Monday, April 25, 2016

SSOBB Blog Hop - The Henniker Barn

I am delighted to kick off the Free Pieced Barn Project's Blog Hop of members of the SSOBB - the Secret Society of Barn Builders - created by Julie Sefton to test her process notes for her book, Build-A-Barn.

You can see the complete Blog Hop Schedule here.   

When Julie asked if I would build a barn for the Gallery section of her book, Build-a-Barn,  I knew exactly which barn I would represent in fabric.  I didn't quite remember exactly when this barn began to attract my attention, so I had to go back through my photos to find out.

Although I had been a regular customer of Quilted Threads since 2009, it wasn't until November of 2011 when I was pulling out of a parking space at Quilted Threads (located in Henniker NH) that I looked up and saw - really saw - this house across the street. I looked around to make sure nobody was behind me, put the car in park and took this photo. At the time I was interested in the house, as I was in the process of making my Four Seasons quilt which is pictured in Julie's book on page 9.


This is amazing on so many levels. The Four Seasons quilt is the quilt that inspired Julie to make a "house" quilt, except not with houses, with barns.  When she told me, I said, "They're the same basic construction. Go for it." And go she did.

But I digress.

Every time I'd visit Quilted Threads (and they are still my absolute all time favorite quilt shop and the best quilt shop I have ever seen anywhere), I'd check out the house across the street. When Julie visited NH in 2014, we took a trip to QT and Julie, unsurprisingly, took this photo of the barn.

Now, I was involved with Julie's book right from the start. We discussed the whole plan, the concept, the how-to of it, and everything else. When Julie asked if I would be willing to build a barn using her process notes to test them out, I agreed without hesitation.


The Henniker barn had several beautiful elements: the lovely proportions of the barn itself, the graceful cupola with the curved roof topped with the running horse weathervane, the nine birdhouses built into the peak, and the typical New England coloring - white with gray.               

When, a week later after my company's holiday party, I got half a day off and a fifty dollar gift card, I knew just what to do. I drove out to Henniker to take photos of the barn and buy fabric.

I mean, what else would I do? I bought a heavily printed WOW with a strong rectilinear design to use as the siding, some gray and brown fabrics for the roofs, granite and dirt ramp, and some blue for the sky. From my stash I chose a dark blue batik for the windows, and then sewed a quarter inch grid over it with grey thread to indicate the window sashing.

To indicate the separate barn doors, I sewed a thin strip of gray between the two blue doors. Every barn I've seen in New Hampshire has that row of windows above the door, and the doors usually slide open.

The barn has a large dirt ramp to the big front door, supported on either side by huge granite blocks.  When Julie was in NH she couldn't believe the curbstones here are solid granite. "Well," I explained, "the snowplows would destroy them otherwise..."

You really have to think about how you're going to join pieces together when you make a barn, or any building in a setting. I had to add the lone pine tree on the left, under the eaves, before I added the sky fabric. As you can see, I printed a large photo of the real barn to use as reference.

Julie hadn't asked the SSOBB to recreate real barns in fabric, but that's what many of us did. These barns seemed to speak to us, and link us to our heritage and history of the areas where we live.

I had to determine how much of the adjoining house to add on the right and I had to figure out a way to indicate the mass of leafless trees behind the house. I used a Seminole patchwork technique to build them.

The cupola also required a lot of thought. I selected a fabric with letterscript to represent the louvers on the cupola, and as you can see I used four thin strips of fabric to indicate the roofline and the shadow it created on the facade of the barn itself.

 I didn't know how to indicate the birdhouse holes, and considered using these small wire dress hooks, but they didn't look good, so I ended up using an eyelet stitch on my sewing machine.

The finished Henniker barn block.



Chris quilted it beautifully. I sent her photos of the real barn so she could incorporate elements from it: the horizontal siding, the diagonal slats on the barn doors, and the vertical siding on the lower door. She included the breezy winter winds in the sky.


Here you can see that Chris filled in the eyelet holes I made for the birdhouses, and you can see the threadlines to indicate the windowpanes in the traditional nine-over-six windows commonly found throughout houses in New England built at that time.


 I thought I had noticed everything about this barn, but I missed something really interesting.

The barn's west wall is red.

I actually made TWO barns for Julie. I'll tell you about the second one on Wednesday. Stay tuned.

Now the fun begins. I'm having a giveaway of Julie's book, "Build-a-Barn". If you are interested in a copy, leave a comment on THIS POST! I will select a winner at random on Saturday April 30, and announce the winner on Sunday May 1.

59 comments:

Megan said...

Wow - you really went to a lot of trouble, Lynne, and the finished barn looks sensational.

Megan
Sydney, Australia

Rieann said...

Lynne, that is a fabulous barn, another thing to add to my wish list of things to make before I die.
Would love to win the book, but not sure if I am eligible to enter as I live in Western Australia.
Cheerio from Rieann in W.Aust.

Dianne said...

I grew up on a dairy farm, so have a special place in my memories and heart for barns......what a beautiful rendition of a part of our nation's heritage!

Fran Salley said...

I love the barn in this post. I am impressed by the all the details you added in there. You have sparked my creative side with it and I hope the barn book becomes mine. Thanks for sharing.

suzanne, dutchess county NY said...

It is a wonderful barn and you did such a great job interpreting it into fabric! I love how friends can spin ideas off each other and it energizes all who are involved. What an. Honor to be included in a book. You could write a book!

diane said...

Oh My Goodness. It's a wonderful share from you and so detailed.
What a great barn you choose to make and you did it up really well.
I've yet to make my first barn since getting the book, but I have bought some fabric for the process so we shall see when I get started.

sharon said...

well I pre-ordered Julie's book, but if I am picked I will give the book to my BFF (Edela) she does not do reading of blogs, but is a Vermonter by birth and loves Barns. Hope I win (for her), and by the way Quilted Threads is one of the best quilt shops I have ever been to, and I have been to many many many shops.

Tie Dye Queen said...

Lynne, you did an excellent job of interpreting that barn in fabric. Congratulations! I so enjoy following both your and Julie's blog, and I would greatly enjoy winning a copy of Julie's book.

Vicki said...

What a great barn! I thoroughly enjoyed the detail of this post. The photo of the barn next to your work added so much to the story.

journeyhouse said...

I will start looking at Monadnock barns in a whole new way. Thanks for sharing your process. Laura

Quiltdivajulie said...

Wow - that final photo is truly a keeper. I only saw the white fronts of the barn and house when I visited. Later you told me the side was red, but I'd never seen the visual. And a BIG Thank you for being part of the free pieced barn project from day one AND for being part of the Secret Society of Barn Builders!

LynneP said...

What fabulous detail you and Chris put into this barn block. I always enjoy reading about your process.
Thanks for the chance to win the book!
jlpfeffer at gmail dot com

Marie said...

You did a wonderful job on the barn and what a lovely house and barn you selected to do ---- good for you!
I would love to win the book and do similar blocks myself, love your blog!

Exuberantcolor/Wanda S Hanson said...

The barn you chose is so elegant and different than the barns in IL.

Belinda said...

I was anxious to see your post today. You were the excellent choice to start off the excitement of Julie's new barn book Blog Hop!! Having travelled to New England several times I have seen some of these types of barns up close. They are most unusual and fascinating. My hubby has mentioned through the years he would like to build a neat barn with living quarters for us in one end of it…..WRONG!! LOL, my first thought was of all the flies buzzing around because of the livestock……but this barn/house situation of yours is quite something. Seems very stately and intricate to me. You did a fantastic job!

Lovely 4 Seasons quilt too!!

Since I already have a personally autographed copy I shouldn't be included in the drawing.

Jackie said...

I love the detail work you did on your barn and look forward to seeing the other barn. I would love to win the book.

gayle said...

I've always loved old barns (it's in my blood!), and your rendition of that beautiful barn is absolutely wonderful! Hurray for the SSOBB!
(I love your houses quilt, too, and am so happy that it inspired Julie!)

Allison said...

It is so great to see how you built this barn using your photo!

Elaine M said...

What a great barn. Glad you included so many pictures of the original and the process of building. Lovely quilting. Thanks for the post and chance to win.

Ann said...

What a great barn and love the information on how you did it

marge jansonius said...

Love the barn! Would love to have a copy of Julie's book. What inspiration, I have miles of scraps to choose from when trying these. Thank you for your generosity.
Marge

Sandi said...

Thanks so much for sharing your process of making this wonderful piece Lynne. It's interesting how we can look at something the same way for so long and then discover it in a new way when driving or walking past it from a different direction.

I look forward to seeing your next quilt of the same barn.

Thanks for a chance to win one of these books.

Nann said...

Henniker -- the only one on earth! My husband was College Librarian at New England College in Henniker from 1966-1976. His daughter and our granddaughters still live there (as does his ex-wife). I'd love a chance to win the book.

eileen said...

I loved reading aabout your barn, lots of great details! and the block turned out great...would love to win the book, thanks for the chance. Eileen in Spain ekmvalencia@gmail.com

Judy in Michigan said...

I've done some free piecing in the past, but reading your account, I learned some tips. Thanks Lynne!! Your barn is sensational and I hope to see it in person some day. Thanks for the chance to win Julie's book.

Carol E. said...

Wonderful! I usually work more quickly and impulsively. See what lovely details I miss by working too fast. I already own the book, so keep me out of the running.

Karen said...

I'm inspired to create a fabric copy of our barn. Please include me in the book give-away.

Alycia said...

That is so cool - it is a great quilt!

Angela said...

I have always been drawn to old barns. I love them! The barns that I see in the South are very different from the one you chose to replicate. Your quilt block is exquisite!

Susan C said...

Though I've never lived on a farm,I grew up in a rural area and love old barns. I often wonder what stories they must have. Your barn is fantastic, I love the details you were able to add with your fabric selection.

Sewgirl said...

Lynn, you did an outstanding job on the barn block...really really nice. Thanks so much for all you share.

Joy said...

I was not expecting an accurate representation of a barn. This is fantastic, and the quilting only enhances all the details you incorporated. Well done.

Linda Schiffer said...

I am fascinated by barn architecture and regional variations. Thanks for sharing your chosen barn! I have never traveled in New England but when I get a chance to do so, I will be looking at barns and thinking of yours. 🙂

Just Ducky said...

Oh wow, what a beautiful rendition in fabric of that barn.

Jean said...

Love your work and the way that you talk about your process. Your barn is GREAT!
jean
jlickun@aol.com

Cherie in St Louis said...

Lynne, what a beautiful post. The details and background provide such an amazing record of your thoughts and process.....amazing. As will all things you do, your barn doesn't quit....it goes all the way though the details. (SSOBB member so exclude me from the drawing.....feels wonderful talking about SSOBB now!)

Sharon said...

The barn you built is amazing! I love how you noted all the details of the real barn and then incorporated so much of them into your fabric barn. That barn is so different from anything I've seen in the midwest and the west - it's beautiful! And I really love your version of it! Of course you were the inspiration for Julie - you've inspired so many people with your free-piecing. Awesome job! Congratulations to both you and to Julie!

Dee W said...

You bet I'd like to win! I love your barn.

Judy S in New Hampshire said...

Your barn turned out wonderful! I look at that house with the connected barn (a term I've learned since moving to New England from Southern California) every time I'm at Quilted Threads. I think I love it just as much as the store. Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy of that great book.

Gloria said...

Your barn looks great. I, also, like the red side. I have never visited New England, maybe some time I will visit your favorite shop.

PaulaB quilts said...

Thanks for an excellent story about your barn. I have the book and will be using your construction details for help, I'm sure. I grew up in RI and miss the granite curbstones.

QuiltSwissy said...

I am not in the run for the book, of course, but i wanted to stop in and read about your barn. Love the story behind all these pieces. Thanks for sharing!

glen

tac73 said...

Thank you for sharing the process of creating this barn block. It is absolutely gorgeous.

Lara B. said...

The thought and appreciation and attention to detail you put into building your barn make it so incredible Lynne! What a beautiful barn! I feel like your piece should be on exhibit so many, many people can see it in person!
The red wall on the real barn surprised me too.

Judy Y said...

What amazing details and so much thought went into your block.

Patti said...

With two granddaughters who spent all the time they could in their grandpa's barn growing up I would love to make pillows or something. For sure I could use all the help I could get from the book. Thanks for the chance to win.

SarahR said...

You've done a great job on your barns! I love old New England architecture.

Marly said...

What a lovely replica of the barn Lynne. Thank you for explaining your process and for the new insight into American rural architecture; I had thought all barns in the US were painted RED! NH is certainly more sophisticated, and I have a lot to learn.

Nancy J said...

I thought I left some words yesterday, what a wonderful way you have of explaining the whole process, and another barn on the way. super. I hopped over and looked at the book's cover, what a generous give-away.I remember our 2 huge sheds, not quite barns, on the farm where I grew up, one was for manure and machinery, the other for hay, so guess I could call it a " Hay barn". We didn't have the very cold winters you get, so no animals were wintered over inside. In fact, we didn't even ever get snow there!!

Susan said...

Fabulous barn and you did an outstanding job making it.

Monica McCurty said...

Lynne, I love both your barns. They are so different from barns in Washington. I was wondering why they attached them to the house. We don't see that here, and the barns around here are either weathered gray or they are red.

owlfan said...

Amazing amount of detail in your barns. I love the look. Barns don't get attached to houses here in the south. There are several interesting barns around here - I should stop and take photos.

86201580-c726-11e3-b07a-000bcdcb5194 said...

Great job on recreating the barn in fabric and the quilting enhances the design. Thanks for sharing. mfhagopian@aol.com

Joye with an e said...

I was fascinated with your two barn stories. I also learned about differences in barns in the north and barns here in the south. Thanks for the interesting story.
joyecox@yahoo.com

Nancy said...

I spent many years living in Amish country in Middlebury, Indiana and have developed an affinity for all old barns. Your barn is marvelous!

Kat Scott said...

Wow.... brings back amazing memories of the barns from central Michigan! Would love a copy of the book, thanks for the chance! Michigan also had fieldstone houses... will have to think about that process!

Gypsy Quilter said...

What a fun concept, build a barn. Yes, please, sign me up. When my brother went to college in Orno, Maine, I recall seeing barns attached to houses. Isn't it so the farmer can get to the barn safely in case of high snowfall?

Millie said...

Yes, for that and any number of other reasons. The big disadvantage however is if the barn catches fire and burns, the house goes with it.

Sue said...

That is a beautiful block on it's own and could be framed as art. This was the most interesting blog I have found so far and look forward to exploring it more. Thank you for your story!