Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Build-A-Barn Will Give You the Confidence to Build More than Barns




I started with a door and windows with lace curtains in a whitewashed stone structure. 


I then added a thatched roof.  I purposely left a loose overhang of thatch that is currently just tacked down with pins. 

I then added a chimney and sky from a couple of different small pieces of sky fabrics I tried to blend into one. I ran into a little problem on one side where those pins are but I'll fix that later.  


I then added a rock wall with plants in it and a gate and some weeds and dirt.



And I ended up with a very special house in Ireland - in Ashfield Demesne, Beagh Parish, Galway to be exact. 




Ancestral Joynt home in Ashfield Demesne (aka Shananglish), Beagh Parish, Galway c. 1959

In the 1860s my great-great grandparents David Joynt and Bridget McDermott Joynt and 9 of their 10 children left Ireland at various times for America.  Their oldest daughter Margaret Joynt Nally was the only one to stay behind in Ireland and in the home and on the land the others left behind. 

The picture above was taken in 1959 and passed down to me, family historian. I was told it was taken by my grandfather's brothers on a trip to Ireland.  Later while doing family research I happened to find a newspaper article that told about that visit.  

...
Newspaper excerpts of visit to house above by my grand uncles follows.

Originally pub in LeMars Globe-Post, LeMars (Plymouth Co), Iowa
Republished in Emmetsburg (Palo Alto Co, Iowa) Democrat

JOYNT BROTHERS TELL OF VISIT TO IRELAND



...Focus of the entire trip was the old Joynt cottage in County Galway, in a
village called Shanaglish. The word Shanaglish means Old Church and it seems
there was an old church there as long as earliest history shows. The Old
Church is still there and masses are read there regularly.

The nearest "Big Town" is Gort, population about 1500. Resisting the
hospitable urgings of the people of Shanaglish, the tourists spent the night
in an inn at Gort, and nearly everybody in County Galway made it a point to
try to meet the distinguished visitors and bid them the top o' the mornin'
or evenin' as the case may be.

The Irish are very friendly people, Dr. R.J. Joynt said, and every mither's
son of them felt he had something important to tell the guests. "They
thought we were big-shots," Dr. Joynt explained, "and we felt that it would
be unkind of us to disillusion them. So we let it go at that."

Living in the old Joynt home is the family of Christie Nally, grandson of
the oldest sister of the Doctors Joynt's father. The rest of the family
migrated to the United States in 1869 [actually 1867], but the oldest
daughter married a local boyfriend and stayed.

The Joynt farm consists of 22 Irish acres, about the same as 28 Plymouth
county [Iowa] acres. It still has a pasture on a high hill, and a peat bog from
which they get their sod for fuel.

Dr. R.J. Joynt said that his father had often spoken nostalgically of a
certain low window in the old stone house, which was easily broken and which
therefore was always stuffed with a gunny sack. The tourists investigated
and found the window, sure enough, and there was the pane missing, just as
in 1869, and there was the gunny sack.

"But it was a new gunny sack," Dr. Joynt reported with a touch of sadness.

The old cottage is built of stone, with a straw thatched roof. Not a stone
has been changed in 85 years, and thatch looked that way.

"How often do you have to thatch that roof?" Christie Nally was asked.
"About once every 14 years," Christie replied.
"How long has it been since you thatched it?"
"Well, it has been just about 14 years."

This doesn't mean that Shanaglish was careless about honoring its visitors,
however. In honor of the expected visit Christie Nally white-washed the
walls, all nice and clean. And Mrs. Nally baked a cake.

Christie Nally made this succint observation: "Yer father [Michael Joynt b.
1851] did well when he went to America!" ...




The same ancestral home in 1976 when a cousin of my Dad visited. 

One of these days the ancestral home I built will end up in a quilt surrounded by the Emerald Isle. (I might even add a piece of "gunny sack" to one of the windows).  

And that leads me to how I went about building my home: 


Julie Sefton's book Build-A-Barn walked me through the process of first free-piecing a barn and that experience then gave me the confidence to try free-piecing my ancestral home.  Believe me, if I can do it so can you. I'm more of a left-brained (logical) than right-brained (creative) person.  So I guess that means I'm rarely in my right mind but Julie and her book set me straight. 

For a chance to win an autographed copy of Build-A-Barn leave me a comment telling me what you would like to build. 

 I'll draw a winner late Sunday after I return from an out-of-town wedding. (Winner will be drawn by random number generator from comments left on this post and my previous post about building a barn. So you have two chances to win if you leave a comment on each post.) 

If you don't win you will have to buy a copy! (Yes, you do need a copy. Really!)


19 comments:

Julierose said...

Oh when Mom and I visited Ireland we saw so many older structures--I would love to build one as a memory piece ; all the houses had different colored doors--very colorful...I have a postcard featuring them thanks for the chance hugs, Julierose

Jean said...

I have often thought of making a quilt with the barn, chicken house and house where my family moved in the middle of my Jr. yr. in high school.

June said...

I am at a (painful) point in my life when I don't plan to "build" anything. I'm going to just stay-put and see what the Good Lord has planned next.

LIttle Penguin Quilts said...

What a oerfect house to build using Julie's techniques! My husband is the family historian here, and he has found houses where his ancesters lived in Cornwall back in the 1700s. I would love to build him a fabric version of one of them! Thanks for the chance to win!

Quiltdivajulie said...

Oh, Cathy - this post makes me so very, very happy. Your ancestral house is wonderful with so many details. Congratulations!!! Thank you for sharing so much of your thought process AND the house's story.

NancyA said...

What a great story and wonderful way to honor your heritage! Love your interpretation of the cottage. There is an old barn across our valley that I look at every day; I AM going to recreate that in fabric one day-- this book would make it possible.

Alycia said...

So fantastic!!!

Tammy Hutchinson said...

I moved often as a child but remember several of the houses my family lived in over the years. I've often thought it would be fun to make a house quilt with blocks resembling those I remember. I'm the oldest of 8 - so my siblings could help me out!

Lisa Marie said...

I have just made a wonky house quilt which was super fun to make. Now I'm thinking about a whole neighborhood of varied houses, churches, etc. It seems like there would be lots of possibilities using the techniques in this book.

swooze said...

I would love to recreate all the old barns that I saw as I was growing up!

Patti said...

We live in Wisconsin and you can't drive anywhere without seeing barns. I have taken many pictures and just need to decide which ones to do. What a great story of your barn.

Eunice Donges said...

I had the opportunity to visit Ireland way back in 1970 and I loved the cottages. I'll have to look for my pictures and try free piecing to make one.

LizA. said...

I'd probably try a barn first since I always make dh stop to let me take pictures of interesting barns whenever we are driving somewhere. Love your Irish cottage.

Millie said...

Awesome house block, terrific story!

Kleine Vingers said...

Love the barn, and it start me thinking about making my own.
Greetings

Kaja said...

Great post! I love that you included the story of your family in Ireland; this really will be a special quilt. You are right about the book too: once you get your head around the basic ideas, the sky is the limit.

Joye with an e said...

I suppose I need to build the barn on the land where I grew up and where my mother stil lives. Sadly, we lost Daddy in February. Your story was so interesting. Thanks for sharing.
joyecox@yahoo.com

claudia said...

I love personal history. The history of the Joynt family farm is so sweet! I would love to do a quilt of all the homes I have lived in, some were apartments which could be fun as well.

Elaine M said...

Wonderful to have the photos, newspaper article and history of the cottage/barn. You made a lovely quilt. I've been looking for a photo of my family's dairy farm. All fun!