Saturday, June 30, 2012

It's time to be patriotic!

The timing for my latest quilt pattern was perfect.  We were just coming off  Memorial Day and will now be celebrating Fourth of July next week.  My neighbor commissioned me to make a 'door quilt' for her in the Liberty Star pattern.  How appropriate is that!!

This was a very simple and easy pattern to work with.  I finished it in 3 nights!  The only area that was time consuming was plotting out and placing the three stars as evenly as possible.  I really shouldn't give away my secrets......but, what the heck!  I have a line drawing of a five-pointed star in my MSWord program.  I scaled down the star on the computer to the appropriate size.   I printed it out and then cut a strip with the star the width of the blue stripe.  With an X-acto knife I cut the star out of the paper.  After laying a strip of frogger tape over the blue, I placed the cut strip of paper over the tape and using the X-acto knife carefully cut the tape.   I then pealing off the cut pieces of tape to reveal the star and then painted it white.  Once dry, I pealed off the tape and three perfectly shaped stars remained. 
I'm currently working on three 2x2 barn quilts.  Two are Mariner's Compass variations and the third is an Oregon Star.  As soon as I finish each one, I will feature them here..

Sunday, June 17, 2012

#1 in West Virginia

I sometimes wonder why I'm making barn quilts.  I'm usually surrounded by 7 or 8 quart paint cans, not to mention the approximately 30 cans of paint, in as many colors sitting on the shelf!!  I will sometime get myself tangled up in blue painter's tape, while taping off area's on the barn quilt to get it ready for painting.  Hmmm, I wonder how many yards of blue tape I've used since I started?  I'm afraid to find out.  I have several stacks of boards ready for priming and I'm constantly visiting my Lowe's Home Improvement center, sifting thru the supply of 2x2's looking for that flawless board to be purchased for a future barn quilt.

Well, I think I know why I do this.  It's not the fact that I enjoy the creative element in drawing out a line pattern on the board, and it's not the fact that I get a kick out seeing colors coming together to create a pattern.  No, it's the thank you's and photo's I receive from happy clients showing off their barn quilts, that I created.

Case in point is Willa Greathouse from Grafton, WV who sent me a photo of her standing next to her Friendship Knot!!  This is way I make them ;>)

Photo courtesy of Willa Greathouse, Grafton, WV

Saturday, June 16, 2012

International Flair

Summer has arrived in Connecticut and with it warm weather, sunny days and more time spent outdoors.  However, I've been receiving a steady supply of order's for barn quilts.  It seems that just as I'm finishing up one, I receive an emails from new clients requesting barn quilts.  My time spent working on a barn quilt has been steady, but not least, not yet!  You may recall a 1x1 door quilt that I made for a co-worker depicting the Puerto Rican Flag and a Shamrock, because her son was half Irish and half Puerto Rican.  Another co-worker has a son who is half Puerto Rican and half British!  She wanted me to do something similar.  I told her that I had seen a barn quilt that honored the to nationalities of their owner's.  Their barn quilt had the two flags, representing their countries, painted on the barn quilt.  I told her that I could do a similar one, however, there would be a lot of red, white and blue's.  She didn't care and told me to go ahead and make one.  This is the result:

This was fairly easy to make.  I copied and pasted an image of the British flag onto Microsoft Word, and then edited it by squeezing the image into a square, to obtain my measurements.  I thought that it came out quite well, if I do say so myself.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

My first curve lines!

A lady from Grafton, WV contacted me through my website to ask if I could make her a 1' x 1' door quilt in the 'Friendship Knot' pattern.  A friendship knot is are inverted arc's joined by four diamond patterns in the corner's.  The pattern would be my first attempt to make curved lines.  All my barn quilts in the past have been straight lined giometric patterns which are easy to lay out on the board, easy to tape and paint.

In this case, I had to plot out the proper curve lines, both inside and outside of the curves, so that they were equally spaced.  I had already drew out the corner diamond shapes, so I needed to find something with the proper curve to match the center of the corner pattern and the inside edges.  I'm looking around my workshop and notice a small stack of plastic garden pots.  I went through the stacka and found and 8" pot.  Using the top of the pot, I placed it on the board and lined it up with the center of the corner patterns.   It was a perfect match.  I then looked at the inside of the curve and determined that a one quart paint can was an ideal match. 
Taping the area off, I placed the garden pot over the tape, carefully ran my exacto knife around the edge of the pot, cutting into the tape.   After painting the white background.  I removed the tape and the re-tape for the red.  Carefully matching up the guide lines that I made with the pot I, once again, carefully ran the exacto knife over the tape.  Although it wasn't a perfect line match, as some of the curve lines were not aligned, they were close enough to each other, that I just did a little touch up later.
The hearts were printed from a clip art website, cut out of the paper and placed over the tape that was applied to the board.  I then, using a pencil, traced that heart shape onto the tape.  With a exacto knife, I cut around the heart and removed the inside tape.  I then painted the hearts white. 
This is a very simple design.  However, the time spent in laying out the pattern on the board, matching the different colors needed for the curve lines and the addition of the hearts, took more time than usual.  It was time well spent, as the result was fantastic!!