Build-A-Barn, Part One

Back in December of 2014, when Julie formed the Secret Society of Barn Builders and invited a dozen of us to make barns, I felt intimidated. Free piecing is SO not my thing. But sometimes others know things about us that we don’t know about ourselves, and I was eager to try something new and to learn. And also pleased by Julie’s confidence in me. 

There aren’t many barns in my part of Near Philadelphia. But there sure are a lot out in Lancaster County. I began looking on line for barn photos similar to the Lancaster ones, and put  candidates on my newly-created Pinterest board. There were some nice barns, but not THE barn. Then, just a few days before Christmas, my sister Bonnie was in a terrible accident, a pedestrian hit by a pick-up truck. She was brought into the hospital as a Level 2 trauma, and my work as a chaplain in that very same hospital has taught me that this is a serious designation. With multiple fractures, she was kept in hospital until shortly after Christmas and then discharged to home for a long recovery. I had to stop thinking about barns for a while.

When I got back to hunting for THE barn, I discovered it. THE barn took me back to a night several years ago when Bonnie and I had driven out to Lancaster County, become lost (as is our custom) and wandered around trying to find our destination. It was full moon night in October, and the harvest moon in the dark sky over the Amish barns was just gorgeous. And immense. Just like in the picture. So I knew I’d found my barn. I got right to work!

I made my process more complicated than I needed to by choosing striped fabric, but it really seemed to be the right thing. I had the inspiration to piece some stars for the sky. Most fun was piecing the wheat field. When my own stash didn’t yield enough varieties, I knew exactly what to do: I went over and raided my sister’s stash!

I'm going to share more about my barn building in a couple of days. In the meantime, you can go here to get acquainted with the other barn builders, buy a copy of the book, and learn more about the project in general.  Oh, and did I mention that the the author, Julie Sefton, has generously offered me a give-away copy of Build-A-Barn? Please check back later in the week to find out how you might be the winner! For now, here's a preview of my finished barn:


Anonymous said…
The photograph is beautiful. I can hardly wait to see the picture done in fabric!
Barbara Anne said…
Oh! I was so upset to read of Bonnie's injuries and hope she's mended well in the months since it happened. Belated hugs to you as you faced someone you loved coming as a patient to your trauma center. How scary.

I love your barn, the story, the moon, striped fabric, and the wheat fabric - and that Bonnie is part of the story and the fabric. I look forward to seeing the entire block. I'm glad you looked around until you found YOUR barn to make for Julie's project.

Sue said…
Love the striped fabric. Can't wait to see the final barn. I hope Bonnie is recovering.
Shasta Matova said…
I hope Bonnie is doing well now. That striped fabric really adds so much to the design. The sneak peek looks gorgeous! I look forward to seeing the whole thing.
Swoon! I think you captured the photo perfectly Nancy! The moon, fall colors lets one almost feel the crispness in the air. Didn't all our barns just come alive with the quilting!?
Janet O. said…
I can tell I already love your interpretation, and I look forward to seeing it whole.
Wow, what a story about your sister. Is she doing well now?
OT Quilter said…
First, I'm sorry to learn of Bonnie's accident but glad to hear that she is on the mend.
Second, between traveling and working and chaplaining, blogging, and ordinary life, it is astonishing to me how much quilting you accomplish!
And finally, what a wonderful interpretation of a splendid photograph.
Isn't it fun to stretch yourself, try something different? Brava, Nancy!
Mystic Quilter said…
Goodness am I looking forward to seeing the full block! Stunning photo! Hope your sister has recovered well.
I just LOVE a good SBI sneek peek!!!
Millie said…
I think this barn is just fabulous and I love the moment in time you have captured.
Lara B. said…
What an amazing story! Nancy I am so glad that Bonnie made it through. You all must have been praying round the clock during that time.
The inspiration for your barn could not be more perfect. The sneak peeks you've shown here look amazing. I can almost feel the mood even though we are only seeing glimpses.
Lara B. said…
PS - Don't enter me in the giveaway, as I already have Julie's marvelous book.