Quilts, Gardens and a Day in the Country

If only quilts really did grow on trees.  What a wonderful world that would be.

Yellow and green are my favorite colors and since this quilt uses shades of both, that makes this one of my favorite creations.


This is called a Log Cabin quilt but this particular pattern with its appearance of large squares inside of larger squares, is called the Barn Raising.

One of the amazing things about the Log Cabin quilt is that you can achieve a variety of designs depending on how you arrange the blocks.

Blog barn flat

I’ll tell you more about this Log Cabin quilt in just a bit, but I wanted to first share something about where all the photos in this post were taken.

The photo below is a shot of the Maryland-area farm were I grew up.  This 144-acre farm has been in my family now for five generations.  Except for the four years we lived overseas when my dad was in the Peace Corps, this has always been home base.

I may have learned to love the big city but deep down I’m a country girl at heart.

Blog barn farm

This is also where my mom enjoys maintaining a small but diverse vegetable garden.

You may remember meeting Nana Banana earlier this year when she modeled an apron for me for another blog post.

Blog barn nana

Nana Banana produces a bumper crop of delicious veggies every year including beans, tomatoes, lettuce, corn and beautiful squash just to name a few savory selections.

Mom often says she thinks people should know how to grow their own food and she finds great pleasure in working the earth to produce her own healthy and hearty produce.

Blog barn squash

 

During our recent visit to the family farm Cameron and Jordy got a chance to collect some of the ripe vegetables.

I love to see my kids get their hands dirty with new experiences like this.  Next, I’ll have to introduce them to some of the trees I used to climb when I was their age.

Blog barn cameron4

 

I couldn’t resist including this photo from Nana’s garden.  This is an interesting take on a scarecrow, wouldn’t you say?  Gotta love those lashes.

My mom says while her improvised creation may work scaring off the birds, unfortunately it has little/no effect on voles, groundhogs and other small pests that sometimes steal her garden goodies.

Blog barn scarecrow

Jordy focused most of his attention on the peas which is ironic since you can’t even get him to taste a pea.

In this photo I think you can almost hear Jordy saying “ooh, look what I found”.  He was quite earnest in his vegetable picking and pretty proud of his haul too.

Blog barn jordy beans

While Cameron and Jordy packed their baskets with veggies on one end of the farm, I went in search of some backdrops to snap a few photos of my quilt.

I made thisLog Cabin years ago when I first started learning about quilting.  While the fabrics used are French-Country inspired, the colors have always reminded me of Nana’s country vegetable garden with all the various shades of green and pretty squash-colored yellows.

Blog barn fence2

If you’ve never made aLog Cabin quilt, I think this pattern is among the easiest.

Log Cabins are made up of dozens of identical blocks.  You can achieve an almost endless choice of patterns by simply re-arranging the blocks which feature a collection of light-colored fabrics on one end and darker fabrics on the other.

Blog yellow quilt square

Here’s a sample sketch of the Barn Raising pattern.  You can see how moving these identical blocks around could create a completely different design.  That versatility is at the heart and beauty of the Log Cabin design.

You can see another one of my Log Cabin quilts in a zig-zag design if you click here.

Blog_barn_raising_pattern

The backing fabric can also be found as one of the quilt top borders.  I use this technique all the time as a way of helping to tie all the fabrics in the quilt together.

I think it gives the quilt an all-around coordinated look.

Blog barn flap

This is also the only quilt that I’ve ever made with a straight edge binding.  You may know by now that I have a penchant for scalloped edges.  However, in this case, I think the straight edge is perfect here given the busy designs in this particular fabric.

For the record, I think a straight edge binding (especially around the corners) is much harder to make than a scalloped one.

Blog barn edge

There are actually three borders on this quilt and I decided to miter each corner for a more seamless integration of the lines in the fabric.

If you’re working with more than one border fabric, it’s a good idea to sew all your borders together first and then line up the design for mitering.  That way you only have to miter each corner once.

This mitering did take some extra effort and practice but I really like how it blended each corner together for near-perfect points.

Blog barn miter

I think it’s time now to check in with my little vegetable gardeners.  Looks like a pretty good crop so far.

Blog barn beans3

I’d say these two are pretty pleased with their pickin’s.  They really loved filling their wicker baskets with all the raw, natural food.

I love that Cameron and Jordan get an occasional taste of country life like this.  I think it’s good for them to escape to the great rural outdoors from time to time.

Blog barn baskets3

Meanwhile, I’m glad I thought to bring my Log Cabin quilt along for this ride to the country.

I’m always on the lookout for interesting ways to not only practice my photography skills but also showcase my projects for this blog in more appealing and creative ways.

Blog barn chair

There’s nothing like a trip to the country.  It’s wonderful to be able to walk the farm and find old, familiar sights as well as a few new ones here and there.

I feel really fortunate to have the opportunity to share this natural environment with its crisp, clean air and wide-open green space with Cameron and Jordy.  This was definitely a great way to spend a lazy Sunday.

Here’s to quilts, gardens and day in the country.

  • De Cnop

    Superbe blog on y rentre de suite en un clic on se retrouve aux Etats Unis .Nanou de Belgique

  • Renee

    Okay,
    Now I am jealous. You have it all,
    beauty, brains, talent, skill, creativity, artistic skill,and most important 2 beautiful children. Your home is also breath taking if that was yours, or the long arm lady’s, I couldn’t tell. I was just drooling over the staircase, and open layout of the home.
    I love your blog. I am so glad that I found it. You are phenomenal. Thank you for sharing your gift/ talent with us.
    Renee

  • Piecefully, Pam

    I LOVE everything about this post!!! From your quilt, to your kids, to your Mom and her vegetable gardening!!! : ) I too love the log cabin pattern and it’s many variations! Nice quilt, colors and quilting! GREAT job with the mitered borders!!!
    Those peas look DE-lish! Has Jordan tried them right from the vine? Often, mine don’t make it inside. They’re a great addition to a salad too.
    What about canning? Does your Mom do any? That too would be a neat experience for your children. I made Chili Dills this Summer straight from my garden produce!!! : )
    Thanks for sharing! Have FUN. ; )

  • Tove Leggett

    Ok, I love your site its beautiful, Your a very talented lady. I love your quilt. You look so familar, you’re on TV in Chicago correct? We lived in Great lakes for four years and always watched nbc news. Its great to see you have such a wonderfully complete life. enjoy.

  • Melanie

    Lisa,
    Loved your quilt and stories. Your mitering is stunning! Great job. You’ve convinced me to try a log cabin-and even a non-straight edge!
    Melanie

  • linda

    What a treasure your family has! Beautiful country, and a beautiful quilt to go along with it!

  • Zonnah

    Oh dear, I will now need to make a log cabin quilt 🙂 Yours is beautiful.

  • Lis Harwood

    What a fabulous post, I really enjoyed reading it and seeing the lovely photos – yummy veggies and a great quilt too. I love log cabin although I was ages before I tried it because I thought it would be very difficult. Thanks for sharing this look into your life. God bless.

  • Monica

    Your quilt is lovely!! I so enjoyed reading about your mom’s garden, and seeing your kids enjoying the peas. And I’ve decided that I really like your mom — I can just see in her face that she is a very sweet woman. A great post — thank you!!

  • Jeanne

    I have some beautiful quilts that have been passed down to me that I cherish. You are so blessed to have land that has been in your family so long…what a treasure!

  • a pocket full of posies...

    What a beautiful quilt!!! precious post! Your mom is a doll! and I second her thoughts on growing your own food!
    Blessings!
    Jill

  • tea time and roses

    Hello Dear Lisa!
    What a lovely quilt!:o) It is hard to believe that this beauty is one of your early quilts. You are so gifted my friend.:o)
    There is nothing like fresh veggies. Judging from the smiles, the children had a good time in the garden.:o) What a sweet face your Dear Mom has. You and your family continue to enjoy summer!:o) Wishing you a beautiful week!:o)
    Smiles…
    Beverly

  • JO

    OHHHHHH what a fabulous post!!! I am in the process of making my first rag quilt…. I love sewing … well I have a passion for that and painting…. soon to be revealed on my website…. but I am having a blast picking fabrics… and putting my sandwiches together etc…. I cant wait to see the finished project … just need a large area to lay it out before I sew it up….
    And I adore the country…. as a child I had friends who lived on a very large acreage in a wonderful little house with wood floors … miles from nowhere…. I loved to sweep and clean and would take in the the fresh air every chance I got … just sitting in the back yard made my day and the walks to the general store for groceries and goodies… what a treat ….
    Thanks for taking me on a wonderful journey through my childhood …. your children will grow up with wonderful memories of such lovely visits
    JO

  • Karen

    Beautiful quilt!! Great Job!

  • sasha farina

    oh man! i wanna go there and help nana pick veggies too!! the quilt is just gorgeous Lisa, you’re just too awesome for words 🙂 *hugs*

  • Solidia

    Thanks for sharing your Nana Banana with me. She reminds me of my Grandma Ella, who I miss terribly, she LOVED gardening as well. And your kids are just gorgeous!

  • Traci

    your family farm looks wonderful. what an awesome garden. your kids look like they are really enjoying themselves there. how nice to be able to escape there. your quilt is gorgeous. when i see your quilt posts they remind me of my grandma. thanks for that. have a wonderful day!!!

  • Judith Norman

    Beautiful quilt, Lisa. I lived on a 100 acre farm in New Jersey during my early youth. My grandparents always had a garden in North Carolina so I am very familiar with fresh, homegrown vegetables. Although I live in a small apartment on the beach, I am thinking of converting my balcony into a victory garden because vegetables are so expensive at the grocery store. Anyway, great post (as always).

  • Maria

    Just love the country….I was born a city girl but have always loved the outdoors. We also grow our lil crop here, just me and the mr. but when we have to much we just give it away, really feels good. Your mom and kids are so delightful to see in photos. Have a great week.

  • Julie Size

    LOVED this post. I am such a farm girl..I am miserable when I have to stay in the city!
    I just wanted to stop by and wish you a very happy 4th of July! Have a wonderful weekend.

  • Alison

    That last picture of your babes is so cute, they have had a wonderful time you can tell! I can only fit a couple of tomato plants in my tiny garden but they have to feature each year.

  • QueenPam

    I envy your country relatives as I am several generations of city! No country relatives to visit. It looks like so much fun!

  • Heather

    great quilt!!! those are perfect mitered corners!

  • Cassandra

    I love your quilt. It’s beautiful as well as your photos. You do such a wonderful job.
    Keep up the good work.

  • Terriaw

    What a beautiful quilt with such perfect borders! And it looks like a glorious day at the farm checking out the crops! So refreshing to spend time in the country like that.

  • Audrey

    Wow, Lisa, the quilt is BREATHTAKING!

  • Shell

    It’s beautiful that your family has kept the same land for 5 generations. A lovely quilt.

  • Carla

    WOW-perfectly perfect as usual. Those are my high school colors, so that’s an especially cool color combo to me.
    I’m so jealous. I want to have a farm like that to go to. So great to get away from all the hustle and bustle. Great post. So nice to check in with your adorable little family and all of your craftiness. Have a super happy 4th of July.

  • Thimbleanna

    It’s a beautiful quilt Lisa. I’ve always wanted to make a log cabin. I love how you coordinated your colors with the garden — your pictures are beautiful. Have a wonderful 4th of July weekend!

  • nanette

    The quilt is so sweet. What a great quilt. I do wish that grew on my trees and I could just pick it off! Your photography is always so lovely and your family is too.

  • berta

    Beautiful quilt!! And photographed in such a lovely setting! Our garden is coming along, but too early in N CA to pick anything we have planted. We won’t see tomatoes until late August. NOTHING is better than a tomato straight off the vine into your mouth! Yummm!Thanks for sharing your beautiful quilt, photos & family with us.

  • Allie in MI

    That quilt is beautiful – you’ve staged it so well in your photos! Mitered borders? YOU ROCK! Love the pics of the kids, they’re so cute and they look like they’re having a good time – what I wouldn’t give to show my kids where food REALLY comes from, lol. Your mum is beautiful and I adore her hat. Love the scarecrow too. Great post!

  • Tara

    What a fun time at grandma’s house, I would love to live on a farm, and be able to grow my own veggies…your quilt is fabulous, I love how big it is, perfect for napping in the shade with the kids. Have a great 4th.

  • Adrienne

    What a great post! Your kids are adorable!! LOVE the quilt! OH I have a question when you get some time 🙂

  • Karla

    What a fabulous post. Lovely quilt. The detail is amazing. My new baby has received two handmade quilts as gifts and I just adore them. The love and attention that goes into these creations is just amazing and inspiring. Lovely photos of the kids and Nana Banana as well. The scarecrow is great. I totally agree with your mom – growing your own food is a wonderful experience and it tasts so much better too.
    Karla

  • Cora

    Your kids are so cute and they look like they are really enjoying the farm. I too love to grow vegetables. I haven’t had the opportunity this year, I’ve just been too busy. It’s a great feeling eating from your own garden.
    Your quilt is beautiful (as all of your creations are). I love the boarder you choose.
    Have a great 4th of July!!!!