Wednesday, July 28, 2021

July Mini, Mural, Flowers, Sunset

This month's mini started with 7 strips which . . .

 . . . were leftover from another project I'd been working on.

So why not cut those strips in half . . . 

. . . then in half again and add some squiggles.


Simple vertical line quilting was all it needed. So quick and easy!

Wendy will be posting her mini in a couple days so be sure to stop by :)

How is this for a cool building? It's in Saranac Lake, NY, on the other side of Lake Placid. The mural depicts the head of Medusa as seen on the Sicilian flag but includes the black and white speckled wings of a loon from the Adirondacks :)

The flowers on our front porch are thriving but every few days I rotate the hanging basket to take advantage of the sun. 

Close-up of Viper's Bugloss wildflower. Love the colors, don't you?

I literally have hundreds of photos of this view from our deck but when the sun's reflection on the river caught my eye I simply couldn't resist--again!

Can you believe it's the end of July already??


Copyright 2021, Barbara Schaffer 

Wednesday, July 21, 2021


Missed Christmas 2020? Missed birthdays? Missed graduation? We celebrated all of these a couple weeks ago when our family got together for a fun weekend.


My daughter and I put out a few Christmas decorations on the deck and strung lights between the doors and around the railing.  

Christmas morning breakfast included homemade waffles, fruit salad, bagels and cream cheese, and an egg/sausage/bread/milk/cheese casserole that I've been making every year since at least 1985! 

This spring, my oldest granddaughter asked if she could have one of my quilts and fell in love with Flying Geese--a quilt I made for my in-laws in 1977. Interesting how 70s things are back in style :) But she also wanted to make sure her siblings weren't left out and asked, "Grandma, can they also choose a quilt?" 

My grandson liked Broken Dishes

And my other granddaughter chose Gypsy Wife aka The Gypsies Are in Town. I just love the fact they were all interested in my quilts :)

After opening presents, we went to Mt. Van Hoevenberg in Lake Placid . . . 

. . . where the kids went on the new Cliffside Coaster which is next to the old 1932 and 1980 Olympic Bobsled Track. Then we all came back to the house for a late lunch/early dinner of Adirondack Gourmet sandwiches and salad that I ordered from a shop in Lake Placid. No cooking this Christmas Day! Yay!

All in all it was a wonderful weekend!  

See you next week with my monthly mini.



Copyright 2021, Barbara Schaffer

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Ladies' Aid Sampler Blocks

Last fall I mentioned that I would be making some blocks for Barbara B's NY Ladies' Aid Sampler BOM and thought you'd like to see the first four. Barbara publishes a block on the 4th Wednesday of every month on her Civil War Quilts blog so I'll give you the links for March-June. Maybe you'll be inspired by all her research and the history that she provides to bring the war efforts to life.

Now that I live in NY this was the perfect opportunity to work on a NY-style quilt. This is Block #1: New York Tulip. I cut my background squares 13" but will trim the appliqued blocks to finish at 12". I'm trying to stay true to the originals Barbara has chosen from various NY sampler quilts. Here is the link to March's post. 

I've always been a fan of cows. What's not to love about them?? Would you believe I once had a license plate that started with the letters C-O-W? Really, I did:) So it was no surprise that I loved working on Block #2: Prize Cows. I knew right away I'd use that particular print from my stash just so I could position one of the those circles as the cow's eye. Did you know farm animals were popular motifs on NY sampler quilts? Read more about them here.   

Block #3: Floral Cockade was based on fashionable cockades that were made to show support during the war. I used the red print from Barbara's new Ladies' Legacy fabric line by Moda. It was perfect for this 1860's time period. Want to learn more about cockades and see some images? Here is the link to Barbara's blog post. 

Ladies Aid Album #4: Thoroughbred Horse appeared on Barbara's blog just last week. As soon as I saw this block it reminded me of all the hours I spent drawing horses when I was little. I also wanted to replicate the original block and found a palomino-colored fabric that once belonged to my mother when she was making quilts in the 1950s-60s. 

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy reading Barbara's blog posts with more inspirational blocks made by model-makers Barbara, Becky Brown, Denniele Bohannon, and Bettina Havig :)

But before you go, take a minute to visit Cecile's blog and scroll down to see her already-quilted Ladies' Aid blocks with a quick tutorial on how to quilt-as-you-go. Beautifully done, Cecile!    


Copyright 2021, Barbara Schaffer

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

June Mini, Hankinson, Exhibit, & Bed

 This month's mini was super simple.

I purchased a baggie of flannel squares at the thrift shop for 50-cents and that's how it all started. Penguins, tigers, hobby horses, sports, even a piece of toile were all mixed together :)

I squared up all the pieces to 3-1/2" and started sewing them together in 4-patches until I could no longer match fabrics. Then I randomly filled in with others. I had leftover white flannel from my design wall and added strips to both sides and used it as the backing. (Sorry this is such a bad photo!)

I machine quilted it in cross-hatch and made a label that I tried fusing to the back but it didn't adhere. Anyway, I brought the finished quilt (sans label) to the thrift shop hoping a little girl or boy would want to claim it as their own :)

Don't forget to hop on over to Wendy's blog to see what other mini-makers have been up to this month. 

* * * * *

So look what I found on Pinterest the other day . . .

. . . a picture of my paternal gr-grandfather, Frank Hankinson (lower left), who played for the Chicago White Stockings in 1879. He was the change pitcher on a two-man staff, filling in occasionally in the outfield and third base. He debuted for that team in 1878 when he was 22 years old and was the starting 3rd baseman and even pitched a game. I have three binders' worth of information on his baseball career which lasted through 1888 :)

If you haven't heard about the upcoming Bergen County Quilt & Coverlet Show, October 1-2 in Ridgewood, NJ, you can purchase this beautiful hard cover book ahead of time to read all about the textiles and their makers/owners. Stitched & Woven: Bergen County Quilts & Coverlets 1800-1976 was written by Peggy Norris and Kay Yeomans. So don't forget to add the dates to your calendar--wish I could attend! 

After struggling with choosing a new bed for our guest room, I finally purchased this wonderful Adirondack-style aspen-birch log bed. It was actually made in Colorado and delivered in early May to a store in Queensbury NY, (near Lake George) where my son picked it up in his truck and brought it here. Had to put my Sturbridge Strippy quilt on it :) Next purchase will be a new lamp and table!

I just love the details--wood leaves and twigs on the headboard, footboard and side rails. The workmanship is amazing! 

That's it for now.

See you next week!


Copyright 2021, Barbara Schaffer

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Deacon #85, Whiskey Run and Sunset

Ta-da! #85 is DONE! 

                                                                 Original attributed to Caroline Horner

Well, it's been quite a journey. Twenty-one months of making 4 blocks/month reproducing the 1844 Ella Maria Deacon quilt (original below) from Mount Holly, NJ. I love setting goals and experiencing the end results and this project has definitely been both challenging and fun.  


Gay at Sentimental Stitches drafted each and every block--something I never would have attempted to do on my own so thank you, Gay! The next step for me is to cut the sashing strips and edge triangles and I'm anxious to get started.

On another note . . . 

After I posted last week that I had signed up for a virtual 5K race, some of you asked what that is. All it means is that instead of doing the race in person with all the people who have signed up, you do it on your own time, wherever you choose, and this one had to be between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. on race day, last Saturday.

So after my daughter did the 10K (6.2 mi). she did the 5K (3.1 mi) with me! We went straight down the main road and back to the park where the race ended with an opportunity for a scenic photo op :)

Back in the day, I was an avid runner but over the years have become an avid walker instead. I was really determined to run part of this race so I set a goal to do just that--and I did. It felt so good!

Con placed 3rd overall in the Women's 10K and my finish time for the 5K was 48:16. I wanted to come in under 50 minutes :)

The race is actually sponsored by the Wilmington Historical Society. Here's what they wrote:

"But why a Whiskey Run you ask? As it turns out, the area has quite a storied history with liquor, legal and otherwise. During the War of 1812, Wilmington supplied good rye whiskey to the American troops at the Battle of Plattsburgh as part of their daily ration. During prohibition with its proximity to Canada, Wilmington residents provided temporary haven for bootleggers crossing the border, until recently, Wilmington was home to US Barrel, the oldest whiskey barrel cooperage in the Northeast." 

So there you have it. Did you notice the whiskey flask medal? People do the race just to get the flask, really!

This was the sunset that evening. The end to a perfect day!

See you next week with my monthly mini.


Copyright 2021, Barbara Schaffer


Thursday, June 17, 2021

Deacon 81-84

 The next four blocks are done!

                                                          Original block attributed to Elizabeth C Reeves

Block 81. I sort of cringed looking at this one trying to figure out how I was going to tackle the appliques. 

And decided the best way was to leave the freezer paper on top. That way I could be more precise with all those curves.

                                           Original attributed to Rebecca D Deacon

Block 82. I enjoyed making this one because I could sew the "plate" on the machine before appliqueing it to the background.

                                             Original attributed to Deborah D Coles

Block 83. I foundation paper-pieced each segment on the machine. Boy, those pieces are little!

                                          Original attributed to Mary Jane Buzby 1841

Block 84. Love those yellow tulips in the corners.

Finally! The last group of four. Only one more block to go and it's a doozy! 

Lucky me! I was the winner of Janet O's giveaway and received her little Mud Pies quilt along with handmade soaps, thread and a 2" grid ruler. You should see how perfect her 1/4" binding is with striped fabric AND mitered corners! Thank you Janet!  

A beautiful triple Lady Slipper :)

I'm signed up for a virtual 5K race on Saturday. Should be fun!

Copyright 2021, Barbara Schaffer

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Flag Quilts for Flag Day

Flag Day will be here in a few days so I thought I'd go through my files and share my flag quilts with you.   

Patriotic Pieces (2002) to celebrate the millennium.  

Dear Old Stripes and Stripes (2014) contained words to a song written by my grandfather in 1909. You can read more about it here.  

I made Coming Home (2014) with the intention of sending it off to Quilts of Valor but then I discovered some defective marks on the backing so it never got sent. I had purchased a panel of various-sized flags at the Great American Quilt Festival in NYC and the large ones were perfect for the center.

In 2014 I followed along with Lori at Humble Quilts blog and made Flags of the American Revolution, a Jan Patek design, which I renamed Independence! to honor my ancestors who fought in the Revolutionary War. 

Last but not least, a monthly mini in May 2018.

That's all for now :)


Copyright 2021, Barbara Schaffer