Wednesday, December 30, 2020

December Mini, Wall, River

It's been quite a journey during this tumultuous year but Wendy The Constant Quilter has kept a group of us engaged by making minis and focusing on the positive. Thanks, Wendy!

This orphan leaf block has been in a drawer for years and then one morning I took it out, added some leftover hsts, red and green borders, corner squares . . .

. . . and with a little hand quilting it was done! It's 14" x 14".

I finally made and installed a 72" x 72" design wall with the help of my SIL :) I followed Barb V's Design Wall Tutorial and I can't tell you how happy I am with the result! Thanks, Barb! It's been a goal of mine ever since we moved here and the only wall space I had upstairs was in an adjacent bedroom to my sewing space but it worked out perfectly.

Early Christmas morning the river looked like it was frozen in time but then it began to break up just like what happens in the spring. Huge ice slabs were piled up along the edge and before you knew it the whole river was once again flowing. Amazing to watch!

And at 7:00 this morning the moon was so bright it lit up the sky and reflected in the water. I love stuff like this!

Thank you all for visiting my blog this year. I so appreciate your taking the time to leave a comment or two :)

Let's ring in the New Year with hope and optimism! 




Copyright 2020, Barbara Schaffer

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Eleven Things That Made Me . . .

. . . S-M-I-L-E 😊

Like . . . 

1. Opening the package with my tee and medal for completing the virtual 87-mile RBG Run/Walk. My time was 27 hrs 21 min 51 sec and I placed 2549th out of 7937 participants. Yikes! I must thank my friend Cath in MS for getting me involved!

2. Receiving an email from a distant cousin in Germany who is related to me on the Strubbe side of the family. This is an early photo of the property where my gr-grandfather Wilhelm Heinrich Strubbe (1853-1917) was born in Harpenfeld :)

3. Coming across this photo of a typing class when I was in high school. I'm not in this picture but I knew many of the girls who were. In fact, my first job was typing the inventory of an antiques dealer who lived in town :)

4. Receiving a photo book from our realtor after our NJ house was sold. What a treasure!

5. Meeting my challenge of reading 12 books this year. Not bad considering all that has happened. No real rhyme or reason as to what I read though I enjoy historical fiction more than anything else. I've been a member of for years where I order/swap books but keep track of what I read on

6. Seeing animal tracks in the snow.

7. Hanging several little Christmas quilts in my sewing space. 

8. Draping a large one over the railing so we get to see it from below.

 9. Reading about the history of the area when hiking with my daughter. 

10. Looking at photos of this gorgeous quilt that will be on display at the Bergen County NJ quilt show next June. See more pics here.

 11. Seeing this photo in the Association for Gravestone Studies newsletter--and smiling! Why? It's all about the Spritz Cookies! How clever to inscribe the recipe on a gravestone. My mom and I made these cookies every year and my favorite shape was the Christmas tree :)

Hope there are some things that made you smile, too!




Copyright 2020, Barbara Schaffer 


Sunday, November 29, 2020

November Mini

Surprise! I'm jumping in before the end of the month--

I loved it from the start! In August Barbara Brackman made a presidential campaign fabric of the Biden-Harris ticket and posted it on her Material Culture blog. One could print the image on pre-treated fabric using your printer but . . . 

. . . because I wanted to start right away, I decided to give it a try using Moda Bella white and plain old freezer paper. It took a couple of tries but this was the result. This print is not permanent but I was satisfied enough to move forward. Barbara's fabric is now available to purchase printed-to-order on so be sure to check it out :)

I centered the image on the front of a piece of patriotic star fabric, zig-zag stitched it down and cut the excess away on the back (above).   

The red border fabric says VOTE, VOTE, VOTE . . . an oldie by Judy Rothermel for Marcus. I did a 3/8" double fold binding which I cut 2-3/4" wide. It finishes at 13-1/2" x 15". 

The back before I added . . . 

. . . a little tag "Please Do Not Wash." 

Cynthia at wabi-sabi quilts has posted her November mini, Love Thy Neighbor. Don't miss it!  And I'm sure Wendy will be posting hers tomorrow along with links to more :)

Have a wonderful week!


Copyright 2020, Barbara Schaffer

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Deacon Blocks 53-56

 This group of blocks were all applique.

And they were all in the same row!

                            Original attributed to B___Chapman Mount Holly May 27, 1842

I started with Block 56. It had a light airy look that appealed to me. 

                         Original attributed to M.C. Coles Mount Holly May 27, 1842

Block 55 was next. Looks like I'm working backwards. I pieced the plate on the machine and appliqued it to the background.

                                              Original attributed to Sarah B. Deacon New Jersey 1842

Block 54 was a real challenge with lots of small pieces!

This is the original block made by Elizabeth H. Burr. Study it for a minute . . .

And this is mine. Do you see what I did? I transposed the red and yellow and didn't even realize it!

Blocks 53-56 are done and there's only 29 to go which is exactly the number of miles I have left to walk in the RBG Challenge. That's crazy!

My daughter had set me up with the MapMyFitness app to keep track of my time and distance. Here's one of our favorite weekend walks through the woods and along a mountain road :)

I was about to get down on the floor to stretch the other morning when the sunrise caught my eye. I put my jacket on and walked to the top of the driveway where I caught this view just before the colors faded away. 

Enjoy your week!



Copyright 2020, Barbara Schaffer

Friday, November 13, 2020

Basket Quilting and Walking . . . .

I finished quilting the center of my basket quilt and now it's time to move on to the borders. 

The front. . . 

. . . and back.

Initially I had marked a fan quilting pattern on all four sides of the border but by the time I had finished quilting the center the marks had pretty much faded. What to do?

Why not mark and quilt the borders from the back?

It's working really well! 

I had marked out my boundaries by following the quilted lines of the inner border on the front. 

This is how it looks on the front. You'd never know it was quilted from the back! 

Moving on or better yet walking on . . .

I am so into the RBG Run/Walk challenge! I committed to walking 87 miles by December 30th and have completed 44.18! 

I've been out and about in Lake Placid with awesome views of the Olympic Ski Jumps. . . 

 . . . an impressive estate . . . 

Cornell University's Uihlein Forest Maple Program facility . . .

. . . and the Luge Training Complex :)

Only 42 miles to go and counting!

I'll be back next week with my Deacon blocks. 

See you then!




Copyright 2020, Barbara Schaffer 


Wednesday, October 28, 2020

October Mini, This 'n That

I jumped right in when Lori @ Humble Quilts blog announced her 50 Shades of Brown SAL but I didn't quite get it finished on time for her Linky Party. But it's the perfect little quilt for October's mini.

I had plenty of pre-cut 1-1/2" squares and started sewing them together in 4-patches in no time at all. Then I added 3" squares . . . 

But because the center was so dark I deviated a bit and instead of adding 4 different fabrics for the border I added this light leaf stripe all the way around. 

Another monthly mini--done! Thanks, Wendy, for keeping us all focused! Make sure you visit her blog the end of the month :) And thank you, Lori, for another fun SAL!

On another note--or two . . . 

The last of fall colors in our driveway. This was one of the features we liked when we bought our place 20 years ago! 

A Shaggy Ink Cap mushroom in my daughter's yard. So strange . . . 

When I was about 4 years old, I wore Aunt Midge's majorette uniform on Halloween :)

And here is Aunt Midge (my mother's youngest sister) about 1941. 

I had that uniform until last year when I brought it (and other vintage clothing) to auction during the arduous task of de-cluttering our house before our move.  

Lastly, a good friend in MS asked me to join her in a virtual Run for RBG. This was just what I needed! I signed up for the 87-mile walk/run at your own pace/place. Results have to be submitted by December 30th. 

I've been into fitness my entire life and continue to walk every day so doing this distance will be a fun challenge as long as the weather holds out! 

87 miles. . . and counting down :)

Enjoy your week and . . . 

Happy Halloween!




Copyright 2020, Barbara Schaffer