Sunday, February 26, 2012

Early Morning Nine Patch - Project Quilting

 "Early Morning Nine Patch"  43.5" x 18", made for Project Quilting, 
Season 3, Challenge 4: Barn Quilt, Feb. 2012
Click on the photo to see it larger and with more detail

Quick recap of the challenge: 1. Your inspiration for this week is Barn Quilts.

You might have noticed recently that there have been quilt squares painted on the side of barns. Most of the time you can find maps in certain areas or counties and take a driving tour to see the quilt squares. Greene County, Ohio (where I live) has one. The first tour was in Adams County, Ohio, a 2 hour drive from where I live. You can read about how the first one got started here: Quilt Barn.

When I saw the challenge for this week, I knew what I wanted to do. I'd recently been thinking I'd like to make a quilt that was wider than tall and I thought a landscape would be nice. Originally I wanted to use thin strips to make the background, blending blue colors to make the sky and green for the field.

I went to my fabric stash and realized that I have very few pieces of fabric that are 44" wide, most of what I have are smaller chunks. Some of the fabrics I really wanted to use were only 10" wide, so I decided to make five sections that were about 9" wide. I didn't want the same fabrics next to each other with the exception of the top and bottom rows and where the land met the sky, so I added some strips to offset the pattern. The strips were 3/4" wide when finished.
I also knew I wanted to add some traditional squares into the background and since I was working with strips, Nine Patches seemed like an obvious choice but I used the same colors that were around them so they'd have a subtle effect. I machine pieced the background then machine quilted in with stitch-in-the-ditch, so the quilting isn't very obvious but quilting 3/4" apart helps the strips lay flat. 

I used my favorite strip-facing technique for the binding then started to make the barn.
 
Click on the photo to see it larger and with more detail.

I made the barn by paper piecing the quilt square with the front of the barn and then with the side of the barn. I wasn't sure what color to make the barn, red or brown, so I auditioned some fabric. The bright red was too much, the brown was too subtle. The deeper maroon red was looking good then I noticed on the selvage edge of one of the red fabrics that it was titled "Barn." When I say that I let the fabrics tell me what they want to be, it's not usually quite this literal. But it made the decision easier.

I fused the two red pieces to a piece of stabilizer and did some black thread painting to define the planks. Then I folded the edges over and machine appliqued it to the background. I used a piece of brown batik for the roof and appliqued it the same as the barn.

I fused the fences and attached them with raw-edge applique then couched some fun green yarn along the horizon line and in front of the barn to anchor the barn to the landscape and to give the appearance of grass.

A couple of quick pictures uploaded to the Project Quilting Flickr site and I was done just minutes before the deadline. I don't like working that closely to a deadline but was unable to do any sewing yesterday because we went to Athens, Ohio, to see one of my quilts that is in the "OH+5 2012" show at the Dairy Barn. We didn't take the official Athens Quilt Barn driving tour but I did see several of them on the drive.

3 comments:

Kim's Crafty Apple said...

such a GORGEOUS quilt! I love how the strips 'paint' the sky - and the star fabric is perfectly mingled with them to make me feel like I'm seeing a 'twinkling' sky! A beautiful landscape - a beautiful piece. Very well done!

Patchwork Mill, Maria said...

I love your quilt! Every parts of it! The barn, the sky with the stars and the nine patches! :)

SUSAN said...

Love it Pam! The fabric for the roof is perfect and your background adds so much interest.