I selected this time-span top because I loved its baskets and its history. I won it at the AQSG Silent Auction in Charleston, SC. It was donated by Didi Salvatierra who acquired it from the estate of Cinda Cawley.
I decided to be inspired by, rather than reproduce, the original. I scanned and reduced the applique on the basket blocks and drafted the rest on graph paper. Choosing to use only fabrics from my stash, I attempted to evoke the time periods in the top. A center square was created using the four applique designs from the baskets. The quilt is machine pieced, hand appliquéd and hand and machine quilted. Initials in the basket blocks celebrate the owners of the top: Lucinda Reddington Cawley, Didi Salvatierra, Madeline Gross Ziegler (me) and Anonymous (the maker of the top).
I learned that creating the appearance of improvisational piecing was a challenge. The most difficult step was choosing the quilting designs and binding, as I had no inspiration from the top.
There was a rewarding connection with the former owners of this top, our relationship to AQSG and the anonymous maker(s). I did not expect to get so much pleasure out of each step as I worked on this quilt and it was a bonus to have the time to think long and hard about every decision.
There was pure joy in every step of the making of Four Friends Baskets.