Saturday, March 28, 2020

Three M's: March Mini and Moving

If you've been wondering about my lack of weekly postings it's because we're in the process of moving. But just before the craziness began I made a super simple mini for March.

Last fall our guild had provided the light-colored fabric and asked members to make a 9" block of their choosing to be included in a charity quilt. I made the block but never got to a meeting so in no time at all it became my March mini.  

The back with the last of the polka dots from my 1965 blouse :)


Normally I hem the binding by hand on the back but this time I machine-stitched it from the front and here's what it looked like. Not bad at all.      

And instead of making a label I wrote right on the fabric. I think this was the fastest mini ever! Maybe a couple of hours at most. 

I know Wendy will be posting hers soon with links to more so check them all out.

We sold our house in December with a June closing and are moving to our cabin. My daughter and her husband came down last weekend to load up a truck with a few small pieces of furniture plus boxes of clothes, books, quilts, genealogy files, etc., etc. 

The day after we arrived it snowed but it was gone in no time at all!

I've spent this week unpacking and finding places for all the things I brought with me. My new sewing space is in the loft where I can look out over the river and day dream :)

I've not only fully utilized this space but expanded to other rooms as well. 
Nearly all of my quilts are stored in archival boxes under beds and my fabric is in a closet. Quilt and genealogy files are in the basement in file cabinets. So far so good!

I hope to have some time today to work on my Deacon blocks :)

Thinking of you all during these uncertain times. Please take care.

Copyright 2020, Barbara Schaffer

Friday, March 13, 2020

Deacon Blocks 21-24

I've now completed 1/4 of the 85 blocks needed for this quilt and am enjoying every minute but there's still a long way to go!

Block 21 is attributed to Eliza C. Rogers, Mount Holly 1842 and was a fairly easy block to make except for those center points. I ripped out and tried 5 times, yes 5! to get it right but it just wasn't meant to be. That ever happen to you?

Block 22 attributed to Charles Kemble, Philadelphia. There was a lot of prep work for this one. My method of applique was to do two yellow petals and then add a red in between. Do you recognize that old chrome yellow? 

Block 23 was another broderie perse. I fused and cut the u-shaped floral from a pillar print that I had then appliqued it by machine using a small zig-zag stitch. It was fairly quick and easy.

Block 24 is my favorite in this group. Those buds were a challenge because of their size and the narrow points where they meet the pink flower. The clever treatment along the edges was created by appliqueing triangles on all four sides and in each corner. The original block is dated in the Quaker style: 4 mo 14th 1842 or the 4th month 14th day 1842 and signed by Albert(a?) Haines. 

That's it for now. Looking forward to the next set on Sunday :)

Copyright 2020, Barbara Schaffer

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Feb Mini and Aconite

It's that time of the month again. The days just fly by, don't they?

I had a head start on this month's mini by using one of the first Deacon blocks I made that ended up being too small.

I'm trying to keep all Deacon block cutaways and trims under control (we'll see how long that lasts!) and had already made some 2" hsts which I then added to the corners. The border is 2-1/2" and the piece is hand quilted--nothing fancy. 

I found this toile in Natalie's stash that was just the right size for the back. Don't forget to check Wendy's website with links to more minis :)

On another note . . . 

Winter Aconite is in full bloom in my garden :) I just love seeing these early spring flowers.

Can you guess what's going on in our house??

More to come . . . 

Copyright 2020, Barbara Schaffer


Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Deacon Blocks 17-20

Here they are . . . 

Four more blocks in opposite corners of the quilt.

17. Reel block from Mount Holly, 1842. One fabric used throughout. I appliqued each piece by keeping the freezer paper template on top.

I was pleased with the way it turned out.

18. The easiest of the four, this block was foundation paper pieced. It's attributed to Sarapta (?) Wills, Mount Holly 1842.

19. Orange Peel signed Samuel J. Deacon 1842. This was some serious applique work, lol!

20. The center was appliqued after the block was pieced. The original was attributed to Ann R. Coles. 

Here's what my design wall looks like at the moment. I'm filling in the blanks :) 

On another note I've been cleaning out my sewing room which is no easy task, lol! More to come.

So many birds! Hundreds, maybe thousands, appear every February in our backyard. They certainly make a racket when they're in the trees. 

That's it for now!

Enjoy your week!

Copyright 2020, Barbara Schaffer


Thursday, February 6, 2020

Marbles and This 'n That

Four years ago I kind of jumped in on the Quilty 365 SAL. I say 'sort of' because I didn't make a circle a day.

Instead I cut as many circles as I could from the hand marbleized fabrics I had made many years ago. The solid colors were mostly my mother's from the 1960s but check out the polka dots below . . .

In 1965 (!) I made this blouse and had saved the leftovers and scraps. Would you believe there was enough fabric to cut strips for the first border? I was 22 at the time and my son was 2-1/2.

Not wanting to buy any fabric to finish this top, I had a piece of blue / pink
chintz that seemed to carry the circle theme and worked just fine. I'm calling this quilt "Marbles" because I loved playing with marbles when I was little :)

I published my 2019 blog book at Now I have 6 years' worth. 

The printed photos are true to color and that makes me very happy.

My current evening project is quilting Dear Daughter. I got carried away with this block and decided I went way overboard! So now I'm doing 1/2" crosshatch in the others :) 

Enjoy the rest of your week!

Copyright 2020, Barbara Schaffer


Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Jan Mini and A Finish!

January's mini was the result of the Pinterest-inspired quilt below. 

After seeing this little quilt there was no hesitation what-so-ever to make one for January. 

I already had plenty of pre-cut scraps 1-1/2" x 3" and lots of different-sized triangles. What could be easier?? With a little squaring up of each block it went together in no time at all. I didn't even match the triangles on the side seams when sewing blocks together. They were offset and that was fine with me.

Nine little blocks and leftover red strips finished it off. BTW, the reds are all the same color. I just photographed it in the wrong spot on the floor so it looks like there's a shadow on the right :) It's machine quilted in a 1" cross-hatch allover.

Don't forget to visit Wendy's blog for more monthly minis :)

Dutch Panel is done! Rachel gave me that beautiful panel many years ago. 

Here's a closer look at the center. I love the pale yellow background.

When I started making hexies I chose fabrics that were the colors in the panel and could be fussy cut.

I've gotten so much use out of the border fabric that once belonged to quilting friend, Jill R. Thank you Susan for sharing that with me :)

Mitered corners are (not) my favorite, hahaha!

This is the fabric I put on the back. It seemed apropos with all those urns and flowers. 

That's it for now :)

Enjoy the rest of your week!

Copyright 2020, Barbara Schaffer


Wednesday, January 22, 2020

2019, Cont'd

From July to December of last year I continued making monthly minis with Wendy, The Constant Quilter, participated in a Stringalong with Lori at Humble Quilts, finished Eagle Medallion and was inspired by an 1875 quilt to make my own version.

 12. I discovered this mola in my grandkids' toy box at the cabin and turned it into July's little quilt. It's definitely a Mystery Mola and hand-quilted.

13. The eagle panel was a gift from Rachel and the churn dash blocks were from Barb V's 2017 block swap. Thank you all!  


14. A Moda Bread & Butter charm pack from Rachel 😊 was turned into two little quilts for August. This one stretched my imagination when I added pine trees to the blue line which represented the Adirondack Park.

15. The second little quilt made from the same charm pack. 

16.  I made Selvage Strings as part of Lori's Humble Quilts stringalong. And with a little help from my friends--Rachel, Wendy, and Janet O.--I had enough selvage strips and sashing fabric to make it happen. 

17. September mini was the result of leftover hsts while working on #19. 

 18. I was inspired to make October's little quilt when I saw Gay's Sentimental Stitches Cheddarback quilt block pattern and combined it with a favorite antique quilt in the book Calico and Chintz. I added the hst border. 

19. Cross Variation was inspired by an 1875 vintage quilt. I switched out the original dark sashing with a white/brown polka dot fabric.

20. More hsts, selvage strips, and alphabet fabric all came together for November's Little Quilt.

21. Finishing out the year with another monthly mini :)

Thanks for following along on my 2019 journey! 

Copyright 2020, Barbara Schaffer