When I think of my grandparent’s dairy farm, the first thing that comes to mind aren’t the cows or barn. The first image in my brain is the white farmhouse with a green roof and shutters and the rope swing in the backyard hanging from a maple tree. As a kid I would swing in the shade and fearlessly jump off, often hurting myself when I landed on the hard earth. And then I would do it again.
Sitting on the swing we had a good view of the barn and could see what was going on around the farm. My uncle coming in from the combine for lunch, my grandfather driving a tractor pulling a wagon of hay, and the barn cats lying on the driveway in the sun. There was always something interesting happening.
Inside the barn there were calves to feed, and this was the chore we would get whenever we visited. I remember their soft heads poking out of the pen, timidly submitting to being petted if there was a bucket of milk present. After we did our one important chore we would climb the ladder to the loft above the main barn where our cousins would show us new kittens hidden by their mothers in the hay. We could hear the cows mooing while my grandparents and uncle milked below. Those poor kittens took a lot of handling.
You may not recognize the above farmhouse block from the Farm Girl Vintage book, and that is because this block is my own original design. The book does have a farmhouse block, however it is not the farmhouse of my childhood. I felt it was important to accurately capture the house in this quilt, so I asked my cousin take a few pictures and email them to me. Placed side by side, I think the block turned out really well. I have most of the work done to get this Ontario Farmhouse block up on the blog, all that is left is to type out the instructions and do some assembly sketches. Watch for it under the Tutorials tab.
Have you ever designed a block for a project? Was your design based on something or was it expressive?