Sunday, May 6, 2012

The making of a basket

Independence Basket

I thought it might be fun to offer a short tour of basket making.  My sister taught me this craft years ago.  I can't seem to get enough of it!  There are always new colors and patterns to explore, and new ways to embellish a piece.

Here we go...

First, I wrap reinforced cotton rope with fabric cut into strips.  Sometimes I use fabric scraps that quilter friends and family send my way. Sometimes a generous clothing designer will share pieces.  Sometimes I use fabric from gently used clothing.

My pile of possibilities

If I am making a round basket, I start by pinning the wrapped rope into a small coil.  Like this...

The beginning

Then, starting from the very first curve in the coil, I zig zag around and around, watching as the pattern unfolds.  This is the fun part!

A pattern emerges

When I am ready to shape the sides of the piece, I bend the disc, forcing the rope to turn upon itself.  This part can get a little tricky at first, but with practice...

Working the sides

Another important ingredient to my process is a visit from my cat, Dusty.  Fortunately, he has learned to stay out of the way...

Hanging out (of the way)

Lately, I have been embellishing the top of my baskets with a bit a ribbon.  I love the striped pattern.  Here, I leave a long piece of ribboned rope, which I use to create a design on the basket's side.

The tail

I pin a swirl pattern onto the basket and tac it down with needle and thread.

The final touch

And voila!  My Independence basket is complete.

Independence Basket

I hope this encourages you to be creative today.

You can see all my baskets in my shop, SquareCircleWorks on Etsy.


  1. Hi Valerie, I'm Connie at, your new GFC friend. I would love it if you stop by and be mine, too.
    Hey these baskets are so cute. Thank you for sharing.

  2. I've made a few of these too! So much fun to use up scraps or even ugly fabric.

  3. Michelle and Connie, many thanks for stopping by and commenting. Connie, I GFC'd... once I figured out what that meant. :)

  4. I love Dusty!! lol My cats are always involved in my creative process, too!

    This basket rocks! I really want to make one. I found you through Michelle's Party~
    I'm also hosting one- Red, White and BLue- link up anything with those colors and Patriotic pictures, crafts and recipes!

    I"d love for you to join in. Mine is also a contest and I will pin all post that link up on Pinterest!

    Come join the fun! Susie

  5. Thanks, Susie! I will check it out. :)


Thanks for sharing your thoughts!