Friday, June 6, 2014

Baskets of Friends

I'm still quilting the border of Trips Around the Block... and wondering what evil genius inspired me to try persnickety quilting designs rather than simple all-over free motion. What brought on my grousing? The quilt currently on our bed. It uses similar colors; the only reason I want to change it out is that it's too small for our new (enormous) bed.

Pastel baskets and Mexican Stars on muslin with floral stripe and checkerboard borders
Baskets of Friends

My Houston scrap bee exchanged these baskets in the 1990s although I didn't make the top for another decade. (Letting those blocks age properly.)

I designed one-fourth of the center using the original DOS-based EQ. Then I printed four copies, cut and pasted them together in this centered arrangement.

Pastel Mexican Star blocks in yellow and blue on muslin
Baskets of Friends, detail of Mexican Star blocks

The alternate block is Mexican Star but that's not how I put them together. There was a pretty woven plaid in dusty green, blue and pink I liked so much I bought it three different times. Have you done that, too? There was so much that it's also part of the backing. Once I decided to use it for the crosses, I knew I didn't have the patience to fussy cut the plaid into the corners of the basket blocks. So I sewed quarters of the Mexican Star onto each side of the basket block. then cut corners off the basket block and treated the crosses like sashing. It's easier to see in the detail photos.

Pastel green and purple basket block on muslin
Baskets of Friends, detail

The pretty floral stripe was a sale fabric from High Fashion Fabrics in Houston. Why was it on sale? Well, this stripe alternated with four-inches of mouse-grey enclosing a narrow "lace" like hem-binding tape. You can see more of the fabric next to the blue Star centers. It looks pretty cut up but wasn't as attractive on the bolt. Despite six or seven stripes across the width of fabric, I ran out and had to create inset triangles on the outer border rather than extending it all the way around. Because the outer border was reduced, I also ran out of greens for the checkerboard. Rooting around in my stash, I found some light blues. How fortunate! It looks much better this way. (Running out of fabric forces creativity, doesn't it.)

Oddly enough, when I moved back to Houston (again) High Fashion had another bolt of this same fabric. Was it reprinted or just hiding in their warehouse all these years?

Pink, green, black and white floral stripe with green, blue and cream checkerboard
Baskets of Friends,
detail of mitered border stripe and back of quilt

I free-motion quilted the center in a baptist fan pattern, used parallel lines on the floral stripe and meandered the checkerboard border. Baskets of Friends was in Paducah for the 2003 AQS show.

There were still baskets left. A friend with a young daughter made them into this garden path set. Isn't it interesting how we can start with the same blocks but end up with completely different quilts! It's always such a joy to see the variations people design.

Garden Path basket quilt

Fret not; enjoy the day.


Maureen said...

Love how you used the plaid and floral stripe. Beautiful quilt!

Ann said...

Thanks, Maureen. I'm so glad you like it; I do, too. Isn't it great to still like something you made years later?