Monday, August 9, 2010

A la Mode - Update . . . . .

Warning, many many words ahead......

In the beginning........

all I wanted was a simple little basket quilt.....

After seeing Sherri's (of A Quilting Life) Laundry Basket quilt, I knew I had found my project for the month of June. The pattern is from Fresh Vintage Volume 14 by Fig Tree.

So I sat down and whipped up a few baskets using a mixture of Fig Tree fabrics.

After I finished piecing the blocks, I decided to change it up a bit by adding setting triangles,

and loved the look so much I decided to make it king size

and add sashing .... this took me two weeks,

Sweet, that gave me the rest of the month to add a border. Then I'd have it all done and be ready for something new come July, like a Schnibbles or a watermelon quilt.

Then I came up with this idea.....

to use Miss Rosie's American Pie pattern for my border.

Right off I liked the looks of this border and started working on the 256 lattice blocks I would need to surround the baskets.

Between planning, going and recuperating from vacations, doing some charity work, watering the flowers, making homemade ice cream, becoming a cupcake food critic, walking Cooper, and a multitude of other summer activities, I would sew lattice blocks.

July came and went and I continued to sew lattice blocks. But I didn't feel like it was work, I enjoyed the fabric and the process and tried to be as productive as I could, whenever I could.

So this is where I am now, 3 sides down, one more to go. I'm hoping to wrap this up by the end of Labor Day Weekend, which is September, time will tell, and I'll try not to get all worked up about the arbitrary deadline. But I love the border and think it's well worth the time!!

As soon as I decided on the lattice border, and the block size, I knew that I would have around a 1 3/4 inch space between outer border and the basket blocks. I told myself not to worry about it, that it would all come together, but deep down, it bothered me. It bothered me on two levels, that one, perhaps I would spend all the time making the outer border but never come up with a containment border to suit me and two, why can't I figure things out before I start!!

If you've not read this post on Carrie Nelson's blog, The Process, give yourself a treat and do so. She talks about how she comes up with her pattern designs, and goes through the process, start to finish for one of her patterns. I found it fascinating because she does it all on paper first! How she sees the end result in her head, before she actually starts cutting and sewing fabric is amazing to me. I honestly think I'm going down one path when I start a project, but inevitably veer off track and end up with something totally different then what I thought I would have when I started.

So here I am, trying to decide on the perfect containment border, when if I had been able to "see" this quilt before I started, I would have just made the sashing wider!!

So here are a few ideas I tossed around....

and out...this was my worst idea, white tone on tone. I thought maybe I would leave this dilemma up to the quilter to remedy, thus the plain white, but oh my, I don't think the most experienced quilter could make that look good!

How about a little stripe? Just Ok...and not nearly good enough.

Dark brown....kind of like a chocolate covered strawberry to go with the pie.....I'm lukewarm on this one.

Here's some floral from Breakfast at Tiffany's, I like it Ok, but think I can do better.

So after looking at those 4 ideas, I played around some more....

and noticed the border looks great next to the blocks, no containment border needed, except for the space I need to fill!!

Then I got to thinking, what if I expanded the basket blocks to fit the border? I could separate the 36 blocks into 4 distinct areas of 9 blocks (3 x 3) by adding another row of sashsing and some kind of border down the center! But what ???? It would need to be around 3 inches to push the baskets out correctly. Scrappy piano keys, strips of some fabric maybe? I'm not sure, and probably won't be sure until I unsew those blocks down the middle, add sashing, then start playing.....which I hate to do.....what if I don't like that either!!

So what do you think, go with one of the containment borders from above or push the baskets out to the edge of the lattice blocks with something.....and what should that something be?

Or maybe you have an entirely different idea....a better idea??

Oh how I hope you can HELP!!

One more thing..should I add one more block to the outside of the lattice border to make it just a little bit wider?? As is, the quilt would finish at 108" x 108", add another row of blocks would make it 114" X 114".

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. I just love this post Thelma!! Your quilt is looking fantastic! As for your containment border, I think that you are on the right track. I like the last photo the best, but I am trying to picture what your final idea is and can't quite. But I do like the idea of making it 114 X114. I definitely like more of a drop. Plus that will take into account shrinking when you finally wash it up! Either way you go, you can't lose!

  2. This quilt is fantastic! Happy to have discovered your blog this morning. I like the last photo as well. Wow! Stunning.

  3. If you need to add another border to make it fit - I like a colored border - like the brown one except using a fabric that's not quite so bold. A soft green, or tan or pink. Your quilt is awesome! Don't you think the design process is fun??

  4. Hi Thelma! I like the brown, strawberry inside border. The eye needs somewhere to rest after all the different colours in the basket blocks and the outside lattice border. That means you wouldn't have to unsew!
    Take care, Leslie

  5. I think it looks great with the lattice right next to the baskets. You're thinking too much! You already have the solution.

  6. If you look at the Fresh Vintage cover photo, there is a gold border that I think would work between the basket blocks and the lattice border. I would NOT take the basket blocks apart and add down the center.

    To me, you just need something "not busy" to give a break between the lovely lattice and the gorgeous basket blocks.

  7. It's looking great! I like the quilt as is in the last photo - no containment border and no extra blocks. JMHO.

  8. I actually liked the brown border. It has a pop to it and brings out the other colors. Anyway you decide it is a gorgeous quilt! I love seeing your process.

  9. Hey Thelma - I love this quilt and I especially love it without a 'containment' border.

  10. Gorgeous quilt! I don't think it needs anything. Whatever you decide will be perfect.

  11. Beautiful quilt that just keeps blossoming! I love the last picture with no border, but I understand that it won't fit that way, so I'm at a loss. I'm sure someone much more clever than me can help you decide.

  12. Oh I love the lattice, even right up to the sashing. You have your work cut out for you. It's a gorgeous quilt any way you work it!

  13. This is looking great. I do think you will find that you will need a containment border just to get your sizes to work out. I would try something that reads as a solid (tone-on-tone, etc)in a darker tone. The darker one you auditioned looks good but a bit busy - try one of the fabrics that you used as cornerstones between the baskets. And I would go with the larger size for all the reasons that the first Jackie gave. Good luck with it - be sure and keep us posted with your progress.

  14. Thelma it is beautiful! I love it with the lattice right next to the containment border. I loved Carrie's post too...that was my problem with the Between Charming Friends...I hadn't "seen" the end quilt, so there was no way I could do a containment border and get the 4 patch border on there that I wanted...had to change my plans...I'm happy with what I ended up with but it would have been a lot less stressful if I had done it before I sewed it together. I'm going to work really hard to adopt Carrie's process.

  15. I. Love. This. Quilt. So. Much. I can't even tell you. I love it like a fat kid loves a cupcake. You've ruined all other quilts for me. Now, would the math work out any differently if you added another row of basket blocks? I'm not sure what size they are, but maybe? Have I mentioned how much I love this quilt?

  16. I love your basket quilt and the colors you have used. I definitely want to make a basket quilt in my lifetime! I agree with the person above that perhaps another border perhaps in a soft gold or even a flap border might be an interesting addition. I would keep it soft and more solid or tone on tone so as not to distract from the baskets and lattice work. Love all of the work you have put into this one:)
    Laura T

  17. Hi Thelma,
    I actually love the border up against the blocks...think it looks awesome what a beautiful quilt top....

  18. What a lot of work and so pretty. If it were mine, I would add a small solid red or brown containment border. I would not make it larger by adding another block because the lattice would dominate over the blocks. Fun to read about your progress.

  19. What a beautiful quilt! You've got the exact right idea with the lattice against the baskets. If you need more width why not add another row of basket blocks. I wouldn't add another border to either side of the lattice nor the baskets. I think they complement one another very well as is. JMHO

  20. I love the quilt with and without the containment border. I'm not crazy about the brown or the floral though. If I were doing a containment border, I would keep auditioning will hit you as perfect. And I hate to even suggest this, because I hate to "reverse sew" (rip-out) but if I were doing the border straight to the blocks, I would probably reverse sew the complete sashing (yes, around all the blocks...sorry) and make them wider to fit. I really do apologize for suggesting that, but if I had the extra fabric, that's what I'd do. And that would be ONLY if I couldn't find the perfect containment border fabric! Good luck! Can't wait to see what you do.

  21. I was just wondering how you were coming along with this quilt! I cut mine out over the weekend. (since my machine wasn't working). I really love how you stepped it up a notch with setting the blocks and then the border idea is fantastic! I agree with you completely... the choices are good, fine, ok but not great... I think I would pull a pink, tone on tone, and audition it. I think you need some color there but not too much, just something to ground it and let your eye rest. I would like the idea of one of the cornerstone colors but then you would lose the cornerstone into the border. Ripping out? nope- not a chance! you don't have to go crazy! It is a beautiful quilt and you are amazing... I can't wait to see what you decide on! Good luck!

  22. I love this quilt - the setting and the border are fantastic! I'd hate to divide that center up... How about a containment border in a neutral shade like your carpet? Or some of the lighter setting triangles? The lattice does look good right up to the sashing but if the numbers don't add up right... I also wouldn't add anoher row of lattice squares - the balance is nice as is, not too much lattice and too little basket.

  23. It's fabulous and I love it! I would add the dark brown containment border, which allows you to fiddle around with measurements as needed, and leave the inside as it is.
    I work like you do...just start and make decisions as I go along and see what happens. (I drive and cook like this too!)

  24. I am beating my head on my desk - this is one of the best quilts you've shown. I think it's absolutely perfect. You are definitely the best on the block!

  25. I mocked up an idea in Photoshop (poorly, but you'll get the idea) and will send you the file -- basically it's a scrappy containment border with cream setting blocks. I love the originality and creativity you applied to this pattern and others, making them your very own. I was unhappy with the original fabrics I had chosen for my current quilt project and kept muttering to myself, "What would Thelma do????" It helped!

  26. I would add another identical outside sashing to make it fit. I like how it looks with the lattice border.

  27. I haven't read all of the comments so this may have been suggested before. . .what about doing an outside sashing using the same background & more of the fun fabrics. . .but where you have the corner stones stagger a colored square on either side of it. . .creating a triangle of color.

    I think that would give some definition between the center & the border but not be "over kill" in size.

    Just a thought.

    You're doing a wonderful job with this project -- I love it!

  28. What a beauty! Thanks for sharing the process. I agree with need a border like the brown. It makes a statement and contains the inside of the quilt from the outside border.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  29. This quilt is absolutely fabulous!! My first vote would be for the last photo. It's stunning. My second vote would be for using your same sashing for a border, either plain or making the corner stones a part of a four- or nine-patch. It's going to be great, no matter what you decide.

  30. This quilt is coming along so well! I admit of having my reservations on the pieced border but it is looking great. I didn't understand on darn thing about taking it apart and adding some more sashing between the blocks.. Are you thinking along the lines of Miss Rosie's Picnic pattern? She separated the blocks in groups of 2 and 4 in that pattern. I really like it as it is, but if it's not speaking to you and telling you it's done then move forward and play.
    I will tell you I love the chocolate containment border. I think that because the border is really busy having that strong color draws your eye to the center as a focal point. I think if you plan on adding the sashing in the interior you should forgo the extra border and let it all loose since there would be many parts to the center and no need for the containment.

  31. I like it with the lattice next to the baskets too. It is very pretty. It will turn out nice however you finish it!

  32. Thanks for the update! I have been wondering where this beautiful quilt went! I LOVE it! When you chose the lattice border you certainly saw a beautiful combo!I can't wait to see the finish!
    I like the brown, but this is such a special baby I would try fabrics till I was sure it's best, and I would only use contrast like that if it hit the edge of the mattress perfectly.
    I would make it bigger so the drop is longer.

  33. I love the brown containment border.

    Beautiful job!

  34. isn't this the quilt that reminds you of your favorite ice cream? cuz if it is, maybe you should contain it with your favorite ice cream topping ... cherries? whipped cream? hot fudge? oooo - how 'bout Hershey's chocolate syrup with sprinkles?!? maybe that dark brown in the lattice border - the one with the little dots?

    but i think that you have already figured it all out by now and i am eager to know - what did Thelma do?

  35. I think this is finally the quilt that has made me decide that I need to make a basket quilt. I love this one and the lattice border just adds to its beauty.

    To make it all fit, I would unsew the blocks into 4 sections of 9 baskets each. Then I would add a wider sashing between those 4 sections. I'd make that sashing out of lattice blocks (resizing them if necessary to make the math work). That lattice sashing will then complement the lattice border.

    I'm looking forward to seeing what you finally decide to do with it.

    Deb S.

  36. I'm loving what you've done with this quilt! It is simple yet gorgeous!

  37. Dear Thelma.... Where are you? We miss you!

  38. Your quilt is just beautiful - One of the nicest I have ever seen.

  39. This quilt is so pretty! I would hate to have to unsew anything...have you tried a blue border (since it is kind of an accent in the lattice)? Or, maybe make the containment border one latice wider--would another row/column of your basket blocks fit right then? Or perhaps a wider containment border with just a smidge of applique?? I would keep trying different fabrics, but it is going to be wonderful!

  40. I LOVE your quilt; great work. I think the last option looks best, without an inner border.


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