Bittersweet Needle and Thread

Bittersweet Needle and Thread

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Willow Basket, Quilt and Christmas Decoration

 Thank you all very much for the warm welcome and nice comments.  What a pleasure this is going to be, to share a common interest with others like me.  Confession time:  sometimes when life gets chaotic, I will go to my fabric stash and mellow out by sorting fabric, looking at patterns or even make a run to the fabric store.  Ahhh, life is good! 

 I had the opportunity to learn basket making in 1990 from a lovely lady, Teresa, who is still my friend.  We went out into the woods to gather everything we needed to make a basket:  creek bank willow, scrapped willow bark, cattails, and grapevine.  Then we could add basket reed, fabric, leather, lace or anything that was flexible.  The basket reed was dyed by soaking it in walnut hulls to give it a great brown color.  The longer the reed was kept in the smelly "solution", the darker the color.


I made this basket with a grapevine handle and willow ribs and rim.  Then it was woven with some reed and scrapped willow bark.  This is one of my favorites because I like the curlicue!

 My sister-in-law Ann purchased several bags and boxes of old fabric, batting and miscellaneous quilt blocks at a sale.  In the box was 5 sets of 10 block by 4 blocks, each small block measuring 1 3/4 inches.  My guess is the fabrics are from the 1950's and 1960's.

Well, I love a challenge and pondered what to do.  I laid them out on my white work table and WOW.  I LOVED the look of each block being separated by white, so that is how I put it together. 

 Half of the blocks are the original vintage fabric. I added some vintage and modern to make it a twin size quilt.  I added a border of the same squares and hand quilted it.   This quilt was given to my niece as a graduation present. 

Santa's laundry - a decoration?  My grandmother made this many years ago.  It is the first decoration that I like to get out and hang up.

Even Mrs. Claus gets clean bloomers and an apron and check out Santa's red long underwear!


Well its time to start thinking about presents for the grandchildren.  Happy shopping to all...

Thanks for visiting,


  1. Sweet basket & adorable clothes line. I know that reminds you of your Grandma. I love what you did with the vintage quilt blocks, very colorful next to the white. Can't believe it's time for Christmas,

  2. Oh my, baskets from natural materials are my passion! What a treasure this little basket is; kind of a double treasure in that you also gained a friend.

  3. I'm loving your blog! I always like to see what others are quilting; this is really sweet. It's nice that Santa will have clean clothes for Christmas!!