Wednesday, September 24, 2014

To Have And To Hold . . .

Fifteen years ago I made a wedding quilt for my daughter and her husband that had an Adirondack theme--nature, woodsy, animals, the environment, etc.

I made 16 Pine Burr blocks for the center and 20 Maple Leaf blocks for the outer borders. The secondary design was a total surprise!

The fabrics I showcased in the center of each block represented their interests or special events: the Flume in Wilmington, NY, wedding vows, backpacking in the Grand Canyon, coyote in Long Lake, NY, . . .

. . . The Audubon Expedition Institute Bus, kindergarten in Germany, recycle/reuse, a resident snake, etc. 

I had a large assortment of homespun plaids and checks that I used in the Maple Leaf blocks. The sky fabric was perfect for the alternate blocks.

The back has a family-tree panel with a border of muslin squares where guests signed their names and wrote personal notes :-)

I started the quilt January 2, 1999 and finished it September 17, 1999. It was machine quilted by Valerie Zeman, Homespun Quilting, Huntington, NY. 

I made a presentation pillowcase and gave them the quilt the morning of their wedding day, September 25th.

Happy Anniversary, Con and Kev!

Copyright 2014, Barbara Schaffer


Sunday, September 21, 2014

One Of Each

I like to do a quick post every once in a while so here is another of a quilt, a gravestone and a family photo. 

I made Leftover Logs in 2001 for the Garden State Quilters Guild Challenge. There were--and still are--fabrics that I never quite know what to do with so at the time I decided to use one of them just because . . . 

In this case, it was the graphic print in the borders. All the other fabrics were from my scrap bag.

The back.

 Whippany Burial Yard, Whippany, Morris, NJ

In memory of John
Son of Jeremiah 
& Polly Heavens
He Died Aug. 10th
1794 Aged 1 Year 
10 Months & 9 Days
Here lies the greef of
a fond Mother & the
Blasted expectations 
of an indulgent Father.  

[Don't you love it??]

Lawrence, MA, c. 1910. My gr-gr-grandfather, Robert Bower (upper left) with daughter Hannah (right) and her lifetime beau Mr. Jackson; granddaughter Mary Hannah Dixon Grimshaw (left) and her son, George Grimshaw; grandson Charles William Howarth (center). 

You can read more about George Grimshaw here.

Have a great week!

Copyright 2014, Barbara Schaffer 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

A Productive Week

I was really on a roll this week sewing to my heart's content :)

I liked Lori at Humble Quilts idea of adding another star to the Flags of the American Revolution quilt. Now there are 13 stars instead of 12, one for each of the original thirteen colonies. The one I added is in the large space beneath the eagle's tail feathers.

I cut out all the excess fabric behind all the appliques. I'm trying to keep up with the challenge of making four flags with appliqued trees by the end of the month. I've done three so far. 

I finally finished hand-quilting this little Chimney Sweep.  

I'm pleased with the way it turned out.

The fabric on the back is a George Washington toile. Normally I use a small-scale print for the binding but this time I used a medium-size leafy print. The color was right and it seemed to work.

I finally got to try out my new walking foot which I ordered in May and received last month. I am a hand quilter not a machine quilter though I must admit I occasionally have the desire to finish some projects a little faster than the time it takes to quilt by hand.

So. . . I machine quilted this little piece on Friday. I kept it really simple by quilting in the ditches of the stripes, squares in the star field and X's in the border. 

The back is a patriotic fabric which my friend Rachel gave me. Thanks, Rachel!

I'd been wanting to make this little quilt for a long time. So I made it! The original in Childhood Treasures by Merikay Waldvogel is not quilted but I will quilt mine. I just love the combination of ginghams, pinks and small prints all set with a large print border. It makes me smile :)

Copyright 2014, Barbara Schaffer


Sunday, September 7, 2014

"Prance, Little Lady"

My mother's youngest sister, Marjorie Hope Bower Degel (1924-2009), was the Drum Majorette at Leonia High School from 1941-42. In 1954 her father, Stan Bower, wrote and illustrated a poem which he called "Prance, Little Lady." I know I got the "save everything" trait from "Midgie" because what she saved she passed on to me and I've saved it all.   

Twirling her baton on the field behind Leonia High School. The field backed up to the street where my grandparents lived.  

Nearly my whole family went to Leonia High School--my parents, aunts, uncles, cousins as well as my brother and I.

Leonia vs Englewood
  November 15, 1941

This is the receipt from the National Uniform Company, 41 E. 28th St., NYC, for  (1) Uniform jacket & skirt - Drum Majorette maroon velvet, silver silk shoulder knots, chevrons of maroon on grey. Cost: $25.00

Midgie was so tiny, I had to pin the uniform to the front of the dress form to take the photo. 

I once wore it for Halloween:-)

The hat sans plume and the baton which is made of lucite (I think). I store all these things in an archival box along with other family heirlooms. 

 Prance, Little Lady
Strike up the band, here comes a cutie.
Baton in hand, ready for duty.
High-action knee - smile grimly set -
Who can it be but the Drum Majorette?

Twirling her stick like an airplane propeller - 
Gee what a trick! What a treat for a feller!
Bobbing her head, her baton swinging high,
"Margie" co-ed, majorette, marches by.

Thump! Goes the drum; Oompah! The brasses.
Onward they come, the lads and their lasses.
All round the field - into the stand!
Strut, Little Lady! Strike up the Band!

Marjorie Hope Bower
Leonia High School

Daddy 1954

Copyright 2014, Barbara Schaffer

Monday, September 1, 2014

Flags of the American Revolution Quiltalong: Eagle Block

I am participating in Lori's Flags of the American Revolution Quiltalong. What fun! I have at least 6 ancestors who fought in the Revolutionary War and thought this was a great way to honor them. 


This will be the first time making a quilt designed by Jan Patek. And the first time for trying out a more primitive style. Already I made some changes--the fabrics I used for the eagle and the red print triangles are a bit darker and more vibrant.   Can't wait to get started on the next step which will be a flag or two, or three . .  :)