A few years ago, my husband and I took a trip to Oregon with our best friends. Driving through Tillamook, I kept asking them to stop the car every block so I could take a picture of another barn quilt. I was in heaven! And blessed to be with such understanding travel buddies. Last year, we were in Star Valley, Wyoming, and we even took an hour to drive around and see all the barn quilts in the Star Valley Barn Quilt Trail.
So, what is a Barn Quilt? It is a quilt block painted on the side of a building, usually a barn, and it tells the story of the farm, or historical events, and adds visual interest to the countryside.
Earlier this year, Regina and I heard about the Top of Utah Barn Quilt Trail, and were THRILLED to finally have a barn quilt trail where we live. We spent hours on their website looking at all of them, and imagining them in a quilt. We wanted to use about 30 of them, but at 12" per block, that would get huge in nothing flat. Reluctantly, we scaled our selections back to just 12. And then we got to work turning them into fabric blocks. So. Much. Fun!!!
We like to give our quilts names, and while this one may seem redundant, we're calling it "The Barn Quilt Quilt". Seemed appropriate. We wanted our fabric selection to be bright and fun, to honor the barn quilts that inspired them, but to also have a rustic feel, so we went with grunge fabrics for the blocks, mottled fabrics for the sashing, and wood-grain fabric for the borders.
Regina and I would love to have you join us in 2023. Just head over to mygrandmothersquilt.com/shop and choose the membership option that works best for you. Registration is open now, and the first block comes out January 10th. Come join the fun!
I don't know about you, but I've noticed there's some sort of temporal anamoly that happens in my sewing room. Fifteen minutes in my sewing room is apparently equal to 2 hours in the world outside that space. How does that happen? It must be Time Magic.
Years ago, a friend of mine asked me to make her a quilt. I promised I would, just as soon as she picked out the pattern and the fabric. About once a year, she'd ask me about the quilt, and I'd remind her about that whole pattern thing, and then... you know how it goes. Earlier this year, inspiration struck, and I KNEW this New Age friend of mine would love a quilt made of Dresdens, which would remind her of Mandalas. I tossed the idea out to her, and she got so excited, told me there was no rush. "No Rush" fits great into my schedule. And then she did something unexpected: she got engaged! Not only that, but she told me she's moving out of state, since her soon-to-be husband has a home back East. I am ecstatic for her, though I'm not ecstatic about her living that far away. But her children are here, so I know she'll be back to visit.
With her announcement, the "quilt for a friend" turned into "wedding present". I had told her I would do my best, but I couldn't promise to have it done before her upcoming wedding on November 5th. She said, "Oh, you've got longer than that. I'm not moving until the 10th." Oy! I told her I would do my best, and then she said, "I will send you Time Magic, so you can get it done in time." I started it on October 16th, working on it a few minutes here and there. By October 23rd, I had all the blocks completed and sewn together. There was a delay as I waited for some specific fabric so I could finish the border, but now that's done. Today is October 29th, and I'm going to spend time this morning layering, then I can get to quilting. And I already know the quilting designs I'm going to use. Will I have it done in time? The jury's still out on that one. But if the quilting goes as quickly and as easily as the blocks did, there's reason to hope.
Now if only Time Magic worked with laundry...
On a bitter cold Saturday in February of 2019, I woke up to find the power out in half of my house. This included the half with the furnace. We soon discovered one of the two power lines running from the main into the house wasn't working. While my husband and stepsons set to work running new electrical, my dog Cricket and I sought refuge at my friend Regina's house, just 4 doors away.
Curled up in a comfy chair, enjoying the warmth, and the company, we soon began talking about one of our favorite topics: quilting! We both belonged to a couple of block-of-the-month quilt-alongs, one of which wasn't being run as smoothly as we thought it could, and we decided we could start a business, and teach what we love, put a modern twist on vintage blocks, and make it fun and interesting. And we both said the same thing: how hard could it be?
My Grandmother's Quilt was born on that cold February morning, and turned out to be much more involved and complex than we had imagined, but it has been such fun! Some things were easy. First decision was that Cricket would be our mascot, our Quilting Therapy Dog. Second decision was hiring my stepson to be our Media Department. We definitely fumbled our way through that first year, got creative about interacting with each other during the Pandemic Lockdown of 2020, and learned how to not be afraid of the camera. We discovered we truly enjoy designing quilts, figuring out block patterns, researching their history, writing instructions, and filming video tutorials. Plus, it gives us plenty of opportunities to expand our abilities, release our creativity, take road trips to find inspiration, and our absolute favorite thing in the world: buy new fabric!
Our name, we know, brings up images of rocking chairs, kindly white-haired ancient women, and faded, well-loved, threadbare quilts. To be honest, the name of our business came from one such quilt, made by my husband's grandmother! But don't let the name fool you. We love taking those vintage quilt patterns and recreating them with modern quilting techniques, and sharing those techniques with other.
We're wrapping up 2022, gearing up for 2023, and facing new challenges, like this blog, and launching a youtube channel (stay tuned), and continually looking for ways to expand our brand. Like taking our husbands to a quilt show, or on a day trip to find barn quilts (don't worry, we'll bribe them with food). And the biggest challenge is we're going to be doing all these things without the help of our Media Department. He's moving on to greener pastures, but promises to teach us his mad video editing skills before he leaves. We are definitely going to miss him, his skills, and the hilarious comments he made behind the scenes.
We invite you to join us on our journey as we explore the quilting world, one quilt block at a time.