Sunday, September 14, 2014

A Productive Week

I was really on a roll this week sewing to my heart's content :)

I liked Lori at Humble Quilts idea of adding another star to the Flags of the American Revolution quilt. Now there are 13 stars instead of 12, one for each of the original thirteen colonies. The one I added is in the large space beneath the eagle's tail feathers.

I cut out all the excess fabric behind all the appliques. I'm trying to keep up with the challenge of making four flags with appliqued trees by the end of the month. I've done three so far. 

I finally finished hand-quilting this little Chimney Sweep.  

I'm pleased with the way it turned out.

The fabric on the back is a George Washington toile. Normally I use a small-scale print for the binding but this time I used a medium-size leafy print. The color was right and it seemed to work.

I finally got to try out my new walking foot which I ordered in May and received last month. I am a hand quilter not a machine quilter though I must admit I occasionally have the desire to finish some projects a little faster than the time it takes to quilt by hand.

So. . . I machine quilted this little piece on Friday. I kept it really simple by quilting in the ditches of the stripes, squares in the star field and X's in the border. 

The back is a patriotic fabric which my friend Rachel gave me. Thanks, Rachel!

I'd been wanting to make this little quilt for a long time. So I made it! The original in Childhood Treasures by Merikay Waldvogel is not quilted but I will quilt mine. I just love the combination of ginghams, pinks and small prints all set with a large print border. It makes me smile :)

Copyright 2014, Barbara Schaffer


Sunday, September 7, 2014

"Prance, Little Lady"

My mother's youngest sister, Marjorie Hope Bower Degel (1924-2009), was the Drum Majorette at Leonia High School from 1941-42. In 1954 her father, Stan Bower, wrote and illustrated a poem which he called "Prance, Little Lady." I know I got the "save everything" trait from "Midgie" because what she saved she passed on to me and I've saved it all.   

Twirling her baton on the field behind Leonia High School. The field backed up to the street where my grandparents lived.  

Nearly my whole family went to Leonia High School--my parents, aunts, uncles, cousins as well as my brother and I.

Leonia vs Englewood
  November 15, 1941

This is the receipt from the National Uniform Company, 41 E. 28th St., NYC, for  (1) Uniform jacket & skirt - Drum Majorette maroon velvet, silver silk shoulder knots, chevrons of maroon on grey. Cost: $25.00

Midgie was so tiny, I had to pin the uniform to the front of the dress form to take the photo. 

I once wore it for Halloween:-)

The hat sans plume and the baton which is made of lucite (I think). I store all these things in an archival box along with other family heirlooms. 

 Prance, Little Lady
Strike up the band, here comes a cutie.
Baton in hand, ready for duty.
High-action knee - smile grimly set -
Who can it be but the Drum Majorette?

Twirling her stick like an airplane propeller - 
Gee what a trick! What a treat for a feller!
Bobbing her head, her baton swinging high,
"Margie" co-ed, majorette, marches by.

Thump! Goes the drum; Oompah! The brasses.
Onward they come, the lads and their lasses.
All round the field - into the stand!
Strut, Little Lady! Strike up the Band!

Marjorie Hope Bower
Leonia High School

Daddy 1954

Copyright 2014, Barbara Schaffer

Monday, September 1, 2014

Flags of the American Revolution Quiltalong: Eagle Block

I am participating in Lori's Flags of the American Revolution Quiltalong. What fun! I have at least 6 ancestors who fought in the Revolutionary War and thought this was a great way to honor them. 


This will be the first time making a quilt designed by Jan Patek. And the first time for trying out a more primitive style. Already I made some changes--the fabrics I used for the eagle and the red print triangles are a bit darker and more vibrant.   Can't wait to get started on the next step which will be a flag or two, or three . .  :)

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

My Civil War Heroes quilt--Done!

In early 2013 I started to make a quilt to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War and to honor my gr-grandfathers who so bravely fought for the Union.

I began making Log Cabin blocks and followed the directions for Barb Vedder's Four-Patch Log Cabin in Quilt Almanac 2013. Thanks, Barb! The Log Cabin pieces are 1/2". It was a great way to use up a lot of scraps but I was definitely lacking in the "lights" department.    

All the letters are done in reverse applique. I purchased a set of alphabet stencils at Staples and laid out each name on a large piece of paper before transferring it to fabric. 

Here's a detail. I quilted around the inside of each letter and did diagonal row quilting in the background.

The center of each corner block features a Civil War general. I quilted concentric squares on point (3/4" apart) in each area of darks and lights with cross-hatching in the borders.   

Robert Bower, my maternal gr-grandfather, enlisted as a Private on 25 Aug 1862 at the age of 34 in Co. C 50th Regiment MA Volunteer Infantry. He was mustered out on 24 Aug 1863 in Wenham, MA.

Horace E. Davis, my paternal gr-grandfather, enlisted as a Private in Co. G 2nd Regiment NY Mounted Rifles at the age of 27. He was wounded on 17 Jun 1864 at the Battle of Petersburg.  He served from 30 Dec 1863-10 Feb 1865 and was discharged from Finley Hospital in Washington, DC. He received a Distinguished Service medal.

James McCord, my maternal gr-grandfather, enlisted as a Private on 19 Aug 1862 at West Farms, NY, in Co. C 6th NY Heavy Artillery at the age of 24. He was promoted to Full Sergeant on 26 Feb 1864 and Full Sergeant Major on 14 Apr 1865. He was mustered out on 28 Jun 1865 at Petersburg, VA.

I put this Lincoln Toile on the back which is the same fabric I used in Lincoln's Woes.

Here's the label with all the pertinent info :-)

Copyright 2014, Barbara Schaffer

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

One--or Two--of Each: Quilt, Gravestone, Photo

Another quick post this week.

I made this little One-Patch repro based on a quilt in Merikay Waldvogel's book, Childhood Treasures: Doll Quilts By and For Children. I really fussed over my fabric choices and was lucky to have found a close-match black print for the border. Finished 2013. 

 Hanover Cemetery, E. Hanover, Morris, NJ

What do you think? Quilt patterns on these two gravestones? Different cemeteries same inscriber. 
 Whippany Burial Yard, Whippany, Morris, NJ

c. 1929. Three generations of Bowers. My mom, Etta Bower, sitting on the running board. Her sisters--Leila and Midge, back and front. My grandfather and grandmother, Stan and Etta Bower, standing next to my gr-grandmother, Irene Florence McCord Bower Landwehr. Far left is Irene's 2nd husband, Fred Landwehr. Kneeling is my gr-uncle George Kroepke. Most likely taken in the Bronx in front of Irene's car. 

Copyright 2014, Barbara Schaffer


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A Western Town and a Small Quilt

We were in Colorado last weekend for our niece's wedding. We had an extra day so we took the train from Durango to Silverton, a little western town with lots of artsy things to photograph. 


We rode in one of the open cars and I snapped this pic of the train going around a sharp curve. The scenery was breathtaking.

This little "graveyard" in Silverton made me smile--and laugh.  

Lola Fent 
Kicked Up 
Her Heels 
Away She Went 

I Told
You I
Was Sick

Here Lies 
Lester Moore
Told A Lie
No Les
No More

Chief Payme
He Cheated
At Cards
He Will Cheat 
No More

 Beautiful Columbines. 

A large painting on one of the buildings.  

A creative planter. 

Painted ladies adorn the windows of several stores. 

I didn't notice the Quilt Show flyer until I uploaded my photos.  

Detail of above. 


An Indian princess.

Love this red-white-blue image. 

Newel post on a vacant building.  

I was determined to finish this little top before we left on our trip. I've always liked Lori Smith's patterns and finally bought one this past year. She calls this Delectable Appalachians but I'm still thinking of what to name mine. 

Copyright 2014, Barbara Schaffer

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Fabulous Flowers

This year has been exceptional for growing flowers and our garden is flourishing. Following through on a flower-theme--I have one small and two large quilts, two embroidered pics, and two rugs. 

These Stargazer Lilies were absolutely gorgeous.

Here's a Grandmother's Flower Garden doll quilt I purchased at the AQSG seminar in Williamsburg many years ago.

I have a lot of Columbines in a variety of colors.

This Garden of Eden quilt top was a gift from my kids :)

 Here's a detail. 

Lots of pink and white Phlox near the house. 

 A Rose Wreath quilt I bought at a garage sale for $2.00.


My mother was a master at embroidering flowers. She made this piece in the early 1960s.

Feverfew in the borders. 

Another by my mom. This one with her initials--Etta Bower Davis.

Lemon Lilies.

A great garage sale purchase--$1.00!

Love Spiderwort!

A hooked rug my mother made. One of my future goals is to learn how to be a "hooker." :)

What's growing in your garden?

Copyright 2014, Barbara Schaffer