Wednesday, December 28, 2022

December Mini

This month's mini is another Snowball re-make from Dawn's auction quilt

When I took the original apart I saved only the blocks that were in good condition and stitched together.  

It still fascinates me that many of the snowballs have seams. 

I don't know what type of fabric the dark green print is but it's not cotton. It feels like a rayon and even made it through a washing without falling apart.  

This is actually my 4th little snowball quilt and they are all quilted the same: 1/4" inside each snowball, around the little hourglasses, and straight line quilting along the inner and outer borders. Nothing fancy. This piece is 15-1/2" x 26." 

Be sure and visit Wendy's blog to see the 2022 monthly mini finale! Thank you Wendy for keeping us going for another year!  

Two weeks before Christmas Connie took us for a drive to see the Snow Geese on Lake Champlain. We were nearly in Canada! And just yesterday she posted this video of wildlife captured on trail cams at various properties owned by the Adirondack Land Trust. Very cool, don't you think? Love the moose! Guess what? She gave me a trail cam for Christmas and I can't wait to see what we'll discover in our yard :)  

One week later we got 20+" of heavy wet snow and lost power for a day. But this is nothing compared to what Buffalo NY is experiencing in the western part of the state. Our grandson goes to college there but safely made it home for the holidays :)  

See you next week with my year in review :)


Copyright 2022, Barbara Schaffer

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Old World Santas

 Uh-oh! I was at the library holiday sale last week and came home with . . .

THIS QUILT!! Can you believe it?? The redwork is what really caught my eye. It is beautifully done. Not to mention the 3" stars and the machine cable quilting.

As soon as I got home I googled "old Santas" which eventually led me to the source--Old World Santas in Redwork by Marge Wooters, Indygo Junction, Inc., no date.

I was really curious to read the instructions for transferring the pattern onto fabric but all it said was to trace the design. 

The person who did the embroidery was an accomplished embroiderer. Perfection in every block.

Each Santa is outline quilted which you can see on the back.

There are 9 blocks total . . .


. . . set with 3" sashing and star cornerstones. 

I'll end with this one and wish you all the merriest of holidays this season!

See you on the 28th with my December mini.


Copyright 2022, Barbara Schaffer

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Deacon Update ~ and Aprons!

I'm well into assembling all 85 blocks of the Deacon quilt but have a dilemma. 

This is the original 1842 quilt made for Ella Maria Deacon, Mount Holly, NJ, and currently in the Art Institute of Chicago's permanent collection. The blocks were offered by Gay Bomers at Sentimental Stitches, 4 per month for 21 months.

The instructions called for 4 yds of striped fabric for the sashing to run on the diagonal with no seams. The stripe at the top was my first choice until I saw the 2nd one which more or less resembled the original. But in the end I stuck with the first.

It took hours to cut these 2" strips figuring the longest lengths first then the shorter ones. That way I could get two out of each long strip--one long, one short. The longest being 138", the shortest 12-1/2".

Not to mention the shorter strips that go between each block and measure 2" x 9-1/2". 

Next were the edge triangles. I had purchased two different fabrics to audition and went ahead and cut into my first choice. Then I realized the size was based on 9-1/2" unfinished blocks without taking into consideration the width of the long sashing. 

So . . . once I had that figured out I cut into my second choice fabric and that was much better. Here are the first 4 rows . . . 

I've got two more draped over the railing and ready to go. These are rows 5 & 6. Row 7 is the center point. 

All the other blocks are sorted and labeled by row. 

Here's my dilemma and I can't believe I'm saying this:

The finished quilt will be 107" x 107" and I'm having second thoughts about making such a large piece. It is definitely challenging to line up all those sashing strips. I could eliminate a row or two (yikes!) and put those blocks on the back. That would reduce the overall size to 90" x 90" which is still pretty big. Any thoughts?

On another note . . . 

I broke down and bought a few aprons.

A cute patchwork . . . 

A great border print . . . 

And one with a stitched-in towel.

These are my apron books. The bottom two are my favorites :)

Well, that's it for now. . .


Copyright 2022 Barbara Schaffer

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