Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Easter Basket Tutorial

Alright, at the urging of Melanie, I have created a tutorial for these adorable baskets! And I warn you now, there are a LOT of pictures in this post! Like, going crazy waiting for all these dang pictures to upload, a lot of pictures. Anyways, on to the tutorial!
The first two steps are deciding on your basket size and choosing fabric. They kind of go hand in hand, because they might influence each other! The larger one has a 9"diameter and is 6" tall. smaller one has a 6" diameter and is 4" tall. I will give the cut sizes for both sizes, but feel free to deviate if you want!

Cut sizes for 6" diameter basket (fat quarter friendly)
Main front fabric:
1 strip 19 3/8" x 3 1/2"
1 circle 6 1/2" diameter
Lining and banding fabric:
1 strip 19 3/8" x 1 1/2" (front band)
1 strip 19 3/8" x 4 1/2
1 circle 6 1/2" diameter
Handle fabric:
3 strips 18" x 1 1/2"

Cut sizes for 9" diameter basket
Main front fabric:
1 strip 28 3/4" x 5"
1 circle 9 1/2" diameter
Lining and banding fabric:
1 strip 28 3/4" x 2" (front band)
1 strip 28 3/4" x 6 1/2"
1 circle 9 1/2" diameter
Handle fabric:
3 strips 22" x 1 1/2"

Other supplies:
12/32" cording
fusible fleece
normal sewing/cutting supplies

Once you have chosen your fabrics and size, cut them all out! The handle fabric size might seem long, but remember that it will end up shorter once it is braided! If you want handles longer or shorter than the ones pictured, you can adjust accordingly. Figure out how long you want the handle and multiply by 1.5 for the take up in braiding.

* 1/4" seam allowances are used throughout this project except when specified!

There are many ways to cut circles, but here is my way. Use a string (in this case, I had a needle with embroidery floss on it within arm's reach, but a piece of yarn or other string tied around a pin would work just as well), put it in/on your fabric, mark the string at HALF the cut diameter(for a 6" dia. basket, mark at 3.25). Then use the mark on the string to mark your circle, like so. Hint: once you have one circle cut out, lay it on top of the second fabric and use as a pattern!

You should now have 8 cut pieces.

Now, take your main outside piece and outside banding piece, sew long sides together, and press.

Cut out and iron your fusible fleece onto your basket front, lining, and both circles. The only pieces NOT "fleeced" are your handle pieces. Hint: lay your cut pieces onto your fusible fleece and use as a cutting guide!

Next, take your two outside pieces, and stitch the short side together. Be sure to line up your banding seam or it will not look continuous.

Press your seam open. The piece should now look like this.

Now, fold the tube you just sewed, in half, with the seam on one side. Mark the fold. I used a disappearing marker. Then match the seam with the mark you just made and mark both new fold lines. Now you should have "quartered" the tube. Continue matching up your marks and marking the folds until you have "eighthed" the tube.
Grab your outside circle and fold it in half. Mark those folds.

Then line up the marks and mark the folds again. Continue until your circle has eight marks as well. Kind of hard to see in my picture...Sorry!

Now pin the pieces right sides together, matching your marks.

Sew together! I find it easiest to sew it with the circle on the bottom.

Press the seam. This part is kind of a pain since it is on a curve, but it makes it look much better! ps I have no idea why my camera put the line through this picture. It has been happening a lot lately...anyone have a tip for me?

See? The seam should be all pretty now.

Repeat all of that for the lining pieces, omitting the part about the banding but use a 3/8" - 1/2" seam allowance to stitch the lining bottom to the lining side!! Oh, and pressing the bottom lining seam is not necessary, but you can if you want to. I didn't. Once it is seamed, trim the bottom seam allowance down to 1/4".

Press the top edge over 1/4", to the inside for the outer piece and to the outside for the lining. That doesn't sound confusing at all... :)

Insert the lining into the outer piece. It will look like it could never fit, but don't worry, it will! Set this aside for now.

Ok, time for the handle. Take a few deep breaths, this part can be a little tricky! First, take a handle strip, fold right sides together matching the long edges, and sew to make a long tube. Stop about 1/2" from the end, and backstitch! Now, get your cording. Stitch it to the end where you have the little flap.

Ok, get out your bodkin (if you don't have one, a big safety pin will work too.)

Slip the bodkin into the fabric tube. See it sticking out there?

Clamp it around the end of the cording. Now you are going to turn the fabric and pull the cording through at the same time. I'm not gonna lie, this part is a pain. Push the bodkin through the fabric tube and pull the fabric down over the cording. I actually made a video to help show how to do this, but it's not loading....If your bodkin comes unclipped inside the tube as you turn it, don't panic! It happened to me at least once every single one of my tubes. Just push the bodkin back into place and reattach it.
Cut the cording about 1/2" below the end of the fabric once it is completely turned.
Repeat with the other 2 handle strips.

Once you have 3 covered cords, stitch them together at one end. Then braid! I pinned to my ironing board to hold it in place while I braided.

Stitch the end of the braid to keep it from unraveling.

Alright, now you have a braided handle and a handle-less basket, time to put them together!

Put one end of your handle between the front and back pieces at the seam. Pin. Now start pinning the outside and lining together, working around to the side opposite the seam. Pin the loose end of the handle between the layers directly across from the end in the seam.

Topstitch 1/4" from the folded edge of the fabric around the top lip, and then again at 1/8".

Guess what? You are done! Stand back and admire your handiwork!

If any of you use my tutorial to make this I would love to see! Either comment with a link or email me at maniacalmaterialgirls [at] gmail [dot]com! Oh, and if you have any questions or trouble with the tutorial, email me for that too!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

What would you do..oo..oo (sung to the tune of the Klondike Bar commercial)

for an extra $5 off at your favorite quilt fabric shop????   

Well, that's what they were offering if you came in today wearing your spring bonnet! Our first reaction?  Are you kidding me?  A spring bonnet? Yeah, sure!!!  But hey, $5 is $5...or 2 fat quarters..or 1/2 yard of fabric.

So let me present...Kirsten's spring bonnet.


How do you like the cute little butterfly I stitched up using some scraps from Butterfly Fling by Me and My Sister for Moda?  And the flowers are all attached to hair clips, cuz that's what they are, flower hair clips that Kirsten made for herself and Zoey.  One of the flowers is clipped on to the butterfly to hold it in place and they are all clipped to the hatband ribbon.  I just want to see if Spencer will leave the flowers and butterfly on the hat next time he wears it!

We forgot to take a picture until after we had already taken the flowers and butterfly off my hat (and it was outside in my truck), but it was a cute straw hat with a wide black ribbon that I got a few years ago in Hawaii.  I've never worn it since Hawaii, but I just couldn't bear to part with it and today I was really glad I still had it.

So, what would we do for an extra $5 off our fabric purchase (which really means an extra $5 to spend at the fabric shop)?  We would wear silly hats with flowers and a cloth butterfly clipped to the hat bands!!!!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Back to our regularly scheduled program

Hurray! Zoey finally did take a nap yesterday, and I was able to get a lot done! And today there was not any weeping, wailing, or gnashing of teeth from either one of us over naptime! Oh so nice to be back to normal! And since I haven't shared any pictures in a while, here is the quilt that I got basted yesterday!

Thursday, March 25, 2010


Woe is me! I have blocks in stacks ready to be sewn into a quilt top, two quilt tops that need backs, a top and back ready to be basted together, a tutorial to write, a dress to finish, and a HUGE mess of fabric that is in desperate need of some organizing, and THE KID WON'T TAKE A NAP!!!! Ok, that wouldn't be the end of the world except this is day TWO of her refusing to take a nap. And she is SOOOO tired. And fussy. And getting into EVERYTHING. I might pull my hair out. Hopefully I will return soon with something to actually post about! And hopefully I will still have a full head of hair!
Good luck to the rest of you who have kids and are trying to accomplish anything today!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

National Quilt Day

I shared my birthday today with National Quilt Day (as well as the first day of spring, but I share that every year) and this is how I celebrated! (After lunch with my hubby ((he had to work tonight)) and then dessert at Cheesecake factory with some pals.)

A good start on my current project, loosely based on this quilt by Elizabeth at Oh, Fransson.  I used her tutorial and measurements for the blocks, but decided to use one fabric for all the centers and also using the same white print fabric throughout, with 8 different purples. I don't plan to sash this one because the white borders on the alternating blocks gives it all the separation that I want. So far I really like this quilt and it looks much better on my design wall than in this photo, but we have already established that I am not a photographer! This one is going to be a gift and I just have a couple of months to get it done.  More photos to come as I make progress.

Friday, March 19, 2010

An Easter Basket

Check out what I whipped up tonight! It being Zoey's first Easter and all, she needed a super cute basket to put her goodies in! So, tada!

It is pretty simple, and only took me about 3 hours from my first figuring to completion. Amazing what can get done after bedtime!

I made a braided handle (fabric covered 1/2" welt), partly because it's dang cute, and partly so the handle would have some structure and strength.

I brought it out to show Spencer...he grabbed it and this happened...

Apparently this basket can also be used as a stylish hat :) ps ignore the clean clothes on the back of the couch...

specs- 6" finished height, 9"diameter, 15" handle
fabric- Eva by Basic Grey and 1 fabric in handle is Full Moon Forest by Tula Pink
Other stuff- fusible fleece and 1/2" welt

Sunday, March 14, 2010

In need of opinions!

Ok, so you know how I said I have my two zig zag quilt tops done? Well, I can't decide on what to do for the backs. The tops are identical, and the binding will be identical as well. But what about the backs? Do I go get enough fabric for solid backs (and if I do, should it be a solid or a print?), or do I piece them with scraps? Do I keep them identical or do I make them different so Spencer and I know which one is "ours"? Help!!

And I apologize I don't have a picture to help with the visualization; the tops are black, white, and red with both solids and prints. Help!!

Thursday, March 11, 2010


I didn't realize how many pink fabrics I had until I started pulling them for a quilt! (FYI this isn't all of them...but this is all of them that are mostly pink and don't have other colors that will clash with the rest of the quilt) Sheesh, I think something about having a GIRL makes you gravitate toward the pink fabric until suddenly you have TONS! Oh, and this quilt is gonna be so fun. I'm excited for it, stay tuned :)

And hurray for nice long, frequent naps! The kid has been sleeping so well lately that I am getting soooo much sewing done!! I have my 2 zig zag quilt tops together(no pictures yet, they are both in a jumble on top of my fabric stacks still), now I just have to plan backing for them.

And here is a sneak peek of another top that is nearly together! This is my first "just because I want to make this" quilt. I'm throwing around the idea of opening an etsy shop to help support the habit. Thoughts?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Guess What??

Guess who is a guest blogger over at The Crafty Cupboard today? If you guessed me, you were right! Melanie asked for a post on some quilting basics, and of course I said sure! So, go check out my post! :)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Yep, that's me!  A couple of weeks ago, I won this super sweet fat quarter bundle from Emily at Creative Chicks.  Thanks so much Emily!!  It was in my mailbox about 2 days after she announced the winner. My first win and I wait 2 whole weeks to blog about it. Talk about jinxing future wins!!!  But here it is!

Aren't these holiday fabrics so great! I think winning might have been due to good karma since I replied to the contest by offering to help Emily find some Phoenix Suns fabric that she was looking for. Even though I couldn't find any at my local quilt shops, I did find a great deal on the fabric at Fabric Depot for her. Hope it helped.  I know her fabric will help up the cuteness factor in some quilts in my future!!!

Here's to Good Karma!!!

Monday, March 1, 2010


I went to the dentist today. This is not my favorite thing. Turns out I need a root canal. Oh joy...Anyways, while I was laying on the couch cracked out on vicodin, I planned a new quilt! I am very excited to start it! I sooo wanted to go start cutting, but vicodin makes me very dizzy...so I decided wielding a sharp rotarty cutter should wait until tomorrow. Oh, and I just finished the most adorable dress ever for Zoey! I finally tried it on her tonight, and guess what. The bodice is too small. Drat! My little first percentile girl is too big for her easter dress! So, instead of being able to show off this adorable dress this week, I get to remake it...Stay tuned!

ps- is the computer screen crooked or is my head? Did I mention the vicodin?