Wednesday, May 1, 2024

It's A Finish--Antebellum!

Antebellum aka My Inking Journey began in 2018 when Barbara Brackman announced her Antebellum Block of the Month here.  

I chose to reproduce inkings from antique signature quilts and added the names of my ancestors to make it more personal. But the block above has my name in the banner :)

Here are a few more . . . 



The top was done in 2019 and then it sat. I couldn't make up my mind how to quilt it--by hand in long cables in the striped sections and straight lines following each block pattern--but it was completely overwhelming to even think about.

That is, until I brought it to Dawn K. earlier this year to be machine quilted in a large leafy vine design. (her photo)

It is queen size and I love the way it looks on my Adirondack-style bed :)


Then on a whim yesterday, I pulled out these unfinished appliqued blocks and laid them out on the railing in my sewing room. All were made in the mid 1980s after taking a class with Ellie Sienkiewicz at the American Quilters Society Show in Paducah.

Aside from the basket block you saw last week, the red/green leaf blocks on the right were all made in 2015. Well, guess what? The wheels are turning about how to combine them all into one sampler quilt. There are 10 all together but I will choose 9. Plus the two groups are different sizes (not by much) and will need to figure that out. 

Isn't this Blood Root beautiful? Wildflowers are finally popping up in the woods and I will share more with you next time. 

Happy Spring! 

Copyright 2024 Barbara Schaffer

Thursday, April 25, 2024

Mountain Mist II

 Wanna see a few more Mountain Mist quilts?

In 1972 I started making Dresden Plate No. 75.

Some of the fabrics were from my high school days and were already 13 years old. Those were combined with samples that were given to me by my grandmother's friend who worked at Macy's NYC in the fabric department.

Each plate was the same and appliqued to the background. 


Fifteen years later, in 1987, I decided to finally quilt it! I traced the quilting pattern onto a manila folder and cut out slots with an X-acto knife. I used a well sharpened No. 2 pencil to mark the lines and then a soap eraser to remove them. I continued to mark, quilt and erase as I went along. Can you believe it???

It is 68" x 84. Here it is on the bed in our NJ house many years ago. I still like looking at this quilt--so many memories!


I made Mountain Mist Quilted Counterpane Pattern Y in 1983. What a challenge! You can read more about it here.

Sometime in the late 80's or early 90's the Basket of Flowers Pattern K caught my eye. I played around with colors on the master sheet.

 I purchased fabrics . . .

. . . and cut out all the pieces.

I made ONE BLOCK and that was it! It's been in a storage container all these years. So I looked at it again thinking maybe there was a remote possibility that I would be moved to make another block or two. But that isn't going to happen! Too bad 'cause I do like the pattern--and the block :)

The last Mountain Mist item is this pattern that I purchased along with the Stearns & Foster catalog (last week's blog post). 

Inside are the instructions for making Pomegranate No. 31 and no, I'm not going to make it :)

I'll leave you with this gorgeous sunset . . . 

Thank you for hanging in there on my Mountain Mist journey :)

Copyright 2024 Barbara Schaffer

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Mountain Mist Part I

Recently, I purchased a Stearns & Foster catalog of Mountain Mist patterns which took me back to my mom's quilt, a couple contests, and quilts that I made. 

This catalog contains pages and pages of quilt pattern drawings along with instructions for making a quilt and a comforter.

This all too familiar batting wrapper offered a diagram and complete instructions for making a specific quilt on the reverse side.

In the mid-50s my mother made two quilts from this Lone Star Pattern F . . . 

. . . one in pastel colors for my brother and another in autumn hues for me. She had mapped out all the colors on the pattern and this one even had my name written at the top :)

Unfortunately the quilt doesn't lie flat because all the pieces were cut on the bias. 

For my 16th birthday my parents bought me a canopy bed. I appliqued the star to a sheet, added yellow and red borders, and put it on my bed to admire. Even sewed ball fringe trim to the canopy for a complete ensemble :) Of course, I still have this top but keep it stored in a lined trunk with other early quilts.

In 1978 I entered the Mountain Mist Famous Women and Their Accomplishments Friendship Quilt Contest.

My entry represented Louisa May Alcott and was derived from Marion Cheever Whiteside's Little Women Quilt.

It was one of 35 chosen and I won $35 for my winning block. See 3rd down on far right. Subsequently, the quilt was published in Lady's Circle Needlework Fall 1979 and in Patchwork Quilts 1983. 

The following year I entered another Mountain Mist contest "Nursery Rhymes."

My entry was "Georgie, Porgie, Puddin' Pie". I don't recall where I got the inspiration for this block but I do know I had fun making it even though it wasn't chosen. 

More Mountain Mist coming soon . . . 

The spring peepers are making a whole lot of noise. I love hearing their evening chorus!


Copyright 2024 Barbara Schaffer

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

It's A Finish!

One year ago I started putting together the twenty remaining churn dash blocks from Barb V's 2018 swap. You can read more here and here

Then sometime last fall I sewed Dawn H's fabrics together for the backing. That's an oldie on the right--I had some of that fabric as well. 

In January I took both front and back to another Dawn (Dawn D.) to be longarm quilted. This is the photo she sent when it was ready to go. I must admit I don't know much about pantograph patterns but Dawn found Willow Leaf's Whirligig and it was perfect!

I chose to float the blocks within the finished block. That meant the distance between the points of the churn dash blocks and the sashing varied as much as 1/4" which was fine with me. The finished blocks are 9". 

The striped border was a thrift shop purchase and the sashing stripe was purchased for a different project which didn't work out. But I also used it for the binding.

Another view. All those large triangles were scraps.

And here it is all done. The final size is 53" x 63".   

One last thing. This is a preview of the border fabric I'm using for Call Me Crazy aka The Good, The Bad and The Ugly :)

More to come. . .


Copyright 2024 Barbara Schaffer

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Fabric Book is Done!

My north country / Adirondack fabric book finally came together along with some unexpected design decisions. My original intention was to sew the blocks to one long strip, fold it accordian-style, and fasten it with something like string, fabric strips, selvages, or ??

But then I came across some printed twill tape at Hobby Lobby and added it to a selvage strip on the left side of each page giving some stability to the book's binding. This is the cover. Here are the rest . . . 

The reverse side of each page (left) is backed with a green plaid which I folded over to the front on three sides and stitched down (see right).

Then I decided to try my hand at stamping on muslin. Some results were really good and others not so good. Last fall I managed to buy a bunch of brand new stamps at the thrift shop for 50-cents a piece. So out they came for this project!

I already had a stamp pad and extra black ink so did my best. 

I tried to match a stamp with the block. Believe it or not this one is a flock of birds. I had purchased a new blue ink pad (for a different project) and discovered the results were so much better :)

There is no needle turn applique anywhere--all edges are raw, anchored with a small running stitch and finished off with big stitches using embroidery floss or pearl cotton. 

The selvage strips are 1/2" wide and I chose ones that did not have fringe along one edge.

The stamped pieces were hand-stitched to the plaid fabric only. 

There are 9 pages altogether.

One final stamp "B" and the year :) All pages are held in place with binding clips that Dawn H. had given me years ago. Ta-da!

In August of '22 I decided to put pics of all the quilts I've made into a small album. You can read about that here

Well, I continued working on that project for quite awhile until . . . 

. . . it looked like this and it wouldn't close. Then I lost interest.

But now that it's been resurrected I flipped the original front cover to the back and put this small patchwork flag on the front. It's still fat and bulky but there's only a few pages left to fill before moving on to a new album. I guess you can call that "making progress." 

That's all for now . . . 

Copyright 2024 Barbara Schaffer