Baskets, Starflower & a Baby Quilt Beginning

Last year a lady in a Facebook group that I belong to showed little applique baskets that she was working on. They were so cute…and I believe that they were from the book “When the Cold Wind Blows”.  I didn’t want to buy the book to make that huge quilt, but I did find a PDF template online  of a basket and decided to add little circles to mine.

I remembered that in one of my older quilting books there was an antique basket quilt with the baskets in vertical rows.  They were pieced, not applique, but they had the same look and size. Perhaps I’d do a similar layout down the line.

I decided to make the applique baskets and nudged Karen in to this basket idea and HER quilt top is finished already.  ( HERE )   She’s faster than me :) I love the setting that she did with her applique border.

I, on the other hand,  just made a few per month throughout the year following the Rainbow Scrap Challenge color of the month.  When I was up to 40 or so of them, I’d done a post showing them, and then after that I layed them all out and realized that most of them were light and bright and the reproduction sort of blocks were few.

So I decided to separate this in to two projects.  One will be with an eye towards a baby sized quilt…the lights…and for the other I want to focus on darker / reproduction style baskets, and perhaps use them in that vertical row setting that I’d liked in the book.

In the past, aside from getting Kona Snow, or quilt batting, or thread as needed, I’ve mostly purchased reproduction fabric or any fabrics on clearance in January.  I have had to buy 1/2 yards at the minimum and have never purchased fat quarters or charm squares, etc. That means that I have had nice bargains on a few fabrics once a year but not a lot of variety.

A few years ago Susan from DesertSky Quilts had kindly sent me a wonderful variety of small pieces of reproduction fabrics that she’d inheirited from a dear friend. I used many a piece of that in my Stars and Spools quilt. I was still using that fabric up in basket blocks such as this :

Susan offered to send more to me and I took her up on it! I sent the price of postage and she is cutting pieces as she finds the time. What a dear blogging quilter friend! :)  I didn’t have many big scraps left of the fabric that Susan had sent to me before, but I had enough for a few background squares and baskets.  The only other thing that I did was purchase a charm pack on clearance which I can use for baskets and starflowers.

I added a more joining pieces to the latest Starflower. I can insert it now to this other one but I may hold off until I make more colors. I think that the important thing is to keep up with the joining pieces on these since they are more tedious and less fun than picking out fabrics and creating the Starflower :)

Some young friends were gathering here the other day, meeting up prior to going to a local bar and restaurant to eat and drink and watch the Steelers game.  If you are a regular reader, you know that once I finish up the Botanical quilt it is going to a couple for their engagement / wedding gift.

Well, they were here and saw the progress ( hand quilting was done ) and then another friend was teasing that his third kid is on the way and where was HIS quilt :)   He’s one of my youngest sons’ best friends so I decided that I would make his quilt. They now know that the baby is a boy and he is due in July.

After the Botanical came out of the hoop I discovered that I did not have enough batting or even backing fabric to start another large quilt so it made sense to go ahead and do this baby quilt first. I do have enough batting and fabric to piece for that!

Red white and blue fabric purchased on clearance years ago for this July baby, who will be a boy.  I know that babies love bright colors.

I’ll add a 2 inch white border, then a strip with some yellow in it, then a wider border to add applique shapes to…there are lots of online resources for simple shapes for baby quilts. For a start, I printed out a few from Homemade Gifts Made Easy.

I like how she provided the shapes in different sizes. Everything there is for free. How kind.

I’ll add some things of my own and put other projects on the backburner for awhile so that I can get this done and ready for quilting.

The temperatures remain bitterly cold and we have more of this falling now to add to the 5 or 6 inches on the ground ( with solid ice underneath it )

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English Paper Piecing : Starflowers

I have made some English Paper Pieced Starflowers before, but I appliqued the stars onto a background for my Stars & Spools quilt.

This time I decided to make the stars and link them together in the traditional manner. I used the Rainbow Scrap Challenge color suggestion of the month  ( blue )  for my first one. It seemed to take forever, since I was adding the linking diamonds on all sides.

Here it is from the back ; so many tiny little whipstitches in there  :)

I know that there are a variety of methods out there for EPP. Some order papers from suppliers, some use cardstock, some thread baste or glue baste the pieces.

What I do :

  • Since I am used to this method for applique, I iron two sheets of freezer paper, shiny sides down together and trace my shapes on to them. With a double thickness, my papers will last for awhile before I have to make new ones.
  • I use a little Crayola paintbrush to paint starch around the edges and then use the iron to adhere the fabric.
  • When this is done, prior to sewing these Starflower pieces together, while I know that some people keep their papers in, I take them out and it is easier to manipulate the pieces without the papers in them.

KANGA came over to assist ( OR SHED ) !

Here is the second Starflower…I’ll not add linking diamonds all the way around on this one but only where needed.

We have some bitter cold weather here this weekend.  Well, we’ve had it for a week, but it got worse :)

Schools were closed on Friday due to below zero wind chills and it will be colder on Friday night and Saturday. Perfect weather for staying indoors and working on Slow Stitching projects.

I have another Starflower prepped and ready to go and a few Little Baskets to prep and applique.

Linking up on Saturday to So Scrappy for RSC and to Kathy’s Quilts on Sunday for Slow Stitching.

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