Saturday, May 03, 2008

Charlotte's Basket

When I was at Charlotte's binding away, she showed me a picture of a block she wanted help in drafting a certain size. You know how it is when you take a 12" block and put it on point and suddenly the quilt is gigantic?

Today I put borders on a quilt, I was doing the "put a square on a rectangle and sew across the diagonal" routine to get the flippy triangle on the end of the rectangles, and I always double sew these if the rectangles and squares are at least 2.5" wide. (Any smaller than that is too small for this technique for me!)I sat watching a James Taylor DVD while cutting the units apart. One pile of border pieces and another huge pile of bonus triangle squares all ready to be pressed and trimmed up and used in something.

This got me thinking of all the other baggies of bonus triangles that I have around here from previous projects. Some pressed and trimmed, some not...all sorted by baggie! So I started thinking about Charlotte's basket idea again realizing that if I pieced the top part of the basket with LOTS of triangles, I'd use more of these bonus ones! The bonus ones square up to 2", so they are 1.5" finished.

I drafted the block I wanted and started playing with pieces. The little light filler triangles in the basket tops are the same size as the pieces from step 2 of Orange Crush,(cut from a 2" scrap strip with the easy angle ruler) and I had some left overs of those...and look! The base of the basket background is a corner square...2"...I can pull out light ones of those from the 2" square bin. And the side rectangles? Those are 2"X3.5" and I have a bin of bricks this size! So the only thing I had to do was cut the large basket triangle from 3.5" strips using the easy angle....just arrange the bits and pieces and voila! A 6" finished basket!

The baskets need to be set on point, so I went to another basket of string blocks I have that measure 5.5" square. The setting triangles need to be cut from a 5.25" square, so I trimmed them down, sliced them on the diagonal and sewed a triangle to each corner.

From there I took my "square in a square" ruler....and trimmed up the block! I like this ruler for squaring, but I never use it the way they intended me to use it. I don't like the fabric waste it creates, but it is a great tool for squaring up and not losing your points in the process.

One basket block down! Finished size? About 8.25". Just right. Better than some gigantic 16" thing!

I may start laying out basket pieces as leaders/enders and see how many I can get pieced while working on other things! Thanks for the idea Charlotte! :cD


  1. I've been wondering what to do with the triangle leftovers - I double sewed them before cutting as you suggested somewhere so that I ended up with loads of dinky half square triangles. I love the idea of baskets - I've got other leftover triangles of different sizes, too, so baskets would tie them all together and it wouldn't matter if the baskets weren't the same size. Thank you for a great idea.

  2. Thanks! I've been looking for the right project to get my butt in gear for leaders and enders, it has always been an idea floating around my sewing but yet to put into action.

  3. You know what? I LOVE THIS BASKET.

    Huge deal because LeeHaven doesn't like baskets. But OMG I LOVE THIS ONE. Wowie!!!!!

    And its way too early for me to start bouncing off the walls, too.

  4. Amazing!! I love it! Such a wonderful look! I just love this block!

  5. so shall we call this a quilt in a quiilt!!!

    from one quilt comes another and another and another and pretty soon the house is full and the scrap bin is empty---- not in my lifetime!!!

    may you always have scraps

    the mischief maker

  6. I love it Bonnie! Now you know everyone is going to want 'real' directions for this one LOL..... and we all know how much spare time you have on your hands......... NOT!!!

    Thank you so much for sharing your talent with us. You are a true gift.


  7. I've been wanting to do a basket quilt for a long time...this is brilliant, Bonnie!! So many scraps, sew little time!!! I'm going digging for all those triangle leftovers!!! Lori in VA

  8. That's a really a cute way to use up all the leftovers :)

    I really just wanted to say thanks for making me think about the value of color in a quilt (I make mostly utility quilts and never really gave it much thought before finding your blog )

  9. Bonnie, this is really a neat basket! Actually, I've never made a basket block but will keep this idea of yours in my "memory bank" for future reference.

    Thanks! Karen

  10. Bonnie
    You rock, you roll, you are a mentor to us all!! (or at least me!)
    I've only been "lurking" on your blog lately, but I felt compelled to comment today.
    Never...and I mean NEVER...did I ever think I would make a "basket" block. I've never really cared for them. But....this one is ADORABLE! And, as many others who have been lead by your example, I have a bin full of 2" bonus triangles left over from Oklahoma Backroads.
    Thank you for sharing your block!!!!
    Yet another WIP to keep on the side table while awaiting the OC clues.
    -Amy (NW WI)

  11. I see another pattern coming down the road!

    Thanks in advance, Bonnie.

  12. Thanks for another great idea. ButI have a question: Why not do the basket-corner of the block as a 3.5" HST? Then you won't have two little triangles to fuss with, but use your pair of 2" HSTs from above the basket base instead of below.

    The only problem I can see with both methods is getting the three triangle of the basket to be matching fabric.

    Or do you not care and tolerate even this being scrappy?

  13. Well, dear Bonnie, I guess I wasn't very clear in my comment!
    I'm wondering about the BASKET part of the basket. I saw a slightly different way to put the same number of pieces together, which avoids handling the little triangles.

    If you look at the block as a four-patch on-point, the lowest one quarter of the block could be constructed as one large HST (3.5"). The dark half would be most of the BASKET, (but pointing UP instead of down like yours) and the light half is background.

    The rest of the block could be constructed of 8 (2") HSTs and two rectangles, and no little bitty triangles! Preferable because you (and we) already have a lot of 2" HSTs already made. But as for me, I DON'T have those little individual triangles. I would need to cut them. I find it easier to work with the bigger pieces, and I may already have some 3.5" HSTs in my stash!I If not, I probably have the right sized STRIP in my stash for a 3.5" HST with the wonderful Easy Angle ruler that you shared. Those at least would be bigger tirangles to handle.

    Maybe this isn't much clearer. Just thought I saw an easier way to make the block.

    Sara Homeyer

  14. Anonymous8:58 AM EDT

    I can only echo the comment by Karen Dianne Lee. Looks like I need to start gathering some plaids and shirtings and checks too. :~)


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