Monday, February 24, 2014

Coming Home, Snow Days, Prayer Flag, Quilt Exhibit

With so much snow this winter, I've had lots of time to sew and quilt. I finished a Quilt of Valor, participated in a Quiltalong, made a Prayer Flag, and then made more just because . . . 

When I read the appeal for quilts for veterans on the Quilt History List that I subscribe to I knew I had to make one. Maybe you'd like to, too? Quilts of Valor was established in 2003 and to date has distributed an astounding 97,209 quilts to our veterans! 

You won't want to miss the Quilt Exhibit in April sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Study Group. Details below. 

I had a lot of patriotic fabrics including a panel with flags of all sizes and shapes. The center was inspired by an antique quilt in All Flags Flying by Robert Bishop and Carter Houck (1986). I started Coming Home last October and finished it this week though I still have to do a label. It will be one of the quilts in my upcoming exhibit in April after which I will send it off to Quilts of Valor. It is 60" x 80."

Barbie Vanderfleet-Martin quilted it for me and suggested a large star design in red thread which turned out great! Hopefully, you can see it in this close-up.

I had enough fabrics in my stash for the strips on the back then purchased mini-stars on beige for the 4 panels. 

Here's a detail.

When I read about the Mid Winter Blues Quilt Along on Barb Vedder's blog, Fun With Barb, I thought I'd give it a try. Here is the link to Lori's Humble Quilts and the instructions for making this small piece. I really enjoyed following along and learned some new techniques in the process. I've decided to call mine Snow Days and intend to hand quilt it.  It's 21" x 21".

I made this small Prayer Flag for a friend and sewed a piece of selvage across the top for ties.

 Then I made another just because . . .

And another. No, I didn't piece these diamonds. This fabric reminded me of the patchwork designs at the Olympic Games . . . 

And another from 2" leftover squares :)

And this one from Cheater cloth. I have no idea what I'm going to do with these little flags but I'm having so much fun making them. Each one is lined and I'm thinking of tying them together and hanging them as a valance on the window in my sewing room. I'll no doubt continue to make more until I run out of selvages that are long enough to use as ties. 

Mark your calendars for the quilt exhibit and seminar in Flemington, NJ April 5-13. Quilts in the exhibit are on loan from five local organizations that will simultaneously exhibit other Hunterdon County quilts. The fee for the seminar on Sat. April 12th is $50 and includes a continental breakfast and lunch. Featured speakers are Sue Reich, Karen Dever, Newbie Richardson, and Dana Balsamo. For more information contact Judy Grow at with Common Threads Quilt Exhibition in the subject line.

Copyright 2014, Barbara Schaffer

Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentine's Cards & Hearts

For the past few years I've been making paper-cut Valentine's cards for my husband from free patterns that I found on the internet. Each one has been a bit of a challenge but I love the way they turn out.

Aunt Midge saved Valentine's cards going back to the 30s so I'm sharing some of those and then I posted some heart-shaped appliqued blocks which, after 25 years, still remain unfinished.

I waited until the last minute and made this card yesterday morning. I used regular copy paper which I taped to a rotating Olfa 12" square mat and cut the design with an X-Acto knife and #11 blade.

Last year I made this cute Valentine with two squirrels. And talking about squirrels. . . .

This little guy was tunneling under the snow yesterday to get to the bird seed I had thrown out.

My first attempt at paper-cutting got me thinking--wouldn't it be fun to do some gravestone cut-outs? lol

Maybe ten years ago or so, I made this card out of handmade paper, fabric cut-outs, lace, and ribbon. Long before that my daughter and I had made the paper out of an assortment of newspapers and magazines.

When I was making Milestones & Memories, I included this block to represent all the beautiful Valentine's Day flowers my husband had given me through the years. 


All the above are from Aunt Midge to Uncle Warren, World War II.

Top left: from my mom to her sister, Midge. "I've got a heart full of love for you. Tetta"; right: "To My Pal," from "Daddy Pal" dated 2-14-39.

Bottom left: "Dearest Midge" 1942 from "Daddy Pal"; right: "To My Baby" from "Dad." 

Twenty-five years and still wondering. . . will I ever do anything with these appliqued blocks? 

Copyright 2014, Barbara Schaffer

Friday, February 7, 2014

Scrappy 9, 9-Patch, and Wild Goose Chase Sample

I just finished a small quilt that I started last August and named it "Scrappy 9." Here are some pics.

I've also included photos of two other 9-Patch quilts in my collection plus a machine quilted Wild Goose Chase sample block.

The inspiration for this little quilt came from Crib Quilts and Other Small Wonders by Thos. K. Woodard and Blanche Greenstein (1988). It measures 20" x 24."

I sort and keep all my leftover squares, triangles, etc. in baggies so that's where I began. I had hundreds of leftover 2" squares from other projects to choose from.

I wanted the 9-patch blocks to have good light/dark contrast. 

I had enough yellow calico for the back--just trying to use up what I had.

Years ago I purchased this cute little piece from my friend and colleague Natalie Hart. It is not quilted.

This wild and crazy 9-Patch was given to Aunt Midge by a neighbor of hers.

It's made of two different plaids and solid blues. Oh, how I wish those plaids were cut on the straight grain! The entire quilt is tied with red yarn.

LOTS of snow means I get to spend LOTS of time in my sewing room :)

I added borders to the Wild Goose Chase sample block that I showed you recently and then practiced machine quilting. I did x's in the borders and corner blocks, continuous straight lines in the large triangles and squares in the geese strips. I am not a machine quilter by any means and was happy with the results. It's 15" x 15."

Happy quilting!

Copyright 2014, Barbara Schaffer