The Basket Quilt

I’ve been working on my worry quilt. Do you have a project like that, I mean one that you only work on when you’re stressed? A project to pour your problems into? A project to take your mind off things?

It started from this line from one of my favorite books:

If you’ve read the book, you know the story… if not, read it! And not only for that one line; it’s a great book. Anyway, the idea of the empty basket as a symbol for something lacking, something missing, something wrong stuck in my head. And I started thinking about making a basket quilt. Meanwhile, I came across this basket-a-day project on another blog. And after months of mulling, after one very troublesome day I started making up some baskets, and it really was a soothing project.

Plus, the more I worked on it, the more symbolic it became, and the more symbolism I started associating with it. Like, the fact that each block is made from scraps, with a common white basket. This could symbolize that all the different problems all lead in one direction? Or, the facts that the colors are reversed (white for the baskets and color for the backgrounds). Maybe this reversal of colors symbolizes the way that troubles can turn your whole world upside down? Or maybe that the block pieces are just easier to cut this way. Or, the fact that the baskets are in pairs. Does it mean that as each block has it’s pair, each problem has a solution? Or does it mean that cutting all those triangles inevitably leave another triangle left over, perfect for another block?

And I started thinking about all the different meanings of baskets. Being a basket case. Having all your eggs in one basket. Recently I heard a great “basket” story from my brother-in-law: after patiently listening to yet another tidbit of parenting advice, he turned to his partner and said, “Well, that’s another one for the basket!” They told me later that they deal with the inundation of new-parent-advice by mentally putting it all into a basket to sort through (or throw away) later.

In any case, I’m having fun with this project. I make a couple blocks here and there, whenever I have the time or inclination. I have no set plan how many I’ll make. Here’s the pattern I’ve been using:

Basket Block

finished: 4″

To make a pair of baskets, cut from background fabric:
a. 4 rectangles 1.5″ by 2.5″
b. 1 square 2.875, then cut into two half-square triangles
c. 1 square 3.875, then cut into two half-square triangles
And cut from basket fabric:
d. 1 square 3.875, then cut into two half-square triangles
e. 2 squares 1.875, then cut into four half-square triangles
f. 2 pieces of bias binding 3.5″ long

Pin F in place on C, then sew C to D. Sew As to Es. Press everything. Sew EAs to DC, press. Add B, press, and trim block. Hand sew F to C later while watching something interesting.

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