My little basket of applique and English Paper Piecing notions is almost fit to bursting! Funny how each branch of patchwork quilting calls for another collection of bits and bobs 🙂 My latest purchase is a 2oz bottle of Roxanne Glue-Baste-It.
Ridiculously expensive for something that looks suspiciously like PVA glue but HeyHo I was sold on the precision dropper that administers dots of glue little bigger than a pin head.
I’m using Glue-Baste-It to temporarily adhere my EPP pieces in place on the background fabric. I had been using the SewLine glue pen.
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
The Basket of Blooms applique is continuing to give me opportunities to learn and practice new techniques. This week I made the yo-yo embellishments. First time making these and maybe not entirely successful as the holes in the centres look rather large – perhaps I should have used smaller stitches so they’d gather-in more tightly?
Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share 🙂 Bring along your project(s) and enjoy sharing in the conversations and inspiration being circulated via our Worldwide Quilting Community. I hope you have time to click on a few of the links below; maybe find a quilty blogger you haven’t met before, learn a new technique or discover a new on-line event to join making new friends along the way. Please do leave a comment or a like on the pages you visit – it is such an encouragement to the writers of the blogs we read.
Thank you for all the encouraging comments left me last week after I admitted to having lost my sew-jo. They were just what I needed to get the cover off my sewing machine and get stitching. On Monday I wrote about the string blocks that got me back into sewing mode alongside my plan to make a string block quilt for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge 2021. I received two messages from readers very politely asking if they might use the design for their RSC quilts? That gave me a real boost – so good to know my idea had given them the inspiration they needed for the Challenge. I think that definitely counts as a tick for my word of the year, SHARE 🙂
Having found my sew-jo I now need to work on my ‘pattern-jo’. Boy! Have I been making heavy weather of writing a pattern for a table runner/wall-hanging project! 😀 This week I’ve managed to write enough to be able to test the cutting instructions for two of the blocks. Thankfully they came together as planned. Now to write the instructions for and make the third and final block…
Of course a revitalised sew-jo lead to a Dreami (drop everything and make it) project has sprung onto my design wall! This began as a solution to the problem of what to do with pre-cut fabric packs? I find it difficult to resist buying packs of coordinating fabrics, they look so lovely on the shelves in my sewing room but what to do with them? I came up with an idea for this pack of eight fat quarters (an on-line, lockdown purchase made last year).
I wanted to use as much of the fabric as possible to make a good size lap quilt. The quilt plan grew in the back of my mind, some of the maths became my ‘go back to sleep’ thoughts in the middle of the night. This week suddenly felt like the right time to break into the fat quarter stack. After machine washing the fabrics I was pleased all measured just over 18″ x 20″ except for one fat quarter which wasn’t cut straight:
Never mind, with a bit of fiddling I just managed to get the necessary cuts from this wonky fat quarter.
The little basket in the photo contains all of the left-over fabric from eight fat quarters – I’m pleased so little fabric has gone to waste or been added to my scrap bins. The partially completed nine-patch block is the only glimpse I can give of the quilt just now but I hope it will come together very quickly and soon be ready for the big reveal.
Here are this weeks links into our Worldwide Quilting Community:
Cherry’s latest pattern, Oh! Sew Happy, is a cheerful row-by-row sewing themed quilt. There are spools, buttons, a sewing machine as well as a row of houses and the word ‘sew’. Lots of elements of the pattern could be used or adapted to make wall hangings for a sewing room or gifts for stitching friends.
Angela Walters has scheduled a series of live chats over on her You Tube channel (recordings will be available if the live times are not convenient for you). Here is the schedule: 21st Jan, Tips for Machine Quilting Feathers; 28th Jan, Help! How do I Quilt it?; and 4th Feb, The Business of Machine Quilting.
A post by Yvonne Fuchs aka Quilting Jet Girl led me to a skill building block of the month that has just got underway. Organised by Kim Lapacek the ‘Old School Block of the Month’ will have blocks contributed by twelve quilt designers through the year. Here are links to the introductory post and the first block post.
Looking for a speedy way to cut fabric? Katy demonstrates How a Die Cutter Works. And in a second post Katy shares information about the various die cutting machines and their accompanying dies manufactured by Accuquilt.