Picking out a Pattern for a Quilt Block

My daughter got a commission to create a barn quilt for a friend of mine (thanks to me! I should charge a finder’s fee). Since the client was not particular about the specifics of the design, I am helping my daughter come up with a suitable design.

For those who are not are not familiar with this staple of Southern design, the quilt on wood thing is a pretty popular thing in Western North Carolina, and I assume elsewhere in Appalachia/the South. Possibly elsewhere, though I didn’t really start seeing these till we moved out here. This blog entry explained it very well: http://www.craftsy.com/blog/2013/08/what-are-barn-quilts/

sample from craftsy.com of what one looks like

She actually produced one for me last year, and we have all been very happy with it! The task was a bit easier for her, however, since I knew for a fact that I wanted the Carolina Lily block, with a specific color pallette, but when things are left up to the artist, things can get overwhelming. Since our house is smaller than a barn would be, we also wanted it 2×2:

In any event, a lot can go into choosing a simple block pattern. Personal inclination, as well as the temperament of the client, as well as preferred pallettes and, of course, designs. As well, the limits of the medium must be taken into account: traditional quilt forms must be preserved lest the thing becomes just a regular random painting outside a house, as opposed to a proper barn quilt. Issues such as scalability also come into play, and appropriate contrast.

We had chosen to base my friend’s quilt on a star pattern, such as the ones seen here:

can’t find original source 🙁
from fourfriendsandfabric.com

Another view is to use an image that is more in tune with something she likes – we noticed the inside of her home was dominated by cool pastels (greens, blues, etc) and she also was very partial to woodland animal imagery – in particular, birds and rabbits.

My daughter chose this pattern with the view that it integrates in an excellent way these concerns of hers. My only issue with it is that it is not exactly a traditional quilt block pattern, and might not necessarily resemble a proper barn quilt to the client. I advise her to submit the design for review before attempting it.

It would only be one of the bunny faces – this image was found in quiltmaker.com – see more of her patterns here: http://www.quiltmaker.com/patterns/index.html

Last I heard she said she was going to sketch out some designs that found a way to incorporate the animals and the star, or some other traditional quilting motif. I do not know if she will succeed, considering all the variables that must be taken into account. We all trust her artistic literacy, though, to come up with a proper design.

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