Debut–Gifted Times Three

Sandy and I have been working on a new  quilt pattern for most of the year.  The pattern for this wall hanging is finally complete, ready for you to use–and we are celebrating!  You can download it for free gifted-times-three-gbd.


We wanted to find a new way to celebrate milestones and events in a completely new way. 

The quilt depicts a tower of presents and a shower of confetti to up the fun factor for your gift. Another unique feature of this quilt is the three dimensional bow at the top.  The bow is really a girl’s hair clip but we decided it would look great on this quilt! We’ve had so much fun hunting for just the perfect bow for each quilt.

Bonus: the bow adds some pizzazz to the quilt and it can be removed for washing.

gifted_withlogoIt took us a while to figure out the best way to add our messages. Finally, we settled on a template made with a Cricuit(r) machine. They we used embroidery paint to fill in the template. I think it would be totally cute to embroider or free-hand paint a message for your quilt.

After Sandy made her quilt, I had to be a copy cat!  I made one for my son and his fiance for their wedding shower.  It turned out fabulously (she said modestly) so we hung it above the gift table!  Their wedding colors were sea foam green and coral, a nice combination for a wedding wall hanging AND I was fortunate to find a hair clip in just the right color.  This quilt is now hanging on a wall in their apartment above the kitchen table, way to score big with the mother and mother in law!


Tim and Morgan’s shower quilt was so elegant. 

Instead of a solid white background for the wedding shower quilt, I used a white tone on tone polka dot fabric.  It added some nice visual texture with the other colors and patterns.


But wait, there’s more!  I also decided to use up some scraps and make a third wall hanging out of some girlie prints that were left-over from another project.

THEN I found the most amazing hair clip to add–makes it look even more sweet and girlie, don’t you think?  All the static in the air almost makes it look like an octopus or something,  but it’s really a feather boa type hair clip!  I just love the colors in this one!


We hope you have some occasions in your life you can commemorate with this quilt.  We’d love to see yours, send some photos on the Gray Barn Designs Facebook page or on Pinterest.


Sweet Violet Dream

We are, of course in the throes of summer, but just a few weeks ago I snapped this picture of one of the early harbingers of spring. I was thinking about a new quilt project and I remembered a gorgeous poinsettia pillow from the Crafty Quilter. Inspiration struck — what if I could make a wildflower pillow?


A wild violet before it goes back to sleep.

Did you know that violets are edible? Here are few more violet facts.

I have to confess once again to my love of the color purple. This project gave me an excuse to find just the right hue of purple — not blueish, not pinkish, not mauvy –my fabric had to be just the perfect vibrant purple. I found a beautiful dotted Swiss for the flower and then stumbled upon an understated purple and green paisley to use for the background.


Love this fabric purchased from the charming Barefoot Quilter shop in Rushford, NY. It is so mesmerizing that I had to buy it twice not because I a made a cutting error…

I drew the pattern on freezer paper first, then decided to use fusible applique as the foundation. So I traced, labeled and cut out the pieces again.


Next I ironed the pattern pieces onto the wrong side of the fabric, using scraps for the stem and anther? stamen? I wish I knew more about flowers…


Sometimes I love my fabric so much I really hate to cut it. Does that ever happen to you?



Cut out the center of applique shapes to lighten the finished product.

Then I placed all the cut-out pieces on my 10.5″ background square, peeled off the paper back, and ironed the first layer of the flower into place.


This may look upside down, but it’s really not. It’s purposefully positioned as if you were standing above the violet in the forest. Or I can’t figure out how to make this picture rotate. One of these is the correct answer.

I used a zig-zag stitch to set them in the quilt. I added a few simple borders and now I’m ready to quilt.


A series of farm-inspired wildflower mini quilt patterns is rolling around in my head. Stay tuned!

Hanging in the Breeze

One of my favorite memories growing up on the farm was playing in the back yard around the clothes line. Someone put a lot of work into that line. The end posts, one on each end of the line, were thick metal pipes with a cross bar ‘T’ at the top. Hooks on the T were used to loop the cotton clothesline rope to make the hanging rows. The pipes were sunk in concrete — they had to be sturdy because I recall climbing on them frequently. Every couple of years my sisters and I had to repaint the posts to keep them shiny white or silver, depending on my mother’s whim.

When Mom hung up sheets, we’d hide inside the drapes and run between the rows. There is nothing better than the smell of sheets and clothes that have dried in the sun. Mom is still hanging clothes out on that line — even in the wintertime. As long as there is sunshine, she’s got her clothes on the line.

The next best thing about clothes on the line is the clothespins. Mom hoards hers like a miser. The old fashioned pinch kind with the really tight spring are her favorite. A while back we were wandering through a tag sale and I spotted a beautiful antique clothespin holder full of pins. Score! The bag had a few rough spots, but I was intrigued with the design.


I found this laundry pin bag at a tag sale. Mom wanted those good antique spring-loaded clothespins. I wanted the bag for a quilt.

I discovered that the Champion Clothespin Bag Company  was based in Minneapolis, MN.

After I took the bag apart (and gave mom her clothespins) I put the panel on my design wall while I contemplated its future. A couple of months later I felt confident enough to trim it so that the torn bits were eliminated.


Trimmed panel — all the messy bits are gone. Measures 10.5 inches square

Next I added some borders. I took my inspiration from the cool graphic — I tried to mimic that funky mid-century modern vibe.


Skinny orange-red accent and blue checkerboard border

I had to get outside of my color comfort zone for this design. The tea-stained checkerboard squares match the panel fabric. I’m usually a stark white kind of girl.


The full checkerboard border

I added some wide borders and some corner pinwheels to remind me of the wind at the farm, then sent if off to the quilter. She did a beautiful job.  I am so happy with this quilt! It’s hanging in my laundry room, far away from the sunshine and fresh air <sigh>.

I’ll post this Laundry quilt pattern soon. If you’re interested in making one of your own, check on-line for funky vintage clothespin bag options.


36 Charm Street Baby Quilt

I just love the Canyon Fabric Collection by Kate Spain!  The colors!  The prints!  They speak to me!  I bought a charm pack and sewed 36 of them together.


What to do next?  I had to think about this because I wanted to showcase these beautiful fabrics.


My goal was to make a unique border to frame the charm squares but I wanted the border to be neutral.  So…I made Border #1 a solid white fabric.

Border #2 became interesting!  I decided to add a series of white and gray rectangles.  The rectangle sizes were a serious math problem I had to solve!  I finally figured it out and love the result!

Finally, I used a solid white fabric for Border #3 so the bright colors in the Canyon Collection stand out.


When I dropped off this top to my quilter, Ms. KB, she showed me a bead and wave pattern she had on hand.  Once I saw the pattern, I knew it was perfect!  Here is a close up of the front:DSCN5730

And the back…


The gray binding is the same color as the gray rectangles.  A solid color makes a nice  frame for the quilt and allows the Canyon Collection to be the quilt focus.


Beautiful AND easy!  It goes together quickly and is the perfect project for beginning quilters.

Like this pattern?  Download it here:  36-charm-street-feb-2017