Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Little Red Baskets Go! and a Giveaway

I’m still working on creating a little assembly of red and white quilts to put on the wall, my homage to the most amazing quilt show in just about forever that I didn’t get to attend. So, with that spirit in mind, here’s my run at the AccuQuilt Spring Theme Blog Hop.

I used two dies in making this quilt: Bountiful Baskets and Rose of Sharon.

First off, an errata correction: both the website and the packaging say that this die makes up a 4" finished basket. Actually, it makes up a 4 1/2" finished basket. (The pattern that comes with the die says it makes up a 36" square finished quilt: it makes up a 39 1/2" quilt.)

Yardage: I combined a store jaunt and what I had in my stash. I think I used about a yard of the white and a yard and a quarter of the red (figuring using the red for single fold binding as well).

Finished Size: 27" by 32 1/2"

Cutting Directions

  • Red Baskets: twelve 5" by 5" squares
  • White Backgrounds: twelve 4 1/2" by 6 1/4" rectangles
  • White Alternate Blocks
    • Six 5" squares
    • Side setting triangles (quarter-square) : Three fat 7 1/2" squares, cut diagonally twice to create 12 triangles (though you only need 10)
    • Corner setting triangles (half-square): Two scant 4" squares, cut diagonally once corner to corner, to make 4 corners
  • For the borders, you’ll want to measure the center basket section once it has all been pieced to get an accurate measurement. For the record, on my quilt, the red inner border is 1/4" finished, and the outer white border will be 3" finished.

Before cutting, I mark up my die so that I know what sizes I want to rotary cut and where to place them on the die. There are twelve baskets for this project, so I cut twelve basket and backgrounds sets.

Since this block uses a lot of bias, I advise you starch the fabric before running it through the die. I starched the basket fabric a moderate amount and the background fabric even more: I found it really helped the integrity of the block once I began to sew. I also put a piece of printer fabric over the fabric before adding the mat and running it through the Go! Between the starch and the paper, my pieces all sized perfectly with no stretch at all.

Making the Basket Block

1. Make a plastic template from the pattern that comes with the die. I folded mine in half to mark the middle.

2. Mark the handle placement onto the patch with an water-soluble pen. (I fold the block in half and lightly press in order to help me accurately place the handle template).

3. Stay stitch along the bottom edge of the patch.

4. Fold the handle patch in half and press. (Missed photos on these last two steps – oops!)

5. Attaching the handle is the trickiest part of this block, but here’s what worked for me. I begin by pinning the handle in the top middle. The raw edge of the handle is towards the top.

6. I then use lots of pins to ease the handle into place along the curve. (TIP: using fine glass head pins makes this much easier – both to pin here and in the next step where I sew over the pins).

7. Sew a scant (seriously scant) quarter inch seam along the raw edge. (Given that you are going over those pins, sew slow!)

8. Remove the pins. Press the handle up and over the raw edge, and then either machine or hand applique the folded edge down.

9. Add the large basket triangle. Press towards the basket. Your unit should now measure 3 1/2" square.

10. Lay out the remaining patches.

11. It’s time to sew together the side squares and triangles. These are mirror imaged, so be sure to create these two orientations.

12. Press the seams towards the square patch.

13. Now line up one of the side square/triangle units.

14. Sew and press away from the basket.

15. Add the other unit and press it away from the basket as well.

16. Place the last remaining triangle patch.

17. Sew and once again press the seam away from the basket. There you have it: a little red basket.

18. In the best of all possible worlds, this unfinished block will measure 5" square.

Making the Alternate Blocks

1. I used fusible applique for these blocks. I stacked the fabrics four deep and ran them through the Rose of Sharon die. Once again, I marked the die so that I knew where to place my fabrics. I cut my fused fabrics 1 1/4" by 2". ( To make this easier, I fused a 10 1/2" by 13" rectangle first and then cut the smaller pieces).

2. I drew a five inch square that I then quartered and marked with a very small inner square.

3. When I placed a five inch square of fabric over the drawn square, I could see where to place my Rose of Sharon Leaf shapes.

4. Four petals for the setting squares create this shape:

5. For the setting triangles, I added two lines to my square drawing: a diagonal line drawn corner to corner and quarter-inch seam allowance lines.

6. Line up a ruler on the 5" mark and trim the corners of the triangle.

7. Place the side setting triangle patch over the square and add two applique ovals.

8. For the corner setting triangles, once again place the fabric on the drawn square. This time, add only a single applique patch.

9. For easier line up on my corner setting triangles once I start to assemble the blocks, I use my Judy Martin point trimming template.


This is already such a long blog entry, I’m not going into basic quilt assembly here. I found the border swag on EQ7’s automatic border feature. You can download the pdf’s for these on my Miniatures in Minutes website here. (Though give me till a little later in the day to get this accomplished).

I've been doing a little playing with EQ and this pattern. I have a few more versions to show in an upcoming blog entry but this is really enough for now, don’t you think?

But There’s Still More Fun To Be Had

Of course, I am only one of the AccuQuilt Team of Bloggers enjoying this Spring Theme. Here’s the line up for the week:

Mon., April 11th
SewCalGal -
Andrea's Nest (Melissa) -

Tues., April 12th
Bejeweled Quilts (Barb) -
SewCindy (Cindy) -

Wed., April 13th

Sunshower Quilts (Katrina) -
Bits & Pieces (Terri) -

Thu., April 14th
Just Plain Laine (Laine) -
Rosebud Quilting (Michelle) -

Fri., April 15th
Hollyhock Quilts (Glenna) –
A Quilting Life (Sherry) –

And – Not to Forget – A Giveway!

In the spirit of loving the Accuquilt Go!, I’m doing a giveaway for the Dresden Plate mug rug that I made.

Leave a comment (be sure I have access to your email) and I’ll do a drawing this coming Sunday night.

Cheers to all!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Mug Rugs to Go!

Mug rugs are addictive.  So little and cute.  And then there’s the peer pressure!  Even though I just did a mug rug swap, there’s still so many cute little ones popping up all over the quilt blog world.  I had so much fun using the AccuQuilt to make these up.

The Dresden Plate die is so versatile.  First, there’s an actual Dresden Plate (well, part of one).  I love how the quilting adds so much texture to the linen background.  Up close and personal, it reminds me of water marks on sand.

And then, as I mentioned in my last blog entry, there’s the pie wedge mug rug tutorial from Quilt Dad.

The next two use the Circles die.  First, a big circle (5").  I had started this one weeks ago thinking it might work for my mug rug swap partner.  She didn’t comment on the beginnings, so I set it aside.  Yesterday, I decided it was time to finish it up.  I love those Heather Bailey fabrics.

The Cherish Nature mug rug used the 2" circle.

And finally, my little Dalmatian mug rug.  This was clearly the easiest, but it just might be my favorite.  I’m such a dog person, which means seriously in love with puppies, and well, it’s hard to beat a Dalmatian puppy for sheer loveable cuteness!

I’ve got a bunch more ideas  in my sketchbook, but before I can get to those, there’s a Spring themed AccuQuilt project coming up that takes priority.

And don’t even ask about those Civil War sampler blocks I absolutely must catch up on!