Sunday, January 31, 2021

January Mini #37!

Whew! I just made the deadline :) I first joined Wendy making monthly minis in January 2018 and it's been ongoing ever since. Hard to believe I've made 36 of these little quilts and this month it's #37!

I don't normally work in orange but had an idea back in October to do something with this Deacon reject. Well, it never materialized then but was resurrected for this month. That's because I found this orange stripe at the thrift shop a couple of months ago and it seemed to be perfect for the border.

More orange for the back--a print I'd been saving for I don't know how many years! 

But I thought I'd take you back to the beginning . . .

January 2018 was a reject block from my Gypsy Wife quilt when I was using all vintage fabrics from my collection. 

January 2019 was made from leftover tumblers. The large tumbler quilt is still a UFO!

January 2020 was a little quilt inspired from one I saw on Pinterest. In fact, I've posted all my monthly minis to a Pinterest board here. I like seeing them all in one place. 

The list of mini makers seems to be growing and there is always time for you to join in! There's nothing more satisfying than making a monthly mini! You get to be creative, use orphan blocks, pull some scraps, and even try something new! You can see Wendy's mini and more here :)

Happy Sunday!


Copyright 2021, Barbara Schaffer

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Deacon Blocks 61-64

Well, I procrastinated a bit this month. Just couldn't get myself to make two of the blocks. But finally this set is done.

I like to start off showing you where these blocks are in the overall scheme and this is another month where they are 'all in a row'. 

                                  Original attributed to Ruth Ann Buzby / Rancocas    

I started with #62 because I had already made another just like it and was able to re-use the freezer paper pieces from that one. 

                                             Attributed to Ann Reeves              

#63 was next. I finally got to use that yellow which I think is a repro of an earlier fabric. It doesn't always look right in my quilts but I liked it here. Many years ago I purchased it at the historical society fair in NJ.

                                          Original attributed to Ella Maria Deacon 1842

 Note the name of the maker. She is the one for whom this quilt is named! 

I tackled this block by copying the entire pattern onto freezer paper and then cut out each piece. (I use C. Jenkins Freezer Paper Sheets which I order on Amazon.) I numbered each of the outer and inner points and started sewing with #1 on the outer ring followed by #1 on the inner ring, #2 outer, #2 inner, etc. and continued all the way around. I use the paper template as a guide for stitching each seam. This method has worked well for me. 

                                                          Attributed to William D Coles

#61 was my nemesis. It all started out fine--made the inner star with not much trouble except I ended up getting a slight black mark on two of the white pieces when I ironed it. How could there have been something on my iron! I tried to remove the marks by dabbing with water and detergent and in the process the red fabric bled. I placed it in a dish with color grabbers and let it soak overnight and by morning the whole block was tinged pink. I'm not even showing you a pic. It was a disaster! I found I was at an impasse--couldn't move forward with anything else until this block was done so I finally bit the bullet and finished it the second time around.  

Doesn't that one on the top right look so much bigger than the others?? They are all 9-1/2" unfinished.

Anyway, there are only 21 more blocks to make, so I'm counting down . . .  


Look at these natural-formed snow ball finials on each post.  

I think they are just the coolest! 

Had to smile when I saw these wild turkey tracks in the driveway :)

See you next week!

Copyright 2021, Barbara Schaffer

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Looking Back Part II

From July to December I continued making monthly minis, worked on Deacon blocks and finished a couple quilts.      


Deacon Block 37 turned out so much better than I anticipated. Having sixteen points come together in the center was a real challenge.

Scraps from my bin along with 3" squares from Wendy made the perfect combination for July's mini.  


I finished Dear Daughter, a quilt I started in 2018. The blocks were offered by Gay Bomers at Sentimental Stitches and I focused on the ones that were signed by NJ quiltmakers in 1852. 

 Deacon block 42--halfway there!

For my August mini, I was inspired by a doll quilt in Merikay Waldvogel's book Childhood Treasures. I already had three sixteen-patch blocks so made three more and then added a large paisley border. Something I don't think I would have thought of doing.


It was a frustrating month for Deacon blocks. The top left ended up being too small--and dark; and the lower left should be re-done, something I said I wasn't going to do when I first posted the photo. I think my problem was not ironing the seams in the right direction for that center white circle to lay flat. 

Vintage blocks from Natalie's basket of goodies made this month's mini come together in no time at all. 


I finished the scrap quilt I started in July. The pattern is Interweave by Karen Griska. It was mindless sewing which I welcome every so often. 

This was meant to be finished for Lori at Humble Quilts Fifty Shades of Brown SAL Linky Party but I didn't quite make it. When I sewed all these 1-1/2" squares together I realized the extent of all the dark browns I had in my stash. It definitely needed a light border! 


What a perfect time to make a patriotic mini! I printed Barbara B's commemorative panel on my printer but you can purchase hers on demand at 


There's really no need to show you this December mini again but here it is :)

I am so looking forward to 2021 and hope you are, too!


Copyright 2021, Barbara Schaffer

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

2020 is--Gone!

It's that time when I like to look back on what I accomplished the year before. Despite all the craziness of 2020--including moving to a new state--quilting was an integral part of what kept me focused--and sane :) So here it goes . . . 


Dutch Panel was the first finish of the year :) Rachel had given me the panel many years ago but I only started making this quilt in 2017. 

By this time I had already made 12 blocks for the Ella Maria Deacon quilt--a 21-month BOM offered by Gay Bomers at Sentimental Stitches. I welcomed new techniques including foundation piecing, something I had only done once before.

January's Mini was inspired by a little quilt on Pinterest. 


I used a reject Deacon block for February's mini. This one ended up being too small for the quilt.


March mini was really quick and easy. I had just about packed up everything in my sewing room but figured I could squeeze in just one more thing :)


I did machine applique (a close zig-zag stitch) for this broderie perse Deacon block.

We moved the end of March and this was the first quilt I made in our new home. These Churn Dash blocks were from Barb V's swap.


One of many Deacon block applique challenges.


Finally piecing together patriotic leftovers for May's mini. . .


. . . and choosing pre-cut scraps from my bin for June's little quilt. 

That's it for now. I'll continue with the rest of the year next week :)

I can't wait to stitch the binding on my Basket Quilt and I'm going to do that today! 

Have a great week!




Copyright 2021, Barbara Schaffer