Barn Quilt

Last year the shop set up a special class for the employees to make barn quilts.

A barn quilt is made of wood and painted in the shape of a quilt block. I thought I had a photo of a barn quilt on a barn, but these will just have to do—barn quilts on some quilt shops. Aren’t they wonderful?

For our class, we got to pick from four different quilt blocks. I chose Hunter’s Star.

I decided to make mine purple instead of green like the sample. Purple, you know, is my favorite color! I bordered mine in teal because teal is my second favorite color.

I didn’t get photos of the process, but basically you arrive at class with a board painted white and all marked with the barn quilt pattern you’ve chosen. You then tape the edges of the areas you want to paint and then paint them several times letting each section dry in between coats. The taping process takes a while so there’s no problem getting the previously painted sections to dry fast enough.

After one section is done you repeat the process, taping and painting. The board already has hooks on the back so it’s ready to hang at the end of class.

Barn quilts are typically hung on a barn outside. I haven’t decided where I’ll hang mine for sure, but I’m thinking I might like to hang it to the left of my entry door. Since my entrance is covered, the barn quilt will be protected from the weather. Still, I might coat my barn quilt with some kind of protectant first just to help it stay nice.

tell me…What quilt block would you use to make a barn quilt?

I really appreciate your comments. Please leave an email address so I can thank you personally!

I really appreciate your comments. Please leave an email address so I can thank you personally!

Art with Fabric Blog Hop

Hi and welcome to my day on the Art with Fabric Blog Hop! I have to admit that I struggled with this one.

We were to do an art piece inspired by a female artist, and although I’d admire quite a few I couldn’t find the one that would inspire me. So for months I kept sketching until one night as I was falling asleep I thought of Laura Wasalowski, a famous art quilter. With Laura's permission, I include here a few examples of her work. (These are photos I took of her recent PowerPoint presentation at our Guild--for photos of her actual quilts, please visit her website. It's so filled with eye candy, I guarantee it'll be worth the visit!)

I hadn’t wanted to use another quilter as an inspiration, but just thinking of Laura's fun, vibrant quilts set my mind to racing and I soon had a sketch for a new quilt.

I wanted to mimic Laura’s use of bright colors and rolling edges but in the end I decided my quilt didn’t want that. Instead, I concentrated on Laura's sense of whimsy and use of common subjects. I’ve taken a workshop from Laura the last time she visited our Guild and I simply love her warmth and sense of humor. In fact, she visited my Guild again recently and that may have been why she was on my mind. Anyway, I’m calling this quilt “To Be a Bird” because it inspired my flight of fancy.

To make the quilt, I started with a background that I pillowcase-finished and then quilted. I figured it would be easier if the background was quilted before I started adding the applique.

Next I added the tree branches and stitched them down. Again, I was thinking it would be easier to stitch the branches down first, before adding the birds. It would also give me a visual landscape in which my birds could live.

Now I was free to design my fanciful birds. As I said, I originally invisioned brightly colored wonky birds, but somehow I wanted semi-realistic. Can you tell what birds inspired me?

Here are the quilt details:

To Be a Bird
13” x 17”
Fabrics: Various fabric scraps
Fusible: Heat N Bond
Background Quilting Thread: Sulky 40 wt. variegated #2104 Pastel Blues
Applique Thread: Sulky 40 wt. #1025 Mine Gold, #1065 Orange Yellow, #1135 Pastel Yellow, #1137 Yellow Orange, #1103 Dark Khaki, #1156 Light Army Green, #1169 Bayberry Red, #1057 Dark Tawny Tan, #1020 Dark Peach; Gutermann 40 wt #7850 Apple Green, #7544 Very Dark Turquoise, #410 Scarlet; Mettler 60 wt #3 Black, 40 wt #692 Stone, 30 wt Apple Green; Wonderfil Invisifil 100 wt #711 Pure Orange; Aurifil 50 wt #2024 White
Batting: Warm and White

Thanks to Alida @ Tweety Loves Quilting for hosting the hop. Please visit today’s other participants:

Renee @Quilts of a Feather

Kat @ Kat Knap Crafts

Jennifer @ Inquiring Quilter (that’s me!)

Carol:  @ Quilted Fabric Art

The Art from Fabric blog hop continues through tomorrow. Click here to see a list of all participants. And if you ever get a chance to take a workshop from Laura, I highly recommend it. She's warm, funny, kind, and innovative--all the things you'd ever want in a quilt teacher!

As you know, I'm at Market this week but I encourage you to leave a comment and an email so I can reply when I get back. Also, I hope to have a Market update later today so be sure to watch the blog! You'll find ways to follow me at the top of my sidebar.

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Tell me…who inspires your quilting?

 I really appreciate your comments. Please leave an email address so I can thank you personally!

 I really appreciate your comments. Please leave an email address so I can thank you personally!

My Adventurous Applique

The challenge project for Island Batik Ambassadors this month was to make a quilt using applique. We could make the quilt any size and utilize any applique method. I chose raw-edge applique because I wanted to create an art quilt.

Every Friday for quite a few weeks now, I’ve been hosting Furry Fridays here on my blog. Furry Fridays are all about helping rescue animals by adopting them whenever possible, and making kennel quilts to comfort them when they are under stress.

Furry Fridays are over, but I thought since the subject of my art quilt was my adorable fur baby Lucy, it would be appropriate to present my art quilt on a Friday. Kinda fits somehow.

Anyway as you probably know, I lost my sweet Lucy a few weeks ago. Since then, we’ve adopted our Zora and she’s gone a long way to fill my lonely heart. Still, I felt the urge to make a quilt about Lucy so I decided to use this month’s challenge to do just that.

I started with a photo of Lucy asleep on my leg. She looked so cute at the time that I couldn’t resist taking a picture of her using my cell phone. I brought the photo into my editing program and used the Posterize filter to reduce the number of colors. Then I printed out the result and used it to cut and place my fabrics.

I really enjoy using batiks for quilts like this because you don’t need to worry about raveling too much. First, I fused the background fabrics, then I used the printout to cut out Lucy’s basic shape. Slowly, I added other fabrics to define my sleepy kitty. I used various fusibles simply because I had a lot of scraps I wanted to use up. I can honestly say they all worked well.

I quilted around each shape both to hold them down and also to define them more clearly. Then I quilted a curly pattern on my leg and wavy lines in the background behind Lucy's sleepy head. Finally, I added whiskers. I’m really pleased with the results! Here are the details:

I Love Lucy
12” x 22”
Original Design
Island Batiks, including Bubble Hole Honey (Happy Harvest collection), Marble Blackberry BE24-A2 (Blender), Diner Days #111712305, scraps from various Stash Builders
Batting: Warm and White
Fusibles: Wonder Under, Heat n Bond and Stitch Witchery
Quilting Thread: Aurifil 40 wt #1243 Dusty Lavender, 50 wt #2568 Mulberry and #4150 Crème Brule; Sulky 40 wt #1168 True Orange and #1246 Orange Flame; Mettler 30 wt #515 Caramel Creme, WonderFil 40 wt #1158 Dark Plum
Pieced and quilted by: Jennifer Fulton

While you're here, don't forget to link up a photo of your latest work in progress or quilt finish to my weekly Wednesday Wait Loss! I'm having a giveaway so be sure to check it out.

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Tell me…have you ever made an art quilt?

Art with Fabric Blog Hop - Round 2

Today is my day on the Art with Fabric Blog Hop, hosted by Alida @ Tweety Loves Quilting.

The idea of the hop is to inspire quilters with beautiful art quilts. I am not an art quilter by nature, but perhaps my piece will at least inspire you to give art quilts a try. One recommendation right off the top though—go small. That way if you don’t like where the art is taking you, you can try again without a lot of waste. And if you end up liking your piece, you can easily find a place in your studio to display it! Win, win!

I chose the art of Georgia O’Keeffe as my inspiration--specifically her floral paintings. In those paintings, I love how she focuses our attention on the natural beauty in a flower's inner structures.

Abstraction White Rose

Flower of Life

Flower of Life

I know. A lot of critics have tried to reduce Georgia’s artwork to a tired cliché. Frankly, I think she simply saw what I see—the loveliness in the simple repeating patterns of nature and (for me at least) the hand of God.

Canna Red and Orange

Canna Red and Orange

Oriental Poppies


To create my art piece, I started with a photo I took of a Siberian Iris in my garden. To make the iris look more like something Georgia might paint, I enlarged it and then cropped it.

Next, I printed out the photo and prepared my fabric for raw edge applique using the Crafted Applique method by Lara Buccella.

I cut apart the printout, and used the pieces as templates to cut out my applique.

I then laid out my templates on the right side of my fabric and cut them out. Little by little, I built my iris.

I layered my completed top with batting and backing, then used my quilting to add details. The quilting allowed me to add color in areas that were missing from my fabrics, and to also add shadows and texture.

For example, I wanted to make sure the petals has those lovely burgundy veins I saw in my original photo.

I also wanted to capture the texture of the large petals, and to add shadows that complimented the curve of the petals.

Although there are other ways to finish an art quilt, I decided to finish mine in the conventional way with binding and a hanging sleeve. Now my quilt is ready to hang in our Guild quilt show next year!

I call this piece "Eleanora's Iris." Whenever I see iris I think of my mom and how lovely her garden was--especially the iris.

Eleanora's Iris

Here are the details:

Size: 15" x 19"
Original Design Pieced and Quilted by Me!
Batting: Quilter's Dream Request
Piecing Thread: Aurifil 50 wt. 5011
Quilting Thread: Sulky 40 wt. 942, Gutermann 805 and 6110,
Mettler 50, Exquisite ES383 and ES387

For more art inspiration, please visit the other quilters participating in the Art Blog Hop. Here are today’s participants.

For a list of the rest of the participants in the Art with Fabric Blog Hop, please click the image below.

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Tell me...who is your favorite artist? Why?

  I really appreciate your comments. Please leave an email address so I can thank you personally!

 I really appreciate your comments. Please leave an email address so I can thank you personally!