I honestly always have the next quilt project on my mind. Currently I have a list in my phone of all of the quilts I want to make and the order of them. For some reason my brain just obsesses over this hobby & until a quilt is finished, I feel this nagging in my brain. It is really hard to explain--but I just have this almost addiction to sewing & completing projects. So you can only guess how I felt when working on this Red Barn quilt.. I made it for my best friend's wedding shower gift. I saw this pattern a couple years ago and had to save it for her.
Avery is my best friend from college. We met 2nd semester of my freshman year at Columbia College during my first and only Volleyball Rec league game. I believe wholeheartedly that the whole situation was orchestrated by God for us to meet and be friends forever. A friend from high school that I had class with asked me if I wanted to be on his co-ed Volleyball team, and I said yes (which if you know me now, you should know this is surprising.. sometimes I can't believe I said yes). I had played volleyball in high school for one season so I wasn't great but I figured it would be something to do & hopefully meet new people. I showed up to the game wearing black volleyball spandex because I figured if I looked the part, then I would have to play better (that doesn't actually work by the way).. So I get there and he quickly introduces everyone to each other and I just remember watching how Avery played (she was so good!!) and how she carried herself. In less than an hour, I knew I wanted to be her friend. Like I said, God had a funny way of orchestrating our friendship.. because I straight up just asked her if she wanted to come to church with me on Wednesday night. I lived at the Christian Campus House and every Wednesday night we had the Well. I have been in church my whole life and still struggle to invite people to come with me--so looking back I know God gave me the courage to invite her. Knowing what I know now, its honestly hilarious that I asked her and she said yes. She always reminds me that she thought I was some crazy spandex wearing girl who just outwardly invited her to church after less than an hour of knowing each other but she just said yes because she was so caught off guard. Little did I know that she had trouble finding church going friends so far at CC! I went back to my dorm and immediately requested her on facebook & the rest is history! We were soon inseparable. We spent all of our free time together and I think we even had our first sleepover within the first 2 weeks of knowing each other. When you know, you know. And I literally owe our friendship all to God's glory. PS. Thanks Brett M (if you are reading this) for inviting us both to play volleyball! I owe you for introducing me to my best friend!
Avery has been in my life for over 7 years now and she has played a huge role! She was my right hand girl at my wedding, has been there for me during all seasons of life, and loved on my little guy so much. Through all seasons of life, Avery has been one of my constants. She has one of the craziest jobs ever and she still makes time to check in on me & drive to see us!
So when I saw my phone ringing on Christmas Eve, I absolutely knew she was calling me to tell me she was engaged. After I got that call, I knew what I had to do next.. START ON HER QUILT! Avery grew up in a red barn, so this was going to be the quilt I made for her wedding. I had bought this pattern just waiting to hear when she was engaged so I could get started. I wanted to do this pattern to symbolize her leaving her single life and starting a new married life with Aaron! Although she doesn't live in the red barn with her parents anymore, I felt like this pattern symbolizing the Biblical passage of leaving your parents and becoming one with your husband (leaving the red barn) lol. Maybe I made the meaning of this quilt be too deep, but I just loved it.
Avery sews and loves quilts as well. She has bought a handmade quilt for every big event in her life to celebrate that big event--so I knew this quilt had to be pretty legit. Every red barn has a smaller block that I got to pick out from the pattern book. I went through and picked out blocks that reminded me of her and Aaron. There was so much to explain to Avery about the choices I made regarding this quilt, that I last minute decided to write a poem to lay it all out so she could keep it and remember. PSA: I don't know how to write poems, so I am sure I broke all of the rules writing it--but I will post it down below so you can get an idea of why I chose the items I did!
This is the first quilt I did with COMPLETE scrap fabrics. I didn't have to purchase any fabric for this quilt besides the back navy gingham fabric. It took 2 days for me to go through my fabric scraps and pick out the colors and pieces I wanted to use. I then picked out each pattern in my Lori Holt pattern book that I wanted to use and put the colored pieces I wanted to use in a sandwich bag to keep them organized. After I picked out each fabric and pattern I wanted it to go with, it took a couple days to measure everything and cut. After I did that, I made all of the red barns. It took a couple days to complete all of the red barns but after they were done, I did each small block that would go in the red barn. Each block took several days but after each was done, I picked the block and coordinated it with whatever matching red barn I thought it look best. Once all of the barns were completed, I then went through my fabric scraps and picked out all of the border pieces! I was nervous it was going to be too wild and crazy, but it turned out to be super fun. I wouldn't do something so crazy and wild for just anyone--I knew Avery would appreciate it!
I had a hard time picking out the quilting pattern because the quilt itself was just so wild. Brenda (my quilter) suggested using this wave pattern so it wouldn't take away from the quilt and I am so glad I listened to her suggestion.
Last but not least, once it was quilted I finished hand binding the quilt during the week my little family got hit with the flu. If I am going to be sick, at least I got to bind some quilts in bed! Thankfully the sickness ended the day before Avery's Bachelorette party. We celebrated in St. Louis and honestly it was the most fun weekend I had in forever. All of the girls were wonderful & we all genuinely had the best time celebrating Avery!
Avery is having her co-ed bridal shower this upcoming weekend, but I was lucky to get to have her overnight with me after her Bachelorette party. The Bachelorette party was all a surprise until the morning of, so I was thrilled I actually got to show her what we have planned for her shower. Since her shower will be super busy, I wanted to be able to give her this quilt when it was just the two of us. So last night I was able to give it to her with the poem and I was so happy to be able to show her what I had been working on for so long!
Like I said, this was probably the most work & thought I have ever put into a quilt, but it couldn't be for a better person. I am so thankful for Avery and couldn't be happier to be celebrating her and Aaron's marriage coming up in 2 months! I love you so much and I am so glad you found your lifelong partner!
If you are interested to see close-ups of the Red Barns & the poem, I will leave those below!