Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Flags of the American Revolution Update

December's assignment from Lori at Humble Quilts was to make two flags: Crescents of South Carolina and Fort Moultrie (liberty moon) . . . 

. . . and three Star and Crescent filler blocks but there are 5 total so I still have two more to go. The month just flew by so I better catch up!

I've put all the finished blocks up on my design wall just to see what they look like but I can't show you yet. Stay tuned for a couple more months :)

Copyright 2014, Barbara Schaffer

Monday, December 22, 2014

Cascadia Quiltalong

I participated in Lori's Cascadia Quiltalong and today is the day for everyone to reveal their quilts. Hop on over to Lori's blog to see the little quilt that inspired her. I'm still working on mine, though, and just started quilting it this past week.   

This was a great way to use up a lot of little scraps. The squares are 1" finished. I'm quilting horizontal lines in the center panel, chevrons in the diagonals and vertical lines in the sides.

Thanks, Lori, for a fun project!

Copyright 2014, Barbara Schaffer

Sunday, December 21, 2014

My Christmas Quilts--Finally!

Oh my, time is slipping away from me! Last week I said I would post pics of my Christmas quilts "soon" and here it is Sunday already. Here they are :)

A Christmas Card (1979).

Garden Bouquet (1962-1964) was appliqued by my mother and quilted by me.

Garden Bouquet pillow cover. 

This year I hung North Country (1993) in the hallway.

Detail of an antique Pinwheels quilt which I currently have draped over my old sewing machine table.

And three small Santa wall hangings with different borders. The top one I made for my son and his wife for their first Christmas 1997. "Sweden" "USA" and "Christmas" "1997" are all quilted in the green border. But my favorite one is the Santa with the Flying Geese border :)

Copyright 2014, Barbara Schaffer

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Christmas Aprons, Tablecloths, Etc.

I keep all my holiday textiles folded in a drawer and take them out when I get in the "holiday spirit." This year I took photos :)

I own a few Christmas aprons from the 1960s & 1970s. 

A full apron with green and white stripes and a large "Santa's Helper" pocket. 

A half apron made of a poly/cotton blend fabric with silver cord trim at the pocket and along the lower edge. 

A fancy red nylon net apron with grosgrain ribbon waistband and ties, silver rick-rack, and a sequin-decorated felt Christmas tree. 

These bloomers/pantaloons were made from two dishcloths and finished with red crochet trim and green satin bows.

An early Arts & Crafts-style embroidered pillow cover with fringe c. 1900.

A large holiday tablecloth with poinsettias, candles, and holly.

A small red tablecloth with winter scenes in white and colorful holly and poinsettias in the corners. 

I'll post pics of my Christmas quilts soon.

I still have lots of shopping to do, how about you? 

Copyright 2014, Barbara Schaffer

Monday, December 8, 2014

Annual Christmas Tea

Yesterday the Livingston Historical Society hosted their annual Christmas Tea at the Force Homestead and Museum. There were lots of homemade goodies, hot mulled cider, lovely holiday decorations, and  quilts and vintage dresses displayed throughout :)

The tree in the entrance hallway was decorated with old-fashioned candle lights and strings of popcorn and cranberries.

A festive assortment of fresh greens, holly, and lemons on the mantelpiece , , , 

. . . and wreaths on the bannister. 

A crazy quilt in one of the upstairs bedrooms.

Log Cabin and One Patch silk quilts on this cradle.

Another Log Cabin on this one. 

A lovely 8-Pointed Star with chintz setting squares was folded on a chair.

 There was a Nine-Patch in a glass case in the museum room. 

 My favorite dress and apron in the "blue" bedroom.


The museum room houses a wonderful collection of wedding gowns dating from 1790 to 1940.

A detail of the 1907 gown.

We had a popcorn stringing get-together Tuesday morning :)

Copyright 2014, Barbara Schaffer

Monday, December 1, 2014

Flags of the American Revolution Update

November was the month to make the Whiskey Rebellion flag and three Sawtooth Stars. Hop on over to Lori's Humble Quilts blog to see what others are doing.

Lots of applique on this flag. Rather than having the streamers start at the tip of the beak I moved them down a bit because they were really, really narrow at this point and I wanted to make sure there was enough room to turn the fabric under. After appliqueing the first two stars I figured out a good method for the remaining eleven.

I made a sample block and realized I needed a fabric for the side triangles that was more or less the same value as the main color so off to the quilt shop I went :) The finished block size is 10".

Oops! I got carried away and made all 5 stars so I'm 2 ahead of the game :)

Here is a link to Jan Patek's site so you can see what the finished quilt will look like.   

Copyright 2014, Barbara Schaffer

Monday, November 24, 2014

One of Each

Another short post for a short week :)

One of my early quilts (1977) inspired by a c. 1870 quilt in McCall's Needlework Bicentennial Quilt Book (1975). There are 2,304 1-1/2" squares all hand-pieced and hand-quilted. I followed the suggested color key and constructed the quilt in diagonal rows to the half-way point and then repeated the process starting from the opposite corner. From a distance it looks like the fabrics could be reproductions but . . . .

 . . . they are actually ones I purchased when I was in high school--yikes! When I started making this quilt the fabrics were already 15 years old. If I didn't have enough of a certain color I would purchase 1/4 yard pieces for about 50-cents each.

I quilted a cable in the border and cross-hatch in the squares. This quilt is still one of my all-time favorites.

 Haselton Cemetery, Wilmington, Essex, NY
We'll be in the Adirondacks for Thanksgiving so I thought you'd like to see another example of what I call an "Adirondack-style" gravestone. So far, this is the only area where I've seen gravestones with outdoor scenes in color. The names are inscribed on the base.

Robert L. Sr.
Apr. 3, 1927 - June 14, 1984
Oct. 23, 1954
Pauline Jaques
Feb. 11, 1935 - Sept. 26, 1998

My maternal great-grandfather Heinrich Wilhelm Strubbe (1853-1917) and his grandson, William H. Strubbe (1911-1924). Taken in the Bronx.

A visitor in our yard this spring.

Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving :)

Copyright 2014, Barbara Schaffer

Monday, November 17, 2014

Remember Arpilleras?

Do you remember those three dimensional applique fabric pictures that were made in South America during the 1980s? They were sold at our local mall when the antiques show was in town. I had nearly forgotten that I owned several until I found them in one of my textile drawers when I was cleaning out this fall.

These pieces are delightful with their brightly-colored fabrics, stuffed fruits and figures, animals, and heavily embroidered plants and flowers. The ones made in Peru mostly depict pastoral scenes.

Peru is the land of the sun and mountain air. This piece is 19-1/2" x 20-1/2" with a crocheted orange yarn border.

The figures are usually shown in traditional activities like this man wearing a peach-colored shirt and shiny blue pants picking fruit off the tree. The fabrics throughout are varied and look similar to our cotton, wool, terrycloth, and flannel.

Note the heavily embroidered corn stalks and flowers. The sheep are woolly and soft. The background fabrics overlap and the raw edges are blanket-stitched.   

A stamp on the back indicates this piece was "Hand-made in Peru". The backing is burlap thus the name "arpillera."

Unlike the three-dimensional appliques in the large arpillera above, the ones in this picture are more traditional with edges turned under.    

Simple embroidery.   

Note the tufts of grass and the cactus spines.

 The embroidery goes right through to the back.

Another small piece with houses, girls, birds, trees--and the sun but no mountains. 

Love the two-leaf tree on the left . . .

. . . and the colorful one on the right :)

Copyright 2014, Barbara Schaffer