Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Bits and Pieces {A Basket Tutorial}

*warning photo heavy

Everyone has batting scraps lying around, stuck under the bed or shoved in a closet. I have needed to trim down my scrap batting collection for quite some time. Can you call it a collection? I once heard that if you have more than 5 of something then it's called a 'collection', what you think?

I can't seem to throw any away, and it's growing!

The Batting Blob

I started making fabric baskets with the 'Blob', and there are tons of tutorials on the web for fabric baskets but I thought I'd share how I make them. I love how useful these baskets are around the house and are great gifts to make (you know Christmas is just around the corner, check out the count down clock). This is also a quilt as you go style basket, which sews up quickly so you could whip one up in an afternoon.

The finished sizes are approximate: small - 8" wide x 6" tall x 5" deep, medium - 10" wide x 6" tall x 6" deep, and large - 12" wide x 6" tall x 7" deep. You can make one, two or all three baskets - that's up to you.

You will need basic sewing skills, basic sewing supplies (you know - a sewing machine, thread, pins, etc) and a glue stick.

I did not list the yardage needed for them, but the size of each piece needed to assemble each basket is listed. Each basket is made from 2 of each piece, one set for each side and a set of handles. All seams are 1/4" unless other wise noted.

Fabric Cutting Measurements

These lovely fabrics I received in a fat quarter swap at ECMGQ 

(I made the small basket using 3 fat quarters)
  • 2 - 3" x 14.5" fabric A
  • 2 - 8" x 14.5" fabric B
  • 2 - 10" x 14" lining fabric
  • 2 - 3" x 10" handle fabric
  • 2 - 3" x 17.5" fabric A
  • 2 - 8" x 17.5" fabric B
  • 2 - 10" x 17" lining fabric
  • 2 - 3" x 10" handle fabric
  • 2 - 3" x 20.5" fabric A
  • 2 - 8" x 20.5" outside B
  • 2 - 10" x 20" lining fabric
  • 2 - 3" x 10" handle fabric
Depending on which size you choose to make you will need 2 pieces of batting that measure 11.5" x 15" for the small, 11.5" x 18" for the medium and 11.5" x 21" for the large (after quilting they will be trimmed to size). For the handles you need 2 pieces that measure 2" x 10" (a set for each basket).

*Tip I pieced smaller pieces of batting together to make these pieces by using the video by GourmetQuilter.

Instructions are good for all sizes, unless noted.

Creating the Quilted Outside
Repeat these instructions for your 2 outside pieces.

Place fabric B on the batting, close to the bottom edge leaving a 1/4" of batting showing with right side up and pin. (can you tell I had fun drawing examples in MS Paint :)

Quilt fabric B with straight lines going from the bottom up or you could mark quilting lines diagonally and create a cross hatched effect (both examples in drawing above), but this would be a great time to practice free-motion quilting.

After fabric B has been quilted to the batting, place fabric A on top of fabric B with right sides together and line up edges.

Stitch  1/4" seam (the red line in example) and then press open.

Next quilt fabric A, starting close to the seam where you joined A to B using straight lines running the length of fabric A.

Trim using the seam line where A and B are joined to help square up to - 10" x 14" for the small basket, 10" x 17" for the medium or 10" x 20" for the large.
Let's make some handles

Place the handle fabric pieces with the right side down.

Use a glue stick and lightly place a few glue spots down the center of the wrong side of the handle fabric, then position the 3" x 10" batting and center it down the middle. Fold the fabric edges over and onto the batting using the glue stick and iron to hold it in place.

*Tip: It doesn't take much, go lightly with the glue stick.

Next fold the handle in half lengthwise enclosing the edges inside (the side view example above shows the batting in red and fabric is black). Press and pin well.

Top stitch closely down each edge and once in the center. Set these aside for now.

Assembling the Basket

With the outside pieces right sides together match the seam line and pin down each side and across the bottom. Sew down the side seam pivot at the corner, sew across the bottom, pivot again and sew up the side.


Next with the lining pieces right sides together, pin down the sides and bottom. Mark on the bottom edge for the small 5" (6" for the medium and 7" for the large) away from the side and again from the other edge at bottom. This will be the opening for turning the basket right side out later on. Stitch down each side and across bottom stopping at the mark, repeat for other side.

This is the opening you will use later to turn everything out.

Here comes the tricky part, but it's not as hard as it looks take your time and it will be just fine.
Take the outside and fold matching up the side seam to the bottom seam.

** Important!! Depending on the size basket you are making you will use these centering measurements to create the boxed bottom -  small 2.5", medium 3", and large 3.5 " (you will also do this for the lining as well)

Take your quilting ruler and use the center measurement to line up to the side seam line, slide the ruler until the edge of the basket is lined up.

As in this example the small basket center is 2.5" on the seam line and the ruler is lined up and measures across 5" (medium is 6" across and large is 7" across). Mark your sewing line.

Sew across this marked line making sure to back-stitch at the beginning and end for strength.

Trim away the excess corner and repeat on the other side. Then do these same steps for the corners of the lining.

Now that wasn't so bad after all was it?   :) See how nice and boxy the bottom is, just right!

Handle Placement

On the small I measured 1" from the side seam and pinned the handles. (for medium 1.5" and large 2" from side seam) Pin and baste in place.

With the right sides together and the handles tucked inside, pin all around the top like so.

Sew the outside to the lining by stitching all around the top. Take your time over the thicker parts like the side seams and where the handles are. Next turn the bag right side out, and tuck the lining into the bag.

It doesn't look so good at this point, but no worries the trusty iron is here to save the day.

Iron the top of the bag, this helps a lot, pin if needed and take it back to the sewing machine.

Top stitch around the top about a 1/4" away from the edge.

Grab the iron again and press the sides to make it all pretty.

Now step back and admire your basket.

If you make a basket please show it off on the LaBellaColori flickr group, I would love to see them.

Linked up to Sew it Cute Tuesday, Brag Bag Tuesday


  1. Nice basket and thanks for tutorial!

    1. I would love to see it if you make one!! Thanks for stopping by :)

  2. Oh thank you so much for this great tutorial! Cant' wait to try this. I'm thinking Christmas presents ... ;-)

    1. I am so glad! I am planning on making a lot more just for gift giving - please share photos I would love to see your creations!!

  3. Love this cute basket! Saw this on the Better Off Thread blog on Sew Cute Tuesday so popped over to say hello!

  4. adorable!! linky from WIP
    Are you aware that your word safety is on?? It makes it really time consuming to leave a message! I NEVER get it right in one try!! :(

    1. Oh no, thank you. I'll get that fixed. Thanks for stopping by

  5. Great step by step directions! Can't wait to make one.

    1. Thanks! They are so easy and fun to make, please share you pictures when you make one.

  6. Great tutorial! Please share it in our bag Brag Tuesdays linking party! :) http://blog.chriswdesigns.com/linking-parties/

    1. Christine, thank you! I went over and joined in on the linky party - what fun!!

  7. What a great little basket! Thanks for sharing the tutorial!

  8. I really like the tutorial. It is very thorough. Thank you.

  9. visiting from WIP Wednesday. I love this and sharing how to do it is fantastic

  10. Just dropped in from SBM.
    Thanks for the tutorial - I'll be trying that out for sure.

  11. great baskets - well written tutorial

  12. Very cute basket - I love these kinds of projects. I am going to pin it so I remember where to find this great tutorial. Thanks for sharing.

  13. Awesome! You know me, I don't follow directions well, but I hope to do so with this. Ideally, I'll have one to share at our meeting Saturday. Thanks for sharing.

  14. Love your tutorial. I have to make one of these. Thanks for sharing. I'm over from SMW

  15. Really lovely basket, thank you for sharing.


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