Little Blue Baskets
I don't know how I missed the fact that this sampler was the 1865 Passion Sampler, but I did. So giving credit to France Aubert who blogs at Passion Patchwork is due. She combined the blocks from Barbara Brackman's Civil War book along with 40 others to create a sampler quilt which was also published in the recent edition of Quiltmania magazine.
That said, I'm sticking to the block schedule loosely. Where I can substitute a block that pushes me to work harder, I am. That's how the Little Blue Baskets block came to be. It's fallen in line with some of the other things I've been working at in skill building: accuracy, and working in a smaller scale.
Limitations of EQ8
Electric Quilt software is really fantastic when you are designing quilts or even searching for blocks. But it's not foolproof, I've found. You can see in the cutting diagram below how the pieces are labeled, and the amount of information given. Notice that there aren't pieces for the center or the basket handles.
So I printed the outline for the 8" block, which prints at scale, and used it to accurately measure the interior square. It also made it possible to place the handles I'd prepared using a bias tape maker. I'm a novice at applique, but had read about using Microquilter thread for machine applique. As I had navy in my stash for longarming, I was quick to try it. It works wonderfully by hand, too, I'm happy to report!
Not wanting to bog you down with too much detail, this block took some trial and error to complete. One issue I had was running out of fabric. I loved this background fabric which someone gave me, and wasn't ready to give it up. So I gathered my scraps, seamed them, and moved on.
And after piecing the tiny baskets, I had to add them using the turn and flip method--not my favorite. I basted the baskets first, and tested each one to make sure it covered. Then I pressed all the baskets down, and checked the overall squareness of the square. Only then did I go back and sew each seam, and trim away the background fabric from underneath.
I breathed a deep sigh of relief when it was all done. Dang, that's cute! Even if I say so myself.