Sunday, January 07, 2007

Baskets for the Basket Maker

It was Molly who started the whole thing, really. One day she wrote, "Why don't we swap basket blocks using Civil War fabrics? We could use blues and grays."
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Someone else suggested, "How about if we use unbleached muslin or old-style shirting fabrics for the backgrounds?"
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And a third quilter added, "Gray Civil War fabric is hard to find. How about we allow some purple baskets?"
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Molly agreed. And so it happened. We all set to visiting the reproduction fabrics websites. We searched for basket patterns that we liked. In some cases we invented basket patterns that were very 1860s in appearance. I did my appliqued baskets while I was at Chautauqua in July. We all sent our blocks to Molly and she swapped them out.
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When they came home, I was filled with delight. I put them up on my design wall and bought some nice large print blue Civil War repro fabric for the lattice and the setting triangles. But Joe liked the way they looked on the gray of the design wall and persuaded me that a gray background would be nice. He was right. I used the blue print for the outer border.
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When the quilt was sandwiched, I knew that this quilt should not go to the machine quilter. Machine quilting just didn't seem appropriate for a quilt that appeared to be from the Civil War period. While I enjoy hand-quilting, I do not hand quilt many projects, and this was not to be one of them. The remaining method actually seemed to me to be the most appropriate for this quilt: Tying. I used muslin-colored DMC floss, six strands at a time, and the quilt seemed to me to want to be tied more closely than usual. And now it is finished.
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My co-worker, Jenny, teaches the Pre-K class that I've written about in a few previous posts. These little four-and-five year olds bring joy and sunshine into my life every week of the school year and it is at Jenny's initiative. One of Jenny's hobbies is making beautiful baskets, and she has made one for me as a thank-you gift each year that I've made a quilt for the school auction using self-portraits by the Pre-K class members. I'm going to give Jenny her quilt tomorrow morning. While I don't always name my quilts, this one is called Baskets for the Basket Maker.

6 comments:

Mrs. Goodneedle said...

She will be thrilled, it's completely wonderful! Nancy, you are filled with such a kind and generous spirit... I would LOVE to be one of your co-workers! I have to admit that I don't normally name my quilts either, they usually name themselves just through the time spent becoming a quilt! That's why the stack and whack has me stymied... and why I have turned to blogger world for help. Hop on over this week and vote!

Morah said...

I really like the quilt.

Ms. Jan said...

Wonderful quilt Nancy! She is going to love this and you are so generous!!

Shelina said...

What a great quilt! Such great colors, and appropriate theme for the recipient!

Pam said...

What a nice thing to do. I bet she will love the quilt. The setting for the baskets is just perfect - the blue outside border is just finishes it off wonderfully.

Ray J. said...

This is a wonderful quilt, Nancy. It sounds like you had a wonderful time making it. It is wonderful that you are so very generous!!