Barn Quilt – first block done

Thanks to a reader’s comment, I found some motivation to work on the barn quilt.

Barn Quilt - first block done

first block done

I took plenty of pictures to show you how I go about interpreting a photo or painting into a quilt block. Some of it is pieced, and some of it is appliqued. I’ve been enjoying the process of collecting fabrics, 1/4 to 1/2 yard at a time, so I have plenty of textures, shades, and colors to choose from. I keep them in a zippered plastic bag that some bedding came in. I find them very handy for keeping a project together.

I found a photo of a painting of a barn online, and printed it. I’m sorry I don’t have the reference for anyone, but if you recognize it I will surely correct that omission.

As I mentioned in a post last winter, I taped the printed page to a window, right side to glass, and drew basic outlines on the back side with a sharpie. I do this because I am not trained in art, and cannot see the shapes unless I do.

I laid out my fabrics and chose the ones I would use for this block.

Then I looked at the photo and realized I had approximately 1/3 sky, 1/3 other, and 1/3 grass foreground. I used a plain muslin for the center part, which will be covered by barn and trees. I used strips as wide as my block would end up to be, and sewed 1/4 inch seams.

Then I chose the tree fabrics and cut rough outlines. I knew that part would be covered by the barn. I goofed a little bit, but it’s easy to change or adjust. I used a bit of the darkest green to make a treetop peeking out over the closer (lighter) trees at the left.

I sewed the edges of the tree pieces with a narrow, short zigzag stitch, not quite as small as a satin stitch. Just enough to keep the edges from fraying, but not so that I  spend hours sewing small pieces. I didn’t use interfacing on the back, but you may want to. If your zigzag stitch is small enough, it’ll pucker the fabric and interfacing will help stop that. You can also use a double fusible web to fuse your pieces together before you sew. I pinned in place, held my breath, bit my lip, and did just fine.

I edged the barn pieces (and part of the roof) in white to mimic the white painted edges shown in the picture.

I added barn door and windows with white thread. I could do more with the trees, but I’m going more for representational on the other parts, and sticking to details on the barns.

One down, umpty-eleven to go.

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