Valerie Levy

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The Purple Post Ranch

Original free pieced design by Valerie Levy
Hackett’s Cove, Nova Scotia, Canada 


Free motion quilting by Chris Ballard




33.25" wide x 36" long - Shown here before quilting
Photo will supersize if double-clicked


Valerie writes:  

The Purple Post Ranch began as an imaginative exercise, 
to go back to my free piecing infancy 
and truly follow Julie's process notes as a beginner might. 

I built the barn using the notes for the Author's summer barn.  

I placed purple fence posts in the field for no other reason 
than because I believe in breaking the rules 
and would love to see a fence in 
any other colour than weathered wood or white!  

(Purple also happens to be my favourite colour and, 
as my sister says, ‘Purple is the colour of grooviness!’)

My quilt began to become a social statement 
with the woman driving the giant tractor.  

Close inspection of the picture shows a woman waving, 
but at a glance I saw a gutsy woman in her blue dress shouting, 
‘I am a woman, I can do anything!’  

This statement is also a bold reflection of my personality:  
tell me I can't, then stand back and watch me.

The time involved in this barn building process 
gave me time to reflect and inspired within me much thought 
about the state of farming in our small province.  

Our barns are falling down, 
land is being sold to developers, 
and a way of life is being lost.  

Every farm lost takes with it a little chunk 
of the province’s ability to sustain itself.  

No Farms No Food is a community coalition 
in Kings County, Nova Scotia.  

A group of concerned farmers, business operators, 
teachers, wild life enthusiasts, health care professionals,
and individuals from every walk of life
have come together to oppose the loss of farmland.  

This coalition works actively with our government 
to promote and secure food security and sustainability, 
while delivering a loud and clear message 
to the citizens of Nova Scotia.  

Supporting our local farms and businesses is the back bone 
upon which the movement is built; 
the simplest and most important way we can all help to preserve
a history that has kept us fed since the 1700s.


Shown here after quilting - Photo will supersize if double-clicked




DESIGN NOTE:  

Valerie’s fussy cut fabrics inside the barn’s 
open arched door frame and to the left of the barn 
include not only farm equipment, 
but also people at work.  

Her free pieced words speak volumes.


QUILTING NOTE:  

Stitch in the ditch (SID) work 
around the letters and purple posts 
adds definition without overwhelming the elements.  

Notice the half circle fan design in the haymow, 
the window and door details, 
and the way the quilting emphasizes 
the design of carefully chosen fabric elements 
while allowing them to tell the quilt’s story.



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Rose Bay Barn

Original free pieced design by Valerie Levy
Hackett’s Cove, Nova Scotia, Canada 


Free motion quilting by Chris Ballard



22.75" wide x 27.5" long - Shown here before quilting
Photo will supersize if double-clicked


Valerie writes:   

I grew up on the south shore of Nova Scotia. 

That coastal upbringing has given me 
a fondness for the ocean and her seaside buildings, 
known locally as fish stores or stands.  

The landscapes that live among the memories of my childhood 
include the fish stores I played in as a child, 
the wharves our men fished from, 
and the cold clean water that provided 
many a meal and in which I learned to swim.  

There are few barns along these shores as 
most of the farming that exists today 
happens in the interior of the province. 

 Like the old barns of this province the fish stores, 
along with the livelihood that the sea 
once provided the people, are also disappearing.  

I chose this small building that once stood 
along the shore in Rose Bay, Nova Scotia 
as my inspiration to honour one of these buildings lost to time.   

Our old fish stores were built to accommodate 
the immovable granite terrain on which many were perched 
and strong enough to withstand years of 
gale force winds and the pounding of the sea.  

My Rose Bay Barn’s design suggests the simple, practical 
architectural shape common to this shore 
and the landscape allows the viewer to picture 
the rocky ledges that are the waterfront of rural Nova Scotia.


Shown here after quilting - Photo will supersize if double-clicked



DESIGN NOTE:  

Valerie used the colors and textures of her fabrics 
as well as their shapes to share her vision, 
providing both seasonal and locational context for her barn.  

In addition to the gray areas near the barn’s foundation, 
notice the single narrow strip of gray 
used to define the rocky shoreline on the opposite side of the bay.   


QUILTING NOTE:  

Joyful windswept swirls fill the sky.  

Textural stitching unifies the windswept grasses, 
adds character to the barn, 
and creates waves in the bay. 

Be sure to look closely near the shoreline 
for two groups of irregularly shaped quilted granite boulders.


BLOG HOP POSTS

Post One is HERE

Post Two is HERE

Post Three is HERE




2 comments:

  1. The quilts, the meaning behind them, the thoughfulness, Valerie's amazing free piecing...just wonderful. love, love, love!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love that when Valerie goes over the top she goes all the way over. Just spectacular. Yet she also handles subtlety, as in the second barn, supremely well. Well done. I love both of these.

    Lynne

    ReplyDelete

Thank you so much for taking time to share your thoughts!