Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Artist in Residence Exhibit at Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Center

 Meraki Exhibit

Blue Ridge Mountains Art Center, Blue Ridge, GA

January 16-April 3, 2021

Meraki [may-rah-kee] ... Modern Greeks often use meraki to describe doing something with soul, creativity, or love...when you put "something of yourself" into what you're doing, whatever it may be.

The center piece of this exhibit are the three pieces that reflect our Earth in the climate crisis created in the hope that viewers will see the value of our planet's beauty and the need to preserve it.

Elements of nature are prevalent in every piece such as those below (L-R) Sunrise Sunset, Currents, Through My Sister's Eyes.

I will conduct a color pops (small embellished quilt pillows) class on April 3 at the Art Center in Blue Ridge, GA. To register, call 706-632-2144.

Below: Glacial Shift and Deep Dive.

Below: Memories of Monet.

Friday, February 28, 2020

History of Barn Quilts Overview

Barn Quilt Overview

There are about 150 barn quilt trails documented in 48 states and Canada with almost 10,000 quilts painted on barns, commercial buildings, garages, front porches, water towers, gates, fences, and hanging from mailboxes. “Even though the history of quilt trails [is] rooted in the surprisingly recent past, the blocks themselves tell stories from much longer ago.”[1]

For hundreds of years, farmers have decorated their barns with folk art, including quilt blocks, to reflect particular meanings. In the early 2000, quilt trails blossomed thanks to the work of an Ohio woman who wanted to honor her mother by painting a quilt block on their tobacco barn.  For example, The Trail in Pocahontas, West Virginia was established in 2013 when West Virginia celebrated its 150th birthday. The Pocahontas County Quilt Trail tells the story of the history of the region by using famous, historic quilt squares. [2]

“Donna Sue Groves of Adams County, Ohio initiated the Barn Quilt Movement in October 2001, however, according to Donna Sue’s interview in Quilters’ Save our Stories (Q.S.O.S.)* by The Alliance for American Quilts, the concept started much earlier.

“Donna Sue got the idea for barn quilts as she watched her grandmother from Roane County, West Virginia quilt during family visits. As her family traveled through the country on back roads, her mother created a car game where they counted barns. Different types of barns would earn points. Barns with advertising were worth 10 points. Red barns were worth even more points. German Pennsylvania Dutch barns with hex signs and wonderful colorful geometric designs on them were worth the most…50 whole points!

“From this childhood experience, barns left an imprint on Donna Sue that she carried with her throughout her life. Eventually, Donna Sue and her mother settled in Adams County (in southern Ohio) on a farm with a barn. Donna Sue thought their barn—a tobacco barn—was one of the ugliest barns she had ever seen in her life! In 1989, Donna Sue said to her mother, Nina Maxine—who goes by Maxine—that she would paint a quilt square on it someday. The concept grew from there.

“In 2000, Donna worked to create a driving trail of numerous quilt squares where people would come to Adams County to see the barns with quilt squares, and ultimately create economic opportunity for the mostly rural communities. The first committee meeting took place in January, 2001 and the first quilt square was installed in October of that same year. In just under a decade, the Barn Quilt Trail has grown to encompass 27 states and two provinces in Canada.”[3]

Well-Known Trails

1.       Colorado: The Colorado Classic Quilt Trail

2.       Georgia: The Southern Quilt Trail

3.       Iowa: The Barn Quilts of Sac County

4.       Kentucky: The Boone County Quilt Trail

5.       Michigan: The Barns of Old Mission Quilt Block Trail 

6.       Mississippi: The Oktibbeha County Barn Trail

7.       Missouri: The Boonslick Area Quilt Trail

9.       North Carolina: The Quilt Trails of Western North Carolina

11.   South Carolina: The Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail

Barn Quilt Links



Where Tradition Came From

Quilt Trails from barnquiltinfo.com

Colonial Quilt Squares

Quilt patterns on barns date back to colonial America. After the colonists became established and had spare income, they painted small patterns on the ends of the barns as a way to celebrate their heritage. Marilyn Carrigan, executive director of the Truman Museum in Truman, Minnesota, says, "The history of the barn quilt begins about 300 years ago with the arrival of immigrants from the Rhine region of Germany. They came for religious freedom. These groups included Amish, Mennonites, Lutherans and other Reform groups. Many settled in Pennsylvania, especially in Berks, Lancaster and Lehigh counties." The designs can still be found in the Amish communities today. The designs were also believed to protect the farm and bring good fortune.

The Meaning of the Amish Star

More Links

Suzi Parron of Stone Mountain, Georgia is a lover of barn quilts. She's writing a book on the subject and posts her progress on a blog: "Barn Quilts and the American Quilt Trail: Making my way across the country documenting this grassroots art movement." You can hear her enthusiasm in the quote below:

"By the time I got to Woodstock, I had seen about 800 quilt barns! Hard to believe, but true. And still--when I round a corner and see a great barn with a beautifully painted quilt, I say to myself (aloud, mind you). Oh, WOW."

See her blog at: http://americanquilttrail.blogspot.com/ Maybe leave a note of encouragement too.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Chinaberry Grove Quilts
Johnnie McKenzie
Greenville, SC

Click the Classes tab up top for more details.

Whether you are a new or experienced quilter, there’s always more to learn. I personalize sessions to focus on your learning goals, for example, if you know how to paper piece, you may want to be more efficient or tackle a more complex pattern. Ask yourself, "where do I want to go?" I'll help you get there.
  • Piecing:
    • beginning piecing
    • advanced techniques including curves, Y seams, in-set circles, etc.
    • basic paper piecing - the guaranteed easy way, no templates and guessing if your fabric is the right size
    • advanced paper piecing project such as patterns by Judy Niemeyer,Jjacqueline de Jonge, Deb Karasik, George Siciliano, etc.
  • Quilting:
    • walking-foot quilting, 
    • free-motion quilting (especially for those with no stitch regulator)
    • conquering metallic thread
  • Special Techniques:
    • 3-D blocks
    • Folded fabric blocks, e.g., Cathedral Windows, 

One-on-one and group sessions available. Sessions are held in my studio or at your location. Check out the samples below of quilts I have completed this year.

Email me for more information: johnniemckenzie@att.net .

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Candle Pattern

Sew Fresh Quilts has a quick and easy candle pattern. Great if you have  ade all the holiday trees and ornaments you can use or give.

Holiday Candle Pattern

Monday, November 12, 2018

Work in Progress

I'm eager to finish my holiday items for my MyColorPops Etsy shop so I can return to my current fun project. All blocks done and one row assembled.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Quilt in SCMQG Swap

Several people have asked me for the pattern I used for the quilt I made for my swap partner. It is a variation of the very old snowball block.

I got the pattern free some years ago but it is no longer on the guild site. The lady who made the pattern for the LAMQG has it on her site for $4.

Here's a link:  January Block

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Good Tutorial for Single Thickness Binding

This is a really good idea, especially for quilts that will not get heavy use. I found this in The Quilt Show newsletter today.

Single Thickness Binding