Wednesday, February 24, 2016

C is for Circles

I've been following the recent popularity of Quilty 365 to make one circle a day for a year. Hop on over to Quilty Folk's blog to see what the buzz is all about. My best "think time" is when I'm out for an early morning walk and that's when I decided to give circles a try though not one per day.

The fabrics I wanted to use were ones I hand-marbleized many years ago with several quilters including Judy Dales

We had spent an afternoon outside experimenting with color and technique.

I ordered Karen Kay Buckley's Bigger Perfect Circles and got down to business. 

I have a large stash of solids which I hardly ever use many of which belonged to my mother so we're talking vintage 60s at best. 

I started cutting 3-1/2" circles and 4-1/2" squares of contrasting fabrics. I haven't yet decided if I'll applique by hand or machine.

I just kept adding to the mix. This is so not me, lol! 

The next bunch of circles and fabrics are ready to go. I'll continue to cut all the marbleized fabric until it's gone and plan to not duplicate any of the solids.

Thinking ahead to fabric for the backing, the one on the left might be a good possibility as it's bright pink and gold. I'll see if I can incorporate the fabric on the right somewhere. 

I'm off to my sewing room :)

Happy Quilting! 

Copyright 2016, Barbara Schaffer

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Ice Castle and Thrift Shop Finds

It was pretty cold when we went to see the Ice Castle in Saranac Lake, NY this past weekend but plenty warm at the local Thrift Shop :)

Every year huge chunks of ice are cut from Flower Lake and hauled up on land to build the ice castle for the winter carnival.

Believe it or not the weather was quite warm the week before and the castle began to melt. 

This year's theme is Superheroes and Villains and the Batmobile drew lots of attention.

Inside are the thrones for the king and queen of the parade. I was advised not to sit, lol!

At the thrift shop I always head straight for the sewing/needlework section. I found this great bark cloth table runner for 50-cents.

And a small square tablecloth for $1.00. How modern-looking!


As I turned the corner this apron was just waiting for me :) It had a few stains but when we got back home . . . 


 . . . I put it in a pot of warm water with some Vintage Textile Soak and it did wonders. I just ordered more from Amazon. 

My last stop was the book section where I found this 1985 edition of American Hooked and Sewn Rugs. It seemed apropros as I had begun to work on my new little hooked rug while we were away.


We are babysitting our granddog this week. He put his stuffed toy on the couch, put his head on it, and fell fast asleep :)
Copyright 2016, Barbara Schaffer

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Hearts Aren't Only for Valentine's Day

As I was searching through my pics I found some HEARTS and one LOVE but none were for Valentine's Day :) 

The one and only heart potato. Really! It was in the bag of potatoes I brought to the cabin for Thanksgiving. It's still on the windowsill and sprouting eyes :)

An anniversary card made by my grandfather, Stanton M. Bower, in 1953.

A dotted swiss heart-shaped apron and pocket.

A string-pieced vest I made in 1988 with an appliqued heart design on the back outlined in silk ribbon.

An Artfolds 'LOVE' book sculpture of Jane Austen's Sense & Sensibility that I purchased at Barnes & Noble last year. Check out more books and designs here

A label for a quilt I made Aunt Midge after taking a "Writing on Quilts" workshop with Susan McKelvey in 1996

A Baltimore Album block I co-designed for GSQ's friendship quilt in 1988 when Rita and Rachel were project coordinators. My block partner, Gail Hausler, won the quilt at the guild's Strawberry Supper that year. Lucky her!

And a snow heart pic that my daughter took in the woods near our cabin where it is currently -16 degrees and getting colder by the minute.

If you'd like to see my other Valentine's Day / Heart posts here are the links:  




Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!

Copyright 2016, Barbara Schaffer

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Bowtie Top & More Fabric!

I finally finished my Bowtie top and would you believe?? Rachel and I went back to the quilt shop and bought more fabric :)

Ta-da! Bowtie top is done and measures 63" x 71." I added a green border AND the red stripe. I'm really happy with it. 

Here's a corner detail. Both reds (blocks and border) are from Marcus Brothers Tavern Collection by Paula Barnes.

These are the fabrics I'm putting on the back. Don't you love that eagle? It's Moda's Liberty Garden by Brannock & Patek. 

When we got the news that the quilt shop had extended its sale Rachel and I wondered if we missed something the week before, lol! So we went back and I came home with another bundle including the eagle fabric above. I now have enough yardage for the backs of at least several more large quilts :)

Here are three completed baskets. I sewed individual 1-1/2" squares into 4 patches for the first one but used the Fast and Easy Scrappy method on Repro Quilt Lover's blog here for the next two. Definitely saves time but I'm fussy about the direction of the seams--horizontal vs vertical--so will need to refine that technique a bit. 

For the basket handle I use the freezer paper method. The paper template is good for two handles and then needs to be replaced. 

The 18" of snow from the recent blizzard melted quickly but then just the other day we got a little more and it looked like a winter wonderland--again!

Copyright 2016, Barbara Schaffer

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

One Thought Leads to Another

As I was thinking about this blog my thoughts went something like this: Westering Women and covered wagons to an appliqued picture my mother made to Georgia and my first quilt . . . . 

I made the first block in Barbara Brackman's Westering Women Block of the Month Series. It's called Independence Square and represents the starting point of the great western migration at Independence, MO. The fabrics are from Barbara's Alice's Scrapbag line. I've always been fascinated with covered wagons and I guess my mother was too . . . 

. . . as she made this appliqued picture of us (my husband, son and me) traveling on the Appalachian Trail (!) on our way home from GA to NJ. She named it "Homeward." 

In 1962 we were living in Fort Benning, GA and that's when I started making my first applique quilt.

My mother had sent me Paragon Kit No. 10049 "Sunburst" in the gold color combination and I remember spending hours cutting out all the pieces.  

And when I was having trouble with all those points she sent me a letter with a drawing of how to fold the fabric and tuck it under to make each point nice and sharp.

I was still working on the quilt when we made our next move to Suffern, NY in 1963. It was there that I finished all the blocks and the swag and bow border. I hand-sewed all the seams.

We moved again two years later and that's when I finally started quilting. I used Mountain Mist cotton batting. 

I finished it in 1967. The quilt was on our bed all the time and I mean ALL the time. We had two kids by then and we'd sit, play, climb, and even do paperwork on it. But I was the one who laid down a fountain pen--yes, a fountain pen!--with no top. I remember that awful feeling in the pit of my stomach. I never could get that ink spot out. But whenever I think of this quilt it brings back such fond memories of living in GA where we got our first dog, our son was born, prices at the pump were 29-cents/gal., rent was $85/mo. and my husband's monthly income as a 2nd Lt. was $222 :)

Copyright 2016, Barbara Schaffer