Baltimore Album Basket

Baltimore Album Basket

This project drew me in because my favorite quilt pattern is baskets and appliqué quilts have long been a favorite of mine. I learned that Mary Evans is considered either the designer of many of the particularly artistic Baltimore Album blocks or the seamstress of them. The white on white flowers are considered a trademark of Mary Evans’ work.

My focus was to create the center basket block of the Baltimore Album quilt. I reproduced a paper copy of the basket. I used this copy to cut templates for the pieces. Since there were so many small, similar pieces, I divided the block in to five segments to work on successively: the center basket and flowers, and quarters of the wreath. The teardrops along the red border were eliminated because I preferred the white space surrounding the basket. I traced the quilting pattern from the original onto my fabric. Silk was my thread of choice.

I tried to replicate the colors of the original but, of course, there are variances. The white on white flowers with white details seemed strange but were effective in the end. The appearance of the tangerine fabric in only two small details is a puzzle. Surprisingly, some elements float in space. I realized the center portion of the quilting design was drawn without a template because the design elements of the feathers are inconsistent and the sizes of the feathers vary. The time commitment to this block was more than I anticipated.

The original seamstress had much time to devote to her appliqué and much greater skill than I. However, I enjoyed replicating her lovely basket.