Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Mini, Little, BIG

I had plenty of strips leftover from Gypsy Wife . . .

. . . and thought they would look great in a mini like the one above. Thank you, Rachel, for Edyta Sitar's book, Little Handfuls of Scraps :) I love it! Such inspiration!

I made three minis 9-1/2" x 12-1/2" with 1" strips. So quick and easy!

Bright and cheery, too!

The backs. I bought the vintage fabric on the right from Natalie many years ago :) 

Perfect together--quilts and books! It was story time at Barnes & Noble the other day to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of Little Golden Books (1942-2017). How I loved those books! Didn't you? These were my favorites. I liked playing librarian and wrote my name and "14 days" on the inside cover of each one :)

On another note, this BIG turkey was in the road when I went out for an early morning walk. It took me a minute to focus on what I was seeing and then I ran back in the house to get my camera hoping a car wouldn't come in the meantime. Luckily there was no car and Mr. T. had moved to higher ground. 

He was trying to impress a female that showed no interest whatsoever in his display.

I like to think those colors are Turkey Red and Prussian Blue, lol! I still can't believe his size! Mostly all feathers and fluff :)

Remember when I made some Patch Basket blocks? Well, I'm finally putting them together! Hopefully, I can show you the top next week :)

Yesterday I brought GW to be longarm quilted :) 

Barbara B's blog has some lovely NJ Quaker Album quilts. Check them out:

Have a great week!

Copyright 2017, Barbara Schaffer

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Gypsy and Eagle

I must say I've been totally obsessed with this Gypsy Wife quilt and did a few early morning stints in the sewing room (4:30 AM) to get in some extra sewing, cutting, ironing, or just straightening up my mess. 

But the top is done!

I used all vintage fabrics, mostly scraps.

I re-did one block and changed the borders on several just because . . :)

The yardage I had was only 36" wide so had to piece some strips to get longer lengths. But it all worked out. I know what fabrics I'm putting on the back and one is cheater cloth that was made into a skirt. Just need to remove the elastic and casing at the waistband and rip out one seam. I think it'll be just fine :)

I usually quilt in the evenings and started with the eagle in my Flags quilt. 

The echo quilting lines are 1/4" apart.

But there was a lot of space near the wings so I drew in a star and a curve from a plastic template I had from years ago. 

The center is now done and I'm moving on to the stars :)

When Lori at Humble Quilts mentioned the Year of the Rooster Challenge sponsored by Two Thimbles Quilt Shop, I decided to order this special Chinese take-out. What fun! Clever packaging, don't you think? My little quilt is done but you'll have to wait a couple of weeks when it's time to link up with Lori. 

On another note check out a favorite NJ quilt on Barbara B's blog here.  

Have a great week!

Copyright 2017, Barbara Schaffer

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

600 Hundred Years Old . . .

That's the age of the oldest White Oak tree in North America and it's located only 30 minutes from our house. It's been in the news lately because it has finally died and will be cut down next month. 

The tree had been standing for nearly 300 years before the Basking Ridge Presbyterian Church was built in 1717.  

Such an impressive sight! Its branches spread 150 ft. and it's about 100 ft. tall.


George Washington is said to have picnicked under its shade and Gen. Jean Baptiste de Rochambeau's troops passed by it on their way to the Battle of Yorktown, VA, in 1781. 


In the 1930s three tons of concrete were poured into its cavity and steel rods and cables were installed to support the weight of its branches.


The good news is that another already established 25' white oak grown from this tree's acorns at a local college will be planted on the property. So it will continue to live on :)  

Due to the tree's instability the cemetery has been cordoned off to prevent curious onlookers like me from wandering around :) But I did take a couple of gravestone photos like this one of Rev. Samuel Kennedy who served as the fourth pastor of the church from 1751-1787.

Next to Samuel is his wife, Sarah, who died in 1787.

Near the foundation of the church stands this early sandstone marker of John McCollum who died April 18, 1760 at the age of 103! His epitaph reads:

You old, you young, you middle aged, great and small, 
Take my advice, be ready for death's call. 
I once was young and many days did see, 
I dyd when old, no age from death being free. 
I'm now Intwom'd in earths dark cavern lye, 
Conquered by death. Make ready all to dye. 

And as I was getting ready to post this blog I remembered a poem my grandfather had painted on the wall in the basement of his house. Here it is:

I think that I shall never see
A poem as lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
                            -- Joyce Kilmer 

I'll have some quilt news next week :)

Copyright 2017, Barbara Schaffer 

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Quiltfest Part 2

Here are a few more quilts that caught my eye . . .

Best of Show was Judy's Bouquet by Kimberly Werth & Mary Christopher, Rochester, NY.  It's 100" x 100"!

The quilt is an Edyta Sitar pattern and was made for the maker's mother-in-law. It is machine pieced, machine appliqued and longarm quilted.

I especially like the quilted checkerboard, don't you? 

2nd place went to When Watermelons Had Black Seeds by Dawn Gerber, Hanover, PA; longarm quilted by Claudia Chapman. 

It's an original design inspired by the traditional melon patch pattern and childhood memories of spitting watermelon seeds in the grass. 

Hawaiian Improv was made by Cheryl L. See, Ashburn, VA. At first glance I thought this quilt was based on a Scherenschnitte design until I read the story card. 

"My quilt is an innovative take on the traditional Hawaiian quilt using whole cloth fabrics. The applique is of a topiary garden in the center of a small town. The hand quilting is free-motion with cobblestone paths . . . the quilt is embellished with embroidered flowers & small animals." Wow! I can't imagine cutting this intricate design from one piece of fabric, can you? 

An interesting modern quilt called Grid System by Mary Kay Price of Lake Oswego, OR. It's an original design inspired by the work of artists Paul Klee and Kandinsky.   

Of course I had to take a pic of this Gypsy Wife quilt made by Mary Diamond of Pompton Plains, NJ. She calls hers The Gypsy. My version is moving right along . . . 

Have a great week!

Copyright 2017, Barbara Schaffer

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Quiltfest Part I

Rachel and I got our "quilt fix" last Thursday at Quiltfest NJ. Our routine is to start with the vendors on the left, work our way to the middle of the show, and then break for lunch.

First stop was to see what treasures Dana Balsamo of Material Pleasures had at her booth. We are never disappointed. This lovely quilt was on top for a bed turning.

Dana has a wonderful collection of early fabrics including this quail and palm tree fragment. A favorite!

This extraordinary blue ribbon winner was from the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival. Threads of Friendship (Carol's Gift) is an original design made by Barbara Korengold of Chevy Chase, MD. It's 81" x 82".

A detail of the center. 


Ribbons throughout.

Beautifully quilted. Check out those feathers!

Embellished with Chinese silk embroidery thread. Simply breathtaking!

From one extreme to the other :) Selvage Rainbow Bookcase is an original design by Jessica Skultety. She merged her two loves of quilting and reading.

All the selvages were hand appliqued using various techniques and set together by color. Love the sewing machine at the top of this stack of books.

Neighborhood by ladies of Grace Circle of Do Good Stitches, Summerland, CA; longarm quilted by Heidi Duryea. What a fun place to live!

More photos tomorrow . . . 

Copyright 2017, Barbara Schaffer


Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Aprons, Aconite and "Springtime"

You all know what fun I'm having with those 50s & 60s fabrics making Gypsy Wife blocks.

I only have 45 more to go but they're mostly small, lol! 

I thought you'd like to see some fun aprons from that era. My apron collection is organized by style, e.g. organdy, embroidered, stripes, full aprons, patchwork, etc., etc., and . . . 

.  . . borders. These framed silhouettes make for a very appealing design :)

A fun farm scene with all kinds of barnyard animals, barns and wagons.

I just love this one. These dogs remind me of my grand-dog, Jasper.

Great similarity don't you think? 

Winter Aconite is blooming in our garden. It's the first flower of spring! I never planted these bulbs and have no idea how they got there--but they make me smile :)

#14 on my '17 in 2017' list is done and I'm calling it Springtime. The center hexie was a reject from the Morris Hexathon quilt top I'd been working on so now it has a new home in the center of this little piece. 


I usually sew my labels either in the corner or the center of the back but I kind of like this one on an angle :)

Quiltfest is tomorrow and I hope to take lots of pics!

Copyright 2017, Barbara Schaffer