Thursday, May 26, 2016

Block 22: Old Red Barn

 Every farm needs an old red barn, doesn't it?

While I was growing up, we had four chicken barns. Three had layers in them and the fourth was used for raising the chicks.

As I recall, they were identical except that one was shorter. But from the front, they all looked just about the same. I assume that is why someone decided to paint the trim on the barns different colours.

The first one was red, then blue or was it brown? Wait...let me see if I can find a picture...

Here we go:
You get the picture now, I'm sure. Then you could tell someone to go to the red barn or the blue one, etc. Except we never did. We always referred to them by number. Simply "#1" or "#4". Not even "Barn 1" which is what I heard others sometimes say. We would just say, "Dad's working in #2." Never seemed odd at the time...

Anyway, all this is to say that we didn't really have an old red barn, but if you stretch the truth a little, I could at least say we had a red barn. And now I've also had a nice little trip down Memory Lane.

Back to the quilt block, this is one of the 12" blocks I'm doing (to match the farm house). So although there were quite a number of pieces in the block, they weren't unmanageably tiny.

The barn door is made up of quarter-square triangles. The designer had you do them in a curious way. The technique works well and is common enough, but you ended up with four blocks and three are extra that you don't use!! (There are other methods just as easy and simple that don't make extra blocks.) I decided this was an opportunity for experimenting with seam pressing.

So here are two of the blocks. Can you tell which one has the seams pressed open and which had them pressed to one side?
How about these ones?
Here are the backs of the first two:
And here's the second pair:
Did you get them right? I think the open seams lie a lot flatter on the front and in this case that is what I wanted.

Here is the door in the block with little duckies in the window:
Here's the back of another part of the block:
I chose to press all the seams that I could toward the red fabric. That would make the barn stand up a little from the background. So in this case, although the peak of the roof is made from a flying goose unit and the seam would normally be pressed toward the outside, I pressed them toward the center. It makes the point bulkier but it worked.

You can also see that I made the unusual choice of dividing the one horizontal seam. It's pressed up in the middle (to keep the red dominant over the window), but there was no way the seams on the side were letting me press them up and back on themselves. So I snipped the seam allowance and pressed it as shown. (No quilting police showed up at my door either.)

Here it is from the front:
I don't know how obvious it is in the picture, but I think you can see that the window is slightly depressed compared to the red barn. Subtle I know, but I can't help trying to manage it.

And, finally, here is the whole block:
A nice classic red barn with a quilt block door and duckies inside. :)

Here are all the blocks in the virtual layout:
Here is Kim's (first) block:
Yes, she did a 6" one first. I don't remember exactly, but I think she meant to do a 12" but cut the 6" pieces out of habit and put it together anyway. And then the red fabric she used was too thin to make a nice block so she decided to do it again and made the 12" version below.
 I love the red barn board fabric she used. It will go so nicely with the muted tones she is using. (Better than the bright classic red that I used.)

And of course, the animals in all her windows are cute as anything!

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