To start off, I measured the diameter basket top edge and doubled the size. I then cut a circle of fabric, for me 24cm, using a kitchen pan lid - it would have been quicker to have used the pencil, drawing pin and string method by the time I'd worked my way through the kitchen cupboards!
Next I threaded up a long piece of thread and hand stitched a single line of stitch about 75mm from the fabric edge. The thread needs to be strong to gather without snapping and linen or nymo thread are both really good options.
Then I filled a pop sock with wool noil - a tight leg or stocking would be perfect too. I packed it tight into the toe until it fitted snuggly in the basket and then tied it off and cut off the excess pop sock. I then put the stuffed pop sock inside the circle and gathered the hand stitched thread tightly - it's best to do this from both ends and tie these together when the fabric is a snug fit.
Then came making a few willow leaf embellishments. I used water soluble fleece for this - 2 pieces with leaf shapes drawn on the top piece and wool tops trapped in between. For anyone trying to track this product down, I always stock in my Spring Farm studio and I am happy to post.
Then I free stitched the outlines with variegated thread all the way around the leaf shape twice and added some veins. It was then just a simple task of cutting out as close as possible to the edge stitching and washing off the water soluble fabric in a bowl of warm water.
All kinds of fabrics and receptacles can be used for this project and here are a few recently made up by fellow Somerset stitcher Annie using wool flannel by Fox Brothers of Wellington. I would be delighted to see photos of other heart warming creations.