Monday, March 21, 2011

Easter basket

 WOW!  and I really mean WOW or Workshop on the Web.  I won!  Workshop on the web is a quarterly english online magazine that I joined a while ago.  It puts out really professional tutorials by some of the best and well-known fibre artists in the UK and elsewhere - and I have won some yummy goodies and a book and entry to an online group for the book.  The book is called Mixed Media: New Studio Techniques by Isobel Hall and Maggie Davies.  You can click on their names to see the great work they do and I know you will agree that this win is perfect for me.

With easter looming, I thought a little project for kiddies might be the go.
This is a small easter basket, which can be as simple or as elegant as you like.
Start with the fabric (or paper, or card) you  wish to use.  I have decided to make mine using the plastic collage  of fusible web I did a few weeks ago

You will need a square.  I chose nine inches, since it can be divided easily by three.  I actually cut my fusible collage a bit bigger to allow for shrinkage during ironing.  I ironed it on to an aqua piece of cotton.  You will need a reasonably stiff piece of fabric, or one which has been stabilised well
Remember to use parchment paper if you are using webbing as I am.
Once ironed, I trimmed the piece to it's final size
My piece shrank a little more than I wanted, so I am using an old tradesman's trick to easily divide into thirds (leave me a comment if you want to know more)
Mark lines, dividing the fabric into thirds left to right and top to bottom (like a nine-patch)
 Sew ribbon, or cording or yarn along the two horizontal lines.  I have used a flat knitting tape which was variegated in all the colours on the other side.  I attached it with straight stitch.
Do the same along the vertical lines, making a grid.  (make sure you leave enough free at each end to tie a bow)
I ran a line of clear nail polish around the edge of the fabric to seal it and stop it fraying.  If you wish you could use fray stop, or you could bind the edge, or do satin stitch, or blanket stitch.  It is all up to you.
Grab two adjacent ribbons, (if you look at the pic above, I mean the two ribbons that come out on each side of a corner, like the two on which the bottle is sitting) and tie them in a bow.
Fold over the little bunny ear you create after tying to show the inside fabric
Repeat this for all four corners
The finished basket.  You  might need to tweak the bottom corners a little to make them sit square.
Because you have made a two sided fabric, you can decide which side is out and change it to suit yourself
There are a myriad of options to assemble your box. You can sew ribbons on as I outlined above, you can sew a button and loop on or you can simply sew up the side seams, you can use grommets and ribbon, similar to the cardboard idea below.  You can quilt the fabric, you can free machine embroider, add embellishments

As I said, this is a simple little basket, and in fact, with a little assistance, you could have kids making their own out of card.  Instead of sewing ribbon on (which you could still do), punch holes in the corners to thread ribbon through.
I know kids would love to make these for their easter eggs, but perhaps not big enough?   This can be made as big as you like, I have been thinking of trying a huge one, quilted, to make a picnic basket and as a rug when unfolded, but more thought is needed.
Enjoy your baskets.

Once you open the creative door, ideas are plenty, whilst time is short.  
Choose to do what you love and it will shine.