Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Quilts: Novelty Fabrics & T-shirts

Over the years I've made two quilts for my husband and because his birthday is tomorrow, I thought I'd share them with you. Milestones & Memories was made in 1996 and The Ultimate Athlete in 2003.

In 1996 after I made My Allary Quilt, my imagination was running wild. The very idea of using so many fabrics was really exciting. Why not tell Ben's life story?  I started Milestones & Memories in February 1996 and finished it that September. I chose the Indian Hatchet pattern specifically for his part-Native American heritage.

As I planned the quilt I began to write a list of everything I could think of pertaining to his interests. Some of the things I came up with were: Seattle, California, Idaho, basketball, skiing, canoeing, camping, bicycling, handyman, cats, dogs, family, etc.  Once my list was completed, I was ready to look for fabrics that would help tell his story. Some I purchased at Acme Quilt Shop in Pequannock, NJ, and the Fabric Warehouse in Belleville, others at the Rag Shop in E. Hanover. 

I decided that the corner blocks would represent his ancestral roots: Spanish (upper left), Navajo (upper right), English (lower left) and Polish (lower right) and the center block with the four light-colored blocks surrounding it would refer to his immediate family. The fabrics in the remaining blocks were all chosen with his interests, accomplishments, and important events in mind.

I'm in the middle represented by the black and white star fabric. Above and below that are our son and daughter (baby prints); on the left is Ben's dad (pocket watch fabric because he owned one), to the right is his mom (beach fabric because he always took her to the beach when we visited.) 

When I found this map fabric I cut out the section with Seattle (where he was born), California (where he grew up) and Idaho (where he went to college). 

The back has life-size golf club fabric that I had purchased long before I decided to make this quilt. It was one of those purchases I made for use in a future project or to have "just in case" and because Ben was teaching golf at that time it was perfect!

The mountain man fabric in the large Indian Hatchet block on the back represents Ben's gr-grandfather, Charles Autobee, who has been written about extensively in Colorado's history books.

I made a matching pillowcase and put together a scrapbook as the second part of his Christmas present in 1996.

In 2003 I made The Ultimate Athlete using the T-QUILTS pattern that I had ordered from Keepsake Quilting. I tied the layers together with navy blue embroidery floss and was quite pleased with the results. Yes, it was another Christmas present :)

Copyright 2013, Barbara Schaffer

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Aprons Plain and Fancy

I have a large collection of aprons from the 1930s-1960s but only a small collection from the 1900s-1920s. Here are some of my favorites.


About 10 years ago my sister-in-law gave me this full length apron. It is made of muslin with two short ties at the waist and trim at the lower edge.

The filet crochet trim is 7" long and whip-stitched on. 

I purchased this apron at an antiques mall when I was with my quilting friends though I can't remember where we were. Oh, dear!

I'm drawn to any textiles that are historical in nature and when I saw this apron my guess was that it was made during World World I. I thought the name of the ship was the U.S.S. Ponta Delgada but I was totally wrong on that account--Ponta Delgada is the name of a city in the Azores in Portugal. While searching for more info I found a blogger who has the story of this heirloom apron. The only difference is mine doesn't have the name of the ship she refers to or a date.

The embroidery is the same on both sides with the Portuguese flag on the right . . . 

. . . and the American flag on the left. Were these aprons mass produced?


I love this apron with its shirred skirt and cross-stitch border treatment.

It is made of fine cotton lawn fabric with five rows of machine shirring just below the wide waistband.

The cross-stitch design along the bottom is anchored by a single row of brown embroidery done in back-stitch. The hem is sewn over this line and is not visible on the inside. 

This gold faille apron has shirring just below the ribbon waistband which is 2-1/2" wide and folded in half. It also serves as the ties.  

The black trim was hand-sewn in two rows along the lower edge. 

The clever pockets are made of the same trim but a piece of gold cording is woven at the top of each to hold its shape.   

Years ago, when a member of our local historical society found out I collected vintage clothing she told me to come to her house and take anything I wanted. This long chambray apron with its inked signature was one of the treasures I came home with.

The Cranes were a prominent family in Livingston and owned the Isaac Crane Dairy, but "A. Mabel Crane" remains a mystery.

You might also like to read my A is for Aprons post from last June.  

Copyright 2013, Barbara Schaffer