Thursday, December 31, 2015

Scraps & Stars

I was definitely into scraps and stars this year. What fun it was to dig into my scrap bins and participate in Barbara Brackman's Stars In A Time Warp Quiltalong.    

4-Patch Scrappy Quilts 

Four Patch Medallion 
A repro of a quilt in the Ann Hermes Quilt Collection.  

 Petit Fours 
A quickie :) 

More Fours 
4-patches made from 3" swatches. 

Simply Scraps
I tried a new technique for making 4-patches
and emptied two bins of scraps.

I was inspired by an antique quilt 
I saw on Pinterest.


So Many Stars
 Barbara Brackman's
Stars In A Time Warp Quiltalong
  Currently quilting :)

Look what was in the mail when we got home yesterday!
This bundle of Barbara's Alice's Scrapbag precuts. 
I won a prize in her "unannounced contest
when I made 190 stars this year!

Thank you, Barbara!


Copyright 2015, Barbara Schaffer


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Yellow Ribbons and A Merry Christmas!

Do you remember when the last U.S. hostage was set free in 1991? I do. 

Terry Anderson was kidnapped on March 16, 1985 by an Islamic militant group and held hostage for six and half years. My dear friend Anita Sorrell (1944-2012) made yellow ribbon ornaments with the names of all the hostages and the dates of their capture.    


And every year Anita and her friend, Fran, hung the yellow ribbons on the Christmas tree at the Aerobic Dancing Center in Short Hills, NJ. Can you tell Anita loved Christmas? She's on the right wearing the Christmas tree costume. It even had lights :) 

Priceless :)

So when Terry Anderson was freed in Lebanon on December 4, 1991, I made Anita this small quilt for Christmas. On the hanging sleeve I wrote the names and dates of the hostages and took a pic but it was out of focus.  

Here's the label with a yellow ribbon, of course! 

Merry Christmas 'Nita
The hostages are free!
December 25, 1991

~From Me to You~

Merry Christmas!


Copyright 2015, Barbara Schaffer

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

My Christmas Masterpiece

I finally took some pics of the individual blocks of the Christmas quilt I made in the late 70s. Would you like to see them? 

It all started when I received this Christmas card from my DH in 1976. I substituted the writing on the card (top center) with another "block" from a similar note card.

Moving left to right beginning with the top row:

Each block is 17". The background is a poly/muslin sheet which I purchased at Sears. 

The substituted block. 

I had only been quilting a few years but applique was my thing. 

Many of the solid fabrics were cotton blends.

I drafted all the blocks on graph paper and numbered each piece in the order of applique. I then transferred the design to fabric using dressmaker's carbon and a tracing wheel.   

This block is still my favorite.

Hanging tulips :)

I always felt I should have added some extra quilting to this large poinsettia.

I simplified a little and left out a small red flower which should have been next to the berries at the top. 

This could have used some extra quilting, too.  

The most challenging block. I used commercial bias tape for the fern fronds.

An Ely & Walker print for the birds. . .

. . . and for the dark leaves and pears. 

I miscalculated the measurement of the first green and white border so took it all apart and started over. 

Taken in 1980 at the American Field Service Quilt Show in Allendale, NJ, where it won Best In Show :)

Copyright 2015, Barbara Schaffer

Thursday, December 10, 2015

A Little Holiday Magic

For 50 years the Christmas House on Burnett Hill Road was THE place to go during the holiday season. . .

Photo published in Livingston Patch Nov. 17, 2011 

. . . where the Camuso's yard was transformed into a festival of lights and holiday decorations. 

Livingston resident Ernie Camuso was dedicated to making children happy during the holidays so when he passed away in 2010 his family's bequest to the town came with three requests: Keep the collection together in one place; locate the collection in a confined area with trees as a backdrop; and accept donations at the display for the Barnabas Burn Center.

Today the entire Camuso Collection is on display near the Gazebo in Memorial Park for all to enjoy.

New characters are always being added but I'm fond of the earlier vignettes and figures many of which have moving parts.

Volunteer elves are busy year-round making sure everything is in tip-top shape.


This one makes me smile :)

There are two Donald Ducks . . . 

. . . and the Seven Dwarfs

The Toy Shop . . . 

. . . the Paint Shop

. . . the Wrap Shop

. . . and a beautiful spinning Christmas Tree to put you in the holiday spirit :)

Copyright 2015, Barbara Schaffer


Thursday, December 3, 2015

Ta-Da! Last 4 Stars and Ongoing Projects

I am really going to miss making and posting stars every week! Barbara B's Stars In A Time Warp Quiltalong has finally come to an end. I really enjoyed this project. It helped me organize my fabrics, identify those I had and choose the perfect ones to make 6" stars. It's been a wonderful experience and I encourage you to think about participating in a project such as this! 

Here are the last four stars--three Shawl prints and one Cracked Ice. 

When I purchased a French General charm pack last year I had no idea the fabrics would be perfect for making these Shawl print stars

They came in several colorways . . . 

. . . making it easy to choose coordinating fabrics. 

And when I saw this fabric on Barbara's blog I knew I had the same one. It's part of Windham's Wm. Penn's Vision collection.  

It all started back in January when I decided to make four stars per week instead of one--that's a total of 190 stars from beginning to end. I already used 72 in this quilt but WAIT . . . 

I still have 118 more for another project. I really like Becky's Set because of all the scrappy strips she used to border the star blocks. Great idea! And I actually have enough stars to make one just like it but I'll ponder that thought just a little longer :)

Here are some other projects I have in the works:   

Tumbler is currently in two halves. My plan is to add rows to each section and then hand sew the vertical center seam when I think I've done enough. This may be a long term project :)

Here is my layout for the Civil War Bowties swap. I'm ready to sew the blocks together but I need to go buy thread--can you believe??

This is the fabric I'm using for the alternate blocks. I think it provides a nice contrast and makes the bowties 'pop.' 


I'm still in Hexie Heaven. Can you tell we love BIG DOGS?? I had a Collie when I was twelve and then over the years we've had 3 German Shepherds, a Husky, 2 St. Bernards, 1 Shepherd/St. Bernard mix and most recently a Belgian Sheepdog mix. Most often two at a time. 

Currently we are pet-free which is why I so enjoy our granddogs :)

Happy Sewing!

Copyright 2015, Barbara Schaffer