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


  1. I really enjoyed your story! The quilt is beautiful and even more so for having a family history - looks like an antique in the nicest way! Lovely first very tempted to start this one.

  2. What a wonderful story. Nothing like starting with a challenging design for your first applique! But you did it and now that quilt is full of memories, ink spot and all.

  3. Oh Barbara...what a touching story and thank you for sharing with us ! Your quilt is awesome and how lucky you were to have a Mom who knew how to quilt !
    Your first block is beautiful ! You used beautiful fabrics. What size is it please ?

  4. Wow what a great quilt in every way! Ink stain and all because of the memories attached!

  5. What a great post! The quilt your Mom made is absolutely charming. I love the story.
    I have fond memories of my kids play "The Oregon Trail" computer game. They accidentally learned a lot.
    Your first applique quilt is amazing. The quilting is just beautiful. what a treasure. the little bows are my favorite after the quilting.
    Your WW block is lovely. I think it will be a fun quilt along!