Monday, 2 May 2016

Barn building with Julie

Welcome the first Canadian stop on the Build-A-Barn tour for Julie Sefton's new book.

I've met Julie through her blog, some online classes we've done together,
and in person at the 2013 AQS show in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Today's barn is located in Reinland, Manitoba, Canada,
just a few kilometres north of the Manitoba-North Dakota border
in a Mennonite village featuring European house barns. 

This is the homestead where my mother lived for the first years of her  life
and was owned by my extended family for decades.
It's now a heritage site open to the public from May to September.

Inspired by the pictures here
I decided to portray the back of the barn
which is patched up with plywood over the original cedar siding.

I used a variety of hand dyed fabrics, many dyed by my mother,
to give the quilt a soft, painterly feel.

Close up of summer kitchen wing of house before quilting

I planted one tree, and placed it in a sky of stars and moons.
That fabric was originally a white on white print, then dyed blue.

Here the barn is under construction.
I pieced together the reds/orange/browns and I'm testing out the roof line.

Here's another shot of the process,
with the photo for reference

Originally I planned a patchwork sky and foreground

but realized the hand dyed fabrics provided enough variation
on their own.

The prairies of Manitoba have big skies and lots of  fertile, flat fields great for crops.
This barn and house are located on a long narrow plot stretching back from the road.
This is a view that would only be seen by the family working in the barnyard or the fields.

This view also provided the name: The back of the back 40.

Now I haven't seen this quilt for more than a year.
I sent it off to Julie  in Tennessee to be finished by her long-armer Chris Ballard.

But from the pictures, I can see the quilting details brought the quilt to life.
Check out this picture gallery of my quilt on the SSOBB site.

Still with me?

In honour (with a U!) of the first Canadian stop on the book's blog tour,
I'm offering the book to one of my Canadian readers.


Later this week I'll post about making barns and houses
and how to cut those sky pieces so the edges are not on the bias.

Please leave a comment below with your email address and where you live
and I'll pick a winner on May 7.
Tell me if you've ever seen a Mennonite house-barn in person,
or just leave any comment.

I'm linking up with The Needle and Thread Network.


Glen QuiltSwissy said...

I love your choice of fabrics. It looks like a plywood patched wall. And it certainly looks like crops in the field!

KT60 said...

Your piece makes me feel just like I am on the prairie with the sky and field.Gorgeous. I have visited a Menno house barn but I also lived in a nonMenno house barn in New Brunswick. You could get to the barn through the kitchen and in the upstairs, through a door from the biggest bedroom. By the time we lived there I only had chickens, but you could tell that at one time they had other animals living there.

Audrey said...

Your depiction of the Mennonite House-Barn is well done. I have seen the attached barns and homes on #421 on the Sommerfeld road during our trips from Emerson to Altona. As a child, and as an adult, I always marveled at the ingenuity. There was no need for a rope to go from house to barn during storms.

Quiltdivajulie said...

Your use of the hand dyed fabrics was an inspired choice. I also like your use of multiple fabrics for the house windows instead of inserting sashing to indicate windowpanes.

Cherie in St Louis said...

The hand dyed sky and "back 40" fabrics were destined for this project, don't you think? I like that you gave your farm a different perspective....from the back :)

marg miller said...

Hi. this was so nice to see as I spent 20 years in Saskatchewan where I raised my kids and 4 years prior to that in Winnipeg during my highschool years. There is nothing like the site of a farm on the praies set back from the road with the fields all full of wheat or flax.

Tina said...

We lived in Manitoba for 9 years and saw some of these barns. I grew up in the Netherlands and those house/barns were very common in the area where we lived.

Jo Vandermey said...

I have never been in a house barn but have seen many on a trip to Holland where my husbands family is from. I have a thing for barns in general. I grew up on a friut farm in the Niagara Region of Ontario. The barn was a place we spent a lot of time in. As kids while my parents were working if they were in the barn so were we. As we travel I often take pictures of barns abandoned barns, working barns anything that catches my eye and I can capture before our car whizs past. Since we visit my sister in Vermont we have a lot of pictures of Barns in Vermont.
A barn series is in my future I think.
The picture of your barn is lovely. The hand dyes you have chosen work so well! Great memory piece as well as art!
Jo Vandermey
Beamsville ON Canada

Millie said...

I loved seeing photos of your finished barn when we were working on them in December 2014. I really liked reading about your whole process and decision making here. This is a beautiful barn quilt, and I think the big print in the foreground so eloquently describes the land where the barn is placed.

(Millie is the cat)

Unknown said...

Your barn is wonderful. I have ordered a copy of the barn book and hopefully it will arrive today. Maybe I'll see you at the Barnswallows quilt show on Friday...

Susan said...

I have never seen a Mennonite house-barn in person. I have seen barns restored/converted into houses.

Mrs. Goodneedle said...

I haven't ever seen a Mennonite house-barn, I don't think. Your interpretation, in fabric, is completely phenomenal! Please don't include me in the giveaway as I, too, am an SSOBB member. I love looking (and ooohing and aaahing) over each and every barn. Well done, Brenda!!

Laurel's Stitches said...

Enjoyed reading about your creation. I love what you've done. I also wish summer kitchens were more popular and oh my, do I wish I had one!

Congratulations on being the first Canadian stop! And, thank you also for posting to TN&TN's WIP Wednesday!

Shasta Matova said...

I'm not in Canada, but did want to say that this is a beautiful barn. I love how you put it in the setting with the house, tree, and the field.

Allison said...

These barns are terrific! I'm in Vancouver,

Debbie said...

Very cool! I've never seen a house-barn before, but I have a much better idea about them now. (I'm in the Vancouver area.)

Debbie said...

I think I didn't leave my email address. Sorry for two posts!

Linda said...

Love your house and barn and the story. Your dyed fabrics are lovely. I know there are Mennonite communities in Nova Scotia where I live, but I am not quite sure if I have ever seen any barns like this.

Adrienne said...

This story is lovely. Especially that we are seeing the building from the families point of view. I have explored a bit of Manitoba but never had the chance to see a barn like this

Adrienne said...

This story is lovely. Especially that we are seeing the building from the families point of view. I have explored a bit of Manitoba but never had the chance to see a barn like this

Heather J said...

Love your story and the house & barn. I'm not sure I've seen any barns like this in PEI, but will have to keep an eye out!

Anja @ Anja Quilts said...

Visiting from Nova Scotia via Purple Boots and Pigtails. I have not seen a Mennonite house-barn.

PaulaB quilts said...

Love your barn and house, like an impressionist painting where lines are softened, especially the fabrics you used for the barn. It has a dreamy quality to it which I like.

Teatime Creations said...

What a beautiful barn. The colors and textures are wonderful. I have never seen a Mennonite barn. I live in Nova Scotia.

Lisa in Port Hope said...

I went to school at the university of Waterloo in Ontario, which is Mennonite country, but I don't remember seeing a house barn. I saw a barn raising once though, which was very cool, to see how everyone working together could so quickly build a structure to last a hundred years. Ljridge4511 (at) Gmail (dot) com

Quilter Kathy said...

Hopping over from the Patchery Menagerie. I enjoyed seeing the photos of the construction of your block. Looks like a really fun process!
I live in S. Ontario

Gale Bulkley said...

I love your take on the barn, and the story linked to it. Coming here by way of Valerie.

Sheila said...

I have seen Amish barns and houses so I suppose that is close . I love your quilt , gorgeous, I love barns ! I live in Nova Scotia and am visiting via Valerie 😊

Unknown said...

Love your barn blocks. It reminds me of summers spent at the cottage in a farming area and making friends with the farm children and playing in the hay mow in the barn. Good memories from a long time ago but I still look fondly at old barns, they are so different each with their own character.

Jean said...

Always liked the idea of a house barn but never lived in one. I worked on the back fourth on my parents farm when I was much younger so I know all about that.

Diane M. said...

Have been collecting quilt block patterns for awhile now and find your method of barn building unique and something I would like to try.
My email address is as follow: judimass@
Diane Masschaele,
Tillsonburg, Ontario , Canada

Unknown said...

This looks like a wonderful book and a great way to have one of a kind blocks. Thanks for sharing.

Jennifer Scantlebury Vienneau said...

I love your use of hand dyed fabrics and enjoyed the story around your piece. I would love to see a Mennonite barn like this.

Unknown said...

I am totally fascinated by this free form of building barns and houses. I want to learn more about it. I live in Ohio, east of Cincinnati. Eunice Donges.

Alycia~Quiltygirl said...

Your blocks look wonderful. the quilting sure adds to the barn look - I love it!

sherry said...

love that house barn…my mother grew up in a old colony mennonite home in saskatchewan

tac73 said...

The barn blocks are great. I love hearing the story behind this.

Browndirtcottage said...

Your barn has a great story Brenda! I SO loved that green hand dyed fabric the minute I saw it and I think it's the perfect prairie grasslands. It gives great depth to the long narrow plot. It's especially fabulous seeing it fully quilted. Chris "dun" good on the quilting.

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