Monday, December 30, 2019

December Little Quilt and Birding

I finished December's little quilt well before the holidays after rummaging through my Christmas fabric bin.

Always searching for inspiration, I found this little antique quilt on Pinterest. Isn't it sweet?

First, I found this wonderful striped fabric with little checkerboards running through it and trees along the outer edges. Then I found another stripe--one with metallic thread in the design--and used it for the vertical strips. I paired them with a sweet little cardinal/floral print.

And this is my super simple December mini.

Here's the back. Thank you Wendy for another year of mini-making! 
On another note . . .

It was such a beautiful day last Saturday that my daughter and I drove to Lake Champlain to do some birding. I never realized the sand there is black!

We came across these little animal tracks as we walked along the shore.

No birds but lots of ducks and beautiful scenery!

Thank you all for taking the time to visit my blog this year and for leaving a comment--or two :) 

Wishing you a new year filled with inspiration and quilting projects!

Happy 2020!

Copyright 2019, Barbara Schaffer 


Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Ice and Red and Green

We had an ice storm yesterday and it was so beautiful outside this morning that I've decided to alternate some pics with red and green applique blocks for this holiday season.

Our holly tree encased in ice.

 A block from A Christmas Card quilt that I made in 1981.

What a spectacular sight it was to see the sun shining through the glistening trees!

An unfinished Cockscomb block from many years ago. Some day . . .

A frozen bush, lol! 

Another block from 1981.

 More holly . . . 

. . . and a block in My Best Applique quilt.  

Here's North Country on the sofa . . .

. . . and a detail of one of the blocks. 

But I'll end it here as I still have more shopping to do, do you??

Copyright 2019, Barbara Schaffer


Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Deacon Blocks 9-12

It's been a fun yet challenging month of making the next four Deacon blocks. When I decided I was going to participate in this sew-along, I was convinced I'd be doing some of the more difficult blocks by hand because I'd be more precise. But now I find it's the perfect opportunity to try some new methods.

 This month's blocks were on opposite ends of the quilt.

#9 was Flying Geese but I actually saved it until last to make because I wasn't sure what method I wanted to use. But I caved in and tried foundation piecing. This was definitely a challenge for me as I've only used this method once before on a small quilt years ago.  

I did my share of ripping out and replacing pieces that I sliced by mistake but it turned out exactly 9-1/2" square (unfinished size) so I was happy about that! 

#10 was a broderie perse block as shown in the original quilt above. Check out the fabric. 

I still had some of this beautiful reproduction by Kaye England called Matters of the Heart so there was no need to search any further :)

I tried Edyta Sitar's method of broderie perse as described in her book, Handfuls of Scraps. I cut out the motifs and added an 1/8" all around. I fused each piece to the background and finished it off with a close zig-zag stitch. It worked out fine.

This is my finished block.

#11 Applique Swirl (for lack of a better name) was originally made in 1842 by Rebecca of Philadelphia (don't you love the way she signed her name??). It's all one piece and I found those inner curves to be a bit of a challenge.

#12 Framed Star (?). I love the way this looks but feel I could have been a little more precise with my piecing. Oh, well!

I'm really looking forward to Saturday when the next set of blocks will be available!

Have a wonderful week!

Copyright 2019, Barbara Schaffer

Saturday, November 30, 2019

November Mini

It's not that I just squeezed in finishing my mini, it was a technical problem not being able to download my photos from my phone to my computer. Finally I emailed them to myself. Why didn't I think of that sooner??

I had these leftover large hsts and sewed them together randomly. As luck would have it I pulled out this old alphabet fabric and what do you know--it was the right scale and measurement to frame the hsts. So I laid them right on top and added selvage strips to make up the 1/2" difference all around.

After stitching everything on the front I cut out the back behind the hsts.

Here's a detail of the selvage strips on the left . . .

. . . and on the right.

Diagonal line quilting 1-1/4" apart . . . 

. . . and the back. Ta-da!

I see Wendy's posted her mini here. Isn't it the cutest??

Enjoy your week!

Copyright 2019, Barbara Schaffer


Wednesday, November 20, 2019

It's A Finish and Early Toile

The Cross Variation quilt that I started in July is done!

It went together quickly and I'm really pleased with the way it turned out. It's 35" x 46".

Barbie quilted it for me in a leafy/floral design. It was just the right scale for this size quilt.

The dark blue print is from Barbara B's Alice's Scrapbag collection :)

I nearly forgot I had that wonderful stripe. It was perfect for the binding.

These are the fabrics I put on the back. I try and buy Mary Koval's fabrics when they are on sale at Hancock's online and the one on the top is Larisa c. 1870 by Windham Fabrics.


Wanna see a gorgeous toile??

I finally got to see the quilt top that's been displayed folded on a chair in The Force Homestead which our local historical society maintains.

Check out this pink. 

 Love this dwelling.

Clouds and trees. 

And the edge triangle fabric :) Made my day!

Enjoy your week!

Copyright 2019, Barbara Schaffer


Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Deacon Blocks 5-8

The next four Deacon blocks are done. 

This time they are from the lower right corner. 

I had a good dark green fabric for this block so that's where I started.  

What a different palette--soft hues in pink, blue and brown. I copied / traced the pattern to my background fabric with a Frixion pen.

My first attempt at making this cross block but I wasn't happy with it. Too brown and too gray. So . . . 

. . . I made it again. I bought a fat quarter of this eccentric black fabric as a long shot that it would work. Then I had to find a light blue for the large triangles. After much searching on the internet I ended up going to Hobby Lobby and found a few blues that I could use including this white dot on blue even though it appears gray.

I'm much happier with this one :)

Block#8, of course, was a repeat of the one I made last month that was too small. I enlarged the pattern to 103% on my printer and that seemed to do the trick. The finished block will now be 9" not 8.75". The blue fabric is a Fabric Traditions from 2006.

Here they are in the order of the original (I apologize for the poor photo). That cross looks kind of dark but I'm not doing it again. The next set becomes available on Thursday and I can't wait to see which blocks Gay at Sentimental Stitches has chosen :)

Have a great week. Stay warm!

Copyright 2019, Barbara Schaffer