Brenda Suderman

Collage will supersize if double-clicked

Back of the Back 40

Original free pieced design by Brenda Suderman
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Free motion quilting by Chris Ballard

33" wide x 51" long - Shown here before quilting 
Photo will supersize if double-clicked

Brenda writes:  

I chose to make the back of a barn 
instead of the front because I was inspired by the 
patchwork of fir plywood pieces covering the cedar siding.  

This Mennonite house-barn is located in Reinland, Manitoba, Canada, 
just north of the Canada-U.S. border.  

This barn has belonged to members of my extended family 
for nearly a century and is now a designated 
historic site and has a web page of its own

The small building is the summer kitchen attached to the main house.  
My mother was born here and her family lived here 
with her grandparents for several years 
before moving across the street to another farmyard.  

My great aunt and uncle lived out 
their retirement years on this property, and kept it very well.  

However, it was only when I saw the photo of the back 
of the barn that I saw the possibilities of rendering this in fabric.

I built the barn and house with fabrics dyed by my mother.  
The sky is also hand dyed, starting with a commercial 
white-on-white print of stars and moons.  
I dyed the green fabric used in the foreground, 
twisting the fabric to get the variations.  

I included one free-pieced tree to right of the house, 
which represents the many trees on the property,
including a fruit orchard carefully kept by my great uncle.

This barn is located in a traditional European-style 
village in southern Manitoba, 
where every landowner would have a narrow strip 
of pasture or farmland stretching back from the main road.  

We have big skies in southern Manitoba, 
and a flat landscape, 
so I choose not to trim the foreground of the block, 
but left it to represent the long flat pasture.

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


Brenda’s hand dyed fabric choices yield a wonderful 
painterly look to her work and her careful attention 
to detail memorializes her family’s house-barn.


Variegated thread and gentle lines 
bring the long flat pasture to life.  

Architectural detail stitching adds wonderful texture to the buildings.  

Be sure to look closely at the stitching detail on the single large tree’s trunk.

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Brenda's SSOBB Blog Hop Post No. 1 is HERE

Her SSOBB Blog Hop Post No. 2 is HERE


  1. Lovely. I'm glad to see these special barns being documented.

  2. What a perfectly beautiful use of that hand dyed greenery--love it hugs, Julierose


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