Thursday, December 16, 2010

Merry Christmas!!

Before I feature my latest barn quilt, I want to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Very Merry Christmas!!  We should be thankful for everything that we have, especially, our close relationships to our families and friends.  I remember the line from It's a Wonderful Life which states:  He who has friends is never alone!  Since I became involved in painting barn quilts I have added new friends from around the country, who follow my blog, post messages on my Facebook page and send me emails with questions about barn quilts.  It's been a fun ride so far!
My friend, Suzi Parron, from Stone Mountain, GA has been, for the last several weeks, posting photo's on her Facebook page showing barn quilts with a Christmas theme.  In most cases that theme is a barn quilt painted in red's and green's.  I was thinking about making a barn quilt with a Christmas theme to hang by the front entrance of my home.  Suzi's posting gave me the spark to do this. 
I searched through various quilting websites to come up with an appropriate Christmas block pattern.  The pattern that I found is called Christmas Star.  It's a basic pattern painted in dark green and dark red.  I decided to do a variation of this, by using a lighter green and pink in the center.  I was very pleased and these pictures show the results.

Isn't it amazing that you can display the same pattern in the square position and then display it 'on point' and it appears to be to different patterns.  There was an unofficial survey made, when I posted these photo's on Facebook.  Half of the poster's liked the standard view and about half liked the 'on point' view.
Now Suzi has given me another challenge.  She asked that I try a New Year's theme!!!  I searched several quilt pattern sites and was able to come up with one.  I'm not too keen on the color selection that was made, but, I will give myself artistic license and come up with a different color combination.  If you go to and search 'Happy New Year Quilt Pattern' you will see what I'm talking about.
Now to the drawing board to plot out the design and play around with colors.  Hopefully, I will have this done by the end of the month.

Sunday, December 5, 2010


I'm still trying to get through my head that it is now December.  Where has this year gone!  So far, Connecticut hasn't received any snow (not that I'm looking for it!!), and the only sign that tells me that this is December is that I'm now seeing more outdoor christmas decorations on houses and lawns.  Yes, my christmas lights are up too!
The reason that I titled my latest blog 'Number 13!' is that I just completed my 13th barn quilt.  Now, to some people this number conjures up bad luck and should be avoided like the plague.  Well, for me this number was lucky in several ways.  While I was planning out the color combinations for Spinning Spools I wanted to paint the spools tan.  I didn't have any tan paint, so I decided to try mixing my own colors.  Now, you would think that, in order to make tan, all you need to do is to add some white paint to brown paint and, VOILA, you have tan.  Not so.  If you go to my last blog showing the sign board that I painted, take a look at the background color that the Mariner's Compass is on.  That was supposed to be tan.  However, when you look at it closely, it has sort of a lavender hue to it.  It doesn't look bad, but it's not tan.  So, I go to the trusted internet and search 'How to I make the color tan?' and came up with the following color combination.  White paint, some yellow, a touch of red and a touch of black.   There were no measurements given for the amount of each to use.  So, I said what the heck, let's experiment.  The result you can see in the photo.  Very close to tan, in my books!

As you all know, practice makes perfect with anything that you do repeatedly.  Now that I have 13 barn quilts under my belt, I'm getting much better at taping off the various area's of the board when applying paints.  In the past I have had to retouch area's on the board where small amounts of one color of paint would seep between the tape and onto the adjacent colors.  So I was lucky, once again, that my taping came out flawlessly and I had no retouching to do.  Is my head swelling?!  Well, maybe so.  The next photo shows the results of my taping.

The secret to making nice sharp and crisp lines between paint colors is very scientific.  I use the curved end of a Sharpie pen!!  After applying the tape, I press down the edge of the tape that is facing the side that I want to paint, with the Sharpie pen.  I also use the end of a modeling paint brush and press the tape down at the point where it overlaps other tape.  You can see a very small void under the top tape.  By pressing it down, you eliminate the chance of paint seeping in the corner.  Gee, do you think that I can patent this tool?!
Now, I've got to decide what block pattern I would like to do next.  I have a couple of idea's. 
I would like to close by thanking you for taking the time to visit and read my blogs.  Please feel free to post comments.  I look forward to reading them.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


I can't believe that November is almost over and didn't realize that I haven't published anything.  There really isn't any excuse for it.  I have been busy with a number of things dealing with barn quilts so I would like to share them with you.

I was cleaning out my garage earlier in the month and came up with an old sign board that use to hang by our front door.  Since I had hung the Lamoyne Star I had to remove the sign board.  You may be able to see the shadow that remained after I removed the sign board to the right of the barn quilt.  The board had original said 'The Snow's Homestead, David & Sandra, Est. 1976.  The board had hung in that spot for 34 years!!!

I didn't want to throw the sign board away, so I thought that it would be cool to paint a quilt block pattern on it and give it new life.  I thought for a while what block pattern to use.  I finally came up with my favorite block pattern which is the Mariner's Compass.  I also thought that it would be cool to replicate the Mariner's Compass that I have hanging on the side of my house.  Three days and some intricate taping and painting with small modeling brushes I completed the 7" x 7" version that you see in the photo's.  I'm very proud of myself with the results!

I was also busy this month adding to my new website to promote my new barn quilt business.  Thanks to my brother in law, Wayne, he was able to get me set up and running.  You can view my website by clicking on Barn Quilts by Dave to the right of my blog page. 

I hope that everyone had a happy thanksgiving with their families.  It is important to stay connected with your family and friends and cherish the times together. 

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Autumn is here

Autumn has finally arrived in Southern New England.  I was busy this month closing up the swimming pool, gathering the lawn furniture, staking them together and covering them with a tarp to protect them from the winter storms.  I just finishing raking the remainder of the fallen leaves, placed them in by the curb for pickup by the town.  Although I enjoy springtime with the signs of growth from the trees, shrubs and spring flowers, to the warm days of summer, swimming, golfing and backyard barbeque's, autumn is also a nice time of the year.
My wife and I, along with friends of ours, took a trip, Columbus Day weekend, to Lake George, New York.  The weather was perfect that weekend with sunshine all three days that we were there.  We played golf on the first day and then took a 2 1/2 hour sightseeing cruise on Lake George, the second day.  The colors on the trees were magnificent, showing off their bright oranges, yellows and reds in unique combinations of hues.  What amazed me was the way that the colors blended in with each other and the surrounding buildings with their colors of blues, grays, browns and all the colors in between.  What was surprising to me, was the fact that these combinations seemed to go together and gave me a better understanding and appreciation of color, which would work well with new color combinations for my barn quilts. 

I finished two more barn quilts this month.  The first one is known as Dutchman's Puzzle.  I kept it simple by using just three colors, pewter gray for the background and a dark blue and light blue for the puzzle pieces.  I left this without a border, bringing the puzzle pieces out to the edge.  I think it turn well, if I say so myself.

I wanted to make the second barn quilt more colorful.  I decided to do the Spinning Color Wheel and started researching barn quilt sites and quilting sites for ideas of color use.  I found many color combinations and I finally came up with the color combination that you see here.  On this one I made the outside border 1 inch in brown and continued with an inside border, also 1 inch, in gray.  I also designed four sides of the color wheel to terminate its points to the edge of the board.  I was very pleased with the results.


With the completion of the Spinning Color Wheel I have now made 12 barn quilts.  With the days getting shorter and time spent outside lessens, I will now have more time to spend in the basement working on more barn quilts.  I haven't decided which design to work on next.  I know that it won't be long before I have pencil and yard stick in a hand and tracing out another pattern.    


Saturday, October 2, 2010

My latest creations

I can't believe that it is now October.  Where has the time gone?  We've had a very long stretch of hot and dry weather here in Connecticut over the past summer and now that fall has arrived we are receiving cooler and wetter weather.  Which gives me a good excuse to work inside on barn quilts to add to my collection.  I'm hoping to make a variety of barn quilts and get the opportunity to sell them at craft and/or quilt shows in my area.  
The first one pictured is called 'Whirling Star'.   I wasn't sure if the color combination that I selected would work.  However, after I finished it and took a good long look at my selection of color, I was pleased with the result.   

The next three barn quilts are 1' x 1' in size.  I like to call them 'Door Quilts' as they are intended to be hung on entry doors.  The top one is 'Laced Star'.  The one on the lower left is 'Friendship Star' and the one on the lower right is, what I like to call 'Card Trick Variation' because you see the Friendship Star super-imposed into the Card Trick pattern. 

Now that these barn quilts are done, I'm looking forward to work on the next pattern.  I have two 2' x 2' boards primed and ready.   All I need to do now is make a decision on which pattern I will do next. 

Sunday, September 19, 2010

New barn quilt additions

I have been quite busy over the last several weeks completing and hanging my barn quilts.  I truly enjoy drawing the quilt design on the board, deciding which colors will go well together and then painting the quilt block pattern on the board.  However, seeing my creation displayed for all to see is the most rewarding feeling there is.  The first barn quilt is the Double Aster.  I made this one for my neighbor and this is hanging on her storage building.  I will be able to enjoy looking at this one everyday as I will be able to see it from my sunroom.

The next barn quilt was just hung today at my house.  I now have three hanging on the house.  This one is on the rightside and is visible from the street.  I really like to Mariner's Compass and this one is my version of it

This last barn quilt was a challenge.  I made this one for my sister in law.  She told me that she likes the Log Cabin design, however, she gave me no guidance as to the colors she wanted.  She was going to leave it up to me to figure it out and said that she would like whatever I came up with.  So, this barn quilt is the result.  After painting all the strips I wanted to do something unique for her.   As you can tell from the photo each color strip has some type of pattern to it.  I bought some stamps from A. C. Moore Craft Store.  On the green strip I stamped maple leaves, oak leaves and aspen leaves and painted them a dark green.  The blue diagonal stripes were created by first painting the strip navy blue, then applying painters tape over the entire strip, removing every other tape, then painting light blue over the dark blue, which then created the stripes.  The white polka dots over the red was created by using wire nuts to dab white circles then filling them in with white paint.  The smaller dark blue strip was dabbed over with white paint using a wadded up paper towel. The pink strip was stamped with honey bees then painted.   The yellow strip and a sprinkling of light green paint flecked on it.  This was acheived by using a wire brush, dipped in green paint, then touching the yellow strip with the brush.


I purchased another 2'x2' board today and will begin to plan another barn quilt.  I'm not sure what block pattern I want to do yet.  I do have two 1'x1' boards already primed and will probably work on them this coming week.  One will be the Friendship Star and the other will be Card Tricks.  I hope to have photo's of these for my next blog post.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Vermont Quilt Trail

 I want to share this link with everyone regarding a barn quilt trail in Vermont.

My wife and I went to a quilt show in Essex Junction, VT last June.  With my new interest in barn quilts I did a Google search for barn quilts in Vermont.  I came up with an item in the Vermont Travel Planner of a lady in Sheldon, VT who had formed a group to paint and install barn quilts in her area.  After the quilt show we took a ride to Sheldon, which was only about 10 miles away from Essex Junction, to find these barn quilts.   The first barn quilt we saw, the Mariner's Compass, was attached to the front porch of a house just outside of Sheldon.  We stopped to talk to the homeowners, who were outside working in their flower bed, only to find out that it was Fern Mercure, the organizer for the barn quilts.  We had a very nice chat with her and she gave us a brochure showing the locations of all the barn quilts in the area.  Below are some of the barn quilts that we visited in Vermont.

Welcome to my blog!

I hope that everyone will bear with me as I become familiar with blogging.  I've seen several blog site's that are set up very nicely and I hope that I will be able to create the same.

My wife, Sandra, has been quilting for several years now and has become quite good at it.  She saw an article describing quilt blocks painted on plywood and she asked me if I would be willing to make one for her.  She thought that a smaller version would look good on our house.  The article had mentioned that the barn quilts were 8' x 8' in size!!  Much too big for our home.   So, I scaled it down to a 2' x 2'.  A lot easier to work with.

My first one was a Lamoyne Star painted in red and white with a navy blue background.  I have it hung by my front door.  I truly enjoyed making this barn quilt and I was instantly hooked.  After I completed the Lamoyne Star I made a second barn quilt in the Daisy Rose pattern.  To date, I've made four 2'x2' quilts and two 1'x1' quilts.  One of the 1'x1's is hanging on the front door of a friend of ours. 

As far as I know there are no barn quilts in Connecticut.  I hope to change that  by making and selling my smaller versions to homeowners here.  I will keep you posted on my progress and will add photo's of all the barn quilts that I make, with their locations and start a barn quilt trail in CT.