In December 2014 Julie Sefton who blogs at Me and My Quilts - Exploring the Possibilities invited several ladies to join the Secret Society of Barn Builders (SSOBB). What did that mean? That meant we would all read Julie's process notes for a book she was writing and then build our own free-pieced barn. At first I thought she had the wrong person. Me? Free-piece? Yikes? I was honored to be invited to the club; however, I really hadn't free-pieced anything ever before except for a few wonky letters so I was nervous but accepted the challenge.
I decided to piece the barn out in my back yard (above). You can't see part of it on the right because a big cedar tree is in front of the added on section where the roof starts to slope.
This is what I ended up with.
How did that happen?
I read and re-read Julie's process notes before I even took one cut into a piece of fabric. Then I followed along step by step with her notes.
(By the way, I actually had all of these fabrics in my stash so I guess I was destined to build a barn some day).
I started with the "pass-thru" area which is kind of messy in real life. It leads out to flower gardens, orchard and a pool. The ladders lead up into a hayloft where I used to hang flowers for drying that we sold at Farmer's Market. Now I'm afraid to go up there as I think some raccoons have set up household up there. And I've seen some bats in the rafters. Yucky.
In my fabric barn the pass-thru leads out to pigs and pastures. Actually, there are pastures on either side of us and way, way, way, out past our flower gardens and orchards and wood lot is another one of our pastures but you can't see that via our pass-thru. And we did raise a pig once in the back of our barn. It ran through our yard, the kids caught it, we asked every farmer around if it was theirs, it wasn't, so we raised it. And then we butchered and ate it. Yummy!
There's metal siding over the barn wood where the addition was added on. The part behind that Cedar tree. And on the other side of that is a field.
I used striped fabric for the metal siding. And there's chickens in there because for a number of years we did raise chickens in the barn. We are thinking of doing it again after I retire.
I added lots of other personal details...
...like cats because our barn is a cat bed and breakfast for all the strays everyone brings out to the country and lets loose...like mushrooms because my daughter and son-in-law are certified mushroom foragers...like shamrocks because of my Irish ancestry.
I sent it off to Julie when I was finished building my barn and then she had Chris Ballard quilt all of our barns. If I remember correctly the barns are all touring with some AQS quilt shows now.
I didn't go into specific process details because I followed along with Julie's notes. I accepted her challenge and in return she gave me the confidence to free-piece. If you would like to know the process details and so much more you will just have to buy the book or win one.
I'll be giving away one autographed copy of Build-A-Barn. I'll probably draw a name Sunday, June 26, when I get home from an out-of-town wedding. You will have two chances to win. Add a comment to this post and then come back Wednesday to see what else I've free-pieced (thanks to Julie's excellent book) and leave a comment on that post.
You've all probably heard the phrase, "close the door...were you born in barn?". Well, I know you probably weren't actually born in a barn; however, if you had, what animal would you have been? Leave a comment and let me know.