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.