Saturday, September 1, 2018

Month 9 The Patchwork Barn--Part 1 The Barn

This is the FREE Block of the Month pattern "Patchwork Barn", designed by Edyta Sitar exclusively for The Quilt Show. You must be a Star member of this world-wide quilt guild/show/Internet community to receive the free patterns each month, beginning January 1, 2018. Join today and get started on this journey.

Previous instructions are here:

Month 1
Month 2
Month 3
Month 4
Month 5
Month 6
Month 7

NOTE: On The Quilt Show, the Forum is the best place to ask questions, find answers, or find out if there is a change in the pattern.  I recommend you check in there frequently. And there is a Show and Tell Topic--show us your blocks. Forum Patchwork Barn

We made it to Month 9--the center Barn is up next. Here is the Barn made by one of the wonderful Sunday Sew and Sews, Brenda:

Since I have another center planned for my quilt, Brenda was the "celebrity stunt sewer" who was able to test out all the directions. 


To make the Templates needed for the roof, I use freezer paper--unless I am making lots of the same shape, then I use template plastic. Freezer paper can be seen through and you can write on the matte side--I use a pencil so I can correct any incorrectly drawn lines. Draw as accurately as possible, and use a mechanical pencil for a fine line.  Incorrect templates will cause difficulties when you try to sew the pieces together.

The important thing to be aware of is the Roof--parts A and B are "Reverse Mirror Images"--this means they need to be cut in opposite directions. If you are using a solid for Part A--no problem, you can simply flip one over. But if you are using a print for A or B, the easiest way to cut these is in two layers, right sides together--this will automatically give you reverse units. 

The other advantage to freezer paper, I press the shiny side down to my fabric--this holds the fabric in place as I cut with a rotary cutter--I have my fabrics in two layers, right sides together. NOTE: Since you need a total of 4 of each part, you can cut four layers if you like, two sets both right sides together, to cut all  the pieces at once. This requires more strength when cutting and a sharp blade. I prefer to cut two layers but the choice is yours.

Here are a set of templates laid out, ready to cut. They are rough cut, larger now so I can cut precisely on the line when cutting the fabrics. Written on them is the note "Cut 2 and cut 2 in Reverse". I also draw a "straight of grain line"--the double arrow--so I am sure to get the grain straight on the outside edge of the roof unit. You may notice, I drew in the seam allowance line on Part A and omitted it on Part B--either is fine. Shown below is the way to cut both options:

Part A cut on the outer pencil line--try to split that pencil line in half--do not leave the line in place, your pieces will be too large:

 Part B cut 1/4" away from the drawn pencil line, which is the sewing line. Place your ruler very carefully::

NOW, before I sewed these parts together, I knew it would be a little challenging to get them aligned because of the odd angles. I made adjustments to the templates to be sure they would fit perfectly. SEE BELOW FOR THOSE ADJUSTMENTS. Here is what Parts A and B look like with slight adjustments:

 Here they are, right sides together, ready to be sewn. The outer edges line up just right so you know exactly where to start sewing:

Part A and B sewn together. I pressed one toward Part A and one toward Part B, so the seams nest in the next step. NOTE: I strongly recommend a DRY iron at this point--steam can easily stretch these bias edges out of shape, you don't want that:

The two halves, pinned, ready to sew. The seams nest, I pinned to be sure they stayed in place. This seam is all bias, that is stretchy, so don't handle it too roughly.  I put the bottom pin about an inch in so I can leave it in place as I sew the seam straight, all the way to the end:

You get to decide how perfect it has to be. A tip for being sure these intersections meet is to machine baste just that spot with a long stitch, about a half inch before and a half inch after the intersection--take it out of the machine, check it--if it's fine, turn the stitch length back to normal and sew the entire seam. If it's off more than you like, remove the basting stitches, fiddle with it a bit, and baste again. I'd rather pull out basting stitches than have to un-sew with a stitch ripper, especially on bias seams:

 I pressed the center seam open, again, with a dry iron. All done, now you just have to make the other half of the roof unit:

ADJUSTMENTS I MADE TO HELP WITH PLACEMENT WHEN SEWING THESE ODD ANGLES. I tested this unit out and always find it helpful to cut odd angles so the fabrics will align perfectly. The RED lines on the pattern show my adjustment, they are cut 1/4" away from the seam allowance intersections: 

If you don't want to do this, another tip that can help is to draw a dot on all three intersections of both fabric pieces--this is at the 1/4" seam allowance intersections. Draw this on the back side of the fabric--I use a pencil if I can see it--then you pin those dots exactly to each other. Tails will stick out--those are the tails I eliminated with my template adjustments. As long as your dots line up, the seam will be correct when you sew it.

The rest of the barn is  straightforward, follow the directions. The cut measurements are exact, so you need to CUT and then SEW the pieces exactly. Check yourself as you go to be sure your units aren't "growing" as you sew all those seams.

TIP: The outer borders of the Barn are cut exactly to size. If you are adding the applique's, you might want to cut them wider than they need to be so you can trim the block perfectly when the applique's are in place. The borders get a lot of handling as you add the applique's. 

Once your Barn Block Center is done congratulate yourself and take a break--you have come a long way.

Month 9 The Patchwork Barn--Part 2 will discuss the applique' instructions.

Let's quilt.



  1. Thank you for these very helpful directions! A quick question for anyone who has been using the kits fabrics (blue). The light background fabric for this center block is the light blue/occasional tan circles on beige. I'm down to scrap pieces and do not have pieces large enough for the 10 1/2 square and longer 18 1/2 and 30 1/2 inch rectangle pieces.

    Am I supposed to cut into the same fabric I have set aside (for sashing and border)for these sections of this block???

    Thank you for any direction you are able to provide!

    1. Good question, Mary. The fabric list shows that same fabric in two amounts, 3/4 yard for block piecing and 2 3/4 yard for Sashing and Border. Just guessing, but if you don't have the fabric needed for the Barn block now from the 3/4 yard piece, you will have to use the 2 3/4 yard piece. Use it sparingly and do not cut off the length--what I mean is cut one layer of fabric 10.5 to get the one square needed, then the rectangles needed along that same edge. That leaves 2 3/4 yard by at least 32" or so for all the rest of the sashing and borders. You need the 2 3/4 yard length for the borders--month 11--that means be sure you keep as most of the fabric the full 99". I hope that helps, it's hard to explain so please don't cut until you're sure you know what I mean.

      I will check with the folks in my group using the kit to see if they have the same issue you do.

      Anyone using the Blue Kit--please help Mary out with your info.

    2. I also was short in the 3/4 yard piece and did go ahead and cut the 18 1/2" piece from the larger 2 3/4 yard length. I just tried to cut it so I left enough length for two length of fabric border pieces, assuming they must be around 6 1/2" or so. Hope it leaves me enough when I get to that stage.

    3. Early tip--outer borders are cut 7.5" wide, if you cut them exactly as the pattern says.

  2. Hi Barbara, once again wonderful instructions. I have decided to do a different needle turn applique for the centre block, just checking - do I cut the centre block fabric 24 1/2" x 30 1/2" on which I will sew my applique design?

    1. I think you are saying you plan an applique' center block instead of the barn. If that is correct, yes, the space filled in the pattern by the barn is 24.5" x 30.5" unfinished. I usually cut my applique' background a bit larger so I can trim it to size when the applique' is done, it tends to shrink from the stitching.

  3. Yes Barbara that is exactly what I plan to do. Is the 30.5" the width of the block and the 24.5 the height? Thank you once again.
    Best Wishes Pam

    1. Yes. See Step 6 on page 21--the width is 30.5" unfinished.

  4. Thanks Barbara, I looked at page 21 but wanted to check before I began my applique, that I hadn't missed something by not piecing the block.

  5. I feel better knowing another BOM quilter came up a bit short on the background fabric for the center block. I thought I had made cutting errors along the way. And, thank you, again, Barbara for the directions for cutting into the 2-3/4 background fabric for the needed center block pieces.