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Monday, February 13, 2012

Memory Baskets!

I decided that yesterday was THE DAY to resurrect a project and push it to completion. You see, some tops --- I’m fine with them being “just tops” for a long time. A completed top has reached a stage where it is fine to rest a while. But then comes the time where the push to be a “REAL QUILT” niggles and naggles at me and I have to do it.

If you’ve followed me since the beginning you’ll remember how this quilt came to be. My friend Lucy lives in Haarlem, the Netherlands --- and we started doing these blocks together as a joint project, across the seas. We decided that we’d kit these up, and any time we cut a basket, we’d cut two identical ones--"One for you, one for me" and send them to each other – just the pieces --- so we could do our own sewing. It was SO FUN to have little envelopes of 10 baskets or so at a time arrive in the mail! This project had no deadline, and it was a good thing.

I think we started them before I went back to Massage Therapy school, but they quickly became my lunch time project. I’d applique the handles during my lunch at school, much to the interest of fellow students --- of course they already looked at me like I was the grannie of the group, I was 42 when school started – most of them were around 20! Boy, were those fun times. Can that really be that long ago already? I guess it can!

By the end of the school week I'd have a bunch of basket handles ready to go, and I'd assemble the blocks as Leaders & Enders in between other projects until I had all 180 baskets I needed to complete the quilt. When Lucy made her first visit to the US in 2004 or was it 2005? We spent part of our time sewing our baskets together at my house in between bouts of fabric shopping. Great memories!

In searching back-posts for more on this quilt ---I came across THIS POST stating where you can find a 4.5” block. It’s a place to start for you. I have no immediate plans to draft this up as a free blog pattern. There are many tiny basket patterns already out there, or you could use EQ to size any basket down to a size you want.

THIS POST was when I finally got the yucky original VERY BROWN border off, and put the wild piano key border in there. Oh, there is a picture of Oscar in that post. I miss him so much.

December 11, 2005!! YIKES!! That’s when I wrote this post –the original top was done but I hated the borders! Good call to remove those.

So let’s get this top turned into a quilt! And this is where we throw in something fun:

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Sandi D gifted me with several yardage-long-lengths of fabrics that she had been given when I was in San Diego in January.

Was she just sharing the love, or was she finding an easy way to get rid of it? LOL!! See these Liberty Ladies?! Do you remember this fabric? It was actually a “Quilt For The Cure” ---Beehives are a sign of industry, wheat sheaves are a sign of prosperity. The cornucopia is a sign of abundance. Ladies with togas and spikey crowns and sheilds? Well….I’m not sure about those…… let’s look closer!

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Uhoh! What’s that I see on her ANCHOR?! ((ANCHOR? What is the anchor supposed to symbolize?!))

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HOLY MOLY! It’s another MILLENIUM FABRIC!! LOL!! Anno Domini MM = The Year 2000!

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Uh. Yep. Selvage proves it!

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There wasn’t enough yardage to use it for the WHOLE back, but there was enough to use it as a panel down the back center. I mean, seriously? Where else would I use this stuff?? It would be a hard one to match the print on too, if I were to sew two panels of it together…..do I really want to match seams on pointy-crown-wearing-ladies?! I’ve got some left, I can do the hanging sleeve in that too. As I think about it....Lady Liberty symbolizes so much of my life now that I've reached the magic age of 50! It's a good fit, don't you think?

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The baskets are SMALL. And that made choosing a quilting pattern difficult. I originally thought I’d hand quilt this, but come on, who am I kidding? I chose a little tear drop pattern called Holly’s Hearts by Urban Elementz. Of course, I was so careful to make sure that the ladies heads were pointing the same direction on the BACK of the quilt as the basket handles were facing on the FRONT of the quilt, and forgot that the panto was going to stitch with the top of the pattern at the other end of the machine…Whooops! So now the hearts are upside down. Do I care? Not really. What is it they say? Done is better than perfect!!? I was SO not going to unstitch that quilting!

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Two special blocks--- The first light pink one--that is the fabric that I made a dress from for DH’s and my 1st date in 1981. There are very few scraps of that left --- but I mean it when I say that when I got married my scraps came with me! The second pink basket – that’s the one that Lucy signed for me. She has one I signed for her in her quilt-to-be too.

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The quilt came off the machine last night. Today’s job? Trimming it up, and choosing a binding. With baskets in this much variety, there are so many different ways that I can go. I’ve picked out a few choices here:

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I do know that I do not want more BROWN in this. I’m all browned out! There are quite a few purple baskets in the center, as there are blue, red and green. But the one I’m leaning the most toward is the purple-y burgundy at the far right. It’s barely got a design on it – it’s black vines on burgundy. It’s warm, it’s deep, and it isn’t busy against the busy piano key border. And best of all? It’s NOT brown! :cD What do you think?

I’m headed back to the crazy-chiro office this afternoon! This means I get to put in more guesses to win that huge vase full of hersheys kisses and the candle ;c) Can’t wait! :cD

48 comments:

  1. I LOVE that basket quilt! Another one for my bucket list, darn!

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  2. love, love, love that quilt. I would definitely go with that purple-y fabric on the right, too. Somehow it matches the feel of the quilt, I think. And Lady Liberty is perfect. Julierose

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  3. Wow, I really like that quilt Bonnie!!

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  4. I like the purple-y burgundy, too. It makes the baskets pop. Good move to remove the original border.

    The Liberty Ladies fabric is wild. I can only imagine what future generations will say about it.

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  5. Anonymous9:33 AM EST

    The hearts aren't upside down if you're under the quilt looking at the top. :)

    Congrats on getting close to wrapping up this puppy! Before I read the text I chose the color on the right, too. It's a nice complement to what you already have, but doesn't exactly match so no one color will seem dominant.

    Andrea in St. Louis

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  6. Anonymous9:41 AM EST

    This makes three votes for the fabric on the right. That was my first choice at first glance. Love the quilt, but especially the story behind it, which, in my opinion is the best part of making a quilt.
    Good luck at the chiro's office, and Win That Candy!!
    Faye in Maine

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  7. Anonymous9:41 AM EST

    Use the lint roller on your socks before you go! :>)

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  8. The little baskets are so charming...and what a great way to share the fun of quilting with a penpal. I also love the burgundy choice for binding..of course, I love anything red!

    Your choice of hearts for the quilting pattern is perfect...I really appreciate it when you tell us what quilting pattern you are using. My best friend recently purchased an APQS Millenium longarm and we love to look at designs...are you using a computerized/digital program? If so, which one are you using.

    Thanks again, enjoy your day!

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  9. Yep, I think you've picked the right binding fabric. It is the only one that rests against the others without singing it's own tune. What a wonderful idea and a really wonderful quilt! I did not know you back then, so it is fun to read about some of your earlier posts =^..^=

    PS - I too went to college as an adult and had the time of my life!!! Not the way young kids have "the time of their lives" of course, but loved learning and making so many new friends. It opened up my life in a way that could never have happened otherwise.

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  10. I've seen these baskets in blogland and wondered where the pattern was. Thanks for sharing the link. I'd go with your choice of the purple/burgandy for the binding as well. It will set it off really nicely.

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  11. Love the quilt! A search for anchor symbolism: "The anchor is a symbol for stability and a strong foundation." Perfect for you and perfect for this quilt!

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  12. Ditto, liked the one on the right before I even read your part about leaning towards it.

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  13. I vote for the purple polka dot second from the left! :)

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  14. Love the quilt! A search for anchor symbolism: "The anchor is a symbol for stability and a strong foundation." Perfect for you and perfect for this quilt!

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  15. The anchor is usually the symbol of HOPE, something to hang on to when all else is stormy around you! And I'm going to be awkward about the binding and suggest an olive-y green, to complement the browns without adding to them.

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  16. What a fun quilt! Nice border--the second time around. I think you chose the right binding fabric. And it isn't obvious that the quilting pattern is upside down--it just looks like a pretty, loopy pattern. : )

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  17. How fun! I love long-term friends like this. :D

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  18. As soon as I saw your binging choices, I thought the far right would be the best. Obvious you choose the same ;-). It is a lovely quilt, even better with all those memories!

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  19. Wow, I love that quilt. Just stunning. Your choice of binding fabric is perfect in my opinion.

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  20. When in doubt use purple...

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  21. I agree the purple-y burgundy fabric is good for the binding. Those little baskets are great and I love the piano key borders.

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  22. go with the one you were leaning towards........the rest would take the focus away from the body of the quilt and put it on the binding IMHO. It's the one I would pick too :)

    Great story and amazing quilt!

    I have one of those "tops" sitting in a bin waiting for the chance to niggle and naggle at me to finish it, lol................got too much else to do first!

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  23. The purpley burgundy was my first choice too.

    What a lovely story. How nice would it be if we could know some of the stories, such as yours, behind those old quilts that seem to make it into our homes one way or another?! It just makes them that more dear.

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  24. I agree with the group on the binding fabric unless you go scrappy to match the piano key borders. I LOVE scrappy bindings. They really give the quilt a fun finish. Would you share your pattern with the group for the small 3 1/2" baskets? Baseball season is around the corner and this would be a great take a long project. Miriam

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  25. No, at this point I have no plan on drafting this up as a free pattern. There are other small basket patterns already out there.

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  26. Like others, I picked the fabric on the far right before reading the text to see which one you had picked. What a great quilt! I've had small baskets on my wanna-make list for ages; seeing yours just emphasizes that they need to not only stay on the list, but move up a few notches.

    I have that wild Lady Liberty fabric too for the backing of a stalled quilt. I love big splashy prints for backings.

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  27. Chrisy Horton11:18 AM EST

    Yea, a UFO alost finished! I like the burgundy or the navy next to it. I am finishing up an Auburn quilt for my brother who was a music major there. I started it the year after his wife died (need to find that date!) and am finishing it NOW for his birthday. If I can figure it out I will post a photo on Quiltville!

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  28. Anonymous11:39 AM EST

    Did you try YELLOW for the binding??? Maybe even your fave cheddar??

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  29. I love your basket quilt and I think the fabric you have picked out for binding works with all the colors in the border. Have fun finishing it up!

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  30. What a sweet treasure of your friendship with Lucy. Your quilt is rich and charming. I love it. I like the purle/maroon fabric for the binding choice too.

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  31. It has been so fun seeing this quilt pop up on the blog from time to time! Must be a satisfying feeling to have it quilted. The lady liberty fabric is a HOOT - sometimes a wild and crazy fabric is just what a back needs!

    The purple binding would look great, but in the photo the poison green really jumped out. It would tie nicely with the brown background and the gold inner border. Whatever you choose will look wonderful against those great piano keys, though!

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  32. Tap..tap.. cough... i ...um... have the ladies on cream and actually purchased it.. yes i did!

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  33. Lovely backing! And very very very good memories Bonnie! I'm going to finish mine too. Will grab it out of the closet.

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  34. What a beautiful basket quilt. And it's extra special because of you sharing the process with your friend. I love the quilting pattern and the backing is so fun. There's so much to look at and talk about. I, too, love the binding choice on the far right, but I know it will look great no matter what you choose. Happy Quilting!

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  35. Gee, am I the only one who would go with brown for the binding. The inner border one. I think it would "enclose" the quilt nicely and not give a feeling of spreading out. Wonderful how we all see things differently, and what's good for one is not good for another. I'm pleased to know that not everyone finishes their quilts immediately, and leave them to "age" for a bit. Margaret.

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  36. I don't like the purple I feel it competes with the brown. I like the red it complement's the brown , The flash of color is a nice suprise ending. Can't wait to see what you choose.

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  37. Oh, I love the quilt and especially the story behind it. If it were my quilt, I would use the red that is in the middle of the binding choices ... but, of course, it is not my quilt! I know it will be great, whatever you do.

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  38. Like how you used the backing. I know you'll remember me when you remember your long time friend Lucy whenever you bring this quilt out. Quite a story about that fabric. Bless our gone to heaven pets. I like your choice of bindings and then I'd have to go with the green next. It doesn't appear that the upsidedown quilting design makes a difference. Hope you feel better after another session, oh an a perfect V-day gift in the candy! Sandi D

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  39. Anonymous1:59 PM EST

    I vote for the green. :)

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  40. I'm a purple girl so the one on the left is my favorite!
    But.. I'm sure whatever you choose will be perfect!

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  41. What an awsome friendship quilt!
    The far right fabric in burgundy is just the binding for it. It will be perfect.
    Best wishes.

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  42. After seeing your great basket quilt I know that I am meant to make one of my own. I've been toting around a photo of an antique one very similar to yours for two months now. Every time I go to start it I tell myself I have enough projects on the go. BUT, now I know it's meant to be. What a great project it was to share the basket making with Lucy. I love your scrappy border, too.

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  43. Anonymous5:34 PM EST

    What a lovely story and your quilt is beautiful. I like all the colors you have there for the binding but I think I like the burgandy best. Sandi in NY

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  44. Anonymous6:20 PM EST

    I have to say bonnie, when I looked at your choises for binding. I first saw the purply one on the far left but was drawn...pulled, pushed, shoved to the one on the right. I think you have that perfectly picked. (IMHO) Lynne in Hawaii

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  45. So happy for your finish! Congratulations! I remember when you were working on this quilt and wondered what had happened to it. It is so fun and rewarding to share a quilt with a friend like you have done with Lucy.

    Laundry Basket Quilts has a pattern on their website for a 3 1/2" basket block that is made out of a 5" square of fabric.

    Judy

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  46. Even before reading which was your choice, I had chosen the same one, so, even though my opinion matters not one little bit.... I say you have chosen well!

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  47. What a great walk through your memory with these quilts! I was not quilting when the millenium fabrics came out but am not surprised they are still hanging around with prints like these :) Love your quilt and it's story. The burgundy print looks best to me too. Enjoy!

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  48. Anonymous4:54 PM EDT

    Love the quilt, and wanted to ask if you have seen the basket quilts on display at the Paducah quilt museum (May, 2012, when I happened to be there - They change exhibits every few months). There were two quilts with little scrappy baskets very much like this, one from the 1930's and one from about 1885. Both were very similar looking (to each other), except the earlier one had white background basket squares alternating with turkey red squares, and the later one had white backgrounds only. I enjoy seeing how you are preserving this tradition.

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