Build A Barn Part Two: Bonnie's Barn (Very Long)

My friend Julie lives, quilts, and blogs in a state I've never visited: Tennessee. Oh, we've cut across a corner of the state on our way to Brevard a couple of times. But never visited. That just might change next year. But I'm getting way ahead of myself!

Here, to the left, is the cover of Build-A-Barn, Julie's book. The cover features 3/4 of her wonderful quilt, See Rock City. But the book does not teach you how to make that particular quilt. Rather, the author describes her lengthy process of creating the quilt and then teaches the reader/quilter to make four different free-pieced seasonal barns.

Along with the other charter members of the Secret Society of Barn Builders, I independently tested Julie's instructions for building a barn on my own. I found her directions to be not only clear, but numbered (always a plus IMNSHO). And there are about a bazillion illustrations (the third barn goes all the way up to Figure 44!). So you can't go wrong.

As the charter members built our barns, we shared progress notes with each other, we provided Julie with feedback about her instructions, we got to know each other a little more. It was a fun four-or-five months! Julie had asked us to provide just flimsies of our barns; she would take over from there. So we built our barns and, with a bit of apprehensive trust in the postal system, sent them to Tennessee where Julie raided her stash to choose backing and binding fabrics for each barn and then turned everything over to her gifted machinist, Chris.

Photos of our barns were shared with us and I was just itching for mine to come home as I've already designated a hanging spot for it in my dining room. But, no, Julie had a great surprise for us! Our barns are going to hang together in a special exhibit at the AQS quilt shows next autumn in Chattanooga and DesMoines, and then again one more time at a venue near Julie's home. While my calendar won't permit me to go to either of the AQS shows, I'm seriously thinking we just might try to get to the third showing in Memphis late in November.

Would you like to have a copy of Build-A-Barn? You can get an autographed book directly from Julie, you can purchase it from Amazon, or you just might win one! Julie has offered the SSOBB members the opportunity to give away a copy through our blogs. So, listen up, if you would like to build a barn (or two) (or four), leave a comment below. I want to make sure you're serious about building a barn, so please have your comment have something to do with barns and your connection with them. Winner will be announced on Friday.

And now for my own personal gallery!

The photo from Google images that inspired my barn. It reminded me of an October night my sister and I got lost in Lancaster. 

Bonnie's Barn, named to remember an evening with my sister in Lancaster County; Bonnie also generously shared her wheat-field color scraps. Photo of finished flimsy before quilting.

A close up of the field after Chris worked her magic.

A close up of the sky with the clouds and stars.

Bonnie's Barn by Nancy, Near Philadelphia, Winter, 2015.


Synthia said…
I love it!!! Dramatic, delicious.......... great job.
Quiltdivajulie said…
I am thrilled to know that you are even considering a trip to Memphis, TN to see the Gallery quilts at the annual Davies Manor quilt show!
Unknown said…
Great work on Bonnie's Barn! I'd love to be able to do this kind of thing with the barns that I've seen in the various places that I've lived. there are so many different ones here in WY and in IN among other places.
Janet O. said…
Your interpretation of the photo is stunning! I like Synthia's word--dramatic!
I hope you do get to see the display.
Sue said…
I love your barn; you really captured the photo. The barn siding is spectacular. I am a lover of house quilts and have made a couple so it may be time for me to branch out to barns. That would really add interest to a house quilt, right?
Nann said…
It's been fun to read posts by bloggers I know and by some I don't know in this hop.
My connection with barns? I'm a suburbanite, not a farm kid, so I didn't grow up around barns. What I recall very clearly is an early-morning walk at the Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill, Kentucky, seeing a barn filled with drying tobacco. It turns a beautiful golden color. (Why is it that such a pernicious plant is so esthetically attractive?)
Magpie Sue said…
One of my cherished memories is being inside old barns in the farmlands of western MI. I love the dark after being in the bright sunshine outside, I love the lingering odor of hay and tractors and animals. Ah, for the happy days of youth!
quiltmom anna said…
Hi Nancy,
What a fun project- I grew up as town kid whose parents both came from Farming backgrounds. I spent many happy summers on my grandparents farms and I have taken some photos over the years of barns. My school kids have a barn center where they can build a barn completely with a little silo . Love seeing the quilt blocks hanging on barns around the US. Not sure if you would find the blocks in Canada but maybe some day.
I am sure it will be a lovely showing of barn quilts.
Warmest regards, Anna
Barb said…
Great Quilt from your incredible photo.
We have a farm in Illinois and I love to drive from CT and see all the barns on the way.
Ours are all white barns.....maybe I should make a white barn quilt?
Sandy said…
I grew up on a dairy farm and married a dairy farmer. I love barns and am saddened to see so many of them setting idle. We have so many family memories that were made inside the walls of our barn. Our 5 children learned many life lessons in this enormous structure. Hopefully it will stand for generations to come.Love reading your words of wisdom!
gayle said…
I've always loved barns (farm kid here!), so this has been a wonderful adventure to watch. I'm enjoying all the different barns, both the real and the quilted!
Elaine M said…
I would like to build barns. My mother loved barns, painted them. I better start looking for a barn to build and take pictures. Thanks for the chance to win.
Oh your barn is so amazing! I love that moon!!
Kat Scott said…
The striped siding on your barn is perfect! Well worth the pain it may have caused in the construction process... I spent my tween and teen years in the country with sheep, horses and pigs. The barn was a haven while I was growing up. I have often thought of doing a "geography of my life" type of quilt with the houses and barns I remember, hopefully the book will provide the techniques and tools I need! ksb (dot) scott at gmail (dot) com
Barbara Anne said…
Applause, applause for your creative idea and creation of your barn and for Julie's excellent instructions. The moon is especially wonderful. What fun to have your barn included in a traveling exhibit with the other barns, too.

I was born and raised to age 11 in Memphis, went to nursing school there, married, and stayed for another 15 years! Love that pork barbecue and the Mighty Mississippi River. Be sure to visit The Women's Exchange on Racine St. for lunch and perhaps a bit of shopping.

Lara B. said…
Nancy, your barn is glorious! You perfectly captured the whole mood of a beautiful barn under a full moon. It brings back the whole feeling for me of sitting outside on a summer night, listening to the cicadas humming.
Lara B. said…
PS - I forgot to say that I already have Julie's wonderful book and am going to build some barns of my own! (So I'm not entering in your giveaway)
I grew up in the Catskill mountains, where old red barns are familiar sights! I do not have a good method for sewing one, so I am excited!