Raid your scraps bag to make quick and
easy Christmas gifts and decorations
- A Fat Quarter of two different toning fabrics, or scraps at least 15 x 10cm (6 x 4in) would be fine
- Paper such as recycled envelopes or old glossy magazine covers
- Lightweight Vilene (optional)
- A range of beads
- Beading needle
- Needle and thread
Basket approx 18cm (7in) diameter, 10cm (4in) tall
This is a rewarding project to make while relaxing or travelling, when you’re away from your sewing machine. The baskets are easy to sew from scraps of fabric, and make a lovely gift if filled with sweets. They are also a useful present filled with travel size toiletries. Made in Christmas fabric, they are perfect for nuts and treats.
- Trace the largest of the three templates provided on the pattern sheet onto paper. You will need two hexagons and 12 petals. Carefully cut out the shapes.
- Trace all the shapes onto fabric. You will need six petals in the first fabric and six petals in the second fabric or you could use different fabrics for each petal. For the hexagon you will need one of each fabric. Cut the shapes out carefully, leaving a good 1⁄4in of fabric all around for turning.
Handy hint If you plan to make several baskets, you might like to trace the templates onto thin card or template plastic and draw around them.
Figure 1: Cut out with 1⁄4in allowance
SEWING THE SHAPES
- Fold the fabric over the paper, then press and tack (baste) it down, easing it carefully at the corners and curves.
- Take a pair of petals, one of each fabric, and place them wrong sides together. Pin in place. Slip stitch the petals together neatly, all around the edge, enclosing the paper completely. Repeat for each pair of petals.
- Place the pair of hexagons wrong sides together, aligning the edges. Pin in place. Slip stitch together, all around the edge, enclosing the paper. Ensure that the corners are nice and sharp.
Figure 2 Fold the fabric over and tack in place
- Remove all the tacking stitches from your shapes. With the hexagon as the starting point, attach the bases of the petals by slip stitching as before. Christine alternated the different petal fabrics to make her basket.
- Once the petals are attached to the hexagon base, slip stitch the sides together, keeping the stitches as small as possible. Decorate your basket with beads, and fill with special gifts and treats!
Figure 3 Slip stitch together neatly
The paper adds body to the basket, but made with a paper lining, this decorative basket is not washable. If you would like to make a stronger or water resistant version, you could use thin plastic or lightweight Vilene instead of paper. You could also cut wadding to the size of the petals and hexagon and insert it between the pairs of pieces before you sew them together. This would give your basket a more cushioned effect and it could be quilted if desired.
Your basket would also look pretty decorated with little bells, buttons or fancy trim.
To make Christmas favour baskets for your table, use the smaller templates provided on the pattern sheet and place a single chocolate, a few nuts or small gift inside each one.
First published in Popular Patchwork Christmas 2007