I wiped away the weeds & foam. / I fetched my sea-born treasures home... Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Blue Baskets Cheddar Handles ~ A finish

Hi everyone. Hard to imagine but it is now June. Week 14 of isolation. This past weekend was mild and sunny and I was so thrilled to put the last stitch in my Blue Baskets quilt.

This project was begun in January 2019, a sewalong called  "Stringalong", for people to use up string scraps. HEREWe were supposed to finish the quilts we made by November 2019 [oops]. (For non-quilter friends, ''strings'' are long narrow cutaway pieces of fabric that many quilters like to save; I have no idea what generates these strings, not something I get when I do my cutting. But anyway...)

I am well known as a non-scraps quilter, but I had all the leftover blue plaids, thrift shop shirts, from When the Wild Geese Fly and had always meant to use the blue  plaids to make a Basket quilt with cheddar orange handles. So I joined in.

I stopped working on that project in May, because who wants to spend summer in the no ocean view sewing room; it was set aside til January 2020. Of course by then I forgot what I was doing and had to start over with Penny's lifesaving schematic of the layout, to get the top done.

I really love it.

It looks exactly like I imagined it would or could.

You can see it's a big quilt, and not a wonderful shape for a bed. I don't plan to use it on my bed so that's okay.

I  always intended for the background to be made up of many white ''shirtings", white cotton with tiny figures/ shapes.

I love how all the mish mash of prints [the best ones from Nancy!] start to blend as you step away;

..from a distance the effect is a textured white but one's eye unifies all the different patterns and just sees white, as planned..

Cheddar handles and sashing.

A mistake at the end here, the binding was supposed to be the cheddar solid, but I forgot and eked out just enough from my fave shirt. The binding isn't great, lots of bumps and squirms because of the shirt's flat felled seams and shaping. Someday I may redo it in cheddar..

Piano key border, because I was hounding blog friend Julierose to do a piano key border. She said Not on her project! , so I decided I would have one instead. I wish it was 2 " wider but its okay as is.

The fabrics are the blue shirts, mostly. There are two blocks [again, love] that are aqua/ Tiffany blue--just for interest, ''for pretty''.

And here and there I added a few not-blue-plaid fabrics again for interest and sparkle, like the brown fruit print and the Ugly Text.

I also used a black and white text that is a Dr Seuss book's words; I had used the wishes for a baby quilt. It reminds me of dear friends. And I love the idea of 100 years from now, some flea market shopper shaking her head and wondering about the silliness, the whimsy of its inclusion.

The backing is a darling tiny bluebells and daffodils floral sheet, with itty bitty red polka dots. What a find at the church flea, $2.oo; my quilter made it work. [Lori Cangemi, Quilter's Imagination]

As I've worked with Lori C for quite a few years now, I trust her ideas and judgement. I suggested the feathers and a few other patterns---this time I knew I didn't want Baptist Fans!, but let her choose what design to use and how to execute it. I think she did a glorious job, I am so pleased.

When a quilt is done, I like to wash and dry it. They crinkle and shrink a bit which I like, the freshness, the softness, the crinkle that hides all my flaws---though I forgot to measure this time. Here is that scary moment, putting the quilt into the wash--equaled only by the next scary moment, taking the washed quilt out. Yes, disasters do occur. I almost didn't wash Blue Baskets because our water can be randomly brown and it has been the ruin of many white sheets, towels, and tee shirts over the years.

But I'm glad I did!

Coincidentally I received a big envelope of more blue strings from blog friend QB that same day. Her String quilt was also blue and is exceptionally lovely. I plan to use up the rest of the my blue shirts and her blue strings to make a version of her quilt, a spiderweb design, she calls Mama Lou Sings the Blues, mine will be Two. How fun! Mama Lou by QB HERE  Video of the song is at the end of this post.

I am very satisfied with this project, I feel it looks as intended and meets my vision; it looks well-made, a goal I usually strive for and fail at. But it is, in a way, a sad or bittersweet quilt filled with memories and friendships.

I am pretty sure there will be no more church fleas, any fleas or thrift shop outings in my lifetime; no more second hand garments and linens that are safe to joyfully rediscover and repurpose. No Mexican dinners full of laughter and margaritas to celebrate a day of hunting.Those simple pleasures, yes, unimportant but I loved those outings!, are just memories now. How sadly our world has changed,  is unimaginably different.

PS Humble Quilts is giving away one of my little quilts, made with antique blocks and fabric. You can comment on her blog to try to win, if you wish. But hurry because the drawing is tomorrow.




gone to the beach...


  1. Thanks for the link! I wish I knew why the alerts aren't coming to me anymore.

    I know I once told you I wasn't very fond of the basket block. I'm going to have to eat my words because I really love how this quilt came out! I think maybe it's because of the string piecing instead of triangles? The cheddar handles and 'frame' just look perfect and I love the piano keys border! Great choice of quilting pattern, too. So, okay, I may not like MOST basket quilts, I love this one!

    Don't give up on outings entirely just yet! Someone will come up with a vaccine, plus I have heard some doctors have had very good results with certain medications that others ignored - so hopefully within a year things could get back to mostly-normal, although maybe some people will be a little more careful during cold and flu season - both coming into contact with germs and HOPEFULLY be more thoughtful about NOT SPREADING their germs if they're sick! You've been more shut in than most people I know and I know that's had an affect on you, but I hope things start looking up more for you soon!

    Take care and thanks for sharing!

  2. Oh wow this is a quilt after my own heart! I love that you put in some "rogue" elements like the Dr. Seuss and the colorful pop here or there. Your shirtings are great, the cheddar is perfect. Love the piano border. What a backing too! And your quilter did a fantastic job! Congratulations on a beautiful finish.

  3. I'd be a lot more than 'very satisfied'with your wonderful quilt. It's so rich on many levels Lizzy. Like a good painting, it keeps on giving, the more you look at it.
    First you see the great over all effect with the baskets centre stage. For me, the border is just right as it doesn't overwhelm or detract from the lovely, interesting baskets. One will never tire of this quilt, with all your choices of fabric combinations.
    The subtlety of the myriad of different shirtings is a real bonus. I'd hang it up on the wall behind my bed so that I see it every day.
    Your quilter certainly did you justice. Well done.
    It goes without saying that Mo looks his usual best with the quilt!
    Remaining with the positive, our SPCA thrift shops opened again on the 1st June, so life, although different, is returning to a small semblance of normality.
    Thank you for adding to the familiar with your timeless beach photos. Penny

  4. That is SO lovely. Great choice of fabrics for baskets and I love the blend of backing fabrics too. Working on a hand-sewn hexi quilt for charity at the moment but want to get it finished to start on an heirloom one for ME.

  5. I really love your quilt, as you know!!! Very, very pretty!

  6. I'm playing that video/song as I write! Had to wait until I could put your photos up on the large monitor of the desktop. Your baskets are simply divine! How I love this quilt, everything from the wonderful blending of all those shirting fabrics to each unique blue basket. Your quilter did a wonderful job with this one, the texture is outstanding. My MamaLou is about to be layered and pinned at our next quilt ministry meeting, though quilting will probably not start until next winter. It will be hand quilted. I do think your fleas and church thrifts will get back into business once things open up a bit more in your area; we are in phase 2 now and our local shops are opening, with all the hand-sanitizer and masking protocols in place. I'm looking forward to the end of the masks, so hard to breathe when the heat and humidity are both high.

  7. The entire quilt is so lovely! And it is wonderful that it fit the scenario you had in your head for it. The quilting is really wonderful too.

  8. Beautiful finish on your blue baskets quilt! This was the inspiration for my little 4th of July baskets piece. ;)))
    Lovely quilting job--those feathers are perfect!!
    I am sheltering at home still and not ready to go out either...only grocery early morning runs...
    Sitting out on our deck this morning before the heat of the day comes around the house and whams the place.
    Enjoy your lovely quilt
    hugs from afar Julierose

  9. Blue,cheddar & baskets!!! Beautiful,love the piano key border & the quilting. Thanks for sharing. Stay safe with all these storms popping up!

    1. Thanks! Storms mostly missed us, just some rain, good for my flower seeds!

  10. I love everything about this quilt! Of course you can't go wrong with blue and cheddar, but you really nailed it. Delicious!

  11. Ooh! What a fantastic finish! I adore the shirting fabrics. They melt me too. And the string baskets look so soft even through the pics. Thanks for sharing your progress with us all along. It makes the finish even more special.:)

  12. I'm so happy to hear that you are pleased with your quilt. It came out lovely. I love the backing, and the piano key boarder.

    Someone's going to be tickled to win your little quilt!

    I hope that you can someday, again, go to your flea, and have your outings with friends. I keep telling myself that this is temporary... I hope for you, that proves to be true :)


  13. Love your blue baskets, with cheddar handles. And the scrappy shirtings too.

    1. Thanks. Using the recycled shirts is very fun.

  14. What a fabulous quilt, Lizzy! It's such fun and so satisfying when a finished quilt matches the creator's vision. I love the spacing and arrangement of the baskets so there's white above the handles on the top row and white below the baskets on the bottom row. This is just such a satisfying quilt to look at. You're so right about the tiny prints and the slight texture they create from a distance. All in all, just fabulous!


Thank you for taking the time to write a comment here.If you are a no reply blogger pls add your email for replies or look for a reply on the comments page within usually 3 days or less.