for our second block of july, we will be making baskets. i first saw these in the Freddy & Gwen Collaborate Again book. there are some great basket quilts out there such as this and this.
first cut a background piece at least an inch longer and higher. then cut a basket shape and a handle piece which is cut on the bias. that handle i cut turned out to be too wide to manage. i suggest cutting it about 1" to 1.5" so it is easier to work with.
put the basket on the background piece and cut to fit the basket. piece the basket fabric into that piece.
for the handle, fold the edges to the center and press. no need to be super precise.
the top piece on my ironing board is the first handle i cut. because it was so wide, i couldn't get it to shape right. the second handle i cut was much narrower. to get the shape, iron and pull and iron and shape and iron and pull. keep manipulating it until you get the shape you want for the handle. but remember, it needs to lie flat with no wrinkles and puckers. i held down one edge with the iron and pulled and turned the piece with my other hand moving the iron further and further and pulling and shaping at the same time with the other hand. sorry. it's hard to explain.
lay the handle on the background and see if it "fits" the basket. once you are happy with the shape, pin [i know, i almost never pin] the handle onto the background and machine applique the handle down.
trim the two background pieces and sew together. done!
two tips: first, the wider your basket, the easier it will be to fit the handle. second, a narrower handle piece is easier to manipulate that a wider one.
here are a few baskets i made a couple of years ago for a bee:
remember you can wonk it up by changing the angles on the body of the basket and by shaping the handle asymmetrically.