Sunday, July 17, 2011

Block Swap Basket

I’ve been participating in the Block Swap Adventure for 2 months now.  So far, it’s been tons of fun for me—I have done two blocks that I probably never would have ventured to make for myself.  The first was extremely difficult for me and involved lots of triangles and matching up seams.  This last one was a lot more my ability level.  My partner, Sunni (also from Maryland), requested any kind of basket block.  It didn’t even need to be on point or on a specific background color.  Her only specification was no bright colors.  Color choice is a bit subjective, so I hope I hit the mark for subdued or muted colors.

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My daughter Bea and I had a blast picking out fabrics and she even helped trace the flowers.  We used templates from Eleanor Burns’s Magic Vine book, which I highly recommend.  Her directions are always so clear and each flower has a little story behind it.  At first I thought I’d make yo-yos with the makers I bought but never used, but after a long car trip perusing the Magic Vine book, I decided to do applique.

I ended up doing a machine blanket stitch around the basket and then I used a pretty dense zig-zag around all the flower parts.  I am hesitant to use a satin stitch because I’ve have had problems with my machine getting stuck in places and making a huge thread ball.  I own a Janome 6600 and really love it, except for this fact.  I don’t have any other problems doing anything, and it’s probably user error anyway:)  I tried out the clasp stitch to make the center of this flower.

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We had such a good time that Bea made her own flower block:

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And, I’d been dying to use my 20% off Joanns coupon that came to my email inbox on Friday morning.  I didn’t really have any reason to go to Joanns, but when I ran out of blue thread and also needed a green and orange, I just had to go.  Baby Veronica helped me do my shopping and I ended up almost breaking the bank when I checked out.  All the home decor weight fabric was on sale for $7 a yard, so I got a couple to make my girls library bags.  I saw a cute library tote on someone’s blog recently and thought I’d make one for each of them.  I got some fusible fleece which I’ve never used before, but I’m going to try it as interfacing for these bags.  I also got lining fabric I will use to make an outside pocket for their library card and put their initial on it.  At least that’s the plan…


  1. The blocks are beautiful!! Your applique work looks wonderful :) Sounds like you have some fun projects ahead.

  2. Wow, your machine blanket stich applique looks perfect.
    I agree with you on Eleanor Burns. ♥ her quilting instructions. She is like the quilting great aunt I never had ;-)

  3. Jamie Lee I just love your blocks. The applique it perfect.

  4. Peek a boo! WHat a beautiful block. And it's coming to live at my house. It's awesome Jamie!!!

  5. WOW! You've got some talent :) Can't wait to be paired up with you!


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