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.