After a long winter, are you ready for something creative and fun? A project with no serious design decisions, no precise cutting or sewing? Try our Batik & Clothesline basket. If you haven’t made one yet, they are easier than they look. Once you get started, you’ll love seeing your basket evolve!
The fabrics are from our Fabric Palette Spring Batiks. The soft, blended colors are perfect for Springtime! To start, use a jellie roll and cut each strip into 3 pieces, ¾” – 1” wide. You can also use 3-4 fat quarters. Only cut a few ¾” – 1” strips to start, you can cut more once you see how the colors work together.
You’ll need about 50 feet of clothesline, preferably all cotton, so your needle will go through easily. For this test piece, I used an all-purpose, polyester-mixed fiber, 3/16” size from Home Depot. It was soft enough and not coated with plastic (and I happened to be in the store).
Begin by using a little glue stick on the fabric strip and start wrapping, about 18” is a good start.
At your machine, use a universal 14 needle, all purpose thread, and a zigzag stitch. Match the thread color to start so your stitches will blend. Coil the end into a spiral (clockwise spiral). Stick some pins in to secure. Start sewing clockwise, with the clothesline in your lap. Adjust your zigs and zags to catch both coils, without digging into the clothesline too deeply. You can start with a round coil, or oblong (it seemed a little easier).
When you sew up to the end of the fabric, put a smear of glue and wrap the next strip. After a few rounds, you’ll find you don’t need as much glue. To shape from flat to basket sides, hold up the base as you stitch the next rounds. Control the shape with the basket base to make steep sides or gentle curves. To finish, wrap the end and stitch a few times to secure.
There are many books and blogs that will teach you how to add beads and handles. Try using different fat quarter designs from soft to bold. Try shapes from basket to flat platter. Be inspired!