Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Winter Aconite and Projects

Finally! I've been waiting for Winter Aconite to bloom . . . 

. . . and this morning I saw it :) It's always the first flower to bloom in my garden. Yay for spring!

I finished another section of my new quilt. Pretty soon you'll get to see the whole thing, lol!

I stitched together some odd pieces of leftover binding so when it's time to bind Scrappy Strips I'll be ready. 

The backing is done, too. Barbie is going to quilt it for me so I'll drop it off tomorrow.

Every so often I change the little quilts on display in the upstairs hallway. This is the latest :)

Help. I'm running out of room! I have quilts on racks, on beds, on chairs, on dressers, in trunks, on walls, and I need to find some storage space. Where do you keep your quilts?

I finally decided to toss the shoe-box bed I've had since I was 11 years old. It was totally falling apart. But first . . .

. . . I took apart the dust ruffle and bed hangings and soaked them overnight. I think these fabrics will be perfect for a monthly mini :)

Copyright 2019, Barbara Schaffer


Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Sewing Collectibles, New Project, St. Patty's Day

I have a small collection of sewing collectibles which I thought you'd enjoy seeing this week.

 I keep most of them in this small cabinet in the upstairs hallway.

Thimbles that have come my way via friends, relatives, etc. My cousin worked for Avon years ago thus the three Victorian ladies. 


This pin cushion was actually given to me by Aunt Midge's landlord after he sold the property and had a garage sale. It's a favorite.   


Adirondack-style sewing stand with a wood base.

A cute hat pin cushion with rick-rack trim.  

Lots of needles in this cute needle case.

Needle threaders to the rescue, lol! 

Matchbook-style needle books that my mother-in-law saved. All from CA. 

Cute advertising for snaps. 

Tailors' chalk in red, white, and blue :)

An assortment of scissors . . .  

 . . . button hooks . . .

. . . wooden spools, buttons, marbles (!) . . .

. . . and a dressmaker book. I actually have lots more but I think I better stop here :)

Here's a sneak peak of a new quilt that I'm working on.


More to come :)

Lastly, with St. Patrick's Day just around the corner, here is the link to a poem my mother wrote in 1945. 

Enjoy your week!

Copyright 2019, Barbara Schaffer

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

This 'n That

This week .  .  .  


. . . dozens of robins were eating holly berries . . .  

. . . and then we had two snow storms. Not a huge amount but enough to make it feel like winter :) 

A reader asked about how wide I cut selvages. Here's what works for me. From top to bottom: 1-1/2", 1-1/4", 1", 3/4" and 1/2". I need 1/4" overlap when sewing them onto the foundation. So depending on the width, there's either fabric showing or if the selvages are narrow there is no fabric in between.  

Then out of the blue I received a lovely surprise from my blogging friend, Wendy--an envelope full of selvages! Thank you so much!  

I got right down to business and started ironing them all. Then I made more blocks. Did you ever notice some selvages have fringe? See the strip with the leaves directly below 'Paula Barnes'? If you sew through the fringe it won't hold so I move my stitching to above the fringe line.

Oftentimes when I get to a corner (lower right) I fill in with just a piece of fabric and no selvage. That way I don't have to deal with extra bulk in that area. 

I've been busy quilting Chimney Sweep in the evening and making good progress :)

It's "handywoman-time" around the house so after I touched up the paint in the hallway I put this quilt on the bench to enjoy.

Have a wonderful week!

Copyright 2019, Barbara Schaffer


Monday, February 25, 2019

Selvage Strings and Feb Mini

Happy Monday! I'll hop in today because it's not only the Linky Party for Lori's Strings Sewalong but it's also the end of the month for Wendy's Monthly Mini.

After making 41 blocks, I've just about run out of selvages. I haven't yet gone through my stash to see what other ones I can cut so will keep this project ongoing for a while. Had to take pics on the floor because I have a big quilt on my design wall that I'll share another time.

This layout is different from the one I showed you last month but I think I like that one better. What do you think?

For this month's mini, I finally used the vintage 9-patch blocks that I purchased from Mary Koval many years ago in Lancaster. 

They were all hand-pieced and close to 3"--if you know what I mean :) So I started squaring them up and this is what they look like.

 The stripes are crooked on some . . . 

. . . there are stains on others . . . 

. . . but all are intact :)


The back. I tried Barb V's method for applying a single binding. She has a great tutorial here. I would definitely try it again!  

This year I've decided to add an extra line on the label that tells a little more about the quilt. 

Have a great week!

Copyright 2019, Barbara Schaffer


Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Scrappy Strips

I started this scrap quilt in November with the intent of emptying out my bins of strips. 

I love the way it turned out. I started out following the pattern by Karen Griska called Saranac but tweaked it along the way. I substituted 4-patches for the 16-patches in the corners and long strips for the piano key border. It's twin bed size 68" x 88". 

The finished blocks are 10", the 4-patches are 3", and the strips are 1".

I had plenty of longer strips leftover from backings, sashings, etc. which I randomly used for the 1st outer border (left).  

And brown strips for the final outer border (right) that Susan gave me a while ago. Thanks, Susan!  


I spent the last 2-1/2 weeks painting our LR. It is now done! This room is in the 2nd oldest section of the house that was added on c. 1760. The original plaster walls are made of limestone, shells, and horse and/or cow hair. There's an original cupboard with cross and Bible doors (to ward off evil spirits), a fireplace with hand-made bricks, and a forged iron crane. That mirror was a wedding gift from Aunt Midge (my mother's sister) to my parents in 1936 :) 

Hope you have a great week!

Copyright 2019, Barbara Schaffer


Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Dear Daughter Blocks and Deep Freeze

I finished the last three Dear Daughter blocks . . . 

I just love this one! I followed the original colors including that touch of yellow and am so glad I did.  The inscription: Maxson Dunham, Piscataway, NJ, May 25, 1852. 

Another cute bird :) This block was inscribed Sarah Ann Dunham, Piscataway, NJ, May 25, 1852. 

The last one. I had to smile at those 'dog biscuit' shapes :) This block was originally inscribed Cornelius C. Blackford, May 25th 1852, Piscataway, NJ. 

And here is his gravestone at the Seventh Day Baptist Cemetery, Middlesex County, NJ. Find A Grave photo. Cornelius was 58 when the quilt was made in 1852. He  died in 1881 at age 87. 

I still need to trim the blocks to 8-1/2" and then decide how I'm going to set them together. Thinking narrow sashing maybe 3/4" in red with yellow cornerstones. Or???

Our backyard looked like a frozen lake during the deep freeze. 

And Saturday a pipe burst in the little apartment that's attached to the garage. It's quite the mess! The water mitigation team was here yesterday to remove the carpeting. Today is sheet rock day. That entire back wall needs to be replaced in addition to the ceiling and two other small areas in the kitchen. 

Would you believe I'm all caught up with my evening projects? I need to baste a little quilt so I have something to work on.

I think it'll be this one :)

Copyright 2019, Barbara Schaffer