Easter Basket

Materials

  • One fat quarter each of orange, yellow and pink fabrics for the base and side pieces. For more variety use fat eighths and six different colours
  • 20cm square of yellow fabric for the bias binding
  • Various scraps of wadding
  • Threads for decorative quilting
  • 50cm of braid for handle or yarns to make your own braid as here – allow 150cm of yarn to make 50cm of braid
  • Temporary fabric adhesive

Finished Size

Approx 14.5 x 10 x 6cm (5 3⁄4 x 4 x 2 1⁄4in) excluding handle

Skill Level

Intermediate

Suppliers

  • The materials for this project are available from all good quilt shops, but as the pieces of fabric and wadding used aren’t large you may have enough in your stash. Or, as Anne did, you could dye your fabrics using a graded run to give a subtle and harmonious effect
  • Anne made the four-colour twist braid for her basket handle using a Japanese Hamanaka Kumihimo Disk; these disks, including instructions in English, are available from Crossways Patch, or write to Crossways Patch, Roseglen, Crossways Road, Grayshott, Hindhead, Surrey GU26 6HG

Woven quilted strips are used to make this pretty and unusual fabric basket.

Note: No matter how closely you push the strips together, there will be gaps between them; the measurements take account of this.

Before you begin

Cut the following pieces:

  • Four strips of orange/yellow fabric 8 1⁄2 x 3 1⁄4in for the base and sides
  • Four strips of wadding 8 1⁄2 x 3⁄4in for the base and sides
  • Six strips of pink fabric 7 x 3 1⁄4in for the base and sides
  • Six strips of wadding 7 x 3⁄4in for the base and sides
  • One strip of orange fabric 20 x 3 1⁄4in for the sides only of the container
  • One strip of pink fabric 20 x 3 1⁄4in for the sides only of the container
  • Two strips of wadding 19 x 3⁄4in for the sides only of the container
  • One square of orange fabric 6 1⁄4 x 6 1⁄4in for the inner ‘cage’
  • One strip of wadding 5 1⁄4 x 1 1⁄2in for the inner ‘cage’
  • Four strips of pink fabric 2 5⁄8 x 6 1⁄4in for the inner ‘cage’
  • Four strips of wadding 1 5⁄8 x 1 1⁄2in for the inner ‘cage’
Figure 1: Preparing the wadded strips
Figure 1: Preparing the wadded strips

Preparing the strips

  1. For the strips for the base and sides (not sides only) of the basket, take each fabric strip and its corresponding piece of wadding (as listed in Before You Begin) and proceed as follows (see Figure 1).
  2. Place the fabric strip WS up on a protected surface with the long edges facing you; place a cutting ruler such that you measure 3⁄4in from the top edge of one long side of the strip. Spray one side of the wadding strip with adhesive and lay it, sticky side down, on the fabric against the edge of the ruler; remove the ruler, spray the now exposed fabric with adhesive and fold it carefully over onto the wadding.
  3. Spray the remaining fabric with adhesive, fold in half WS together, then spray again and fold it over onto the wadding.

    Note: Many layers of fabric are used around the wadding to give the strips some firmness. You can fold and pin the strips and use the quilting to hold the layers together if you have no spray baste.

Figure 2: Woven strips to form the basket base
Figure 2: Woven strips to form the basket base
  1. For the strips for the sides only and the inner ‘cage’, again take each fabric strip and its corresponding piece of wadding. Proceed as above, except when you lay the wadding in place leave 1⁄2in at each end, which you can measure off using the ruler. Remove the ruler but before folding the fabric over the wadding as above, spray and fold over each 1⁄2in side edge. Doing this means that the wadded strips have no unfinished edges.
  2. Now the fun bit, quilting the wadded strips! Anne quilted each strip using YLI Machine Quilting thread in the bobbin and a variety of embroidery threads through the needle, such as number 40 rayon and metallic threads. The strips were quilted with wavy lines, which you can do with a walking (evenfeed) foot and the feed dogs up if you aren’t that confident about freemachine quilting.

    Note: The double-fold fabric side of the strips is the WS.

    TIP! To speed the quilting up, ‘chain quilt’ rather than quilting strip by strip. Do all your stitching using one thread before changing it for another one and repeating

Constructing the Basket

  1. Lay the six 7in base and side strips side by side, RS down, on a firm flat surface. Take the four 8 1⁄2in base and side strips and weave them through the shorter ones, again RS down. Once everything is woven, arrange the strips to centre up the base – check using a cutting ruler. See Figure 2.
  2. Take the two 20in strips; fold up the sides of the basket and weave the side-only strips through them, with the WS of the strips facing into the basket. Use ladder stitch to join the two ends of each side-only strip; make sure this section is on the inside of the basket.
Figure 3: Cutting the bias binding strips
Figure 3: Cutting the bias binding strips
  1. Make the bias binding for the top edge of the basket; a double-fold binding cut on the bias was used so that going round the corners of the basket could be done easily. Using the 45 degree line on your ruler, cut 2in strips from the square of binding fabric (Figure 3). Join the strips at right angles, pressing the seams open to reduce bulk. You need about 23in of binding. Fold the binding strip in half lengthwise, WS together, and press.
  2. Cut one end of the binding on a 45 degree diagonal: WS together, fold over and press a 1⁄4in allowance. On the outside of the basket match the raw edges of the binding with the raw edges of the wadded strips, inserting the starting end of the binding strip into the diagonal fold to give a neat finish.
Figure 4: The inner 'cage'
Figure 4: The inner 'cage'
  1. From the inside of the basket stitch the binding with a 1⁄4in seam allowance. Fold the binding over to the inside of the basket and slipstitch in place.
  2. To construct the inner ‘cage’ ladder stitch each short wadded strip to the long central wadded strip, see Figure 4.
  3. Place the cage inside the basket and ‘catch’ the top of each wadded strip (the long one at both ends) with a few stitches to a base and side wadded strip. This give you compartments for your eggs and also serves to hold the basket in shape.
  4. Stitch the braid to the top of the basket on either long side to form the handle. Add some eggs (chocolate or hen), and voilá, a delightful accessory to grace any kitchen or dining table this Easter!

TIP! If you have them, binding clips are excellent for holding the binding in place, and much easier to use than pins through all the layers

First published in Popular Patchwork Volume 14 Number 4 - April 2006