Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Cherry Blossoms and Gypsy Influence

Did you know that Branch Brook Park in Newark, NJ, is the cherry blossom capital of the nation? It boasts 5,000 cherry trees beating out Washington, DC's by more than 1,200.

We went for a drive through the park last week and while we had already missed some of the early blooms the ones we saw were breathtaking. 

Branch Brook Park is the nation's oldest county park. It was designed by Frederick Law Olmstead in 1895. 

There are more than 18 varieties of cherry trees on 360 acres. 

One of my favorite views is along the canal . . .

. . . and another is with Sacred Heart Cathedral in the background.

My husband worked for the park system for nearly 30 years and ran many concerts in the park. It was at one of those concerts that a little abandoned puppy came into our lives. We named her Cherry Blossom aka Blossom :)

I hung the two dog pictures in our family room. They are the first things you see when you walk in the door. They look so nice!

More Gypsy influence! I already showed you several minis that I made with leftover strips from Gypsy Wife but I got carried away and ended up with 9! Each one is 9-1/2" x 12-1/2", bound, and currently pinned to my design wall.

These bricks are 1" x 2" . . .

. . . and these are 1" x 3".

I chain-pieced the triangles that were trimmed from Gypsy's square-in-a-square blocks to make this strippy.


Each has a piece of vintage fabric on the back. I've been admiring the potholder quilts made by Wendy The Constant Quilter and I'm thinking I may try this technique with my minis. Check out Wendy's blog to see her latest :) What I like about this method is that each block is quilted and bound so when you finish sewing all the blocks together your quilt is done!

Have a great week!

Copyright 2017, Barbara Schaffer


  1. You realized beautiful potholders ! Wendy's method is clever !
    Your puppy was so cute and certainly full of kindness...

  2. What a beautiful park with all of those cherry blossoms. And what a delightful story about Blossom and your family's connection to the park. Your Gypsy pieces are wonderful and look so great together especially that those minis are already quilted and bound. Wendy's potholder method seems a very efficient method for putting all those sections together.

  3. The cherry trees are beautiful! My son and his girlfriend have been to the cherry tree festival in Japan- last year and this year! It looks pretty amazing.
    Love your little quilts an think the potholder method would be perfect!

  4. I had no idea! all you hear about is the DC trees.
    Your Blossom has such a sweet sweet face and smile!
    love the framed cross stitch. great idea on the GW minis!

  5. Oh my goodness! I don't know what I was doing on April 19th but I missed this post entirely. If I hadn't found it through Pinterest and potholders I would never have seen it. Have you decided to make a "potholder" quilt with these fantastic little quilts? And on a side note, our very dear friend was Frederic Law Olmstead's grandson. Rick passed away 4 years ago, but he always talked about his grandfather. Thanks for sharing and I will try not to miss another post!!!