Wednesday, November 30, 2022

November Mini, Wild Center and . . .

This month's mini was so easy. When I made the binding (various strips) for my scrap quilt I had leftover triangles from the trimmings. There was a nice assortment of prints. 

So . . .

I paired them with white and made little 3" blocks. 

I pulled some brown strips from my stash and voila! 

It is 15-1/2" square . . . 

. . . and quilted in chevrons--one of my favorites. It was the first time I tried out my new 'walking foot.' It worked fine :)

We went with my daughter and her husband to the Wild Center in Tupper Lake, NY to see the holiday lights display. But the pathways weren't cleared of ice and snow so we decided to go inside the museum and walk around. It was good timing, too. No crowds to contend with.

If you have a minute or two check out the live cams on their website. We loved watching the otters and the turtles in person.

This is what I'm tackling at the moment:

Finally! But I'll tell you more about it next week :)

Copyright 2022, Barbara Schaffer


Wednesday, November 16, 2022

UFO #6 Barb's Scraps

I know, I know. Two finishes in two weeks?? Yep! I had taken both to Dawn at Cabin Creek Stitchery to be quilted so all I had to do was trim excess batting and backing, cut and sew bindings, and add labels.

Last year I started sewing 1" x 2-1/2" bricks in the center gradually increasing sizes and shapes as I went along. I had no real plan.

But as of last December this is as far as I had gotten. I was stuck and couldn't think of where to go from here. So it sat . . . 

Then one day I pulled it out and draped it over the railing in my sewing room so I could actually see it when I looked up from the family room. I figured out if I added strips on all sides with a large border print on two of them, it would come together.

"Look for the bird." That's what I told Dawn to focus on if she got lost in what direction was up :)

I added strips in varying widths to the top and the bottom. I have an ongoing inventory that I keep just in case.  

Some strips were really long like the pink/white one in the third row that was trimmed from another quilt a long time ago. I could run it all the way across without a seam. 


I was aiming for a finished size of 70" x 90" and added strips on both sides before attaching the wide border.   

Here's the back. That may be the end of that floral stripe--almost! I had purchased 6 yards of it when our local quilt shop in NJ was going out of business years ago.

Here it is all finished hanging from our deck. This is what pure scrappiness looks like and I must admit I love the way it turned out :)

It's finally snowing! We already have 4" and it looks like a winter wonderland.

Enjoy your week and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!


Copyright 2022, Barbara Schaffer

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

UFO #5 Bits and Pieces ++

 My goal this year is to finish my UFOs--Bits and Pieces is now done. 

In April I started making 10" blocks from Carol Y's scraps and made nine total. You can see the red quilting thread in this one. 

I sliced and diced and just kept sewing and adding . . .

. . . occasionally I'd throw in a novelty print . . . 

. . . and really enjoyed adding rounds with whatever came to mind.

The string blocks in the border are 6" finished.

I had purchased a 5" Falling Leaves template for Dawn at Cabin Creek Stitchery to try on her longarm machine. She was excited about it and so was I!

It finishes at 40" x 40" and I thought I got this style out of my system. But there is just something about using lots and lots of (little) scraps that appeals to me. (I photographed it on the floor by standing on a stool but there was a shadow in the lower right. It's not really that dark.)

So with that in mind . . . 

In June, Dana at had listed this Antique Graphic Quilt with Orphan Blocks--her catalog photo is above. I immediately "fell" for this piece and had actually bid on it until it was out of reach BUT . . . 

It looks like Gay at Sentimental Stitches purchased it and is now offering patterns for one 6" foundation-pieced block per week for 54 weeks starting in January. Guess what? I can't resist! Stay tuned . . . 

Moving along to more thrift shop goodies last week. The bargains keep on coming and I keep on buying!

The Eagle Medallion Collection by Windham Fabrics #31699 . . . 

. . . gorgeous repros by P&B Textiles Echoes of the Past: Austen Manor by Harriet Hargrave and Moda's The Spencer Museum of Art Collection by Barbara Brackman/Terry Clothier Thompson . . . 

. . . and The Sampler Collection by Windham #29722. I have a Schoolgirl Sampler board on Pinterest here and try to focus on dated samplers. 

Anyway, that's it for now. We're off to buy some apples at a nearby orchard :)

Copyright 2022, Barbara Schaffer

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

October Mini and Apron

This month's mini is aptly named Snowball2 because it was made from Dawn's quilt that I purchased at auction, took apart, and washed. 

This is one 9-patch snowball block. I really like this Indigo/pink combo, don't you? 

Many of the snowballs were pieced like this one. 

The other 9-patch block reminds me of candystripes :) 

I kept the quilting very simple--1/4" inside each snowball and around the little hourglasses in between. Also straight line quilting on both sides of the inner border and nothing in the outer one.

I had a wonderful print for the back. This mini is 25" wide by 16" long.

Don't forget to visit Wendy's blog on the 31st when she will be posting her mini along with links to all the other mini makers :) You can read all about her in the current issue of Quiltmania #151. Congratulations! We are so proud of you, Wendy! 

Did I ever mention how much I miss my apron collection? Well, I really do! I had them all ironed and organized by category but there just wasn't any room when we moved so I sold each and every one. I posted about some of them a while back. Here is a link in case you are curious as to what I left behind. 

But as they say--once a collector, always a collector. And I was at the right place at the right time--again!--when I picked up this c. 1900 apron at the thrift shop.

It is in perfect condition with lovely trim along the bottom edge . . . 

. . . and the ends of the ties. It was only $1.00. Need I say more??

Same view as always but look at those clouds!

Have a wonderful week!


Copyright 2022, Barbara Schaffer

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Leaves and High Peaks Quilt (not new)

When autumn arrives in the Adirondacks we tend to go for long drives on country roads to take it all in. This year the colors were spectacular! 

This is one of several trees that are right down the street from us. With the sun shining through I had to stop and take a pic.

Here's another . . .


Whiteface Mountain is always a good place for peeping and taking pictures.

This branch of the Ausable River is nearby.

Look what was on a rock in the middle--a GBH--Great Blue Heron :)

Another section of the river . . .

. . . and a winding country road. 


For an instant this was the sunrise this morning but it didn't last very long before the clouds rolled in.  

For weeks I've been watching this tree fungus open up. Pretty impressive!


Yesterday as I walked my granddog through these leaves . . .  

. . . the colors reminded me of a quilt I made for my brother in 2013. The triangles were cut from my collection of leaf fabrics along with solids that once belonged to our mother.

The border is waterfall and camping fabric--true Adirondack-style! I call it Autumn in the High Peaks :)

That's all for now. See you next week with my mini!


Copyright 2022, Barbara Schaffer

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Aerobic Dancing and Charms

I've been on a quest to put labels on some of my older quilts . . . just because :)

Here's the latest. 

I got caught up in the Aerobic Dancing craze in the mid '70s. I was introduced to Jacki Sorensen's program at our local YMCA and was hooked from the start.

I became in instructor and taught 6 classes/wk. Prior to each session, instructors had to pass both a 12-minute running test and a weigh-in based on height. If you were 5' your max weight was 100 lbs. From there, the scale went up 5 lbs for every inch. If you were over you couldn't teach until you lost the extra weight. Really!

Every 12-week session had a name. I was part of the 'test group' and danced each session's routines at home before they became official.  

There was a woman in a neighboring town who started hand-painting and personalizing tee shirts. I ordered a couple from her with my name on them.

Eventually I became a clinician and traveled to different parts of the country teaching new sessions to instructors--even went to Hawaii! I was an area coordinator and eventually the district manager for NJ and parts of PA.

It was the best job I ever had! My office was at the Aerobic Dancing Center in Short Hills, NJ, and that's where I hung my c. 1980 Aerobic Dancing quilt. I had cut my tee-shirts, zigzag-stitched them onto a sheet, added batting and another sheet for the backing then tied the layers together with yarn. I used a commercial orange blanket binding for the edges.

So there you have it! Probably more than you ever wanted to know :)


Onto the charm bracelet . . .

Most of the charms were from high school, others shortly after I was married. From left to right: church, engagement ring, a treadle sewing machine like my grandmother's that I learned to sew on, a heart for something :), scissors for all the sewing I did (made all my own clothes), wedding ring, wedding bell charm for my cousin's wedding--I made her gown, a couple bridesmaids dresses and my daughter's flower girl dress . . .

. . . a megaphone for being on the freshman cheerleading squad, two charms for high school graduation, 1st anniversary charm, my birth certificate inscribed Barbara and the date . . . 

. . . my husband's Sigma Chi pin, Christmas bells, baby shoe when my son was born, another megaphone for the varsity cheerleading squad, and another charm for being a bridesmaid at my cousin's wedding in 1969--the newest one on this bracelet. 

I keep it in this embroidered pouch . . . 

. . . inside this fabric envelope . . . 

. . . which is on the back of this fabric book I posted on my very first blog in June 2011! You can read all about it here

Well, that's enough reminiscing for now. Thanks for sticking with me to the end of this post :)


Copyright 2022, Barbara Schaffer