Monday, September 9, 2013

Barn Salvage at Quilter's Cottage

My hubby and I picked the second hottest day of the summer to finish our work on the barn at Quilter's Cottage.
This is how the barn looked when we started our final day of salvage.  My son, Ryan, had removed these boards and laid them in piles, by size, waiting for me to remove the nails.  Now that's a fun job!
 Randy went up on the roof to remove the tin.  We're still not in agreement about it's use in the new space.  I want to use it on the ceilings.  He thinks it belongs at the recycling center.  But, guess who won this argument?  He'd drop the sheets to the ground, and I piled them in the garage.
After I removed the nails, I stacked the boards into piles by size.  We ended up with two types of boards:  really old with a little paint, and even older with even less paint.  Won't they look great on the walls of the retail space?  That way when customers lament about the loss of our 1898 barn, I can simply point to the walls/ceiling and say, "here it is..."
Time for a commercial break.  We had to drink plenty of water.  How do you like my advertising for the Iowa State Cyclones and Shelby County State Bank?
The barn tin will look great on the ceiling some day, don't you think?  I particularly like the sheets that have bullet holes in them.
Here's the view of the north side of the barn after the boards and tin were removed.  Look how bad the roof was below the tin sheets?  Gosh, that was pretty dangerous for Randy to be working on.  Good thing he didn't fall through. 

See the board ladder up the steep side of the roof?  That's the ladder that Randy made to go up and take down the cupola for me.  What a honey!
As if the day was not hot enough, Randy cut down two dead pines and started a bonfire on Highway 30.  No one stopped to roast marshmallows though...
Sadly, the beautiful trees that once lined the property had been overgrown with wild cucumber vine.  It's amazing how one little plant can choke the life out of a full grown tree.  We had to cut down 2 more cedar trees that didn't bounce back.  I'm going to have to plant lots of new trees. 

This is a shot looking at the north side of the house.  That is where the retail addition will be constructed.
As you drive down the highway, the first thing you notice about Quilter's Cottage is the half-salvaged barn.  The second thing you notice is the lovely perennials near the house.  I love to plant flowers, and can't wait to landscape the place after the addition is constructed. 

Of course, many hands make for faster work, so if you want to help with planting next spring, give me a shout!

So what's the plan for Quilter's Cottage?  Well, we plan to add a 25'x28' structure on the north side that connects to the 17'x18' porch.  The entire area will be used as a retail/quilting area.  I plan to bring my quilting machine to the cottage, where I can quilt/design/sew to my heart's content.  The retail area will be open four days each week (Thursday-Sunday).  Because we are on US Highway 30 (the Lincoln Highway), we see a LOT of traffic each day, and we hope that the shop will be a nice attraction.  We plan to feature fabric designers from the Midwest, and quilt-related products and merchandise.  When quilters are staying at the cottage, they will have the added benefit of having a full retail/notion store at their convenience. Currently, the Cottage has 3 bedrooms and 1-1/2 baths. Through the winter, we also plan to add a 4th bedroom and full bath in the basement (garden level).

In addition to the barn wood and tin, I've been able to locate salvaged barn lights and salvaged double hung windows to let in lots of natural light.  The rustic interior will provide a unique and enjoyable visit for our guests.  My goal is to get the structure built and closed in before the snow flies.  Throughout the winter, I hope to finish the intererior, and shoot for a grand opening in the late spring (after I have planted loads of flowers), just in time for the next All-Iowa Shop Hop.
It's all coming together, and I enjoy having the opportunity to get my hands on each piece of salvage that will go into the new space.


  1. We are all excited to see what comes next!

  2. I love reading about the challenges and the progress that you are making on the "Quilt House". Especially anxious since I only live about 5 miles from it, I may be stopping in and checking it out if I see you are there working. Should I bring my hammer?