Saturday, November 5, 2011

Baskets and Back Basting

I've been doing some sewing this week but nothing that I can show because I'm finishing up my border on the round robin that is due in a couple of weeks.  We will be getting our quilts back when we meet at the Dear Jane retreat in Shipshewana the week before Thanksgiving. 

I found these little baskets in a bag and have been working on them.  They are from When the Cold Wind Blows by Blackbird Designs except these baskets are 3 1/2" high instead of the 5" baskets that are shown in the book. 

I just have a few of these smaller baskets prepped in 30s fabrics, and then I may make them into a little quilt. 

I have prepped all of these 30s baskets using the back basting method.  I know a lot of people are sold on back basting, but I think I still prefer tracing the shape onto the applique' fabric and then doing the needle turn method.  But, since these baskets are already back basted, I'll finish them. 

Here is how you back baste for applique':

1.  Turn your background piece to the wrong side.

2.  Trace the shape that you are going to applique' on the wrong side.  If the shape is directional, be sure to reverse it.

3.  Pin the piece of the fabric that you are going to applique' onto the right side of the background. 

4.  Sew on the traced lines on the wrong side of the background piece.  I use a bigger than normal running stitch .  I use a big needle and heavier thread  in order to perforate the applique' line. 

5.  To applique', cut the applique' fabric around the sewn line making sure to leave 1/8"-3/16" seam allowance.  Clip two or three threads ahead of where you are stitching, and needle turn applique' using the perforated stitching line as your guide.  I usually clip my threads farther ahead than just two or three stitches, but I only pull out 2 or 3 at a time. 

I think this method works better if you baste your applique' piece and then wait a couple of days before doing the actual applique'.

Here is what the basket block looks like from the back after it has been basted.

Here is my next basket block ready for applique'. 
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I have a house guest for a few days.  This is Squeaky, my daughter's cat.  My daughter, my son and daughter-in-law have gone to Raleigh, NC, to attend a hand bell conference this weekend.   As near as I can figure there is a big room full of hand bell players that play some music all together and then some in different groups, and the Raleigh Ringers are a part of this.  I know this is something they all enjoy, and it is a beautiful time of year for a road trip.  My son composes hand bell music and has written pieces for the Raleigh Ringers.  They have been invited to a get together at the home of one of the members this weekend, and they are thrilled to say the least.  I've met several members of the group before, and one of the gals is a quilter. 

This is an older photo of Squeaky, but this expression on her face really suits her personality.

I hope you are finding some time to stitch.

Thanks for stopping by!!!!


  1. I've never heard of this method of applique--very interesting.
    I absolutely love bell choirs. I bet this is a great experience for your daughter, son and daughter-in-law. Good of you to kitty-sit. What a face that cat has! : )

  2. That cat is precious!

    I love the little basket cute!

    I need to sew this weekend....lets hope I make time!!!

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  4. I've tried back basting as well, but I have to agree with you, I much prefer regular needleturn. Cute little baskets.

  5. I've never heard of this method of appliqué. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Your baskets are very cute! I'm one of those who does back-baste, but you know, it depends on the project. It's nice to have a variety in the arsenal. Squeaky is cute, but I'm almost sneezing just from the picture!

  7. Your wee baskets are very cute and will make a gorgeous little quilt. I love the back basting method - I don't think I've ever tried the 'traditional method'! I do believe however that there is a time and place for everything... eg my latest circles are done using a running thread around cardboard.

  8. Love the baskets...I have some started in 30's prints too!

  9. Those little baskets are real cutie patooties! That basting method is new to me too.

  10. I've started those littler baskets too. Probably a familiar refrain. Thanks for the tutorial on back basting.

  11. Absolutly love your applique baskets! I started some but need to get back to making more....The basting method is new to me also.

    Squeaky is a cute one!

    :) Carolyn

  12. Thanks for the demo of the back basting technique. I have not tried it yet. Do you find it works better for certain types of pieces? it looks like more work to me, but i know several people who swear by it.

  13. Your little baskets are so darn cute!

  14. I thought id stop by and post a comment since im checking out some new blogs. So greetings from the Amish settlement of Lebanon ,Pa. Richard from Amish Stories.

  15. Thanks for the demo of the back basting technique. I like this method alot but I also like needleturn. It just depends what mood I'm in whether I do it this way or not. I like it as it is a good method to not deal with pins and you can carry it around with you easily. It takes a little more time but that's ok too...


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