I remembered that I had these small willow baskets I had stashed away- it was just a small matter of finding where I have safely stored them! They were 12cm at the widest point and 6cm deep.
Next up was choosing some fabulous fabric - something reasonably lightweight that gathered well. I spotted some charming Liberty cottons in the Spinning Weal in Clevedon this week and I knew in a flash that these would make a perfect combination with willow.
To work out the pattern circle, I measured the diameter of the basket and doubled to get the diameter of the pattern circle - so for my 12cm basket the pattern cirle was 24cm in diameter. I then traced around a plate of this size onto a slightly larger fabric piece.
Then I used a pop sock and stuffed it tight with wadding. The cut off end from tights would work equally well - either new or washed of course! I used a natural wool filling as it was firm, resistant to moisture and allergy free, although cotton wadding cut into small pieces would have worked equally well. I tested for size as I was filling and when sufficiently filled, tied it off.
After cutting off the excess sock, I hand stitched a draw string 5mm from the raw edge on the fabric with a strong thread. Leaving the needle in place I then started to gather around the stuffed sock.
Finally I pull the drawstring tight and secured the gathers with a few stitches.
Now just to pop my creation into the basket and add a little embellishment. Liberty fabric and willow are so beautiful in their own right, less embellishment was definitely more.
Making these simple hand stitched gifts started me thinking about all manner of other interesting receptacles that could be used and a few more creations are likely to appear over the Easter weekend. Including one for my own workspace. With my workshop fully functional, it is so lovely to spend a little time making a few decorative things for it this Easter.
I send wishes to all for a restful and recharging this Easter holiday - such a fabulous time of year with the promise of increased daylight and hopefully sunshine in abundance.