barn quilt coloring book & art journaling

Marian ParsonsMustard Seed Studio, Uncategorized, Watercolors, Writing a Book26 Comments

I have been working on several projects over the past few months and one of them has finally hit the market!  The Barn Quilt Coloring Book is now available.

This project was something totally different for me.  First of all, it involved drawing instead of writing!  But it felt like a project that worked nicely with my brand, despite the fact that it wasn’t like anything I’d done before. I never even thought of doing a coloring book!  But, the company who is publishing the Home Design Doodle Book presented this project and we developed the idea together.

I first had to do a ton of research on barn quilts and traditional quilt squares.  Since I live in Pennsylvania, a place where barn quilts are pretty commonly seen, I was familiar with them, but I didn’t know the history.  (For those who don’t know what a barn quilt is, it’s a quilt square that is painted on a large piece of wood and hung on a barn.  The idea is that several barns within a county display different squares and people can follow a route to see the full “quilt”.  Does that make sense?)

 Anyway, I always assumed that barn quilts were a historic thing, something that’s been around since the 1800’s, but it’s actually a recent “invention.”  You can read about barn quilt history HERE, if you’re interested.

I had such a fun time designing the quilt squares, trying to be inventive, but rooted in traditional designs as well.  Some of the designs are intricate, others are moderate, and a few are very simple.  The idea is that you can pick the page depending on your mood or the amount of time you have for that coloring session!  We also talked about the idea of kids wanting to color in “mom’s book”.  Some of the simple pages would be perfect to “share” with your budding artists.

And within the quilt squares, you could get really creative and make your own fabric patterns.  There is lots of potential!

Also included, are barn and farm scenes.  Now, I didn’t draw those!  They were hired out to an immensely talented freelance artist.

My ever supportive mom was so cute.  She asked me what the best colored pencils were for her to buy, so she could color her copy properly.  That made me smile.  I recommended Prismacolor Pencils, by the way.

I’ll show some video previews on Facebook and Instagram over the next few days.  You can purchase the Barn Quilt Coloring Book on Amazon and from other places where coloring books are sold.  I’ll also list them in my online shop with the next sale if you’d like a signed copy.

Last night, the boys were at Awana, so I started another online art class.  Between family, business, and church stuff, I’m busy, but I’m really trying to carve out some time for myself.

This class is on watercolor landscapes.  It’s called “Close to Home: A watercolor landscape journey.”  It’s timely, because I would really like to do some watercolor journaling while I’m in China.  I practiced on  tiny journal with thin pages to see how it worked and, even though it’s really not suited to watercolors, I was surprised how well it turned out!

 So, I’m working on prepping a little sketch and watercolor kit I can fit in my carry-on.  I also ordered a small Moleskine Watercolor Journal to take on my trip, but I’ll probably work in this one, too.  There’s no pressure when the paper is cheap, right?

I am also going to start playing with oil paint.  My friend, Katie, who worked with us last year as we were preparing for Lucketts, is an amazing artist and we’ve set up a weekly painting date, so she can teach me to use oils and we can do some painting together.  She has a baby girl and twin boys in preschool, so she needs the adult conversation and creative outlet and I am hungry to learn more!

I’ll share how it goes…

barn quilt coloring book & art journaling

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26 Comments on “barn quilt coloring book & art journaling”

  1. I love the quilt book! I have placed a order from Amazon. I plan to give it to a friend who is over the quilt trail in our town.
    Thank you.

  2. The oil class with Katie sounds like a win win. Wish I was. closer and I would volunteer to bring the muffins and tea so I could up my skills. It is so difficult to make time for painting in a busy life. I must try harder.

  3. Congratulations Marian! I’m pretty sure I’m going to HAVE to buy this coloring book. It looks so sweet. Thanks also for mentioning your recommended pencils. That was going to be one of my questins. I love seeing all that you’re accomplishing. It’s very inspiring!

  4. I read the history but I have to differ with the article. As a child and Army brat we traveled every summer in the early 1960’s from the south in North Carolina to Minnesota and also to Idaho. At that time interstates were not always used and we traveled many miles through farmland along the north first stopping in Pennsylvania at family homes. it was during this time I saw a quilt pattern painted on a barn. I can remember thinking then how pretty it was and unusual to see. That is when I fell in love with the few green barns that were atypical.

  5. Do you have any plans to have art classes at the studio? I’d love to sign up for a watercolor or oil painting beginners class!! I’ll bring cake 🙂

  6. I chuckled a bit because Berol Prismacolor pencils are what I had back in highschool and college studio art and are still, in my opinion, the very best. My kids got their first set of 36 this past Christmas- but harder to find them these days they keep selling out locally because of the adult coloring trend. Marian, you never cease to amaze. All the best.

  7. Hi Marian, love your Blog, read it daily, but don’t post often. You are soooo creative and talented. You’ve recently been mentioning your trip to Bejing. Question, does this mean your products, manufacturing, designs, etc. are going to be outsourced to China? Coloring book is a gem! Thx

  8. I plan on getting your Coloring book, too! And you have so much talent, I don’t think you realize. Your paintings are so pretty & serene.

  9. Hi Marian,
    You might want to try water mixable oils that wash up with soap and water! I have found them to be easy to work with and don’t have to deal with the fumes of turpintine and the other solvents that the regular oil paints require.
    The Artisan line is the one I use.
    Enjoy!
    Stephanie

  10. What’s the site for the online shop? Trying to convince my husband to vacation at Lucketts this year. The new location is much better for us in the South! We’ll see…

  11. I’ve always loved to color and the “adult” coloring books are so fun. I love your barn quilts and I know I’ll be adding it to my collection. Thanks Marian!

  12. Oh my goodness! You are amazing!!!
    Wish I had about 1/2 the energy and drive that you do…I would get a lot more accomplished! So proud to say that I know you. Keep your palette going. I look forward to getting my copy of the barn quilt coloring book!
    All the best on your trip to China! Color away….

  13. Love the quilt book and will have to order. As a quilter, it will be fun to audition colors on the “quilts” to see what new quilt block color schemes would be fun to try!

  14. Congratulations Marian! Berol prismacolors are the best. Hope your Mom enjoys them. You have a wonderful Mother like mine.

  15. China! I went last October, the people were friendly and wanted to gather around us, show off their children and take pictures with them, the kiddos and us in them. Very welcoming. Interesting country, Bejing, Yangsee River Cruise, several other cities, the high speed train, a in country flight, ending in Shanghai. Wonderful, wonderful, it’ll be interesting to read your take on all this. 🙂

  16. Wow, did I actually see your coloring book somewhere already? Looks familiar, but I wouldn’t have given it more than a glance, because I didn’t expect it to be yours! As a former teacher, I still get regular emails from Dover, maybe I saw it there? Anyway, I will be buying this! God has gifted you so richly, congratulations on this newest product.

  17. Congratulations! I am going to buy one for my mom; she loves to colour! I just bought one of your stencils and I am having the best time playing with it. Thanks, Marian!

  18. Marian, I am so proud of you. The last few years I have watched you grow and try new things. It’s so exciting to see what you are going to accomplish next. With much love from a great-gramma who wouldn’t miss one of your blogs.

  19. I have several friends who are quilters and I cannot wait to purchase some of these as gifts – TRULY AWESOME and blessed congrats! The watercolor journal is gorgeous and I cannot wait to hear of our trip to China. I had no idea that you were going and am anxious to hear the purpose of of your trip and who will be accompanying you – What a wonderful experience you will have, I am sure!

  20. This looks amazing. I have a friend who is a quilter and very talented and this would be a great gift. You are seeing all your dreams come to life. WTG

  21. I was so pleased to see your current release. I have admired barn quilts in photos, but didn’t realize their history or purpose of following a trail to see the rest of the “quillt”. Mother and I started quilting at the same time and she became quite the master quilter. I wrote a post about her giving away 46 quilts on her 80th birthday that was by far my most read post. I will be ordering one or more of your books!
    Hearing you mention your boys going to Awana made me smile. Awana is a favorite with us! Husband has over 30 years of being a leader and 25 for myself as I was a stay at home mom with our youngest. We love the fruit of that ministry. I loved being a Bible Quiz coach. Now we have 4 grandchildren in Awana.
    Thanks for sharing your talents with the world. I always look forward to reading your posts and appreciate the inspiration!

  22. I got my Barn Quilt Colorbook! I love it! I love the verses, too. I took a fun colorbook class yesterday and it was great. I really recommend it. It takes coloring to a whole new level! So Fun!

  23. Hi. Have you thought of packaging watercolors and pencils in your palette of colors??oooo… oils too?

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