Wonky Baby Baskets and Narrow Stem Applique

Vietnam War Memorial Statuette

(momentos left at the Wall–I am grateful to those who have fought in service of our country.)Arlington Cemetary Mem DayHappy Memorial Day, to those of you who are in the United States.  We spent a year back in Washington, DC some time ago, where I toured every monument I could (going to the Vietnam Wall on Memorial Day and waving on the East Coast Rolling Thunder motorcycle riders on the bridge near the Lincoln Memorial; today I’ll be waving on the West Coast Rolling Thunder).  I also joined a lovely little quilt guild, named the Mt. Vernon Chapter of Quilters Unlimited (which covered the entire state of Virginia), where I learned this technique.

Basket Blocks Quilt Top

I recently made a wonky basket quilt with some baby baskets (below).  Here’s some basic guidelines for the baby baskets.

Baby Baskets

Baby Basket Dimensions

Follow the directions for the Wonky Baskets, cutting the base pieces smaller, as the finished size is shown above.  So maybe cut the upper part in the 5″ by 3″ range, and the lower part the same (it will be bigger after you splice in the basket).

Sewing the handles mini baskets

Follow the instructions for the bias strips for the bigger basket, but sew these narrower–about 3/8″ wide.  I’m using leftover handles strips for the big baskets. The woman who taught me this. in our Mt. Vernon Guild, made very narrow stems for her flowers by using this method.  So I call this the Narrow Stem Method.

trimming the handles baby basketsTrim close to inner stitching.

pinned handles baby baskets

Laying the basket below (to gauge for the width), pin on the handles with the raw edges facing towards the outside.  Place the handle edges at least 1/2″ inside the basket to allow for turning.

Narrow Stem Applique 1

Stitch on sewing line.

Narrow Stem Applique 2

Narrow Stem Applique 3

Now press the bias strip outward–letting the fabric fall back over the stitched line and the raw edges.

Narrow Stem Applique 4

Narrow Stem Applique 5Stitch down both edges, then finish block as for the bigger wonky block.   If you were doing a stem, you would hand-stitch down that outer edge invisibly.

Trim as shown in above photo–to 4 1/2″ by 5 1/2″.  I combined two to fill out those rows without the wider basket blocks.

Dumpling Bags

I had some leftover little baskets, so used them to make tiny Dumpling Bags, using a free pattern from Michelle Patterns.

Basket Blocks in the garden

WWII Lincoln Memorial One of my favorite memorial sites in Washington, D. C.  

My mother remembers this day not just for the Veterans, thinking instead of its original purpose: that of taking a day to remember our own deceased relatives.  She still calls it “Decoration Day.” My parents would go around to all the graves of their deceased ancestors and leave flowers.

Memorial Day 2014

I went up last year to see them on this weekend, but they’d already done most of the graves.  I did get to go with them for a couple of my great-grands, my father anchoring the pot of mums with bamboo skewers so it wouldn’t tip over.

Mother

This week is also my mother’s 87th birthday, and so I celebrate her as well.
Happy Birthday, Mom!