Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Flowers In A Pot & Four Patch on Point

The only things these two quilts have in common are the octagon-shaped flowers and my quilt labels. 

I bought my very first quilt book, The Standard Book of Quiltmaking by Marguerite Ickis, in 1965 when we were living in Suffern, NY. My DH was the Supt. of Recreation and started the Ramapo Senior Citizens Club. One of the seniors I used to pick up on meeting day was a lovely lady who invited me to her house to see her quilts. I was so inspired by her Pot of Flowers quilt that I decided to make one of my own.

But it wasn't until the mid 90s (!) when it dawned on me that I'd been using this octagon-shape as the label for many of my later quilts . . . 

. . . like this one on the back of . . .

. . . Four Patch on Point, a repro of a quilt in my favorite book, Calico and Chintz. 


Or this one on the back of. . . 


Cows In My Garden, a mystery quilt.

You get the idea. Now I need to get down to business so I have something new to show you next week :) 

Happy quilting! 

Copyright 2016, Barbara Schaffer

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

This 'n That

It was a beautiful day last Sunday so I decided to air out the quilts I keep stored in a trunk. I spread them out on the grass and took some pics.  

They are some of my earliest quilts including: Skiers Mountain, Bicentennial, and Ancestry. Garden Bouquet on the left is a Paragon quilt kit designed by Florence Peto. My mother did the applique and I quilted it after she died in 1964.  

I know you've probably seen most of these before . . . 

. . . except for Star & Pinwheels which I finished in 1980. You can read about the Postage Stamp quilt here

It is entirely hand-pieced and measures 90" x 90". I was struggling with the layout until my brother stopped by one day and came upstairs to see what I was doing. He moved the star so it was on point and said, "Why don't you put the star this way?" So that's what I did and everything fell into place :)

Years later HQPNJ identified this layout as a typical NJ-style quilt set on the diagonal with a central focus and 1/2 square triangles along the outer edges. How 'bout that?

I chose a clamshell quilting design for the center and edges and simple line quilting for the sashing and pinwheels.

I made my mother a blouse with this lavender floral when I was a sophomore in high school. Lots of memories in this quilt.

I finally published my 2015 blog . . . 

. . . and I am thrilled with the end result. Thanks, Barb, for the Blog2Print recommendation!

Are you participating in Barb's Broken Dishes Block Swap this year? I am. It was my first time using Triangles on a Roll and it really made a difference! So much more accurate than cutting and sewing individual hsts.

 A v-e-r-y l-o-n-g time ago I made this Broken Dishes doll quilt. Don't you love those corners??

Happy quilting! 

Copyright 2016, Barbara Schaffer

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

More Hexies and A Sunset

Here's the latest group of hexies for Barbara B's Morris Hexathon QAL:

I wanted to see them together but they are not going to be set this way.

#16 Hammersmith. I had purchased this William Morris fabric in VT when Rachel, Rita, Natalie, and I were on a Florence Peto research trip to the Shelburne Museum. The flowers were perfect for this block.

#17 Folly. Finally! I got those 12 points to meet in the center :)

#18 Parquetry. Making use of "cloud and storm" fabrics. 

#19 Woodford Green. Did I want to hand piece those curves??

Nope! I took the alternate route and cut my fabric to look like they were pieced. Clever, huh?

Our first guild meeting of the year was Monday night. Laura (Natalie's daughter) showed her amazing paper-pieced Millefiore quilt. It grabbed the attention of everyone in the audience! Way to go, Laura!

A beautiful sunset at the cabin Labor Day weekend :)

Copyright 2016, Barbara Schaffer

Monday, September 12, 2016

The View & Empty Sky

Last night some friends and I went to see the Tribute in Light and Empty Sky Memorial at Liberty State Park on the Jersey side of the Hudson River. What an amazing view.

People were everywhere trying to snap the perfect photo. As for me my good camera died just the other day so these pics were taken with my old one. Not the best but you get the idea.

The Empty Sky Memorial contains the names of all New Jerseyans who perished that day. 


It's been years since I've been to that park but so glad I finally got to see this wonderful tribute.

Copyright 2016, Barbara Schaffer

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Pride In America Quilt

I wanted to share this Pride In America quilt with you today. A remembrance of September 11, 2001.

This was a collaborative effort among the students in my husband's Recreation Leadership class and the Recreation Majors Club at Montclair State University in 2001. I assembled the blocks and added the stenciled borders. It was quilted by Janice Hairston, a member of our local guild. 

The back and label. 

I'm sure you all remember exactly what you were doing on that fateful day. I certainly do. On the 10th anniversary I blogged about events following 9-11 which you can read about here :)

Copyright 2016, Barbara Schaffer 

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

My Oldest UFO Resurrected

So I woke up in the middle of the night 3 weeks ago thinking I should finish the border on a small quilt that I started in 1994. It's the oldest of my UFOs and has been hanging on a rack in my sewing room as a daily reminder.

One side was done, another made but not attached, leaving two more that needed to be pieced by hand. All the pieces were cut.


It all began years ago when I saw this Baltimore Bride quilt in Patchwork & Applique: From Traditional Quilts to Fun Fashions


After taking a class with Elly Sienkiewicz in Paducah in 1994 I was hooked on Baltimore Album applique. I drafted this block from the one in the picture above. 

I chose designs with a diagonal focus and lots of points or fronds.   


I was definitely testing my skills. (Sorry about the shadow.)

I don't remember if this was one of Elly's patterns or not.

In any case I wasn't thrilled with this block because the design is smaller than the other three making the top look a little off-balance. But it is what it is.

I've always liked the way the triangles form a heart in the middle of each border. And now that all 4 sides are done, I've decided to end the quilt here with no fancy border. At some point I will hand quilt it.  But wait . . . 

Don't laugh! Years ago on one of our Lancaster trips I bought this fabric specifically with this quilt in mind. . . 

What was I thinking?? Certainly not a border because this quilt was going to be a lot larger than it is. Maybe the back?? Yikes! In any case I'm not using it in this quilt :) 

Happy quilting!

Copyright 2016, Barbara Schaffer

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Blossoms & Butterflies

Quick! Before summer ends I want to show you this quilt :) Years ago on one of my garage sale jaunts I purchased an envelope of petal and butterfly shapes cut from 1930s fabrics

The original paper patterns were in there, too, but I made new templates out of cardboard.  

There were plenty of petals for the flowers and border but not enough butterfly wings or bodies. That meant I needed to cut more butterflies but I didn't have any 1930s fabrics. Can you identify the ones I added? There's one in this block. 

Two in this one . . . 

One here . . . 

And one more here. How did you do? The answers are below.

In 1992 I entered the quilt in our local guild show in the Wall Hanging division / Hand Applique category / Hand Quilted class. The blocks are 18" and the finished quilt measures 54" x 65." Here are the judges comments:

Colorful array of traditional patterned fabrics for design
Successful combination of antique fabrics
Border very effective to frame center design 
Strive for applique stitches that are less visible
Quilting stitch excellent
Interesting border and binding treatment
Quilting design beautifully fills space

The one that stands out is "strive for applique stitches that are less visible." Once I see something like that in print my initial reaction is to be on the defensive. But I really am open to constructive criticism. It just takes a while to sink in :) 


The lighting just happened to be right in my sewing room when I took these photos of the back :) The quilting really pops. 


Through the years I've signed my quilts in various ways. Embroidery was the first style.

So do you want to know which fabrics are non-1930s? 

Block 1: It's the butterfly in the lower right
Block 2: The pink and blue butterflies in the upper and lower left 
Block 3: The pink one in the upper right
Block 4: The blue one in the upper right  

The fabrics I used were all from the 60s.

Have a great week!

Copyright 2016, Barbara Schaffer