Friday, June 13, 2014

It's Finally Time to Hand Quilt the Baskets

Well, it's time. My Worry Baskets (the Trick or Treat quilt pattern by Blackbird Designs) is finally going in the hoop. I had it on the list to start hand quilting later on this year, but suddenly I'm in the mood right now.
Getting ready to put it in the hoop!
I finished this quilt top in the fall of 2012 to my utter shock and disbelief. It's the first complicated (forever) quilt top I had ever attempted and really, I thought it was totally nuts to even be cutting out the fabrics when I did. After dithering for a couple months in total consternation about what was percolating in my brain, I jumped in and drew ALL the baskets and handles onto the back side of my fabrics with a pen. I guess the thought was, if I committed myself by marking, then cutting the fabrics, I wouldn't easily give up.
A closer look at my Worry Baskets quilt
Somehow I persevered though all the endless cutting and needle turn applique stitching until my eyes crossed, my brain turned to mush and eventually I ended up with a huge pile of appliqued baskets to put together into a quilt top. Not that I stitched them in three months like they said happened in the book. Ooh la la! No. I took lots of breaks. Sometimes I only appliqued ten blocks a month. Other times I sewed up thirty in one weekend.
Checking it all out....
I worked on other projects at the same time--things that got finished and kept me from losing my mind. From start to finish, this quilt top took almost exactly three years. Not that I'm ashamed of that number or anything. Important things do take time to unfold! And yes, I knew it needed hand quilted when I finished up, but I wasn't the least bit ready for that step.
Can you tell that I love baskets?
Not right then. I was just so..... tired of the baskets. In a totally positive way of course.*wink
This is definitely something that says
'hand quilt me'....
But seriously, you know how time can give back perspective? Now I am back to loving these baskets to pieces. Yes, they aren't all perfect. Some of those little middle-of-the-basket squares look more like circles.*wince  I did better as I went along and also, I think I got more forgiving as I went along! There was a point where I was just so incredibly amazed that I was still working on this quilt. Could I have went to raw edge applique and still thought it looked great? Hmm... maybe not, I do have a few principles!
Worry Baskets looking dreamy
Anyway, it's all my very own stitching, from my own needles and thread. Every. Single. Basket. (I wonder how many needles got bent, broken and other-wise mangled in the making?)  Initially, after the quilt top was finished, I had this little ache of disappointment about all the black in my quilt. Too much dark and moody. It was supposed to be soft and dreamy in my imagination and the finished product didn't come out right. No way was I making even one extra basket though. I was Done.
All the fabrics from my stash!
Now I can see the dreamy. Thank goodness! Folding it up and putting it away for awhile was good for me us. We're a team again and I like that so... much. There is new appreciation, which feels wonderful. I am still concerned about my sanity, but then, hand quilting seems to work wonders for that too.
Gonna take a while to quilt this one....
The only thing I changed about the pattern was the colors. Fall colors are gorgeous, but I couldn't see making a replica and not getting bored. {More bored?} Crazy huh? Since the original picture is what I fell in love with....Towards the end of getting the baskets finished up, I almost copped out on the fleur de-lis' though. After a good long study of the original quilt, I decided I needed to make them. For me. They are an essential design element to loving this quilt, making all the good connections to antique quilts in my head.

I want to say good luck to Monica on your fabulous start! You will never regret making it. And a huge thank you to Supergoof (even though you don't know me from Adam) for always being a great inspiration to keep going on my own quilt. Without those incredible pictures floating around the Net, I would have probably folded it all up forever.

28 comments:

  1. Beautiful! As you say it is crying for some hand quilting. Looking forward to seeing it progress over the next months.

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  2. yes I love basket quilts! and when a quilt has a surprise it in , the unexpected even better. just imagine a 100 years from now you will have people wondering why is that nine patch in there? what in the world was she thinking!
    Kathie

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  3. Love your basket quilt! I have around 150 made and am thinking about putting it together with alternate nine patches or plain blocks. I'm making it for a king bed so I need to stretch it out. Mine are all made with repro fabrics. I would like to hand quilt mine also so I will be watching your progress. Congratulations on getting your wonderful quilt top finished!!

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  4. Audrey you have just written my sentiments exactly. I am over the one hundred mark and will continue. My fabrics I have chosen are from my scrap barrels, even the background. I am trying to use them up so mine will not look like the soft browns either.
    I love how yours turned and so glad you have taken the plunge to now quilt it. I hope to be doing that in the new year. I am so glad you kept the fleur di le. It really borders the quilt nicely, reading you have grown with your quilt as well in experience. Thanks for the incentive to carry on. I hope to have a post something like this soon. I think I will just link to you and say ditto...LOL

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  5. There were a lot of people making those basket blocks there for a while. I made one block! Then switched to a different basket pattern.

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  6. Yesterday, I was Googling basket applique. I had it in mind that I wanted to do applique, not the standard baby basket block which is half piecing, half applique.I came upon a site that was doing a tutorial and they were using this exact same basket, and did attribute it to Blackbird Designs. Now the next day here you have yours out and ready to quilt! :)

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  7. I love this pattern and your version is wonderful. I'm glad you decided on the Fleur de lis, they're just the right edge for the quilt. I'll look forward to seeing progrees reports of your quilting.

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  8. I really like it. I like the little bit of patchwork scattered about also. I knew I had seen one of these some place and you mention Supergoof and remembered then! she did hers in red's or pastels? didn't she I would have to go look, I have her on my reader too. I didn't remember though where I originally saw it.

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  9. It never completely clicked with me that those baskets were all appliqued. Brava!! And I'm glad you pointed out the fleur de lis border - I completely missed that. Looking forward to seeing the magic hand quilting will add to this wonderful quilt!

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  10. You should be proud - it is awesome! Can't wait to see what you do with the quilting.

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  11. I love how your quilt turned out. It will be even more amazing with the hand quilting.
    You have inspired me to get mine out and finish it up!

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  12. Love your basket quilt. I made the same quilt a few years ago and enjoyed every minute. I really love the colors you used!

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  13. Your baskets look wonderful. What a great color scheme! Handquilting will be the perfect way to finish this! These long term projects are so rewarding to finish :0)

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  14. Congratulations! I too believe this quilt should be hand quilted. I'm excited to watch your progress. I'm on block 75! I'm a little burnt right now but will stop for a while at 100!

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  15. Your quilt is beautiful and sweet. I've loved that pattern and you even did the little cutout on each basket. You are a super achiever. Glad you got it back out to quilt. There's no time limit on awesomeness.

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  16. Well worth all the effort - This quilt is absolutely stunning.

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  17. Oh, I am so glad this one is next in the hoop. I am looking forward to seeing the stitching you add to it. I remember when you made these blocks. I loved them then, and I love them now. I think I might even like yours better than the ones I made, darn it!

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  18. Me gustan las cestas!!!
    creo que acolchar a mano es una muy buena decision
    saludos

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  19. The quilt top looks great! A break from a long forever project is often just what the doctor ordered. Now you can take the time to reacquaint yourself with the fabrics and the baskets and all of the little nuances that no-one else would ever notice!

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  20. Your quilt is gorgeous!!!!
    An thank you,.... your compliments make me blush and SMILE!
    ;-)

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  21. The more I look at this quilt, the more I LOVE it!! Spectacular!!
    P

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  22. It is lovely, congratulations on getting to this stage. Enjoy quilting this beauty!

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  23. Audrey, I don't know what I can say that has not been said in the comments above. This quilt is just stunning, fabulous, and gorgeous! With your hand quilting it will be exquisite!! I am going to have to check out this pattern, because I love baskets.

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  24. Well done Audrey! A huge effort to get those baskets made and so sensible to let some time lapse before tackling the quilting.........and so glad you love them again!!!

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  25. Omigosh, Audrey, thank you so much for the vote of encouragement! I am glad you are ready to finish it now. And I can't believe how many of the other commenters are making/have made it too! I am keen to see your quilting plan for it. Onwards all!

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  26. I love your basket quilt... so happy it is in the hoop!

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