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In the Quilting World

The first thing I do when I start each issue of this newsletter is search our resources to find a pattern that I think is timeless and that you will like. This is what seems to always get me into trouble. Once I make the selection, I start thinking about its possibilities. I imagine my stash and my colors in the pattern, and think about how I can accomplish a different look and feel by just changing the fabrics.

In our last newsletter (which is still available if you go to the newsletter tab and click), I started to play with our free pattern, Bountiful Baskets. I thought it was the perfect project to use up my scraps. I began to sort out my colors and decide on a color theme. For some reason, I found an overabundance of reds, oranges, pinks and yellows. That is how I began. Sometimes it's a wonderful thing to have an extremely large stash of scraps. It's amazing what you can find in it.

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Here are the basket blocks I am working on.

Now, of course, once I had decided on the colors and had selected the scraps to use, I found I needed a background fabric to bring it all together. So, I was off to the local quilt shop to purchase enough fabric to complete the top. And, as is my usual practice when in a shop, I always find a few extras that must go home with me. I must say, I think this will be an outstanding quilt, and I'm sure my granddaughter, Katie Bug, will love it when it's finished.

So to make a long story short, I have begun to applique the blocks, and of course, current obligations must be dealt with, so I can only work on this project as time allows along with a few others.

I've selected another basket quilt for the free pattern for this newsletter. It's a traditional pattern and is done in 1930s reproduction prints. Now, I love all kinds of fabrics, and I love this quilt, but again, I see it in bright fabrics with a cream or black background. Make sure to check out this beautiful pattern and imagine your stash in the piecing. What is it that you love to work with, and what do you have in your stash? This is a great pattern with a lot of possibilities for depleting stash.

My Pantone Challenge project for the 2013 color of the year, Emerald Green, is still in the planning stages, but Grandma's Baskets Quilt could also be an option. I've selected a nice palette of greens, and I've sketched some layouts; however, maybe a cream background fabric and an assortment of my greens would also work well in this pattern. And if I get really creative, I could add appliqued flowers in the basket. See how I get myself into trouble all the time? It all starts out innocently enough, just doing my job, and then I can't stop the ideas from coming. The next thing I know I have another project to work on. It truly is an addiction, but it's a good one.

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Here are some of the greens I am working with in the planning stages for my Pantone challenge quilt.

I've decided that there are just too many quilts I want to make, and there's not enough time to finish them. So I guess I will keep sketching and adding to my idea binder. I doubt I will ever make all the quilts I have sketched, or use all the patterns and books I've bought and earmarked, but I guarantee I will always have inspiration. I have a plan, but it is flexible. I want to encourage each of you to revisit your patterns and books or look to new publications for your inspiration. Magazines are a real value. Keep an open mind on color and fabrics, and know what you like to work with.

Now don't forget: If you have taken the Pantone Challenge with me, I'd love to hear from you on your progress. It's nice to have a buddy or two when doing a yearlong project. Email me at