Tiny Fabric Baskets

The other day Jenny over at Elefantz posted a tutorial on making cute little fabric baskets.

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I was immediately smitten and I HAD to make one! No…two! Three!

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The first one was easy. Too easy. Is there even such a thing as too easy? Yes, because it makes one careless. It was so easy that I decided to NOT follow the pattern for the next one.

I decided that it was too much trouble to sew a binding onto such a tiny little basket. It would be so much easier to attach the wrong side of the lining to the outside of the basket, and then turn the whole thing inside out. Which I did, and which worked reasonably well considering I was making the whole thing up as I went along.

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So then I decided that it would be fun to make a basket with a fussy-cut band around the center. Which I did, and which worked…sort of. But the lining was too small to do the “sew-and-flip” liner thing. Which meant I had to do a binding.  And then I made the binding too narrow. Argh. Not so good. I was too sure of myself. Cocky. You see what happens when things are too easy? Crookedness happens!009

I’m going to keep at it…I’ve got a few more ideas. I’ll let you know.

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The first one was the best. Maybe I’ll go back and follow the directions next time.

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They are so sweet! What would you store in one?

update: I made the little sewing machine basket as a gift, and couldn’t bring myself to give it in that crooked condition…so I fixed it!

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Vintage Dresden Plate Quilt

This Dresden Plate quilt was given to us by Kelly’s grandmother, Louise Collins when we were newly married, many years ago.

001Louise was born in 1895. If she were still living, she would be 119 years old!

027It was given to Louise by her good friend Cathy Dunbar of Vancouver, BC.

002I am relying on memory, but I think Louise told me that the quilt was actually made by Cathy Dunbar’s sister, whose name I do not know.

033The quilt appears to be machine pieced. The applique is done by hand.

008It is hand quilted.

019She used green thread 🙂

035I don’t know how old the quilt is, but I am guessing it was made in the 1940s. At least, the fabrics appear to be from the 1930s and 1940s.

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I am most definitely not a fabric historian, so if anyone of you can date these fabrics, please let  me know your opinion on its age.

026It’s in rough shape. The backing has mostly rotted away.

025Definitely005 well-used and well-loved.

We used if for several years on our bed at the cabin.

smaller corner shotI washed the quilt on delicate cycle and put it in the sun to dry.  It was very grubby, but came out nice and bright.

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This old quilt just makes me smile. I hope Cathy Dunbar’s sister is smiling down on us as we continue to use and enjoy it.

A Hexagon Quilt Update and some Treasure

Do you remember when I started this quilt last July?

hexies in a butter dishI have been working on it every single evening, especially over the last month since I arrived at our new home.

015Sammy consented to pose so you could get a sense of perspective, size-wise:

018I does have a certain old-fashioned charm, doesn’t it? ♥

And now for the treasure!

019This is the sewing cabinet that belonged to Kelly’s maternal grandmother, Annas Manson. We have had it for a few years, but it was sort of “in storage” in the family room, and I never actually looked through it (because it was a big junky mess).

004Until today.

010I wish I had taken a picture before I cleaned it up. Look at the treasure that was buried amongst the junk! Beautiful, beautiful vintage buttons.

011And this:

009Left over from Kelly’s elementary school days. 🙂

Jack pot! Did I actually say that? Yes, I did. And I said it with the utmost respect for Annas, who was also a sewer. I like to think that she would be pleased that I am so pleased.

Little Sister: A Quilt Finish!

You’ve seen glimpses of this quilt over the last couple of years as I worked on the hand quilting.

"Little Sister". Machine pieced & hand quilted by Nita Collins.Photo taken at the S.S. Klondike National Park Site in Whitehorse, Yukon. November 24, 2013.
“Little Sister”. Machine pieced & hand quilted by Nita Collins.Photo taken at the S.S. Klondike National Park Site in Whitehorse, Yukon. November 24, 2013.

The pattern is called “Chinese Coins” or “Stacked Coins”, whichever you prefer. I made it for my sister, Heidi, and named the quilt “Little Sister”.

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Her favourite colour is purple ♥

"Little Sister". Machine pieced & hand quilted by Nita Collins.Photo taken at the S.S. Klondike National Park Site in Whitehorse, Yukon. November 24, 2013.

The last few months I was working pretty fast because I wanted to have it finished before I left Whitehorse at the end of November.

"Little Sister". Machine pieced & hand quilted by Nita Collins.Photo taken at the S.S. Klondike National Park Site in Whitehorse, Yukon. November 24, 2013.

I don’t know, it just seemed…fitting somehow. Tying up the last of the loose ends before moving.

"Little Sister". Machine pieced & hand quilted by Nita Collins.Photo taken at the S.S. Klondike National Park Site in Whitehorse, Yukon. November 24, 2013.
“Little Sister”. Machine pieced & hand quilted by Nita Collins.Photo taken at the S.S. Klondike National Park Site in Whitehorse, Yukon. November 24, 2013.

I stitched in a few surprises:

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"Little Sister". Machine pieced & hand quilted by Nita Collins.Photo taken at the S.S. Klondike National Park Site in Whitehorse, Yukon. November 24, 2013.

Plus, I really, really, really wanted to do the photo shoot at the S. S. Klondike.

"Little Sister". Machine pieced & hand quilted by Nita Collins.Photo taken at the S.S. Klondike National Park Site in Whitehorse, Yukon. November 24, 2013.

Really puts size into perspective, eh?

"Little Sister". Machine pieced & hand quilted by Nita Collins.Photo taken at the S.S. Klondike National Park Site in Whitehorse, Yukon. November 24, 2013.

I had fun with my “helpers”, Heather and Tammi. They were great quilt holders on a cold day!

"Little Sister". Machine pieced & hand quilted by Nita Collins.Photo taken at the S.S. Klondike National Park Site in Whitehorse, Yukon. November 24, 2013.

I used a “lemonade’ Bali Pop with Kona Cotton purple for the top. The backing is a pansy print on a yellow background. Binding is green checks from the same collection.

"Little Sister". Machine pieced & hand quilted by Nita Collins.Photo taken at the S.S. Klondike National Park Site in Whitehorse, Yukon. November 24, 2013.

Every time I took the quilt out to work on it, Jade and Halia would sit and watch me stitch. They were full of questions, observations and comparisons about the quilts that I had made for them last year.

Quilt Models Halia & Jade Pealow

5-year old Halia wanted her picture taken with the quilt. 7-year old Jade liked to look at all of the fabrics, and also liked to walk tight-rope style on it.

Quilt Models Halia & Jade Pealow

Which I thought made for some interesting photographs!

Quilt Models Halia & Jade Pealow

Even Crook the Cat got into the action.

insert "Jaws" soundtrack here!
insert “Jaws” soundtrack here!

It took me about 2 years from start to finish, I think. Maybe not quite…I don’t remember exactly when I started it. But that sounds about right.

"Little Sister". Machine pieced & hand quilted by Nita Collins.Photo taken at the S.S. Klondike National Park Site in Whitehorse, Yukon. November 24, 2013.

…Doing the very important job of keeping Heidi snug and warm during those long Montana winters.

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And of course, Little Sister was tested and approved by the resident quality assurance inspector (which he had to do before the quilt was finished due to time constraints).

this quilt tested and approved by Samson.
this quilt tested and approved by Samson.

Binding

Last night I borrowed Fawn’s sewing machine and sewed the binding onto the quilt I’ve been making for my sister.

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I have to do the hand quilting on the border, but it will be easier now that the edges have been stabilized (I do the border quilting without a frame).  Once that’s done, I’ll hand stitch the binding onto the back.

with binding 1

You’ll have to excuse the poor quality of the photo – I took it quickly this morning with my iPad under dim lights. But what a difference having a binding partially sewn on makes to the way the quilt looks!