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Saturday, May 2, 2020

Baskets and Blooms

Spring has sprung! 

This last winter was the dreariest winter ever! I don't think the sun shone most of it. When my trees started blooming (Red Bud, Lilac, Fire Bush) I was so excited I just had to take photos. During my walk with the dogs I also found some little wildflowers and my Flags are just starting to bloom. My poor Daffodils didn't make it with the cold snap.

It was so nice to finally see some color! I live in a rural area with woods all around me so all I have seen all winter is bare trees and brown grass and plants.

National Quilter's Circle Baskets and Blooms

Speaking of flowers, I apologize for not writing a blog for the first week. Despite being stuck in the house, I would think I had a lot of time to quilt but life just gets in the way. So, for those new to this I will post some of my tips. For those who have already seen these tips, please have patience.

I can't stress how important a consistent 1/4" seam is when you are sewing a lot of seams in a block. I use an "exact" 1/4" because I don't know what a "scant" means. It means a lot of different things to different quilters. If I set my seam right, everything goes together so well. I have a YouTube video on how I do this with my 1/4" seam guide.

I also want to mention the importance of good quilting tools. The right pins are important. I used to sew clothing (ancient history) and I still have some of those pins I used back then. I call them nails! Today's fabrics are so much better than they were years ago. Good fine pins are essential! You can't always tell about the pin on the cover of the package. Be sure it says how wide the pin is (not the length). A .5mm or .4mm is the best. The smaller is better for batiks because they have such a tight weave. I carry them on my website.

Pressing is also important. Now Ashley and I differ when it comes to pressing. She likes to use a lot of steam on her seams. We both finger press before pressing with an iron, but I don't use water until I finish my block and I use a spray bottle so the steam in my iron doesn't leave any residue on my fabrics, just in case it decides to spit brown! Either way works. You do what works for you. Just be sure not to "iron" your seams (back and forth motion). If you do, especially with steam you will distort them. Pressing is an up and down motion.

There is always that controversy with whether to press your seams open or to the side. I do both depending on what kind of block it is and how many seams intersect. For most of these blocks you will press to the side in the direction the instructions give you. Again that is a personal preference. If you do a lot of in-the-ditch quilting, you will want to press to the side.

So far you have been given 6 blocks.



I love the variety of fabrics you all have chosen for this project! Many have just pulled from their stash and made them all very scrappy. Remember, this is your quilt. Make it unique to you. Don't be afraid to experiment with colors. There is no right or wrong way to do it. Just your way!

Most of the blocks in this quilt have half-square triangles (HST). I wrote in my general instructions that there are many ways to make them. Most quilters like to cut the squares, draw a line down the center and sew 1/4" on each side of the line. Then trim to the size listed. That method is fine. I don't like taking the time to draw the line so I just cut them in half diagonally with the pair of fabrics right sides together so they are ready to sew. Sewing along a bias edge is not hard. You just have to make sure you don't stretch your seams as you sew. Just let the machine do the work. Since the squares are overcoat (cut a little large than needed) you can still trim them down to the size required.

I'm looking forward to seeing everyone's blocks and the fabrics you pick. Quilter's are so creative. Also don't feel obligated to sew the quilt exactly like I did. Of course the on-point setting has to be unless you want tilted blocks!

If you haven't gotten a chance to sign up yet, go to: National Quilter's Circle Baskets and Blooms Challenge.


Just to add a little extra to this post, I will be giving away my 1/4" seam guide to the first 10 that respond to this blog. If you already have one please allow other quilters get a chance to get one. Then after 10 responses you can post a comment. I will also draw a name for a chance to win my cutting corners template set. Be sure to leave an email address for me to contact you. This is for the U.S. quilters only since shipping overseas is so expensive, even for a small item (sorry).

Thank you for reading and remember: Always do what you love and love what you do. Toby Lischko


Germaine Robison said...

So nice of you to give away a tool so we can get the perfect quarter inch seam! Loving this quilt! Thanks so much! My email is actually

Arlene said...

Thank you for sharing your quilt designs! I learn so much from you.

Arlene said...

Thank you for sharing your quilt designs. I have learned so much from you!! Arlene Volk

Unknown said...

Thank you for another lovely quilt pattern. I'm using fabric from my stash. I'm having fun!
Lynn A

Mother Goose said...

Can't wait to get started on this quilt. I'm going to make two -- one for each of my sisters.

Ira Brist said...

Thank you for your sharing your lovely quilting pattern. The instruction is easy to follow and I’m having fun

Betty said...

Hi Tony, man I sure could use your 1/4” guide. I bought a 1/4” foot but it really isn’t. Am managing, sort of but would really love it to be easier.

Betty said...

Love this Challenge! Could sure use a better 1/4” guide. Thanks for all you do.

Mary Jo Plouchard said...

Wow. A set 1/4 guide could help put the seam ripper aside 🤣

barbara woods said...

thanks for the tips

Unknown said...

I'm also using material from my stash. Love when I can use up some to the pieces in my already made bin. Thank you for mentioning how you cut your triangles. I am not a fan of cutting the squares in half because they never seem to be the same size even though I cut along the diagonal.

Unknown said...

I am using up my stash to make this quilt. I appreciate the information about cutting your triangles. Mine never seem to come out the same even though my diagonal on square is correct.

Unknown said...

I am really enjoying your blog and going to go and check out your you-tube videos.

Diane said...

The blocks are so fun! Haven't started it yet, and really don't know when I'll get to it, but I am finishing a lot of tops from my UFO stack!

Unknown said...

hi there love your blocks, i did the last one and am looking forward to this one

Toni said...

Toby, you are my idol. I started NQC with your Ice Crystals quilt (and did two), am still working on Pinwheels & Windmills, and can hardly wait to start Baskets & Blooms! Your patterns are always so innovative with very good instructions for this beginner.
If your giveaway is still going on, I would love to be a winner of your 1/4 inch seam quide. I struggle a lot trying to get an accurate 1/4 inch seam. My email:

Jacqueline Michaelis said...

I just wanted you to know that I really enjoy the challenges you put together for us. They always help improve my quilting skills. This is my 4th challenge with you and I love all of the quilts. God bless you for all your hard work.

Gail said...

I love your quilts and am looking forward to the Baskets and Blooms quilt. I am still only half done with Ice Crystals but hope to get back to it this summer.