Sunday, June 13, 2010

Basket Case

Another cranky weekend - I have no idea what's up with that, and I'm really annoying myself. Hopefully it's weather-related (two rainy weekends in a row!), although it's suddenly become crazy-busy at work and I am also in the process of seriously cleaning my apartment in anticipation of visits from my nieces & nephew, who will be returning from California in a few short weeks. Work + Cleaning = Cranky Lori.

At any rate, the highlight of my week was discovering the crafting blog Be*mused, written by another Mainer-in-exile who uses the same whoopie pie recipe my family does. I'm not sure if her quilts are more beautiful than her knitting, or vice versa, but I spent several hours reading through the archives, completely enthralled with her work. In those back entries I found a link to another blog, Pink Penguin, where there was a really cute pattern for patchwork baskets that I immediately thought would be a great project. My first one...well. While it's not a complicated pattern, there are a few little tricks, including the necessity of cutting the basket lining to the correct size (!). Oh, well.

It had a few glitches, and I realized that using a heavier material than cotton for the bottom was a good idea. I made a quick visit to the fabric store yesterday morning and found some linen, which the pattern calls for -- but a coarse, heavy linen, which on my second attempt proved a much better choice:

I still have a few kinks to iron out (both literally and figuratively), but I think this would be a really great baby shower gift (made in the right fabric, of course). The basket is small, but large enough that you could put in some baby lotions, shampoos, etc. and a onesie or bibs. I don't know about you, but I often find myself in the position of giving baby gifts to co-workers, extremely distant cousins, or others that I don't know that well personally, and don't necessarily have the time or inclination to make a baby quilt. This project can be whipped up in an hour or so using scrap fabric and batting, but still provides a hand-made touch. And it can be used to store things later on. Win! I see many more of these in my future.

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