Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Prepping For A Blizzard

The past couple of days we'd been hearing about an anticipated "historic snow event" in our area (NY/NJ) with snow fall totals anywhere between 10 and 34 inches or more. Just the thought of being snowbound makes me want to have everything in place so I can sew to my heart's content. I LOVE SNOW STORMS! 

First, we brought in some wood for the wood-burning stove . . . 

I made sure my feathered friends had plenty of food . . . 

I bought a new iron because mine was on its last legs . . . 

I went to the quilt shop and bought some fat quarters on sale . . . 

I brewed a pot of strong tea and tea-dyed some fabric--silverware helped keep it submerged :) . . . 

The result. Reverse on the left and actual on the right. The background was pure white when I started.  

But what a disappointment it was this morning to find only a few inches of snow on the ground. The storm had made its way eastward to Long Island, CT, and the coast so I will just pretend I'm snowbound . . . .

I recently won some 1-1/2" squares from Lori at Humble Quilts blog and have decided to use her scraps in this cute medallion quilt. The reverse side of the tea-dyed fabric above might work for the inner border. 

I'm ready to work on my 2014 photo/memory album. I've done an album every year for the past 14 years. Last year was a big snow year for us. I wonder if this year will even come close. 

I'm participating in Barbara Brackman's Stars In A Time Warp QuiltAlong and these are the blocks I made with Prussian Blue repro fabrics. Did you notice the Stars In A Time Warm button on the right? Click on it and it will take you to Barbara's Civil War Quilts blog. Last Wednesday the topic was Prussian Blue and one of the quilts she featured was my Brown and Blue Star quilt :) 

I remembered HQPNJ documenting some quilts with Prussian Blue fabrics so I went back through the files. Here's an 1845 quilt by Ann Hand of Salem County, NJ. Photo by HQPNJ.

This one was made by Nancy Pease of Mannington, Salem, NJ. Photo by Lafayette Quilters Guild. 

Album quilt with name in each block. One block has "Mary A. Holmes died March 4, 1851 age 40 years." Photo by HQPNJ.

Made by Martha Tate Killey, Allentown, NJ and published in HQPNJ's book New Jersey Quilts. Photo by HQPNJ.  

I'm off to do some sewing :) Have a great day!

Copyright 2015, Barbara Schaffer

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Seeing Stars

Every once in a while I like to post a quilt or two from my files. This time it's New Jersey Stars and Variable Stars on Point

New Jersey Stars is my interpretation of a quilt that was made in NJ c. 1870. The original Variable Star was published in the Quilt Engagement Calendar 1979. I started this quilt in 2005 and finished it in 2010. Note the yellow cross in the center.

There are 85 blocks. I quilted 'zig-zag' lines in the sashing and chevrons in the stars and the edge triangles.

I think I've mentioned before that my all-time favorite quilt book is Calico and Chintz.  I've reproduced at least 4 quilts from this book and made Variable Stars on Point in 2000. Sometimes I'm okay with all that blue on the right and other times it bothers me. I guess it's because I like things to be balanced and this isn't. Note the "mistake" block in the lower right. The ribbon is an Honorable Mention from the Garden State Quilters Show in 2000. 

I remember buying the setting block fabric in CT on one of our (HQPNJ) road trips. 

 A closer view. I love this fabric!

Have you visited Barbara Brackman's Civil War Quilts blog lately? If you like working with reproduction fabrics make sure you read about her Stars In A Time Warp QuiltAlong. Every Wednesday she will give you a lesson on identifying fabrics from different time periods beginning with Turkey Red Prints. Well, it's no surprise that I have quite an assortment of Turkey Reds :) What better way to use some of them than to make 6" Sawtooth Star blocks as Barbara suggests. Imagine making 1, 2, or 3 stars a week for a whole year??

And those of you who subscribe to the Quilt History List have already seen this announcement about a new exhibit at the New England Quilt Museum. A Passion for Prussian Blue curated by Anita Loscalzo runs through April 4, 2015. 

I think I'll have to go :)

Copyright 2015, Barbara Schaffer

Monday, January 12, 2015

This 'n That

Lucky me! I was the mystery winner at Lori's Humble Quilts blog for participating in her Cascadia Quiltalong. Today I received an envelope full of 1-1/2" squares! What fun! From what I can see I only have a few of the same fabrics--all others are new :)

Thank you, Lori!

My Cascadia was unfinished when I linked up with Lori's but I quilted it over Christmas and put the binding on when we got back home.

The back. 

I finally basted and started quilting my Brown & Blue Star quilt. I use 1" masking tape to mark the lines. I'm hoping it will go f-a-s-t.

These are some of the fabrics I'll be using in a new Sawtooth Star quilt that I've been wanting to make for a long time.

I've made two (actually 3) blocks so far with six to go.

One of the quilts on my 2015 list to make is a Tumbler Quilt. These are cut from 4-1/2" squares trimmed to 2-1/2" across the top.  

I am into a serious "re-organization" of my fabrics. All the ones on the top shelf are vintage and those on the second shelf are novelties--Christmas, kids, flowers, fall, etc. I started saving selvages a while ago so they are draped at the bottom of the lower shelf. I would normally keep "new project" fabrics on the lower shelf, too, but that is about to change.

I have two large cabinets on either side of the shelves above where I keep repro fabrics in one side, and yardage, checks/plaids, and more novelty fabrics in the other. Yikes! This is looking really sparse.  

That's because my repro fabrics are in piles all over my sewing room floor! How do you organize your stash? Mine was by color but suddenly I have the urge to do it by time period mainly because I make more repro quilts than anything else. And rather than flip through all my fabrics searching for the right ones I will be able to go to the designated shelf and voila! We'll see. That may or may not work :) I find there are quite a few fabrics I have never used and probably never will so have set them aside until I decide what to do with them.  

All my patriotic fabrics are in this laundry basket which makes them easy to find :)

In the meantime, I treated myself to some new fabric :) I can visualize this blue in a strippy quilt alternating with pink toile like the one that was once in the Peto Collection. Hmmm . . .

Copyright 2015, Barbara Schaffer

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Looking Back :)

It's only January 1st 2015 and I'm already looking back. I love keeping track of things so bear with me. Here goes . . . 

Early Stars was one of 10 quilts that I made and finished in 2014. Others were: Swatches 1, Chimney Sweep, Dear Old Stars and Stripes, Lincoln's Woes, Scrappy Triangles, Sharing, Quilt of Valor 2, Snow Days, and Cascadia. I also finished Wild Goose Chase which I started in 2009 and Coming Home, My Civil War Heroes and Scrappy 9 all from 2013.

9-Patch Strippy is one of 6 that still needs to be finished. Others are: Swatches 2, Brown and Blue w/Stars, Mini Four Patch, Mini Mountains, and T-Block. There are other UFOs which I won't mention :)

You all know how much I love going to old cemeteries and taking/uploading photos to Find A Grave. This is a favorite from Albany Rural Cemetery in Menands, NY. I took 110 photos there this summer in addition to 708 at Restland Memorial Park which is only a few miles from our house and 400 at West Glens Falls Cemetery on our trips upstate. This meant that after we stopped for lunch on the Adirondack Northway I'd go across the street and take gravestone photos, lol!

I keep track of the books I read and want to read on Goodreads.com. This year I read 48 books for a total of 13,273 pages--their stats :)

Was I ever surprised to see the "Barb's Bridge" sign at Mt. Van Hoevenberg Cross Country Ski Center in Lake Placid where I recently enjoyed some ski time with my daughter, son-in-law, son and grandchildren. I exercised 333 days in 2014 and walked at 6:00 a.m. on 245 of those days. I took 74 Stretch and Sculpt classes at the Y and did Circuit Weight Training 75 times but enough is enough--as you can see I tend to be a bit obsessive-compulsive at times! 

Thank you all for visiting my blog this past year. I added a link if you'd like to follow me on Pinterest :)


Copyright 2015, Barbara Schaffer