Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Baskets of Bill, Part Three in a Series

I'm so enjoying the slow cloth piecing of Baskets of Bill.  Here are the two recent blocks that I've made, both from Piecemeal Quilts site.  Sandi is new to me, but I'm enchanted by her creative baskets, and plan to make all of them -- she has two left to post in her series. 

She goes about basket making in a different way than I'm used to.  For one thing, she has me cut pieces bigger than necessary, making HSTs that finish at about 3" and then trim to 2.5.  Uses a bit more fabric, that's for sure, and at first I wasn't sure I liked that.  Then I realized that my HSTs are perfect when made this way.  Perfect.  Something I've not achieved by other methods. 

Her directions are very clear, and would be even clearer if a person had the use of a color printer!   And, of course, the process is complicated by the fact that her fabrics are pink, red, yellow, blue, green; mine are peach, brown, cream, red, blue, etc.  Even so, the bottom block looks different to me than it does on the direction sheet.  I still love it.

I continue to press seams open instead of to the darker side.  It has made all the difference.  I've learned to write the correct-for-me colors on the directions sheets.  And to take my time.  One of Sandi's blocks that I made took nearly three hours from start to finish.  And it is perfect.  I'm delighted with it, with them, with Sandi's process.

Here are the two new blocks along with the first five that I made.  Four or five of the seven are from Piecemeal Quilts and the others from other sources. 

You can, of course, see them all more clearly by clicking on the photos to enlarge.

So many people have written to say that they, too, tend to fall back on basket blocks.  There's just something to satisfying about them.  Especially these that Sandi has designed.


anne bebbington said...

These baskets are a delight Nancy - all so different.

I have to say I always do my HSTs like that - too large and then cut to size (in fact my flying geese and my QSTs too) - my piecing is so inaccurate it's the only way I have a hope of getting near the correct size - this is probably why I'm not at all productive on the piecing front - but if I really want to piece it produces the results

Keep em coming these baskets are a breath of fresh air :o) lovely!

Amy said...


I'm loving your baskets, too! And thank you for bringing Sandi's blog to my attention!

Question for you - what are you using for your background fabric? (My quilting circle falls back on Kona Snow...)


Nancy, Near Philadelphia said...

Kona snow, that's right.

Pat said...

I can't stop looking at the block with the pinwheel flowers. VERY creative baskets that look like a lot of fun to piece. And thanks for the intro to Sandi's web site. That's a great resource!

Nicole said...

Thanks for the link to Sandi. I think I am going to start making some of Bill's Baskets myself. Love how yours are turning out, and lord knows I have enough fabric!
Her technique of making the pieces bigger and then trimming down is definitely the way to go. Perfect blocks every time. Especially when each block is pieced differently. You want every block to end up the same size.

Micki said...

Your baskets are wonderful! You are doing such a great job on them!

floribunda... aka Julie said...

I don't think I've made more than a few basket blocks in my life -- and they were probably all for birthday swaps with you! They're looking lovely, though, and I might have to follow your path (most likely with batiks, though...)

Anonymous said...

Wow! Thanks so much for your wonderful post (and thanks to all of the visitors who are clicking over to check out the baskets). I have to admit, I spend more time on EQ6 and then writing out instructions than I do actually quilting. I need to work on that.
My first quilts (the Flying Geese, Jacob's Ladder and Storm at Sea come to mind) were all made by cutting to precise measurements and then sewing together. I enjoyed the process, and eventually got moderately good at making them accurately. My mom also quilts, and she had a lot more difficulty with the measurements. Since we've worked on a number of projects together, we adopted the method of making things larger then cutting them down, which allows us to make blocks that turn out the same size. Although it's a little more time consuming, I really like the results.