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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Flooding, Ice, Snow & Quilting

Close to the main intersection of my little borough is a bridge with Chartiers Creek running underneath it. There is a Dollar Store and restaurant there, and behind the Dollar Store is the American Legion. Behind the legion are fields and a few pavillions and a little walkway bridge going over the creek in another area back there.

This is where the Pumpkin Festival is held, and where we and others sometimes walk our dogs to so that we can set them free to chase balls, etc.  We had Koopa and Merle down there running their hearts out a few weeks ago on a mild weather day.

The water was already receding when my son took this picture on Friday morning :

This kind of picture was very common all over our area and Pittsburgh, etc.  ( We are about 20-25 minutes south of Pittsburgh. )

Across the road, if you traveled a few more blocks, made a right turn and went two more blocks in that direction , you’d come to this park / playground area with the creek running behind it. I visit that park often with the children. It is usually a peaceful place.

But that same creek turned into a raging river, covering the ballfields, and farther on up the playground was covered in water as deep as the pavillion shown in the earlier photo.

In the afternoon the temperature began to plummet and we went from 61 degrees down to 32 by 6:00 or so and on Saturday morning I woke to a thick sheet of ice covering our cars coupled with a good 5-6 inches of snow.

Koopa seems to like the snow :)

I finished hand quilting this latest block on the Botanical quilt top.

I have some pieces to cut out and prep for the next Elizabeth’s Pride applique block.

I think that my Rose of Sharon will be the next quilt to go into the hoop but I don’t even know at this point if I need batting or have to piece a back or might need to order backing or what…I guess I should figure that out soon :)

One thing I do NOT have to do is shovel snow. My son did that :)

Enjoy your weekend! :)