The Farm Quilt

Why do I do this???? I tend to assume you’ve all been following Country Threads for years and probably remember the summer I made Back on the Farm designed by McKenna Ryan.Continue reading

Let me be very clear on this – I am not a lover of appliqué! Probably because I’m not very good at it but this farm quilt spoke to me after we saw the original at Quilt Market many years ago.

Here are the 9 separate patterns and sections.

Each section can be part of one glorious quilt or it can stand alone as a wall quilt.

Here is how the pattern is presented for fusible appliqué. Lots of tiny pieces, hundreds of tiny pieces!

The pieces cover both sides of the large newsprint type paper. She recommends an appliqué sheet which I remember as being indispensable.

The pieces are fused only and then she stitched around each piece with invisible thread as she machine quilted it as a whole quilt. I didn’t even know how to thread the longarm machine at that point and I believe it would take a master longarmer to quilt this nicely. Quilting stitches would be around the fused pieces through backing and batting. Lots of stitching. Since that was totally out of the realm of possibility for me I quilted each section with invisible thread and a crosshatch design. Then I joined each section together as a quilt as you go project would be joined.

Which means this — as an “art” quilt, it will never be washed and when I store it, I roll it around a padded piece of PVC pipe. If any of the little pieces start to peel up, I glue them down with fabric glue.

Here’s a close up of my quilting which is a far cry from the original but I loved the quilt so much that I just had to make it in whatever method I could handle.

I also made these two single sections from another series called Storybook Farm. They hang in my front entry.

I went to her website and the entire set of Back on the Farm sections are on sale for about half price. Looks like she’s going to discontinue the project so if you love the Farm Quilt, act now!


Remember my Kaffe Fassett project? Finally got the blank squares cut and up on the wall. As soon as I am happy with the arrangement I’ll sew it together.

And the original Louise and Friends quilt hangs in the quilt shop. If you’d like to order this pattern, it will be $10 which also includes postage.

Here’s Rita’s Harvey, dressed in his formal duds!

I went to Novel Idea this morning at the library which is prompting me to post our list of books from March. I will put it in a separate post so it’s easy to print off.

30 thoughts on “The Farm Quilt

  1. Felicia Hamlin

    Mary, a blogger that I follow has made at least two McKenna Ryan quilts and she complained a lot about mistakes and the fact that the patterns were on both sides. Your quilts and wallhangings are very pretty. I have done wool appliqué and I like it a lot, but I don’t think I could do such a big quilt with such tiny pieces.

    1. Betty Klosterman

      I think that McKenna Ryan’s quilts are “raw edge” applique. She arranges them like puzzle pieces on the special pressing sheet, then irons the whole thing on the background. Then she sews a straight stitch around all the raw edges that show to hold them down. Seems like a lady here skipped that part and just quilted the whole thing using a small meander to hold the pieces. She said it would never be washed so that was it. I don’t know if this makes sense….. Doing the hand applique like Felicia is thinking would take a very long time.

  2. Mrs. Goodneedle

    You did a wonderful job handling that appliqué quilt, I truly believe that if we want something bad enough we can figure out a way to make it happen and you surely did! Bravo!! Too many people are intimidated by what they believe they cannot accomplish and that stops them Short of their goal. I am a “go for it” kind of gal; I make plenty of mistakes along the way but at least I try and let the chips fall where they may. Bravo for your perseverance!! 👏🏻 Your Kaffe blocks are cheery and vibrant, a real day brightener!

  3. Judy

    I love the farm quilt you made. McKenna Ryan has her shop about a half hour from where I live but I have never been to it. I follow another blogger from my area that has done one of her quilts and she had so much trouble with the pattern not being totally correct that at this point I feel that I don’t want to deal with that. I do think that her quilts are amazing and beautiful and some day I may decide to make one.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Judy – I don’t think there were any mistakes in the Farm Quilt – just lots of pieces. You should go to her shop – just seeing the original quilts would be worth the trip!

  4. Teresa

    Aww, seeing Louise and Friends again brings back fond memories of shopping in your store.

  5. Marilyn Holder

    I have been reading/following you and Connie forever and well remember the Farm Quilt. Do not apologize or feel bad. Nice to see closeups. Keep moving and giving ideas. I am sewing the chair cover using scraps of 2 1/2 x 4 1/2; it’s taking a while because I’m using them as leaders n enders, but using up lots of fabric just sitting around.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Marilyn Holder – don’t you just love leaders and Enders? I taught it to Reed as well!

  6. Carla Francis

    What pattern did you use for the Kaffee quilt? Love those colors!! Thanks for writing everyday! It is always inspiring!

  7. Patricia E Campbell

    My first quilt – for my granddaughter – was an under the sea appliqué quilt for which I had no pattern. I had no idea what i was doing. To this day, I think piecing is MUCH more difficult than appliqué!! There’s no room for error!!! With appliqué, there’s lot’s of room! HAHA!!

  8. Debra Miller

    Love the applique farm but way too small and detailed for my eyes! Also love the Louise quilt-we have eight goats now with the three new babies. What size is it?

  9. Patti

    Oh Mary! I love the Farm quilt. All that hard work. I haven’t done applique yet, but now the bar is set too high! I love the close-up shots of the quilting. Thanks for all the pictures.

  10. Diane Bauer

    Your farm quilt is absolutely gorgeous and I love the way you quilted yours–keeps the focus on the pattern.

    Crazy weather here today. It started raining early and switched to snow shortly after noon. By the time I got home at 4 pm there was over a foot of snow in my backyard. The dogs absolutely LOVE it!! The wind is supposed to pick up later tonight, though Pueblo had 100mph winds around dinnertime. I’m happy to not need to get out tomorrow. Hoping it doesn’t last long! I can sew for quite awhile!!

  11. Betty Klosterman

    There have been ads for sewing machine needles to use for adhesive and fabric. They say the adhesive doesn’t stick to the needle??? Maybe worth a try?

    1. Cynthia Sabinske

      Please tell me the name of the needles and where one would find them, I am going to make bird seed large totes and this was pan issue when I made my fist bags!

      1. Betty Klosterman

        You are in luck! Looked thru the last quilting magazines and nothing. Seemed to remember the Schmetz name and looked it up. Go into: Schmetz Needles Super Non Stick and Bingo! They are there. Hope they work. You will have to let us know how they work.

        1. CountryThreads Post author

          Betty Klosterman- nonstick needles would be helpful soooo many times! I’m going to try some – thanks for doing the research!

  12. Sue

    I just love your Farm Quilt. It is a treasure, for sure. However, McKenna Ryans patterns are just too tiny and exacting for me because I am a Klutz when it comes to fusible applique. I would rather hand applique the pieces, but, of course, there is way to much detail to do that with her patterns. Aren’t you glad you made it long ago? Now it is done and gorgeous. Like I said in the previous post, I am working with fusible web for my challenge quilt upcoming on the 4th of July, and I am not liking it at all. But, I am going to finish it, even though I may be stuck to my sewing room floor by then.

  13. Kate

    I remember when McKenna Ryan began her business. I loved her quilts, but they looked way to involved for me at the time, but that Farm Quilt is so wonderful, I’m tempted. You keep us on our toes with all the quilts you are making and have made. I’ve been quilting since the 70’s, but haven’t made nearly as many quilts as you have managed to make. I’m up for the challenge, though!

  14. Betty Klosterman

    The McKenna Ryan quilts are unbelivable. I’ve got the goose and the daisies pattern and the horse and chickens. There is a whole box of her patterns and the fabrics waiting….. She is such an artist. Now the kits for her new pattern pieces have the adhesive backing and are laser cut so you don’t have to spend weeks doing all the cutting. Expensive, but the quilt might be completed.
    We are kind of snowed in today. North of us had 18″ of snow this morning. So far we have about 5″ here. The wind is coming up, drifting, airport closed and probably the Interstate, too. The 2nd round of the storm is coming tonight. The best part is I have plenty of stuff to do inside. This afternoon I even made the top of a paper pieced flag pincushion….. all out of the scrap box. I don’t plan to get outside until maybe Friday.

  15. Paula Philpot

    Mary you do this because you love us ! You know we all love what you do with the animals and your quilts and that is why we follow you. I love applique but this one is really a dedicated project. I am anxious to see how many proceed making it. lol. I love the kaffe quilt and also Louise pattern. Paula in KY

  16. Susan Fiorito

    Oh how I love the Farm Quilt! You did a great job on yours. It’s so you! I no longer quilt :-(. We recently downsized and I lost my craft room. It’s o.k. I use my kitchen table for less time consuming projects. I miss it.

  17. Diane in Central Ohio

    Thank you. I have a couple of McKenna Ryan patterns that I bought at Paducah in 2005!! I haven’t gotten around to making them so I am happy to see how you quilted yours. It is wonderful. I had thought I’d start them sometime when we had a blizzard, but Central Ohio thankfully doesn’t get very many so I’ll just plan it for this winter:) How is your weather, Mary? It looked like you MIGHT avoid the latest 18 inches of snow in the Plains. I hope so.

  18. Linda

    Hi Mary, I knew right away it was a McKenna pattern. I have made many of her works of art. I too, quilted them like yours. I have collected your patterns too. I must have over 50 and all your books. I have been culling my books but need to still hang on to yours. They just plain make me happy. I saved all your Goat Gazzet newsletters too. I am not sure if I have all of them? I love reading your blog everyday. It’s snowing now. Two days ago almost 80. Sigh

  19. Brenda in Iowa

    Mary, Thank you so much for taking the time to share the ‘Back On The Farm’ quilt. I didn’t realize it wasn’t one of your designs. I think your quilt is simply beautiful! Hope you don’t get too much snow from the storm that’s coming.

  20. Nikki M in Tx

    Absolutely Love your farm quilts, large & small. Always said would never do the A word, but, have to admit have now done three…Nothing as adventurous as yours however. Thank you for taking the time & sharing so much with us87 degrees here yesterday and projected same for today,spring definitely here. Have to mow as afraid will lose my little Ms Maci in the grass.

  21. Rita M in CT

    I love Mckenna Ryans patterns but know they are to much for me to accomplish.
    Thanks for the goat pattern I will send a check and address label. I think my Aunt will love it.
    Also thanks for the book list I am ready for my next book and I will share it with my sister in law.
    I am currently looking for buttons for Harvey I think a black tie will be needed too.

  22. Lisa in Washington state

    I love your McKenna Ryan farm quilt! Her designs are is so awesome, but I hate applique so I will never make one. But, I can admire all who do! Thanks for all the sharing and giving us a peek into your farm and quilting life. I hope you don’t get too much snow in the storm that’s coming your way. Happy sewing and I’ll also thank you for the book list in advance. I plan on reading that post next.

  23. Carolyn Boutilier

    Hello Mary, I love your farm quilt but that is to much applique for me. I will enjoy yours. We are both working on the same Kaffee quilt Dark 9 Patch. My brother’s wife has been diagnosed with breast cancer and I am making this quilt that will hopefully cheer her up . We are having a nice spring day and hope you are also. Love that Connie is sharing her cruise pictures. Carolyn B

  24. PJ

    So love the farm quilt as I was a farm girl n cared for lots of animals… I would love one….but would never have the patience to appliqué but so love yours n anything you do!!!!!!

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