Thursday, January 28, 2016

Baskets & This 'n That

I'd like to show you my new scrap project + my last-chance purchases at the local quilt shop + a cross stitch sampler. 

I treated myself to Edyta Sitar's book, Handfuls of Scraps . . . 


. . . and immediately fell in love with her 4-patch basket quilt.

I had plenty of 1-1/2" squares to play with so went right to work :) I've made two so far. The 4-patches are 2" unfinished and the block size is 13-1/4".


Last week Rachel and I went to the going-out-of-business sale at our local quilt shop where we found some good bargains. Fabrics were $4/yd and fat quarters were $1.50. All books over $24.95 were $5. I came home with a bundle.

This fabric was perfect for a fussy-cut hexie . . . 

 . . . and this brown and white stripe might look nice in a small 4-patch strippy. 


But then Rachel found this book and I couldn't resist . . .

. . . because I have an early sampler that once belonged to Aunt Midge. It was made by Maria ? when she was 12 years old in May 1836. I love the way the word "years" is split between two lines--"yea rs". 

And prior owners of our house discovered this sampler under the floorboards in an upstairs bedroom years ago. It was made by 8 year-old Elizabeth Ann Ely in 1818. This isn't the real thing--only a photo :)   


Copyright 2016, Barbara Schaffer

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

It's Time to Play!

January's a great month to indulge in all sorts of projects so here's what I've got going on:   

I sewed my bowties together and came up with this idea for the corners. I used all 82 that I received from Barb V's swap plus 1 more that I had made as a sample at the very start. Now it's time to add a border. I had some extra Civil War fabric so cut a couple strips. . . but that's not the look I wanted at all! 

I had a few leftover 16-patch blocks and thought well, maybe . . . 

. . . but then I was online looking at some stripes. I captured this image using the Snipping Tool on my computer, saved it and printed it out. 

I did the same thing with a red stripe and pinned them both up on my wall. I think I'm liking the red stripe more and more. I'll have to see what the quilt shop has today. Only two more weeks before they close so am hoping to find some bargains!

I finally came up with a plan for my hexies but need to make enough for at least 3 more rows. There's a "million ways" to arrange them--it's kind of like shuffling and playing cards--but at the moment I like them this way.  

Here is the hooked rug kit I recently purchased. Another house and look at all those lush wool strips :)

As for my Stars quilt I try and quilt two blocks every night. I'm nearing the last row all the way around and hope to be done by the end of March. We'll see.

I put a safety pin in the center of each star block after it's been quilted. That way I know at-a-glance which direction to go next. Note the odd alternate square fabric in the bottom row. I actually ran out of the floral print and had to substitute. 

I started a new scrap project a couple of days ago but I'm not ready to show it to you yet. Stay tuned. . .

I'll also be participating in Barbara Brackman's Westering Women Block of the Month which starts next week. 

As always I look forward to March when Rachel, Dawn, and I get our "quilt fix" at the Quilt Fest of NJ :)

Happy Quilting!

Copyright 2016, Barbara Schaffer 

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Let's Celebrate!

Monday night was Garden State Quilters 35th Anniversary celebration. The meeting room was all abuzz with door prizes, tricky trays, and demonstrations. We were all encouraged to bring in something for show and tell that related to the guild's history so here's looking back to the 25th Anniversary in 2006--and beyond.  

Rachel was president, Natalie's daughter, Laura, designed a bandana for the celebration and I was in charge of making a quilt.

My inspiration came from this early George Washington Handkerchief quilt. 

I used browns, reds and lights from my stash but ordered the large white and red floral online. I did 1" crosshatch quilting in the bandana and chevrons in the triangles. The binding is back to front. 

The celebration continued the following year with the guild's show A Heritage of Quilts. Here are the Bandana Challenge pics from that show. Each quilt received at least one ribbon :)

Dawn showed her winning quilt at the meeting.

So did Susan. She said at the time she was "experimenting with so-so results" :)

Barb V.'s quilt had a presidential theme :) Yay, Barb! I think you said you received a Judge's Choice award?

Made by friend and colleague Jill Reid whose quilts were always an inspiration to us all.  

Our next show and tell was this NJ State Flag Banner made by 9 members of the guild including Rachel and myself. It was part of Fairfield Processing Corp's open invitational and hung at Quilt Market in 1985 and the Great American Quilt Festival in 1986.  


Applique was my thing back then so I did the "N" and the "J" with the Jersey Devil entwined.  


After all these years, I finally made a label!

In 1987 I won twelve Washington Star blocks at the guild meeting's Block Party. The names of all the makers are on the label including my my dear friend, Natalie's :)

It's always fun to look back, isn't it?

Copyright 2016, Barbara Schaffer  

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

On the 9th Day of Christmas . . .

. . . I finished a little hooked rug that I started 20 years ago. Can you believe it?? 

All I had left to do were the two outer borders and I was done in no time. Painless! Thank you, Kyle, for your blog post "A Gift Beyond Words." It was all I needed to resurrect this project :) 

I purchased this Morning Star kit from the Lancaster Rug Hooking Co. at the Hobby Industry Show in Las Vegas when I was working for a sewing notions company. The strips are wool and the foundation is burlap. I love the soft "buttery" feel of the finished rug.  

This is the back. A little wavy on the bottom edge but it was a true learning experience. I like to think some of my mother's talent rubbed off on me as she once hooked a 6' x 9' rug. I can't imagine doing one that size. 

And because I am so pleased with the end result I just ordered another kit on Ebay :) We'll see how long this one takes, lol!

Looking back at 2015

Yes! I'm a very scheduled person and Yes! I like to keep track of things. Just giving you a heads-up :)

I read a total of 29 books and 10,353 pages. Stats are posted by Goodreads where I keep track of all my books. My favorite in this group was The Aviator's Wife by Melanie Benjamin. It inspired me to start reading Anne Morrow Lindbergh's diaries. 

I've been swapping books on for years. It's a great way to acquire and recycle books at minimal cost. At the media mail price of $2.72 I sent 55 books to other members and requested/received 18 (they paid postage). I earn a credit for every book mailed/received which allows me to order one from someone else. I keep an ongoing Wish List and am notified when a book becomes available. In December I had more than 120 credits in my account so donated 100 of them to a school-in-need in Georgia:)  

I took 608 gravestone photos at various cemeteries in NJ and NY last year and posted them on FindAGrave. I've been a regular contributor to that site for the last 8 years with a total of 10,669 memorials and 12,493 photos. This is the Cleveland family plot in Albany Rural Cemetery, Menands, NY.

Much of my in-the-field cemetery time was spent indoors doing data entry work for The Woodlawn Cemetery project in the Bronx. Some of my ancestors are buried there so I feel a connection :) I was one of a dedicated team of volunteers who completed Phase I for a total of 250,000 records. I'm currently working on Phase II with an additional 45,000.  

Genealogy-wise I kind of slowed down a bit until I was contacted by a (very) distant relative who said we were descendants of Susannah North Martin--one of the Salem witches who was hanged in 1692. Well, that certainly peaked my interest! I've gotten back to 1680 but there are still two more generations to prove before I can claim Susannah as one of my own.

Looking ahead to the New Year I'd like to: 

Participate in at least one quiltalong and/or block swap. 

Take a workshop to learn a new technique.  

Try my hand at wool applique.

Make a cute needle case or two.

Learn Big Stitch quilting.

Become a better "hooker."

Add more pics to my 31 boards on Pinterest (click on the icon).

Stay involved. 

Most important--keep on quilting!

I really enjoy sharing my projects and activities with you. I hope you'll stop by often and leave me a comment or two :)