Sunday, September 20, 2020

Barn Quilts


Let's just say that I was EVERYWHERE yesterday. I started the day in Orillia with the Breakfast Club at Thimbles and Things. There were many people in attendance; I got the instructions for the block, and then it was time to zip back to Toronto, where I taught a two-hour class for the Etobicoke Quilter's Guild. Then I dashed off to Kingston (Stitch by Stitch) to do a one-hour lecture on the Premier + 2 Embroidery System Software. And then I zipped home so I could host the Virtual Retreat. 

Seriously?? Oh, yes - seriously! Thanks to Zoom, I was able to "travel" around like that! The more I use this tool, the more I LOVE it. I know that it's not for everyone and it doesn't replace meeting in person, but it sure makes things easy, saves gas, and LOADS of time!!

Remember that we're supposed to learn something new every day?? What did we learn yesterday? Thanks to Mary, we learned that you can dehydrate watermelon. Hmm - why? Oh - I get the why, but I would always eat it before I could cut it up and dehydrated it. I LOVE watermelon! Thanks, Mary - no danger of us doing that in our house, I'm not the domestic type!

So I know that some people didn't get a chance to sign up for the Breakfast Club at Thimbles and Things in Orillia. They are making blocks from barn quilts in their county. If you didn't get into the Breakfast Club, I have some suggestions for you! The blocks are being selected from the REAL barn quilts in Simcoe County. Here's a link to the website so you can browse to your hearts' content. Why not pick your OWN blocks, size them to what you want, and color them how you want. I would bet that you'll find a pattern for every block by searching the internet. A map should appear at the top of that page. Why not plan a tour and see some of the quilts in real life. Remember, the barn quilts are on private property, so you can't get up beside them to take pictures. 

I clicked on the square shape in the top right-hand corner of the map on the link. The list of all 150 blocks is on the left-hand side of the map. Find the blocks you like from that list, then search for a pattern online or from any other source. Then make up your barn quilt. Since you don't have to wait for the blocks in the Breakfast Club, you could finish your quilt IMMEDIATELY. 

What are you waiting for????

If that isn't enough eye candy for you, then how about this?

Here's a book about the Barn Quilt Trail Movement in the US. I don't believe that it talks about anything in Canada. And no patterns, just the story of some of the quilts by state. 

Barn Quilts by Suzi Parron

BUT, if you think we're slacking off in Canada, NO, we are not. I don't have all the information for Canada, but here's information on a couple of Barn Trails. Did you know that there's an extensive barn Quilt trail in Southwest Ontario? Yep - it's been around for a while, and somewhere along the line, I picked up this brochure. The Barn Quilt Trail covers Elgin, Oxford, Norfolk, Middlesex, and Brant counties! I'm not sure how many quilts are on the trail, but this little booklet is very detailed and has the story of all the quilts. There's a map in the booklet of the location of the barns. You can check out more information on their website at this link.   Wow -- there are quite a few different trails. 

Booklet on Barn Quilt Trails in Southwest Ontario

So you could do the same thing. Flip through the web site and pick the blocks that you want. Most of the blocks are public domain blocks, so you shouldn't have any trouble finding blocks that you like and feel are "coordinated" to make your barn quilt sampler. The blocks are probably so simple that you don't really need a pattern. 

I don't know if this book is still available, but I found it on a Shop Hop years ago. The store that put it together is long gone, but the book might be around. The designer, Laurann Gilchrist, chose 30 blocks from the barn trails and made a quilt from it. The book contains the patterns - again, the patterns are pretty much public domain. And many of us have done so many block quilt-a-longs and so on, that many of these patterns exist in those instructions. Think of EQ8 as an excellent source for most of those patterns.  

A Barn Quilt Trail pattern 

Then when I was on a cycling trip, I found this book on the Thames River Barn Quilt Trail. No patterns in this book, but pictures and stories of the barns. Their barn trail is included on the link for Southwest Ontario Barn Trails. 

Thames River Barn Quilt Trail book

Can you tell that I'm fascinated by this???

As if that isn't enough, I made my own barn quilt! And you get ALL get the pattern. This is my BARN quilt. I don't have time today, to tell you the story of the blocks that I used, but they were chosen for a very specific reason. I'll try to get that story to you this week. 

My barn quilt

I needed a new backdrop for the film studio and just grabbed that one since it was large. Funny enough, someone in the presentation had the magazine and mentioned it and then realized the quilt was hanging behind me. 

The barn quilt hanging in the film studio

What magazine???  That would be the current issue (September/October) of Quiltmaker. 

September/October issue of Quiltmaker

And there's the quilt!

The stylized shot of my barn quilt

Like I said, there's a story that goes along with the designing of this quilt and the making of the quilt. Unfortunately plans changed for the quilt and well - you have to wait for the story!!!

I had to laugh at the "view" on my Walk Across Canada this morning. A mileage marker - only 358 KM to Thunder Bay!!!  So if I walk 10 KM a day (as a minimum), I'll be in Thunder Bay in a month. Can I make it to Toronto by the end of the year???

358 km to Thunder Bay


Just did some quick calculations. I will be about 400 KM North of Toronto at the end of the year. More or less. 

We had a great afternoon on Zoom at the Virtual REtreat!!!  I hope you can join us today. We'll be starting at 9 AM and going until 8 PM. So stop by and say hi if you get a chance. It'll be a lot of fun!!!

Here's the link. 

Join Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 867 4355 2123 Passcode: 135282

Get busy and start planning your OWN barn quilt. I know that I'm using the patterns from Thimbles and Things as a guide. I don't want my quilt to look like everyone elses', so yep - I've already got big plans on how to change it up!! I might just browse that Simcoe County website and pick a few blocks that I like and make sure they get included in my quilt! It's going to be awesome!!!  How about we revisit the barn quilts from Simcoe County in a couple of months??? Send me pictures of any of the actual barns if you stop by any of them or your favorite blocks and let's put together our own quilt!!!  Oh, that would be fun  -- check the link for the Simcoe County barn quilts. Pick your favorite block and sent me the name. Then we'll make our own  - yep - let's do it!!!!  You can e-mail your choice at This is NOT to compete with what Thimbles and Things are doing - it's for those that can't participate in that project because it's FULL. 

On that note, I'm out of here. 

Have a super day!!!!


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