Tuesday, February 7, 2017

The Project He Tackled

As soon as I first heard about barn quilts--when I learned that such a thing existed--I wanted one.

It sure has taken me a long time to get one though.  ;-)

Here's the story...

15 months ago, on the evening of November 11, 2015, Benjamin was two days shy of being two months old.  And on that evening, Jeff began to draw out a pattern for our barn quilt on a piece of wood he had purchased for this project.  I had admired barn quilts for some time before this and had searched online for a pattern, admiring dozens and finally choosing one that especially caught my eye.  On July 7, 2015, I pasted a picture of it into a Google Doc; but it wasn't until November 11 that we got to work.  "We," meaning Jeff, but that's a given.  :)
While he worked, the rest of the family played--Moriah by jumping on the couch...
...Josiah by doing email...
...the rest of the boys (excluding Benjamin, obviously) by playing with LEGO guys and blocks.

Benjamin got to play by swinging in his baby swing; and oh my goodness, seeing these pictures whisks me back in time so quickly, I get a little dizzy.  He was so little!  Just a baby!  He could fit in this swing!  This swing that we haven't even owned for months now!  How did that all happen so fast?!
Anyway, in this busy, happy family scene on an autumn evening a year and a quarter ago, Jeff was carefully working...
...meticulously sketching the lines for this barn quilt I was so keen on having.
Little did I know then how many more months would pass before we took the next step.
You see, after this night in November of 2015, we put this board on our porch, and there it sat.

And sat.

And sat.

We weren't exactly sure what colors we would use, and we didn't have the paint.  In fact, we weren't confident about what kind of paint would be best.  From time to time, I looked at the board and wanted to make progress on it.  From time to time, we talked about what the best way to do the next step would be.  But most of the time, the board simply took up space, half-forgotten, never-focused-on, just waiting.  Until...

December 13 of 2016 - We began to paint, using some old paint leftover from when our bedroom was painted.  Why it took me this long to dive in, I'm not exactly sure.  One of the mysteries of life, I suppose.  ;-)
At this point, we figured we didn't have much to lose, so even if this wasn't precisely the best kind of paint, it was better than doing nothing!
Josiah got to do some of the first painting...
...and the next day, December 14, David continued (and, although I don't have photographic proof, I think Tobin and Shav each got to do a little bit then, too).
At this point, since I knew there would be other colors in the adjoining spaces, I wasn't very concerned about whether some paint got outside the lines.
But as you can see...
...David was very precise.

It was GOOD to get started on this, and I was so happy to see some paint on the board; but we hit the pause button again on the project until...

...December 23, when I bought myself a pre-Christmas present.  :)
But who has time to paint when it's Christmas, so again the project got put on hold.  Until...

...January 18, 2017, the day Josiah, David, and I were gone most of the afternoon and all of the evening, getting registered and helping to set up for the speech and debate tournament that was kicking off early the next morning.  Before we left the house, we had talked about the colors I had marked on the board, Jeff had gotten out the painter's tape, and he had opened the can of green paint.
I knew progress was being made, and I was thrilled.  :)
Tobin got to help, too, and he was thrilled.  :)

And then I departed, grateful that Jeff was working on this project that I had put off so long, but not expecting astonishing results.  It takes time, after all, to put on the tape, paint a section, then let it dry before taping off another section and doing it all over again.  With adjoining sections like this barn quilt had, there was no way to proceed very quickly with the process!

Or was there?

Jeff started texting me pictures; and each time a new one came in, my jaw dropped.
I was delighted when I saw this...
...and even more excited when I saw this!
Flabbergasted, too.
How had he managed to do so much in so little time?!
Then he sent me this, and I realized that he had FINISHED all of the paint colors.  WOW!  That went WAY above my expectations!!
As it turned out, he got tired of using the tape, so he began to freehand it.  He warned me that, if I looked closely at it, I would find lots of imperfections.
Huh.  It sure looks perfect to me!!!!!  :)
I have felt quite silly and have done a fair amount of kicking myself that I procrastinated so much on this project and here, Jeff was able to whip it out in ONE AFTERNOON.  Clearly, arts and crafts are not my forte!  But I'm SO pleased with how it turned out and SO, SO thankful for Jeff tackling this project, that I've been able to forgive myself.  ;-)

It's not quite done.  We still need to get some kind of sealant (I have no idea what I'm talking about) to paint over everything to protect the wood and the paint, and then we need to hang it in its place of honor on the side of our woodshed.  Any guesses about how many more months it will be until we finish that?  ;-)
Until then, it's brightening up our porch, reminding me every time I see it of Jeff's love for me.  You know the concept of the five love languages?  Well, Jeff's skillful work on this project poured many gallons of acts-of-service love into my love tank.  The memory of the love he showed will remain in my heart even longer than it took us to bring my I-sure-would-like-a-barn-quilt wish to fruition!!  ;-)


Julie VanPelt Lohr said...

Love it! We had one that was painted on the side of a shed here, and people would often pull off the side of the road and take pictures or comment to us about enjoying it. Unfortunately it was painted directly to the shed and therefore when we took down the shed because it was poor quality, we lost it as well. I like your design much better! I would love to do it again, but I don't have a shed to put it on yet!

Emily said...

That is so neat!!

Sally said...

That is so lovely! It's even more lovely that your projects happen with mostly brain-power on your part!! What a blessing!