Catherine Daniel Ceramics

Hello and welcome to my blog where I share some of the thought processes and textile/quilting inspirations behind my ceramic art, and occasionally other random topics!
For more details and pictures of my ceramic creations, please see my website -

Thursday, 12 April 2012

American Barn Quilts

I decided to attempt the 'Laced Star' quilt block on one of my large bowls.  I googled images of the pattern to get a feel for it and see it in different colour combinations, and stumbled across 'BARN QUILTS'.

You all probably know about these already, but they're new to me and I have been fascinated by this recent trend which is taking off in rural parts of the U.S.

As you can see, the barn owner chooses a quilt-block they like, or one which has some meaning in their family history, and has it painted onto a huge board and mounted onto the side of their barn.  

There are 'Barn Quilt Trails' you can go on, where you get a little map and off you go to find them all.  They can now be spotted brightening up the landscape of many US states.  A lady called Suzi Parron even wrote a book about them, telling the wonderful stories behind the individual choices of quilt block.   Have a look at her blog if you want more :

So this is the 'Laced Star', above on a barn and below on a pot!   Once I'd got my head round it, I didn't find it too difficult to map out onto clay.

Years ago when I first started making these, I found the more complex patterns a bit challenging, but now I really enjoy them as I have kind of 'got the hang of it' with practice! Geometry was the only thing I ever understood in Maths at school, and that was probably more to do with an ability to see patterns, than anything numerical!

Because it's called Laced Star I decided to impress a strip of flowery lace into the clay to make the border.  That's the green band you see here.  Though, I expect by 'laced', they really mean 'interlaced', but anyway!

Now I'm off to put a huge painted quilt-block on the side of my barn ....  except we don't have a barn.  We do have a double garage which can be seen from the side of the road - maybe that would do? 

Up until five years ago, I had never even heard of a 'Quilt Block', so it's no surprise that I didn't know about Barn Quilts.  Did you know about them?  I think I have a few American readers, so obviously you all knew!

You live and learn!

                         x Cathy


  1. I love the laced star pattern you have done with the white dividing the star points, this is one block I am unfamiliar with. I never saw barn quilts before, just other advertising on barns, the quilt blocks look great on the barns.

  2. Your latest pot is lovely! I love the star pattern on it, and the pretty detailed edging is gorgeous,so intricate and delicate. the colours are lovely too.
    Although I've been a great fan of traditional american quilt blocks for the last 10 years or so, i havent heard of the latest trend of barn quilts, so I'm so glad you shared this!

    You could set a new trend for garage quilts couldnt you??!!!I dare you!

    Gill xx

  3. Cathy, I just love your work! I'm so glad that you discovered barn quilts; thanks for sharing them with your readers.

    By the way, YES--there are garage quilts! Here is a link for you: (or you can search for "garage" on my blog)

    As you can see, any large surface can accommodate a quilt. With your skill, I am sure yours would be lovely!

    Thanks again and do let me know if you decide to start a new trend.


  4. Bet these would sell well in the USA!

    I like the 'lace' border anyway!

    Have a great weekend,

    Sandie xx

  5. Mathematics is actually more about pattern than number, so there are a lot of quilters and crafters out there who don't realise how mathematical they are...

    I'd not heard of heard of barn quilts either, but it's a great idea, isn't it!

  6. I love the colors you select in your pieces and just adore the look of quilt squares in clay! These are so unique and gorgeous!

  7. Hi Cathy, thanks so much for stopping by my blog and your lovely comments. Your bowls are incredible! I had never heard of Barn Quilts before but what a fantastic idea!
    Gillian x

  8. OH WOW... gonna look and it may take me a long time :-) :-)
    Thanks :-) really lovely to see you at Soggibottom X X X

  9. Hi Cathy, just a quick comment before I drag myself off to bed! If I say the two things which grab me, artistically speaking, are colour and texture, then you'll understand why I love what I've seen so far of your blog. Your ceramics are fab, I could.....I don't know...pick 'em up and eat 'em! I love applique, pottery, colour, book illustrations similar to your gifted book, Arthurian stories, much you have on your posts that I identify with.

    I've certainly heard of quilt blocks on sides of barns - I think it's been going on for some time. What a great idea to stick 'em on your garage! Start a trend! Oh Gawd, I'm geting exclamationitis again, time for bed. I'm following your blog. Keep in touch! Night Night!

  10. I love the quilt barns. We always look out for them when we visit family in the states - rural Pennsylvania.
    Your work is stunning. It has been great to look around your blog and discover the wonderful work you are doing and to see your use of quilt blocks for inspiration.
    Congratulations also on being selected to stock the National Trust stores. That is so exciting and a real credit to the work you do.
    I look forward to following your posts.

  11. I know this block as Jennifer's star - a lot of quilt blocks have several names. I know about barn quilts through reading "A good snapshot" (you'll find a link on my sidebar). I love all the detail on the border!

  12. Hey Cathy- Thought you might like Jane Sassaman's stuff,the colours! The quilts! Check out Tula Pink too- really witty fabrics.
    Painted the garage yet?x

  13. Just catching up Cathy, it looks lovely, I am busy glazing thistles onto my plates and bowls just now...but one day...

  14. Hey Cath nice feature for Barns. American Barn Quilts are all new to me, I haven't seen such creative and ideal barns ever before. I never know that barns could actually be this pleasant with some creative quilts hanged around. I love the second photo, the barn looks very neat and perfectly emphasized with that colorful quilt, just looks perfect.