Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Envelope Wildflower Journal ++

I made Connie a little envelope wildflower journal for Christmas. It has photos of the wildflowers we've seen on our many hikes together. This is my second attempt at making a little journal using 2-1/2" x 4" colored envelopes. The first one was for my granddaughter's 19th birthday here.

The cover of this one is also fastened with silk ribbon, buttons and beads. This time I slipped some extra photos under the ribbon. 

The pages contain stickers and floral papers but tucked inside each envelope . . . 

 . . . is a photo of a wildflower--this a Painted Trillium--with the date written on the back. 


I alternated green and yellow envelopes. Tucked in this one is a photo of White Hepatica. 

At the beginning I tried inserting two pics in each envelope but the journal was way too thick and stressing the binding. But I managed to tuck in 2 here and there.

In one of the centerfold pockets I inserted a photo and seed packet of Giant Butterbur--a plant we saw at one of the gardens in Lake Placid. We were always in awe of the size of these gigantic leaves and I found some seeds online.  

Page 6 Trout Lily . . . 

Page 7 Red Trillium and that's it. I forgot to take photos of page 8 and the back--go figure!

On another note . . . 

The World University Games are being held in the North Country including Whiteface Mountain in Wilmington and, of course, Lake Placid.

There are signs all over--How Wilmington Does Winter, How New York Does Winter, etc.

The cauldron in Lake Placid. We've been watching the games on ESPN+ :)

For my December birthday and starting January 3rd, Little Farmhouse Flowers will be delivering a bouquet of tulips every Tuesday for 6-weeks. And at the same time they will pick up our food scraps for composting. I love that idea! 

That's all for now :)

Enjoy your week! 


Copyright 2023 Barbara Schaffer

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

So Long, 2022! Part II

When Carol Y. sent me a box of scraps in January '22, I couldn't wait to see what goodies were in it. What fun! I spent hours sorting, organizing, and setting aside pieces that spoke to me. Thank you, Carol!

First up, I cut and sewed strips of all sizes and widths into longer strips to make Scraps of Friendship. The border fabric came from the thrift shop :)

I immediately saw these fabrics come together for a possible February mini. I didn't intend for the piece to be heart-shaped but that's the fun of trying something new. Oh, and I finished it pillowcase-style.

There were several fairly large pieces with Apples and Pears that I cut into squares and paired them with solids from my stash. The border, too.  

Strings sewed onto 4-1/2" muslin foundations were so easy! I thought that green/pink border carried its weight with all the other intense colors throughout. 

Bits and Pieces was the culmination of delving into Carol's scraps. I was so into this piece making 10" blocks by cutting and slashing and chain piecing little bits together I learned so much. Namely, how hard it is to make improv blocks!

But there are still more scraps to play with and many will find their way into my new New Year's project making Call Me Crazy that is being offered by Gay Bomers at Sentimental Stitches. If you missed signing up you can still send her an email if you are interested. These blocks are 6" finished. I'm ready! 

Next week I'll show you the little wildflower journal that I made Connie for Christmas :)


Copyright 2023 Barbara Schaffer

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

So Long, 2022! Part I

By now you all know I like to do an annual review of what I accomplished the previous year. In 2022 my main goal was to finish some UFOs, continue making monthly minis, and immerse myself in creativity after receiving a box of scraps from Carol Y :)

But let's start with the UFOs.

1. Philadelphia Pavement was the oldest UFO--started in 2003, top finished in 2017, and DONE in Feb. 2022. My original intention was to make a bed-size quilt. Can you imagine??

 2. Next up--I started Tumbler in 2015 but ironing the crosswise seams open created a stumbling block and I lost interest. Then 7 years later, I gave myself a pep talk and said "you can do this." I bit the bullet, re-ironed those seams and added a striped border. It is now a favorite.

3. Four Patch Strippy did not turn out how I expected it would. I used all large scale prints and leftover strips from prior quilts and all-in-all it sounded good. But by the time I put them all together it was a jumbled mess. Couldn't think of anything to make it better so that ended that! 

4. Morris Geese was started in 2021 when Barbara B. sent me some cutaways from her new William Morris fabric line. I made four Wild Goose Chase blocks using the paper foundation pieced pattern from the Deacon quilt. The setting was similar to the Tide Pools Quilt I saw on Pinterest but I would have been happier with a different  border print than what I ultimately chose. Just sayin'. 

 5. Also from 2021 was the Elizabeth Green Album Quilt. I purchased the templates at the thrift shop for 50-cents and didn't waste any time making blocks. I had just enough leftover border fabric to pull it all together. One of my favorites.

 6. Barb's Scraps hit a roadblock the end of 2021 and so it sat. Sound familiar? the answer came after I draped the unfinished center over the upstairs railing so I could look at it from below. A-ha! Strips were the answer and I had plenty!   

So finishing six UFOs was pretty good and I'm satisfied with that effort. I will have more quilts to show you next week--ones that were started and finished in 2022.  

Last Friday this little Chickadee flew into our door and ended up head down in the snow on our deck. I immediately ran out, picked it up and gently placed it on the table. Within 10 minutes it flew away! Now that's a happy ending :)

See you next week.

Copyright 2023, Barbara Schaffer

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

December Mini

This month's mini is another Snowball re-make from Dawn's auction quilt

When I took the original apart I saved only the blocks that were in good condition and stitched together.  

It still fascinates me that many of the snowballs have seams. 

I don't know what type of fabric the dark green print is but it's not cotton. It feels like a rayon and even made it through a washing without falling apart.  

This is actually my 4th little snowball quilt and they are all quilted the same: 1/4" inside each snowball, around the little hourglasses, and straight line quilting along the inner and outer borders. Nothing fancy. This piece is 15-1/2" x 26." 

Be sure and visit Wendy's blog to see the 2022 monthly mini finale! Thank you Wendy for keeping us going for another year!  

Two weeks before Christmas Connie took us for a drive to see the Snow Geese on Lake Champlain. We were nearly in Canada! And just yesterday she posted this video of wildlife captured on trail cams at various properties owned by the Adirondack Land Trust. Very cool, don't you think? Love the moose! Guess what? She gave me a trail cam for Christmas and I can't wait to see what we'll discover in our yard :)  

One week later we got 20+" of heavy wet snow and lost power for a day. But this is nothing compared to what Buffalo NY is experiencing in the western part of the state. Our grandson goes to college there but safely made it home for the holidays :)  

See you next week with my year in review :)


Copyright 2022, Barbara Schaffer

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Old World Santas

 Uh-oh! I was at the library holiday sale last week and came home with . . .

THIS QUILT!! Can you believe it?? The redwork is what really caught my eye. It is beautifully done. Not to mention the 3" stars and the machine cable quilting.

As soon as I got home I googled "old Santas" which eventually led me to the source--Old World Santas in Redwork by Marge Wooters, Indygo Junction, Inc., no date.

I was really curious to read the instructions for transferring the pattern onto fabric but all it said was to trace the design. 

The person who did the embroidery was an accomplished embroiderer. Perfection in every block.

Each Santa is outline quilted which you can see on the back.

There are 9 blocks total . . .


. . . set with 3" sashing and star cornerstones. 

I'll end with this one and wish you all the merriest of holidays this season!

See you on the 28th with my December mini.


Copyright 2022, Barbara Schaffer

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Deacon Update ~ and Aprons!

I'm well into assembling all 85 blocks of the Deacon quilt but have a dilemma. 

This is the original 1842 quilt made for Ella Maria Deacon, Mount Holly, NJ, and currently in the Art Institute of Chicago's permanent collection. The blocks were offered by Gay Bomers at Sentimental Stitches, 4 per month for 21 months.

The instructions called for 4 yds of striped fabric for the sashing to run on the diagonal with no seams. The stripe at the top was my first choice until I saw the 2nd one which more or less resembled the original. But in the end I stuck with the first.

It took hours to cut these 2" strips figuring the longest lengths first then the shorter ones. That way I could get two out of each long strip--one long, one short. The longest being 138", the shortest 12-1/2".

Not to mention the shorter strips that go between each block and measure 2" x 9-1/2". 

Next were the edge triangles. I had purchased two different fabrics to audition and went ahead and cut into my first choice. Then I realized the size was based on 9-1/2" unfinished blocks without taking into consideration the width of the long sashing. 

So . . . once I had that figured out I cut into my second choice fabric and that was much better. Here are the first 4 rows . . . 

I've got two more draped over the railing and ready to go. These are rows 5 & 6. Row 7 is the center point. 

All the other blocks are sorted and labeled by row. 

Here's my dilemma and I can't believe I'm saying this:

The finished quilt will be 107" x 107" and I'm having second thoughts about making such a large piece. It is definitely challenging to line up all those sashing strips. I could eliminate a row or two (yikes!) and put those blocks on the back. That would reduce the overall size to 90" x 90" which is still pretty big. Any thoughts?

On another note . . . 

I broke down and bought a few aprons.

A cute patchwork . . . 

A great border print . . . 

And one with a stitched-in towel.

These are my apron books. The bottom two are my favorites :)

Well, that's it for now. . .


Copyright 2022 Barbara Schaffer