4/28/2013

The life of the barn.....

Marlynne asked for a picture or two of my wonderful barn so I gather parts of older posts about the barn and combined them.

When we bought the farm in 1980 part of the barn had milking stalls and a drain along the floor... It often happens I'm taking a picture of one thing and inadvertently get a photo of something else that I need later. I was actually taking a picture of the gallica roses in this bed.  Not realizing I was also capturing about half of the outside of the milking room in its original state.  Before I could even start remodeling we had to shovel out a mountain of dried manure and scrape the floor clean... My DH is not a "handy man" with a hammer but he can really shovel "sh--"!

As I started the nursery I knew this room had to serve many uses.  To achieve my vision for this large room I figured I'd have to do "shabby mismatched" (my specialty) but found the 5 matching windows at the left at a thrift store "as is" lot. I couldn't believe my luck. The same day I found the 4 smaller matching windows on the right.  The room is quite large (about 12'x30')    

This room became an all-purpose work room during the nursery years... I build things for the garden in it such as benches and arbors etc. during the winter... In early March when plant seedlings began to arrive it was transformed into a potting center and May 1st the nursery opened... Friday, Saturday and Sundays it was open to the general public and during the week it was open by appointment.. So on the weekends the room was gussied up as a tea room with overflow from the gift shop..


During the week it was transformed for workshops and lectures...


 This was another accidental shot... I was getting the room ready for the weekend not realizing I also got a picture of the original drain in the floor which carried all the cattle waste out of the barn...I kept it covered with old carpets.  All someone would have to do is shovel the gravel out and it would be ready to use again...  

Then when the nursery finally closed it was transformed again into my big sewing room where I sewed garden smocks, aprons, etc. to sell at garden shows... I finally got tired of bending over sewing machines and quit.

Unfortunately I didn't quit checking the yardage at thrift stores and kept hauling it home and piling in this room with the plan to make totes and purses someday. In addition to what you see here there is a long counter on the inside wall which has many bins under it. This is what it looked like when   my neighbor "Super Woman" Liz came and helped me get ready for Cathy Kizerian's visit.

We got all the fabric folded and sorted on the rolling racks and actually found the cutting table. One rack has tapestries, one has cottons and one has home decor fabrics...

Even though it was a January thaw, the wind was blowing and we needed the big propane heaters. It's not the best place to sew as it is most often too cold in the winter and too hot in the summer...impossible to keep clean and of course, there's the mice...

But the light is incredible... and it is surrounded with old-fashioned rose bushes.

I still needed to attack the other end of the room not seen in the tidy photo... it is where there are 5 sewing machines, ironing board and another big rolling rack... all buried in fabric.. Liz went home with lots of goodies....  .
There are three sewing machines and two sergers.  The blue machine is a Sail-rite which is great for denim.














Since I was doing crazy quilting I had way more "fancies" than I could ever use and Cathy Kizerian flew up one February.  I kept what I needed and she kept what she wanted and we filled several large trash bags to take to the retreat to share.  The weather was as decent as you could expect in February and we were able to work long days with the big propane heaters going...










But a frigid front moved in and the last day we were working all bundled up.   Even the big propane heaters couldn't keep the room warm. All the wall bins are filled with trims and lace.

But we finished and it was great fun watching all the gals at the retreat cutting the fabric up even more. Ever so often I will see a piece show up in someone's block.








About a year and half later Susie Wolfe came and we spent almost a week working on our BoHo  bag project and putting together fabric packs for bags.. and the big fans were going and shade cloth was on the windows to keep the room cool.








There is an adjacent room which used to be the gift shop where I have more supplies and an ironing board set. up...It's a cute room with rosy wallpaper, lace curtains and barn wood cabinets.

So I think 6 or 7 women could easily work in the barn at the same time.  I seldom work out there by myself anymore preferring the comfort and convenience of the house... Maybe when I get enough CQers here in Spokane we could have a retreat of sorts..

When we do finally have to leave the farm and put it up for sale, it will be fun to watch people's reaction to this side of the barn...  Well anyway the rest of it is still a REAL barn....  I have a fantasy of someone buying it and turning the sewing room back into a milking room for cows..  Wouldn't they be contended cows surrounded by roses and such a great view?

9 comments:

margaret said...

what an interesting read, such a journey you have been on in your barn and well I have never seen so such fabric, how you managed to sort your way through all that with just one helper is amazing. Wonder how much new fabric you have purchased since your big clean out, I am sure you will never have as big a stash as that again.

Marilyn said...

Your barn is truly a place of wonder...hmmm maybe the eightth wonder of the world. And I noticed in the last picture that Morris likes to keep you safe as you sew.

Mosaic Magpie said...

Loved seeing all the fun fabrics in that STASH of yours! The best photo is you in the cute red hat!
Deb

Laurie said...

What a blessing -- and a job! -- to have so much creative space. I would love to come and play, someday.

susiew said...

I loved my time with you in the barn. Why am I NOT surprised that you found 5 and then 4 matching windows (ALL in the same day) at a Thrift Store?!? After all that is where the mountain of fabric came from too. You, my dear, have to be the "Queen of Thrift"! I can only aim to be half as good.
Miss you ..... SusieW

Cathy K said...

Ah, what a great post! I had a ball with you and the barn goodies! How interesting to see it in its various "lives". Like Susie, I miss you, too. Maybe it's time we had a Spokane CQ gathering!! :-). Hugs, Cathy

Susan Elliott said...

It looks like such a beautifully well-lit place to sit and sew. I hope the cows don't get it...and I was certain that you were going to end the post by saying you'd already converted it to a classroom. I go to two different teachers houses once per month...my Japanese embroidery teacher has a wonderful home with japanese gardens and classroom space in her basement...it's lovely there. My other teacher has a few students that she hand-selected...you have to be "invited" to be her student...and she has us to her small house on 4th Tuesday of the month. Maybe you could do something like that?

sharonb said...

I loved reading this Gerry sounds like a great place with fun stuff and fun memories

Lady Locust said...

Did you say you are looking for crazy quilters?
Well...PLbplbpblpb*** oh wait, did you mean the quilt is supposed to be crazy:) I am just south of WallaWalla, am indeed a crazy quilter, and would love to try to make it up there if you are doing a class/retreat. I love the barn space and what a find with all of those wonderful windows. Natural light is always so nice.
Your blog is always such a joy to read.
Smiles,
JoeyLea
http://thelocustblossom.blogspot.com/

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