Table Top Sewing Basket Tutorial

Hand sewing projects have the great advantage over machine sewing of generally being mobile activities. Even if ‘mobile’ only means moving from room to room or sofa to armchair within the home! Which is basically as mobile as sewing projects can be in current Covid restricted circumstances! Of course being mobile, even in this limited sense, does raise the need for some sort of container to carry and store sewing notions.

I had the perfect container hidden away on a shelf in my sewing room – a little fabric basket just the right size for the threads, needles, scissors and other bits and bobs I need for English Paper Piecing and applique projects. As well as being a useful container for carrying all the notions the basket also serves as a way to keep them all safely in one place – rather than thread spools rolling off the coffee table and my scissors getting lost between the sofa cushions!

Realising how useful the fabric basket has been to me over the past few weeks I decided I would make one as a gift for someone who is about to recommence home sewing after a long break. I’m really chuffed with the little basket and matching pincushion I made from a fat quarter and a few smaller scraps.

My word for 2021 is SHARE and in that spirit I thought I’d post a tutorial should you feel inspired to make a Table Top Sewing Basket 🙂 I certainly wouldn’t claim that this is an original idea. I first made a fabric basket back in 2014. I can’t remember the tutorial I followed. If  ‘make a fabric basket tutorial’ is typed into a browser the choice is overwhelming! Overtime I’ve adapted that first tutorial, introduced ideas from other basket tutorials and tried different combinations of materials. So this is a hi-bred of several tutorials and plenty of experience 🙂

To make a basket with a 4½” (11cm) square base that stands 4½” high you will need:

  • One Fat Quarter cut into: one (1) 5¾” x 20″ rectangle; two (2) 4¼” x 7″ rectangles
  • Contrast fabric: one (1) 1¾” x 20″ rectangle.
  • Lining: Two (2) 9½” x 7″ rectangles.
  • Medium weight iron-on interfacing (optional): one (1) 5″ x 19″ rectangle.
  • Wadding: one (1) 9″ x 22″ rectangle.

Step One – Preparing the Outside of the Basket

  • Using a ¼” seam, stitch the contrast fabric rectangle to a long edge of the 5¾” x 20″ rectangle. If either of your fabrics are directional be sure to orientate them correctly with the contrast fabric at the top of the basket! Press seam open.
  • Fuse the iron-on interfacing to the back of the pieced rectangle.
  • Lay the pieced rectangle face up on top of the wadding. Baste the two layers together. Try using masking tape to keep the wadding slightly stretched and in one place whilst lightly pinning the pieced rectangle in place.

  • I could write ‘quilt as desired’ and imagine the howls of frustration 😀 so instead I’ll just say that I generally choose to use a walking foot to stitch gentle wavy lines along the length of the piece. But if you are keen to practice free motion quilting stitches then a project this size is ideal! Keep the stitching lines about ½” – ¾” apart to help give the basket a bit of extra rigidity.
  • Once quilted use a rotary cutter to trim away the excess wadding.
  • Cut the quilted rectangle into two (2) 7½” x 9½” rectangles.

Step 2 – Making Boxed Corners

  • Place the two quilted rectangles right sides together. Use a ruler and pen to mark a 2¼” square in the lower left and right hand corners.

  • Line up the seams and pin. Stitch the two pieces together using ¼” seam. A walking foot is useful for getting through all the layers. Use strengthening back stitching at the start and end of each seam AND over the drawn lines.
  • Use scissors to cut out the marked 2¼” squares.
  • Fold one cut corner so the side and base seams are lying together.

  • Pin in place and sew along the opening using a ¼” seam, back stitch the start and end of the seam.

  • Repeat with the opposite opening.
  • Turn right sides out.

Step 3 – Make the Lining

  • Place the two Lining rectangles right sides together. Use a ruler and pen to mark a 2¼” square in the lower left and right hand corners.

  • Stitch the two pieces together using a 3/8″ seam. Leave a 2″ opening in the bottom seam. Use back stitching at the start and end of each seam AND over the drawn lines.
  • Use scissors to cut out the marked 2¼” squares.
  • Make boxed corners in the same way as for the Outer Basket.
  • Finger press the seams open and leave the lining wrong side out.

Step 4 – Make the Tab Handles

  • Place a 4¼” x 7″ rectangle wrong side up on an ironing board. Fold the shorter sides to the centre. Press to crease the folds. Fold along the centre line to make a 1¾” x 4¼” rectangle. Press the folds.

  • Top stitch close to both long edges of the rectangle.

  • Repeat with the second 4¼” x 7″ rectangle.

Step 5 – Constructing the basket

  • Place the Outer Basket inside the Lining, right sides facing with the side seams against each other.
  • Fold a Tab Handle in half widthways and slip it between the Outer Basket and Lining layers so it is centred on the side seams. Allow the raw edges of the Tab Handle to protrude ¼” above the rim of the basket. Pin securely in place.

  • Repeat with the second Tab Handle on the opposite side of the Basket.
  • Pin the Lining and Outer Basket together all around the rim. (This might be a bit of a tight squeeze as the Lining is shorter than the Outer Basket).
  • Stitch a ¼” seam inside the rim – a walking foot is useful for stitching through all the layers.

  • Use the gap in the bottom seam of the Lining to turn the basket right sides out.
  • Hand or machine stitch closed the gap in the bottom seam of the Lining.
  • Roll and pin/clip the rim of the basket so the seam is uppermost.

  • Top Stitch ¼” below the rim to hold the layers in place and create a neat edge.

I hope you enjoy making, using and/or gifting a Table-Top Sewing Basket. Any questions? Pop them in the Comments box and I’ll do my best to help.

One last tip: Best not to use a bag wadding such as Bosal In-R-Form for a small basket like this one. I did once and turning the bag right side out was very difficult – a bit of a Call the Midwife situation if you know what I mean? :-O

Linking with Alycia for Finished or Not Friday and with Denise for her Put Your Foot Down linky.

Allison

Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (68)

Whew! It’s the weekend! Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share: an opportunity to bring along your project(s) and share in the conversations, tips and advice doing the rounds of the Worldwide Quilting Community. Please leave links to your projects and/or the conversations that have caught your quilty interest along with your thoughts in the comments box at the bottom of this page. 🙂

First a big thank you to the ladies who came along to my Patchwork Workshop yesterday. It was a good day and everyone left happy with their completed foundation paper pieced and crazy patchwork blocks. I have posted photos of these lovely blocks on Instagram, @allisonreid.neweverymorning, and Facebook, www.facebook.com/NewEveryMorningPQ . Unfortunately I can’t post any photos here as I took them on my phone and have no idea how to transfer them to my laptop! (The one thing I did forget to take to the workshop was the memory card for my camera!).

Last week it was my intention to get the Square-in-a-square quilt tops sandwiched ready for quilting. That didn’t happen as prep for the Workshop and fiddling about with half square rectangles filled my sewing time. (And this little corner of England is bone dry – no rain for weeks – so watering the garden and allotment are becoming time consuming priorities).

Thankfully an email from Myra reminded me that I needed to complete the next stage of the Jelly Roll Waves QAL. This week is all about cutting up our fabrics. I’ve chosen to make the small lap top quilt using the strip piecing method. I’ve divided my main fabrics into lights and darks in the hope that my blocks will create an ombre effect across the quilt….

Jelly Roll Waves QAL cutting by Allison Reid

On Tuesday evening I attended the AGM of Roundabout Quilters. (It’s been a good year for the group with guest speakers, workshops and sewing days. Looking ahead, our biennial exhibition takes place through the weekend of 21-22nd September. Over the August break there will be lots of work being done to promote the event and ensure it runs  smoothly). At the AGM I spied a lovely work bag on the arm of one of the members. She gave me the pattern name and I am now the owner of a copy of the ‘Crafter’s Carry-All’ pattern by Quilters Trading Post.

Crafters Carry-All pattern cover by Allison Reid

The pattern arrived super quick through the post. Goodness knows when I’m going to make the bag…. But I especially like it as it doesn’t have any zips 😀 I guess inserting zips is something else to add to my long list of skills to learn? 😉

As for sewing this weekend….? Well! I’ve become one of those bloggers with ‘secret sewing’! Get me! I’ll even give you a ‘sneak shot’ 😀 of the gorgeous Oakshott Fabrics I’ll be using:

Oakshott Fabrics by Allison Reid

That’s all the bringing I’m doing this Saturday, now onto the sharing: I hope you find plenty to interest and inspire you through the following links:

Making a memory quilt from well worn fabrics holds challenges especially when those fabrics come from clothes worn by a much missed loved one. Bernie takes us through the making of a memory quilt with useful tips about choosing a design and stabilising and utilising the fabrics given for the project.

I know I’ve mentioned labeling quilts once or twice before… But Izzy has such a quick way to add a label to a quilt that there really is no excuse for missing out this step in the finishing a quilt 😉 Check out her tutorial here.

Kirsty at Bonjour Quilts has some handy quilting tips when using minky as the backing fabric for a quilt.

It’s a while since I’ve done any hand quilting. Wendy is making a beautiful job of stitching out the designs on a Sashiko panel. In her blog post she also shares photos of a quilt she made featuring Sashiko stitching in alternate squares – it really is very striking.

If you are thinking of using the services of a long-arm quilter to do the quilting stage of one of your projects Stephanie has some handy tips re. how to prepare your quilt top and backing as well as the options you will need to discuss with the long-armer (is that even a word?).

Seems to be a bit of theme running through this weeks links: Jen has some useful tips for piecing quilt backings and shows how she bastes a quilt sandwich.

Watching You Tube is definitely one of those occupations where ‘one thing leads to another’… I clicked on to the Creative Grids tutorial to find some tips for using my Perfect Rectangle Ruler… when the tutorial finished it ran onto an Angela Walters video… so I learned how to quilt Paisley Feathers too… 😀

Linking with Myra for the Jelly Roll Waves QAL.

Happy Stitching!

Allison