Quilt Blocks on American Barns

An American barn tends to get me thinking about my childhood, where I had the opportunity to visit my Grandparents’  farms and watch the “hay” grow, while waiting for summer to pass. Ok, it was also full of exciting things like riding horses in beautiful fields and forests, swimming in lakes & streams, eating freshly picked watermelon or corn, catching fireflies, etc..  And, where I enjoyed many special 4th of July celebrations!

I always loved the barns on my Grandparents’ farms, as well as seeing barns on other farms.  To this day, whenever I see a barn it brings me a sense of joy and pride.  And I even get more excited when I see a quilt painted on a barn, aka “barn quilt”.  Needless to say,  I was very excited when I heard Eleanor Burns had written “Quilt Blocks on American Barns“, and published by Quilt in a Day.

Anyone that is familiar with Quilt in a Day, knows that to pass Eleanor’s stamp of approval for publication, this book will be of extremely high quality, with great instructions, visuals, and tips.  And Eleanor always does a great job providing insights that will help a beginner quilter, as well as provide tips and insights for quilters of all levels. 

This book is dedicated to Donna Sue Groves, Founder of the Quilt Barn Project.  Until reading this book,  I didn’t know that the barn quilt trend began in 2001 in Manchester, Ohio when Donna Sue painted a quilt block on the family’s barn to honor her mother, an avid quilter! The local community joined in and soon painted quilt blocks on their barns. These barns have now become tourist’s attractions with maps pinpointing each barn location. And, more and more communities are joining the fun. 

There is a great collection of beautiful quilts made with designs from various barn quilts, as well as many artistic quilts that capture the barn quilt spirit.  A variety of designs for all, along with interesting insights about each. 

You’ll find insights to help with fabric selection and supplies.  There are excellent instructions with great visuals for cutting, including fussy cutting and raw edge applique along with many more tips. 

There are 16 beautiful block patterns that could be used to make a variety of quilts, wallhangings, table toppers, or other quilted items, and 7 projects that ranged in size from table topper or wallhanging to a good size throw.  All written with the high quality instructions and visuals that Eleanor and Quilt in a Day are known for. 

From my perspective, this isn’t just a book about barn quilts, but a book that shares insights on Americana.  There is an endless possibility for which the beautiful blocks in this delightful book could create.  But I know, come next 4th of July, I want to have a barn quilt to proudly display in my home.  And I am looking forward to making things using the insights in this book.  I might start with a table topper, or maybe a wallhanging, or a beautiful lap quilt. All the designs are beautiful and certainly will help create spectacular quilts that would work in any home, anytime of the year. 

There is also a companion DVD, where Eleanor demonstrates how to make blocks in 12 and 6 inch finished sizes. Corn & Beans, Hens & Chicks, Flying Kite, and more.   

You can purchase your own copy of Quilt Blocks on American Barns at Quilt In A Day’s online store.  Quilt in a Day’s online store is having a Birthday sale and giving everyone 30% off everything (books, fabric, notions, rulers, patterns, etc.) between July 3rd and July 10th.
Eleanor will also be teaching a class at the Road to California Quilt Show, for American Barn Quilts on Sunday, January 23rd, 2011.  This is a fun quilt show and I’m sure that this class with Eleanor will be fun too!  There are a lot of nearby attractions too (e.g. Disneyland, Knotts Berry Farm, Sea World, and Quilt in a Day).
What ever you do, I hope you have a Happy 4th of July. And I hope you find time to enjoy and to create!

4 thoughts on “Quilt Blocks on American Barns”

  1. I just love barns…and yes, it does bring back alot of memories.They do celebrate the 4th here…..don’t know what we are doing, what about you?


  2. Hope you have a wonderful weekend, too, Darlene. We’re having a family reunion, today, and tomorrow going to a Pow Wow.


  3. Thanks for sharing a great overview of Eleanor’s new book on the American Quilt Trail. I did not know about the companion DVD but will order it.FYI – the Quilt Trail now stretches across America east to west coast. It encompasses 27 states, Ontario and British Columbia. I look forward to viewing what you create using the Quilt Barn concept!Happy 4th of July!~donna sue groves


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