Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Let's build some barns

Hi everyone, and thanks for all your kind thoughts on the blog anniversary!  I'm happy just to still be around. 

Today I have something a little different to share--a book review!  Quiltdiva Julie has written a lovely, lovely book about her free-pieced barn quilt See Rock City called Build A Barn, No Pattern Construction.  This is a fantastic book that also includes instructions on how to make your own free-pieced barns. It even has it's own blog HERE.

Where to start with this review?  Well, the book is just beautiful.  Many quilt books are beautiful, but this one has heavy pages, rich color, and really good pictures.

This book is more than a "pattern book."  A lot of it is taken up with the very engaging saga of Julie's own barn quilt.  It went through a bunch of stages, including being sent off to the longarmer, only to be 'recalled' by Julie because she wasn't pleased with it.  I've sometimes had fantasies of doing that, but I've never felt strongly enough to actually do it!

I was really interested and pleased to read the story of all the troubles she had with the quilt and how she got to the finished product.  Who among us hasn't had a "problem child" quilt?  I usually give up on mine, so I really appreciate knowing how she worked through it and ended up with a much better product than anticipated.

After taking us through the construction, deconstruction, and reconstruction of her own quilt, Julie offers instructions and guidance on how to build your own barn quilt.  There are a LOT of great, detailed instructions, supplemented by very helpful drawings and soothing words for those who are afraid to try free piecing.  It's like having your very own teacher at your elbow.  I really appreciate this, because I am one of those scared people.

All in all, Julie has produced a wonderful book.  It was a joy just to read! The story of See Rock City is very entertaining and the book is worth it for that story alone.  The instructions on free piecing are a bonus.

So what did I do after being inspired by this book?  Well:

Hey, I'm good at quilting, not drawing!

This is supposed to be an old farmhouse near our first house in Wisconsin. I may or may not build a barn, but I am sure to build some more houses!  The great part is that the barn-building techniques translate fairly easily to other types of free piecing.  The section on roof lines was very helpful to me.

For the record, Julie didn't ask me to write this post, and I'm not being compensated in any way, but I am very inspired!  If this sounds like something for you, you can buy the book on Amazon HERE.

Enjoy the rest of your week, and I hope you're inspired to build your own barns--or houses, or skyscrapers, or chicken coops!

Sharing at  Let's Bee Social.


Bernie Kringel said...

This book looks interesting. I love the idea of doing this for a smaller art quilt. Thanks for the review as I hadn't heard about this one yet.

Debora said...

One of my goals is to make a what I call a calendar quilt or 'house of the month' quilt, one house for each month of the year and the fabrics will reflect the season. This looks book looks really interesting. Thanks for sharing!

Lara B. said...

Mari, I love this book too and could not agree more with all the great things you wrote about! Julie did an excellent job teaching the ideas behind free piecing and construction techniques, I'm planning a bit of barn building too. I like the way your farm house is starting out and think that could translate into a great quilt block or mini!

Happy blogiversary (a bit late)!

Quiltdivajulie said...

Mari - I'm just back from Paducah and was so happy to find your review in my unread posts list! Thank you! I am thrilled that you are taking the process notes and using them to create the farmhouse and I look forward to your progress updates!

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