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Celebrate Spring with a Basket Block

Spring is already springing here in Northern California, but even if warm weather is still a bit of a dream away in your part of the world, there’s nothing like that fresh, new palette, combined with delicate, feminine fabrics and a classic basket pattern to suggest the whisper of flower-filled afternoons to come.

Here’s how to make one 8″ x 8″ finished basket block.

From basket fabric, cut: One 6 7/8″ square; divide in half once diagonally (you’ll use just one of the half-square triangles); one 2 7/8″ square; divide in half diagonally (you’ll use both of these half-square triangles); one bias strip approximately 1 3/8″ x 10″.

From background fabric, cut: One 6 7/8″ square and one 4 7/8″ square; divide each in half once diagonally (you’ll use just one each of these half-square triangles); two 2 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ rectangles.

1. Use your favorite method to make a bias tube from the 1 3/8″ x 10″ bias strip. (I used a 1/2″-wide bias presser bar.) Press the seam to the back.

2. Position the tube to form a gently curving basket handle on the 6 7/8″ background triangle. Be sure to leave at least a 1/4″ seam allowance on the right angle edges of the triangle. Use matching thread and a blind stitch to applique the handle.

3. Assemble the block pieces in the order shown in the photos, pressing the seams as you go.

Make as many baskets as you like in a scrappy variety of fabrics. One block makes a lovely pillow, but you can design your own wall quilt, bed quilt, or throw. Use your imagination!

You can even “fill” the baskets with appliqued flowers, or embellish them with ribbons, buttons, lace, beads, and so on. Have fun!

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