Tuesday, May 31, 2011

tutorial: how to paint a modern barn quilt sign

I absolutely love barn quilts, and here in Ohio we have a lot. Some counties around here even have self-guided tours where you can drive around the area and see a lot of them along the route.

It's so fun to see all the different designs, but all that I've seen have been very traditional designs. While I love traditional quilts, I really wanted to try my hand at making a more modern version to hang at my house. Here's how I did it.

You'll need:

* plywood cut to the size you'd like your finished sign to be (mine is 2' x 2' )
* primer
* assorted acrylic paints
* assorted brushes
* pencil
* ruler
* blue painter's tape
* exacto knife
* waterproof sealer (if you're sign will be hung outside)
* hairdryer (optional)
* your choice of hanging device (I used d-rings and screws)

Prime the plywood and allow to dry completely

Using your pencil and ruler, draw out the design you'd like on your block. I based mine on the logo of the Cincinnati Modern Quilt Guild, which is a wonky log cabin block

Use the blue painter's tape to tape out sections where two colors will meet.

In my block, I placed the tape just on the edge of one of my drawn square sections to start

And paint! I used a paper plate as a palette and painted two coats for each section

To speed up the drying time, you can use a hair dryer to help dry the paint between coats, and between each section in your block. I can thank my painter husband Jeff for that tip

Carefully remove the blue tape once the paint is dry and you're ready to paint your next section

Here's what my block looked like at that point

Continue to paint the block until all your sections are finished, allowing each part to dry before moving on to the next color.

tip: use an exacto knife and a straight edge to trim the edges of the blue painter's tape so that they make clean angles, if your design calls for them

Keep painting

and drying

and taping

and painting some more

until your block is finished

but if you're like me, you just might not be happy with the outcome at this point. Should have listened to Jeff...

So, I painted some more, this time adding more colors to each "log" of the wonky log cabin, to give the design more of a pieced look.

Just keep going until you're finally happy with the finished result

If your block is going to be hung outside, you'll need to cover both the front and back with a waterproof sealer. I used Thompson's WaterSeal Advanced, giving each side about four coats

Here's how the finished barn quilt sign looks on the side of my house

I love it! I'm already thinking of some more quilt block designs to paint, and I'm thinking of hanging one in my studio, and possibly another one on the exterior of Jeff's studio. If you give this a try, I'd love to see yours!

Monday, May 30, 2011

my modern quilting class at sewn studio

I can't believe we've already finished two of the six weeks of my Intro to Modern Quilting class at Sewn Studio. Time is flying by! I have four great students who are all working on some amazing quilts, and I can't wait to see how they'll turn out. The first class was spent talking about basic quilting terms and supplies.

And last week we began choosing and cutting fabrics. All the students received a copy of Elizabeth Hartman's The Practical Guide to Patchwork and we're making her Fenced In for the class.

Take a look at the gorgeous fabrics the students have picked! I love that everyone has chosen totally different fabrics for their project.

Jessica is working with solids. You know how much I love Bella Solids, right? Swoon...

And you should definitely check out Jessica's adorable blog called A Little Gray!

Susan picked some new fabrics to go with some she had already in her stash. I think she did a great job mixing and matching colors, patterns, and scales for her project. This quilt is going to be so sweet.

Rebecca chose nine prints from Amy Butler's Soul Blossom's line. You can't go wrong with Amy Butler, and these blues and greens are going to be so pretty together.

June chose these gorgeous fabrics to coordinate with a chair in her house. How amazing is this combination? I love the greys and pinks with a bit of mustard yellow. Beautiful!

Aren't these amazing combinations?! I love how different they all are and I seriously cannot wait to see how they turn out. I'm so proud of my students' work so far and I hope they come to one of our Cincinnati Modern Quilt Guild meetings and show off their finished quilts!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Winner, winner!!

{ I appologize in advance for not having any photos with this post. Blogger seems to be having some technical difficulties. }

Thank you so much to all of you who entered my giveaway for the Sew, Mama, Sew Giveaway Day! I was totally blown away by the number of entries I received--667! That is the most amount of comments I've ever had on one of my posts. And welcome again to all the new readers who found me through SMS. I'm so glad you're here and I can't wait to share some new things that I'm working on with you.

Without further adieu, the winner of the autographed copy of Cherri House's City Quilts and the Moda Bella Layer Cake was lucky number 427, Laura, who said "Ooh, I'd love to try some of the projects in that book!"

Congratulations, Laura! I've already sent you an email, and I'll ship your prize out as soon as I have your mailing address. Thanks again, everyone!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sew, Mama, Sew! Giveaway Day

Woohoo! I'm so excited to be taking part in the Sew, Mama, Sew! Giveaway Day! Welcome to all the new readers from SMS. I'm glad to have you here!

My prize for the SMS Giveaway is a copy of City Quilts by Cherri House, one of my favorite quilting books, and in my opinion, a must have for the modern quilter.

And guess what? The book is signed by Cherri House herself!

And to get you started on your first (or next) modern quilt, I'm also including a layer cake of yummy Bella solids by Moda.

To enter, please leave a comment on this post. If you'd like an extra chance to win, please become a follower of my blog and leave another comment. I'll use the random number generator to choose a winner on May 25, 2011 at 11 pm EST. I'm happy to ship internationally, so all those living outside of the US are welcome to enter! Good luck!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

how I spent my friday night

With these two amazingly talented and incredibly kind ladies. That's Lisa Lam on the left and Amy Butler on the right. I went to their book signing at a Berina shop in St. Marys, Ohio, which is about 90 miles from where I live.

Lisa and I actually spent Thursday afternoon together and had a great lunch and visit to Sewn Studio. She was also kind enough to give me some great advice on lots of topics related to running your own crafting business, for which I owe her big time.

I kind of wish every Friday was like this. :)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Spring 2011 Quilt Market, Part 3

Whew! Here are the last of the photos from my trip to Spring Quilt Market. I hope you enjoy them!

Happy Mochi Yum Yum, the adorable new line from Monica of The Happy Zombie

And Monica's beautiful quilt pattern for Happy Mochi Yum Yum

Fig Tree and Company's gorgeous booth

Oliver & S's adorable booth

Silent Cinema by Jenean Morrison. Beautiful!!

A blurry shot of me and my friend Thomas Knauer. His first fabric line comes out with Andover this fall!

Me and my amazingly talented friend Angela Walters. If you ever need a long arm quilter, she's your girl. Her work is incredible!

Another blurry pic! This is me and my dear friend Liz from Sew4Home, which is a great resource for all sorts of free sewing projects.

I did a little crafting with Mark Montano

Sarah Jane's booth was so sweet.

Sandi Henderson's booth was beautiful

And I especially loved her cute orange Fluevogs under the table

The Jones'. Me and Katy of Fat Quarterly

Me and John, aka Quiltdad, also of Fat Quarterly fame

Patty Young's Grand Bazaar booth

And another one of my favorites, Paula Prass' Botanika

So much gorgeousness, right?! I'm still blown away by all of the amazing talent and kind souls who were at Market. I can't wait for the fall in Houston!
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