Saturday, November 17, 2012

Quilts & Barn Decorating!

I missed a week of posting ... it's been crazy at work, and too much to do at home.  You know how it goes!  I have friends coming over this afternoon to look at my grandparents artwork, guess that's a good topic for my next post.

As I was getting things out, I found a picture of my grandmother with one of her quilts and thought I'd post about quilts and the quilt square I made for my barn ... that's where the "barn decorating" comes in!

My grandmother, on my Mom's side, was an amazing quilter and gardener and artist.  This is a picture, or collage of her and some of her quilts.

As you can see from the upper left picture, she won many awards for her quilts.  The one below that is the family history quilt ... here's a better picture:

Starting in the upper left corner and going clockwise, it shows the family coming over from England shortly after the Mayflower, her birthplace in Worcester, MA and then on until they came to Buffalo, NY.  It's just an amazing quilt.  I have many quilts she made for me, we all do.

I was looking for a quilt for my bedroom, it's lavender ... and wasn't thrilled with what I found that I could buy, so I decided to follow my grandmother's lead and make my own.  So imagine ... I had never quilted before in my life, and I needed to make a quilt for a king-sized bed.  Yes, I was a bit crazy!  LOL!  I did do it, it took me 6 winters to piece the top together, and then another winter for an Amish girl to do the actual quilting!  And I'm planning the next one in my head and can't wait to start working on it after the holidays.  Here is the finished quilt:

One of the quilt magazines I read, had an article about New England Quilt Barns .. I knew as soon as I read it that my barn NEEDED one!  So I looked for a quilt square pattern that I liked and thought would be relatively easy to paint.  Then I bought a 4 x 4 piece of birch plywood, because it has a very smooth surface, and a regular piece of 4 x 4 plywood to mount behind the birch for added support. 

I set it all up in my dining room ... I rarely use this room for dining, but often use it for many crafts.  I carefully drew my lines, bought my exterior paint colors and painting tape, and started.

Slowly, but surely, I painted on the colors ... 2 or 3 coats each depending on how it looked when it dried.  Carefully took the painters tape off the section that I just finished, and touched up anything that messed up when I removed the tape.  You can see my "pattern" on the white paper that I had colored in as my guide.

More colors added ... my guide is now in the middle of the square.

Now what to do with the middle?  My neighbor, Janet, was over and I showed it to her ... she said "let me paint one of your daylilies in the middle".  She's an art teacher and a great artist.  I was floored, what a great idea.  I gave her a photo of my own introduction, Mystic Avalon, to use as a guide.  She sent her husband over to get the square and went to work.

She called me a week or so later and told me she was sending her husband over with the finished square, and she hoped I would like what she had painted.  I said "you're coming too?", she said no, she was afraid I wouldn't like it ... I told her to stop being ridiculous and to get her butt over here.  And this is the amazing daylily she painted:

Isn't that just gorgeous?  I was almost jumping up and down I was so happy with what she had done for me!!  Here's another picture:

It was just perfect!  The perfect center for barn decoration at a daylily nursery!

We mounted it on the barn, we screwed 2 x 4's to the barn so the square would not be flush on the barn, to give it some breathing room ...

I added a border ... since this is made of 2 sheets of plywood I wanted a border to try and keep out some of the moisture.  I had thought that I would put a white border on it, but Melanie Mason (North Country Daylilies) was here visiting before she spoke at our dayliliy club meeting, and said she thought a yellow or gold border would be good.  She was right!

I tried all summer to get a photo of the barn, square and lots of daylilies blooming, but it was a really tough summer (too dry), and I never saw this bed of old spiders blooming very well.

Here is what it looks like from the end of the driveway by the road ...

So I've taken you on a quilting type journey today, hope you enjoyed it.  I'm looking forward to taking this same picture with lots of snow around ... can't wait to see how much the quilt square stands out then!


  1. Thanks!! My favorite colors ...

  2. Very pretty! I am looking into adding a barn quilt to my Mother's barn. I haven't seen one like this before.

    1. Thanks ... it's obviously my own design ... I like being different! LOL!