Cow and Baskets

A blogging friend, Nancy Near Philadelphia, is collecting blocks for a COW quilt. I live in Wisconsin, the Dairy State, Cheesehead Central, so of course I had to participate. She asked what I wanted in return, and at first I was going to say nothing, but then I remembered that she’d participated in the Basket Block of the Month, and had even created an extra, thirteenth basket. What could be more perfect than a Nancy Basket block from Nancy herself? She sent this beautiful block made from French General fabrics. I love the subtlety of the small basket within the larger one.

Nancy's Basket Block

I knew right away that I wanted to foundation piece the block, so I looked for patterns. Unfortunately the only one I found wasn’t quite what I was looking for. Next step – find a photo to copy! I saved several photos and finally chose this one. I opened it in EQ7 as a tracing image and then started drawing straight lines to divide it up into paper-pieceable sections. While I love the way the cow looks, if I make it again I’ll try to refine the sections a bit so it isn’t as choppy. Here’s the finished block:

Blue Cow

Actually, that’s not quite what I sent to Nancy. See, I trimmed it after I took this photo and accidentally chopped too much off one side. In order to make it 12 1/2″ I had to sew a strip of white on three sides. Believe me, there was much forehead-smacking. I also forgot to sign it, which she clearly requested and I clearly knew, as evidenced by the post it note on my computer. More forehead-smacking.

I love this guy’s face! In fact, I’m planning on making four more in various colors (and slightly larger) and turning it into an Andy Warhol-inspired wall quilt. Something like this:

Cow Quilt

Thanks, Nancy, for the inspiration!

If anyone is interested in making this block, you can download it from my Patterns page.



  1. Wow! I dabble in quilting every so often – and am completely blown away by this! I would love to be this good πŸ™‚ And as the wall quilt, it will be FAB!

    Sam x

  2. Oh, that is just the best! I want them. I need them. I had a pet calf when I was little that we fed with a bottle. We’d stand on the back porch and call her at feeding time & she’d step through the fence and walk right to the porch. Unfortunately, she grew up.

  3. I love the cow pattern you chose! I’ve never come across a close up face shot. How can I get a copy of this pattern?

  4. i *love* that cow block. i’ve had paper piecing designs swimming around in my head lately and now you’ve just added another idea to the mix. thanks πŸ™‚

  5. I too like the idea of the basket within a basket. How unique. At my first quick glance, I noticed the pretty fabrics but not the basket within. Lots of possibilities with that pattern.

  6. Thank you for sharing your cow pattern. I have always been afraid of foundation paper piecing but recently did a class with a great teacher (Chris Jurd) and am now a little more confident. I think I might try to make a purple cow to add to my herd of appliqued cow blocks which will eventually end up in a lap quilt.

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