my money.  I could totally wear this set and snuggle under my Scrappy Unicorn Rainbow Sprinkles quilt.  Rad!

via Target.com

 

 

Health & Fitness

As my mileage has gone up with training, I’m reading a bit more health and fitness related articles.  The topics mostly include making time and motivation.  Talking about making time for exercise is not an easy conversation to have personally.  I am giving up time away from other things I enjoy to help reach this goal.  I’m investing in myself to make this happen.  Transformation Fitness & Wellness had an article on making time this week that hit home.  Read it and tell me your thoughts.

The health coach in me has to agree there is no on or off track, you are just living.  Many people feel one bad thing in the day ruins the whole day and that’s not the case, especially when it comes to diet and exercise.  This quote from the article because I have heard this from many people in coaching.

I was putting so much pressure on myself to be perfectly “healthy” that any slip-up, no matter how small, was seen as failure and I’d consider the whole day a loss, binging on junk food and telling myself I’d just start again fresh the next day. I was either 110% on track or 110% off the rails. ~ Pumps & Iron

We have to treat ourselves better than that.  If that is your mentality, let’s chat about some ways to build your skills in that area.  Check out the post here.  What was your take away?

Sewing & Quilting

Quarter square log cabins are quite trendy right now.  They look like great scrap busters.  Have you made one?  Below are links to a couple of finished quilts posted this week.

Stitched in Color 

Hyacinth Quilt Designs

For myself I plan to start on P’s Halloween quilt.  My beemates made gorgeous Halloween themed blocks and I just need to make a few more to complete the top.  If time allows over the weekend, maybe even a tutorial on my improv scrappy blocks from the quilt above.

Uninspired and I’m Okay with That

Ruts happen.  That creative spark has slowly fizzled to just some burning embers.  As I mentioned a few months ago, I don’t feel like I have to sew all the time now for stress management.  The fun and joy is back when I am sewing, rather than stress inducing.

It’s freeing since I can focus on what I want to create instead of what I feel I have to create.  My passion and creativity can be the drivers in the sewing room, not an arbitrary deadline.  Yes, there are still times that I procrastinate on a project or it takes more time than I estimated.  These are now way less frequent than they used to be.

 

There are benefits and downsides to this new freedom.

Downsides:

  • I can work well under pressure
  • Deadlines keep me focused on getting something done
  • Not spending as much time creating
  • Nothing to really share

Benefits:

  • More focus on other areas of my life
  • Hello #healthysewist
  • I’ve been playing around in the kitchen more  and doing some other DIY projects
  • Less stress
  • More family time and truly enjoying it
  • Thinking of doing a destash to clear out some stuff

Anyone with a creative pursuit has gone through this.  In the past, it has lead to some amazing next projects for me.  What will be next?

There are currently three projects that I’m just working on here and there.  There is no sense of urgency to complete them, just enjoying the process.  It’s new and different for me.  However, this new experience has left me a little uninspired.  I’m getting back to basics and just making some easier projects.  Focusing on some scraps and realizing some fabric in my stash isn’t inspiring anymore.  Maybe time for another destash?

I could just be rambling or on the cusp of a breakthrough.  When I’m on a run or walk, I feel that I’m looking at things differently.  It’s allowing me to take in a new perspective of the same route and roads I’ve been on for years.  I stopped to smell some flowers one day during a run, they were stunning.

Trying something new helps me at times too.  With my Icy Waters quilt, I wanted to quilt wavy lines in it.  The thought of quilting wavy lines has been paralyzing me from completing the quilt.  When did I become such a chicken to try something new.  Over the weekend I just went for it.  Guess what?  I liked it and my response was the same as trying free motion quilting.  Now I want to wavy line quilt everything once I get some bobbin issues figured out.  My machine and I were not on the same page.  Since I’m not in a rush, I gave it a two gun salute, and walked away.  Yes, I flipped my machine off and it felt great.  Last night I was going to try again, but decided sitting outside with wine watching my kid pretend to be Maui was much better.

Maybe more inspiration will strike this week, maybe it won’t.  Either way I’m going to continue to feel uninspired for any one project and enjoy just creating.

Creative Weekend Retreat at Home

That’s right, at my house.  Over Memorial Day weekend I was given the chance to just have some time at home.  My wonderful parents took P on Thursday night to the lake and I had taken Friday off work.  Earlier  in the week I had written down my to do list to help keep me focused with all my free time.  I was planning 3-4 days with no kid and hubby had some plans too.

What you don’t see on the list are some errands that I wanted to accomplish as well.  I knocked most of those out on Friday morning and needed those errands to complete some home projects.  Spray paint was necessary to make these happen.  Saturday my yard was colored robin’s egg blue and gold/bronze.

We are hitting a few big salvage sales in the area this upcoming weekend to complete some updates to our bedroom.  My husband painted the room two years ago, yep, that’s our speed for home projects.  I’m happy with how these pieces turned out.  They are going to stand out against the navy walls in my bedroom.

Saturday morning I made candles with soy wax and essential oils.  I didn’t follow a tutorial, I just started creating.  Next time I need more oils to make a stronger scent.  They are easy to make once you have the supplies.

I worked on the spray painting as a break from sewing.  My items for the Urban Home Goods Swap on Instagram (#uhgswap) needed to be finalized.  Based on my partner’s request I wanted to make an apron and a pillow cover.  Guess what I had never made before?  An apron.  Pinterest is full of tutorials and ideas and this one is awesome, click here.  My version is below.

I hope my partner doesn’t hate the butterfly print as I used it as the base fabric for most items I made her.  We shall see.  Once the adult version was complete, I whipped up a smaller version for her daughter.  Rather than a fabric waistband, I dug into my vintage lace and found the perfect piece.

After these, I needed a creative break.  I began working on the clouds for the Rainbows and Clouds quilt.

 

Thank you for your kind words on the project.  It took a lot emotionally to create it, but the overall finish was perfect.  The rainbow strips and piecing curves were a nice challenge to keep working on when I didn’t want to keep going.

Saturday night I was able to get the quilt based and ready for quilting on Sunday morning.  As I wrapped up Saturday night I turned to a collection of fabrics I pulled to create the pillow for the swap.  The first pull I made was great, but wasn’t quite right.  The next pull was just right.

I went back to my favorite flying geese tutorial and knocked out the geese in no time.  In the background I was watching new episodes of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and dying.  If you haven’t watched the series, start because it’s hilarious.  In making this pillow, I decided I want to see this as a whole quilt.  Monday I was able to order more of the background fabric and some fabrics to coordinate from Stitch Stash Diva.  The fabrics have already arrived and I will probably start on the quilt this weekend.

Finally over the weekend I wrapped up a few projects that I had sitting around and just wanted to get done.  You will see those soon.  What I didn’t accomplish was the video tutorial just yet for a postage stamp quilt, but it’s coming.  That’s going to take an afternoon and I want to give it the proper time it will require.

Overall it was a great weekend and thankful I was able to make so much with the time I had.  I had been feeling a creative rut and not very motivated.  Having a weekend to focus on creating was what I truly needed.  Look for new quilts and items coming up.

Rockstar Challenge Quilt

Has a concert ever left you energized and full of creative ideas?  When we saw The Head and The Heart in February, it gave me the inspiration for my Creative Rockstar Challenge quilt.  Prior to the concert I had received these fabrics from Riley Blake to use to create a quilt.  I had been mulling over ideas since I received the fabric, but nothing was really sticking.

via BrewStitched on etsy.com

The fabrics in this line were more my style than previous challenges.  There are some great basics in there.

Okay, let me get back to night of the concert and walk you through my design process.  We got to the venue early and realized we had amazing seats.  The whole back drop was appealing and when the lights were illuminated it was stunning.  It reminded me of 80’s Miami Vice almost.  During one song the quilt idea just started coming to me.  I grabbed my phone and took a video so I could remember the moment.

La-la-la-la was the perfect inspiration to bring these fabrics together.   As they sang I started to see the quilt come together.

 

Rather than the glowing orbs on stage, I was seeing stars and the word la all over.  It was exhilarating and my energy was high post inspiration.  After leaving the concert I was inspired and drew the idea out, then sat on it for a couple of days.  After a couple of days I was still very drawn to this idea and needed to see it come together.  BrewStitched had most of the Riley Blake Creative Rockstar fabric in stock.

I picked these up to round out my quilt’s idea.  The black for the background and gray for the binding.  Oh yeah, those leaves for something else I’m working on.

Without further ado, here is the finished quilt.

Creative Rockstar Challenge Quilt #babyquilt #rockstarchallenge #rileyblakefabricchallenge2017 #creativerockstarfabric

 

It reminds me of the backdrop and it’s pretty close to my original idea.  I always wash and dry my quilts before pictures, especially if I plan to sell it later.  It’s the best way to check for errors.  Well, I had a few errors crop up.  The heat bond didn’t stick as well on the back of the letters and stars.  Rather than zig zag stitch them down, I just ironed and quilted.  For longevity it needs to be more secure.  Luckily, I had some embroidery floss sitting around and went back in to hand quilt the stars and la(s).  It feels softer by adding the hand quilting and pretty successful for my first go round with the method.  There may have been some frantic texts to a friend about how in the world to hand quilt.  I got over my fear of screwing it up and just went for it.

The backing fabric really pulls all the colors together from the quilt.  As I was shopping for fabric, this fabric really caught my eye, it blends all the colors I wanted to use and helped me pick gray for the binding.  Guys, that is hand stitched binding too.

This is going to make a wonderful shower gift or new baby gift for someone.  You can see the listing on Etsy here. SOLD

If you’ve never heard All We Ever Knew in it’s entirety, it is below.  Enjoy.