2021 is my ninth year of participating in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, hosted by Angela at her SoScrappy blog. I'm hoping Angela will continue the RSC because I'm already planning my projects for next year.
One traditional quilt block pattern that has never really appealed to me very much is the basket block--that is, until I saw the Charm Basket pattern by Edyta Sitar at Laundry Basket Quilts.
It's a rainbow of baskets! That is the perfect pattern for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. Each basket block finishes at only 4", and each block can be made from two charm squares, one of background and one of color.
I wasn't eager to spend $12 on a quilt pattern that featured a single, simple block repeated 200+ times and decided to try to come up with my own pattern. I did some looking for similar basket patterns in my collection of quilting books. It turns out that almost all of the patterns I found were for diagonal set blocks. Okay, I can deal with blocks set on point, so I made a couple of samples.
I was happy to discover that I own a 3/8" bias tape maker, and that is what I used for the handles. I had some trouble getting the bias on the first block (the pink one) to keep an even width, but a little spritz with water helped on the second block. The handle on the pink block was stitched by machine, and I hand appliqued the handle on the rust block. Both techniques worked well.
I was still hoping to figure out how to make a straight-set version of the block. A little time spent with graph paper led to the green basket below. Shaping the curved handle is the most difficult part, but it came out pretty well.
A couple days later, an email from Laundry Basket Quilts announced that all patterns were on sale for a week, 20% off with the code DEAL. (I just checked, and as of today, the discount still applies.) I gave in and purchased the pattern. There were some good tips and tricks that I hadn't figured out, so I am happy with my purchase. I used that pattern for my second pink block. It is definitely the best of the bunch, and it went together easier than any of the others.
My favorite tip included with the pattern was to use fusible web with the bias tape. It turns out that I had a roll of the web intended for use with the bias tape tool. I bought both when I took a class many years ago on making Celtic applique, but they are still available now. The web helped keep the bias strip at an even width, plus I could fuse the handle onto the background and stitch it down later.
I will probably make a few blocks here and there over the next couple of months, then get going full steam on this project after the New Year. I don't have a plan for how many to make each month or how big I want to make my quilt. I'll just see how things progress in the months to come.
Be sure to check out all of the wonderful scrappy projects at the Rainbow Scrap Challenge every Saturday and at Oh Scrap! over at Quilting is more fun than Housework on Sunday.
Julie in GA