Sunday, April 06, 2014

Makin' Baskets with Gwen

Candy and I had a fun trip over to Poulsbo and Port Gamble, and discovered that Quilted Strait in the little historic district of Port Gamble is a wonderful quilt store, full of all kinds of beautiful fabrics, patterns, threads and samples.  We had to bring some of the store's goodies home with us.  More on that later.  And the facility for Gwen's class was just delightful!  Windows all around, letting in lots of light, a great view of the Hood Canal, lots of room for each person, and goodies to snack on as well.

Gwen taught about 20 quilters how to do her free-pieced baskets.  Some of the ladies there were brand-new quilters (one young woman had never touched a rotary cutter before that day!) and many were old friends of Gwen.  Gwen gently encouraged everyone to be creative in her inimitable way.  She is so patient and kind and so willing to help whomever needs some one-on-one instruction.  She is so generous with her knowledge and tips.  She's just a joy of a teacher, plus she is funny!  She made us all laugh.

Gwen's basket handle demo

Everyone had fun making baskets, and I think everyone was successful as well.  There was lots of laughter, plenty of helpful suggestions, and much exclaiming over fabric, as well as encouragement of each other.  And all the baskets were super!

Joan brought her basket quilt to share with everyone.  She used Gwen's technique for the basket handles.

Another lady brought her gorgeous basket quilt that is still in progress.  She used many African fabrics in the baskets, plus other types too.  She was stumped on what to do for a border and wanted Gwen's input.

Love the snake basket!

Another lady brought a finished basket top to show.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that Stephanie of the fun blog Quiltz by Stephanie and her friend Dorothy were a table mates of mine and Candy's.  Stephanie has more to say and show about Gwen's class - go take a look! 

There were lots of great baskets being made.  Here's some shots of the various design walls around the room:

made with vintage fabrics

Love these sand pails and the shovel!

Candy's first baskets

And for my baskets I used some vintage 60's fabrics that I've been saving for just the right project.

I used all polka dots for my backgrounds and rick rack for some of the handles.  Fun!  Since I've gotten home, I've made some more baskets.  They are so fun to make!  

I've got a rough plan on what I want to do with my baskets.  I'll be sure and show you how it all goes.  Hopefully soon!


  1. I absolutely adore basket blocks. And I adore Gwen. I have taken a class on applique with her. What a joy. I learned more from here class than any class I've ever taken. I love your polka dot baskets. Hugs

  2. That looks like a fun class to take. Hope that your baskets are ready soon, it is hard to wait to see the cute things you do.

  3. Seeing that photo of Gwen made my heart so happy, she is such a treasure!! Your class looks wonderful and full of fun and exciting basket blocks. I love your use of spots and ric rac, they look like the sort of blocks that will keep you sewing because you just won't want to stop.

  4. Lucky you, getting to see Gwen again! Your baskets look wonderful.

  5. yay, so much fun! gotta say I'm partial to that snake basket...

  6. Lucky you...looks like a great time was had by all, plus lots of pretty baskets! Can't wait to see what you do with them.

  7. What fun you must have had in her class. I love your baskets and all that great 60's fabric!

  8. Lucky you! Looks like a great day for you and so much inspiration too.:)

  9. This is a wonderful post...It makes me happy...just living vicariously thru you today:)

  10. Wonderful post on your class with Gwen! The baskets are all lovely and all so different and interesting! Love it ;o) Thanks for sharing your class experiences with us.

  11. Fun pictures, love The Quilted Strait! Wish I could have been there with you.

    Love that bunny and basket block with all the Gwen inspired baskets.


Thank you for visiting my blog! I'd love for you to leave a comment - your comments really make my day!