Barnstorming tour rolls into GJ, Hotchkiss

A detail view of a Buggy Barn quilt made by Ellen Petersen of Grand Junction. The Buggy Barn’s books and patterns often feature a “crazy” piecing style with playful designs in plaids and prints.



Those zany Buggy Barn ladies are coming to town, and they’re bringing plenty of their trademark “crazy” quilt patterns with them.

The two sisters, Pam Soliday and Janet Nesbitt, are known for their light-hearted approach to quilt making. They mix scraps of prints and plaids into such playful designs as twisted stars, canines and bunnies in bow ties.

They’ll be in Grand Junction April 6–7 for a trunk show of their quilts and a Crazy Camp, at which they’ll teach their techniques during a full-day session at Quilters’ Corner, 421 Colorado Ave.

After that, Soliday and Nesbitt will travel 60 miles to Hotchkiss, where they’ll present another Crazy Camp and trunk show April 8–9 for S&B Quilters’ Guild.

Since 1996, when the pair opened a quilt shop in the midst of Washington wheat country, Soliday and Nesbitt have created their own patterns, written many books and designed fabric lines for Henry Glass & Co. Nesbitt, a former civil engineer, drafts the patterns. The pair also teach classes.

Their shop, called The Buggy Barn, is about 22 miles west of Spokane, Wash., and close to where the sisters grew up. They operate their business inside a century-old carriage house on the farm.

The building originally was called The Buggy Barn by the 96-year-old daughter of the original homesteader, making it the perfect name for the sisters’ joint venture.

Buggy Barn books include “Gone Crazy,” “A Little Bit Crazy,” “Stir Crazy” and “Positively Crazy.”

In a fast piecing technique, they stack fabrics, cut and number them according to their pattern, shuffle the pieces and finally sew them together — like crazy.

After 15 years of success, Soliday and Nesbitt are celebrating with a new book titled “Still Crazy.” Teapots and ice cream cones are two of the patterns you’ll find inside. The book, due out in May, will be their 20th.

On Nesbitt’s blog, she says that she used to fear her muse might desert her.

“I didn’t think we’d be able to keep coming up with ideas,” but now that The Buggy Barn’s latest book is almost a reality, Nesbitt writes, “I’ve tried to let that worry go.”

Another long-lasting tradition for The Buggy Barn is its annual outdoor quilt show and folk art sale each August.

As many as 300 quilts are brought from customers, and the sisters display them on barns and from lines strung across the yard. Visitors come from many miles, often to participate in a weeklong series of classes that accompanies the show.

This year’s outdoor show will be their 15th annual. It’s scheduled Aug. 27–28. Guest teachers will offer classes Aug. 23-26. Go to http://www.buggybarnquilts.com for information.

While the sisters are in our area, they’ll have plenty of delightful quilts to share and valuable lessons to impart during their Crazy Camps.

Back in those Washington wheat fields, let’s hope they keep The Buggy Barn door slightly ajar. That way, more of their crazy creations can get out.

Email Sherida.Warner@ gjsentinel.com.


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