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Mini Bushel Basket Picnic Liners: Fabric Depot

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This is the time of year when we love putting together clever containers to help make dining outside in the warmer weather a bit easier… and prettier. These super cute basket liners are from our You Asked 4 It list. This is an official little list we keep of all the suggestions and requests you send in through your comments and emails. We knew this would be a perfect project to showcase the huge variety of fresh and colorful quilting cottons available right now at Fabric Depot.

One of the inspirations for our planning was a similar lined basket featured in a photo sent to us for our recent Moda Designer Spotlight article on Vanessa Goertzen of Lella Boutique. Vanessa admitted to also getting requests for a pattern on her end, and so was happy to hear we were going to put together our own version that could be customized to fit varying sizes of baskets. 

Creating three-dimensional projects is always a bit of a challenge. Especially because we have rather stringent standards when it comes to insuring both ease-of-construction as well as a fantastic finish. We think you’ll be pleasantly surprised how easy these 3-D liners are to make.

All the raw edges are bound and the top binding extends into ties that hold the liner’s accent cuff tight against the basket. We’ve even provided a cut-out template for the curved openings that allow the basket’s handle to move freely. 

For our mini bushel baskets, we wanted fabric that had a picnic flair: happy colors, simple designs, and a touch of classic favorites, like ginghams, checks, and sweet florals. 

The variety of options available at FabricDepot.com is large enough to make a bushel of bushel basket liners! After browsing through their easy-to-navigate pages, sorting by theme and designer and color, we settled on two collections from Moda with a coordinating solid for our lining. Vintage Picnic by Bonnie & Camille and Gooseberry by Lella Boutique both have lots of great choices for mixing and matching.

Although it’s hard to fathom that you might not find exactly what you want (you’re more likely to find a dozen things you “exactly want”), there’s online chat available with the Fabric Depot experts. They can check availability in their 40,000 square foot retail location and can also help with special orders. 

The baskets we used are quite common; ours were purchased locally at Michaels and we saw similar styles at several other craft and home décor outlets. As easy as this style is to find, we still felt it was very important to outline all the steps you need to adapt the sizing for your own basket. Understanding how to measure and map out your own custom pattern is a great skill to practice. It also proves your middle school algebra teacher was right; you can use math in your everyday life.

Our basket liner has an inner “pocket” that is actually a double sleeve. It’s meant to hold a bottle in place or corral utensils and so is designed without a bottom. It’s positioned so the items within the sleeve simply sit against the bottom of the basket. This also means it’s much easier to make and attach.

In order to give the quilting cottons enough stability to hold their shape, as well as to stand up to being removed and re-inserted repeatedly for washing, we added a layer of batting, then quilted the layers prior to assembling the panels. This resulted in exposed seam allowances, which could pose a problem. S4H Solution: we used a Hong Kong finish. This technique binds each side of a seam allowance, providing a professional-looking finish that sits flat (important because you don’t want a lumpy seam that could prevent the liner from laying flat against the side of the basket), and does of great job of containing any fraying or raveling.

These basket liners would be an excellent foundation for a gift basket. Stay with the picnic theme and load them up with kitchen gadgets for a summer wedding shower. Or, how cute would they be in nursery-themed fabric for a new baby gift?!

Our thanks again to Fabric Depot for providing all the fabric and supplies for our picnic baskets and for insuring the availability of the yardages online so our Sew4Home visitors can order the same cuts to create a matching set.

If you're in the Portland, Oregon area, or are coming this way for a summer vacation, make plans to visit their gigantic retail location for a day of dream shopping. Many of our Sew4Home project samples are on display alongside the exact fabrics we used.

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

Getting Started

Computing your starting cut size for the main panels

  1. As mentioned above, our measurements, cut sizes, and yardages are based on the baskets we used. Your sizing may be different for your baskets, but the formulas and steps below will allow you to make your own customized pattern.
  2. To start, you need three measurements on your basket: top diameter, bottom diameter, and height. The illustration below shows you these measurements on our two sample baskets. In addition, there is a measurement you determine based on what looks best to you for your basket; this is the fold-over amount for the “cuff” of the liner. On our samples, we went with a 3” fold-over for the large basket and a 2” fold-over for the small basket.
     
  3. Armed with these measurements, you can get the width and height for your starting rectangle. 
  4. For the width, first figure out the circumference of the top of your basket. Then, because the liner is made in two parts, divide this amount in half. And finally, add back in the seam allowance for both side seams that will join front to back. As an example to follow, the width formula for our large basket was: 11” x 3.14 (pi) ÷ 2 + 1” = 18.27
  5. Round up your result to the nearest quarter inch. In our sample our width is now 18½”. But wait…. there’s more. Because the top of the liner needs to flare out in order to allow it fold over the top, you need to add a bit more to give yourself the room to draw in the diagonal lines for the sides. We recommend 3-4”. This amount is not exact as it will vary based on the shape of the basket, but 3-4” should cover the majority of standard basket shapes. 
  6. So, our starting width is now 18½” + 3” = 21½”.
  7. Height is much simpler since we aren’t working with a circle. Start with the height of the basket, add in the amount for the fold-over cuff, then add an additional ½” for the seam allowance at the bottom where the side panels will attach to the base. As an example to follow, the height formula for our large basket was: 7½” + 3” + ½” = 11”.
  8. Put these two calculations together to find the starting cut size for your fabric rectangle. For our large basket, our starting size will be 21½” wide x 11” high.
  9. Using your dimensions, cut ONE rectangle at this starting size from the LINING fabric. 

Creating the pattern for the basket shape

  1. Using the lining rectangle you just cut, you will now create the angled sides. 
  2. Fold the rectangle in half. In our sample, that meant we now have a 10¾” wide x 11” piece. Now that the panel is folded in half, the other measurements also need to be halved. In addition, you need to work with both the top and the bottom dimensions to create the proper side angles. 
  3. So, back to our friend “pi” (3.14) to re-figure these measurements. 
  4. The top measurement was already calculated above, but let’s review. The formula is: diameter x pi ÷ 2 + 1” rounded up to the nearest ¼”. In our large basket sample, this result was 18½”. Divide this amount in half for the next steps, which means 9¼” for our sample. 
  5. Repeat the calculation to determine the bottom measurement. Our equation was: 8¼” x 3.14 ÷ 2 + 1” = 14”. Divide this amount in half for the next steps, which means 7” for our sample.
  6. You need at least two points to connect to create a straight line. The best way to determine an exact point is with the intersection of a horizontal line and a vertical line. 
  7. The lower point is determined with a horizontal line at the seam allowance. Draw a horizontal line ½” up from the bottom raw edge of the folded panel. The vertical line is your bottom width measurement calculated above (7” in our sample and shown as the “B” measurement in the drawing below). Draw a vertical line at this measurement from the folded edge. At the intersection of these two measurements, place your lower point.
  8. The upper point is determined with a horizontal line at the height of the basket (7½” in our sample). Remember, to measure from the drawn ½” seam allowance line, not from the bottom raw edge of the folded panel. Draw a horizontal line at this measurement. The vertical line is your top width measurement calculated above (9¼” in our sample and shown as the “A” measurement in the drawing below). Draw a vertical line at this measurement from the folded edge. At the intersection of these two measurements, place your upper point.
  9. Place your clear ruler on a diagonal to connect the two points. Draw in this full diagonal line from the bottom raw edge of the folded panel all the way up to the top raw edge of the folded panel, which means your line extends through your two points. 
  10. Using a rotary cutter if possible for the smoothest slice, cut along the drawn diagonal line.
  11. Open up the panel to reveal your finished piece. 
  12. Use this finished piece as a pattern to cut ONE additional lining panel, TWO panels from your selected print fabric and TWO panels from the batting. 

Now… take a little nap, because that was a lot of math. 

NOTE: The remaining cuts shown below are again based on our sample basket sizes. As long as your baskets are approximately the same size, these cuts should work just fine. If your baskets are smaller or larger by more than about 2”, you may need to adjust the amount of binding needed as well as the size of the pocket panel. A binding guesstimate can be confirmed using your tape measure. A pocket guesstimate is best made by cutting a prototype from paper at our measurements then sizing up or down to fit inside your basket shape. You want the height of the pocket to go from the just above the bottom of the basket to just below of the top rim of the basket. 

Large Basket

  1. Download and print out the Large Base Pattern.
    IMPORTANT: This pattern is ONE 8½" x 11" sheet. You must print the PDF file at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page. There is a guide rule on the page so you can confirm your final printout is to scale.
  2. Cut out the pattern along the solid line.
    NOTE: If your basket is a different size, simply create a circle pattern that is 1” larger all around than the base of your basket. If you are new to creating a circle without a pattern, check out our handy tutorial.
  3. From the remaining print fabric, cut the following: 
    ONE 21” wide x 12” high rectangle for the pocket.
    Using the base pattern, cut ONE on the fold.
  4. From the remaining lining fabric, cut the following:
    ONE 2” x 28” strip for the base binding
    FOUR 2” x 11 strips for side seam allowance binding
    Using the base pattern, cut ONE on the fold. 
    NOTE: We used a Hong Kong finish on our seam allowances. If you prefer a simpler finish, you can skip these binding cuts from the lining.  
  5. From the remaining batting, cut the following:
    ONE 21” x 6” rectangle for the pocket
    Using the base pattern, cut ONE on the fold.
  6. From the accent binding fabric, cut the following:
    TWO 2” x 42” strips for the top binding and ties
    ONE 2” x 21” strip for the pocket binding
    TWO 2” x 12” strips on the bias for the top cut outs

Small Basket

  1. Download and print out the Small Base Pattern.
    IMPORTANT: This pattern is ONE 8½" x 11" sheet. You must print the PDF file at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page. There is a guide rule on the page so you can confirm your final printout is to scale.
  2. Cut out the pattern along the solid line.
  3. From the remaining print fabric, cut the following:
    ONE 19” wide x 10” high rectangle for the pocket.
    Using the base pattern, cut ONE on the fold.
  4. From the remaining lining fabric, cut the following:
    ONE 2” x 25” strip for the base binding
    FOUR 2” x 8½” strips for side seam allowance binding
    Using the base pattern, cut ONE on the fold.
  5. From the remaining batting, cut the following:
    ONE 19” x 5” rectangle for the pocket
    Using the pattern, cut ONE on the fold.
  6. From the accent binding fabric, cut the following:
    TWO 2” x 38” strips for the top binding and ties
    ONE 2” x 19” strip for the pocket binding
    TWO 2” x 12” strips on the bias for the top cut outs

Cutaways

  1. Download and print out the Cutaway Pattern Templates
    IMPORTANT: This template is ONE 8½" x 11" sheet. You must print the PDF file at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page. There is a guide rule on the page so you can confirm your final printout is to scale.
  2. Cut out the template needed (there is one large and one small) along the solid line.
  3. Set aside; you’ll use them below after the quilting steps. 

At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

Layering and quilting the front and back panels

  1. Collect all the main panels: two fronts (print), two backs (solid), and two batting pieces. 
  2. Place the back panels right side up and flat on your work surface. Place the batting panels on top of the backs. The, place the front panels, also right side up, on top of the batting. You’ve created two quilt “sandwiches.” Pin together the layers along the outside edges.
  3. Determine your quilting pattern. We used simple straight line quilting spaced ¾” apart for the small basket. For the large basket, we followed the criss-cross motif of the fabric. 
  4. Secure your layers using your favorite method. You can thread baste through the layers, use safety pins to pin-baste, or since these panels are quite small when compared to a quilt, you can simply use straight pins to secure along the edges and through the center. 
    NOTE: If you’re brand new to quilting, we have a five-part series that covers the basics. 
  5. Thread the machine with thread to best blend with the print fabric in the top and with the lining fabric in the bobbin. We used ivory thread in both. Lengthen the stitch. 
  6. Attach a Walking or Even Feed foot or engage your machine’s fabric feeding system. We used the amazing built-in AcuFeed Flex™ built-in system on our Janome Skyline S7.
  7. If you are quilting along a motif if your fabric, simply do just that, following along the printed design. 
  8. If you’ve chosen straight line quilting, first fold each layered panel in half to find the center. Mark a vertical line through this center point. Pin along this center point. 
  9. Start your quilting along this center line. 
  10. Then, work out to the each side from center. We used the edge of our AcuFeed Flex™ foot to guide our stitching. You could also use a quilt guide bar or draw in lines to follow across the entire panel. 

Cut and bind the top cut-away curves

  1. When the quilting is complete, find the two short bias binding strips, and the appropriate size of Cutaway Template.
  2. Find the center point again along the top of each quilted panel. Then fold the Template in half to confirm its center. Align these two points and pin the template in place at the top center of both the front and back panels. 
  3. Cut out the Template shape from both the front and back panels. 
  4. Fold each binding strip in half and press to set a center crease line. Unfold, wrong side up, so the crease line is visible and fold in each long edge to meet at the center. Press well.
  5. Press in half again along the original crease line
  6. Wrap a bias binding strip over the raw edges of each cutaway, easing around the curve. Pin in place. Trim any excess binding so the raw ends of the binding are flush with the top raw edge of the quilted panel. 
  7. Re-thread the machine with thread to best match the binding in the top and bobbin. Re-set the stitch length to normal. 
  8. Edgestitch the binding in place. Go slowly and carefully to insure you are catching both the front and back of the binding in this one seam.
  9. Set aside the front and back panels. 

Create the remaining binding

  1. Find the two top binding strips and the one shorter pocket binding strip. 
  2. Following the same steps as for the bias binding above, fold each binding strip in half and press to set a center crease line. 
  3. Unfold, wrong side up, so the crease line is visible and fold in each long edge to meet at the center. Press well.
  4. Press in half again along the original crease line

Create the pocket

  1. Find the pocket panel, the coordinating batting panel, and the short length of binding.
  2. Place the pocket panel wrong side up on your work surface. Align the batting panel at the top of the fabric panel. Fold the bottom of the fabric panel up so the fabric panel is now folded in half and the batting in sandwiched between the layers. 
  3. Slip the short length of binding over the top raw edges, capturing all three layers within the binding’s folds. 
  4. Pin the binding in place across the entire pocket panel. 
  5. Edgestitch the binding in place. Go slowly and carefully to insure you are catching both the front and back of the binding in this one seam.
  6. Find one of the quilted panels. Place it front side up (print side up) on your work surface. 
  7. Fold the bound pocket in half, aligning the raw short sides. 
  8. Place the pocket along one side of the main quilted panel. The pocket should sit ¾” up from the bottom raw edge of the panel and the raw sides of the folded pocket should be flush with the raw side edge of the panel. Pin in place.

    NOTE: As mentioned in the introduction, this “pocket” is actually more like a sleeve. It doesn’t have a bottom; it is meant to corral utensils or hold a bottle in place. These items then sit against the bottom of the basket. That means you want the bottom of the pocket (aka sleeve) to sit just above the actual base of the basket. At ¾” from the raw edge, this position accounts for the ½” seam allowance plus just ¼” of clearance – just right. 

Assemble front to back, finish side seams, and secure pocket

  1. With the pocket pinned in place, find the remaining main quilted panel and place it front sides together with the first panel, sandwiching the pocket between the layers. 
  2. Pin along just the one side to which the pocket is pinned. 
  3. Re-thread the machine with thread to best match the main fabric in the top and bobbin. 
  4. Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch this one side seam through all the layers.
  5. Grade the seam allowance, trimming back as much of the batting as possible from between the layers. 
  6. Press the seam flat and finish the raw edges. We used a Hong Kong finish, which is outlined in Part 4 of our four-part machine sewn finishes seriesThis technique requires creating and wrapping binding along each side of the seam allowance.

    NOTE:
    As mentioned above, this is a very professional-looking finish that sits very flat (important because you don’t want a lumpy seam that prevents the lining from laying flat against the basket), and it does of great job of preventing raveling so the liner can be laundered often without worry. You are, of course, free to choose your favorite method of finishing. We do, however, strongly recommend the seam allowance be pressed and finished so it is open and flat. 
  7. With the seam finishing complete, flip the sewn panels so they are front side up and the pocket is visible. 
  8. Flatten the pocket so it is centered on the side seam. The illustration below helps you visualize this flattening. The center front of the pocket should be aligned with the seam so the pocket is even side to side. 
  9. Pin in place down the center of the pocket.
  10. Flip over again so the panels are back side up and stitch the pocket in place, running your stitch in the ditch of the existing side seam. We found it easiest to simply stitch along the entire side seam to insure the pocket from properly secured from the top of its binding to the folded bottom edge.
  11. With the pocket secured, place the front and back panels right sides together again, and stitch and finish the opposite side seam in the same manner. 

Create and inset the base

  1. Make a quilt sandwich with the three base circles as you did above with the main panels: lining, batting, print – with both the lining and the print facing right side out. 
  2. Machine baste around the outer edge, using a ¼” seam allowance. 
  3. With the lining side facing up, find the four quarter points of the circle. 
  4. Find the assembled main panels. This “tube” should be lining side out. Find the four quarter points of the bottom of the tube. Set the base into the tube, aligning the quarter points. Then fill in with pins all around. 
  5. It’s important your base goes in the right way: lining matched to lining and print matched to print. When sewn, the finished seam is what will be visible when looking down into the basket, and the seam allowance will be on the lining side that will sit against the basket.
  6. Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch around the entire perimeter of the base. 

    NOTE:
    If you are new to this techique, take a look at our full tutorial on how to set a flat circle into a tube
  7. Grade the seam allowance, trimming back as much of the batting as possible from between the layers. 
  8. Finish the base seam allowance with your favorite method. We again chose a bound seam, using the remains 2” strip cut from the lining fabric. 
  9. Following the same steps used above to fold the other binding strips, fold this length of binding. 
  10. Wrap the binding around both sides of the seam allowance. We recommend pinning one half of the binding first, trimming the excess at the end, and tucking under the raw end to finish. 
  11. Then wrap the binding around the seam allowance to the opposite side and pin again. 
  12. Edgestitch the binding in place, removing the pins as best you can as you go along. Like all the binding above, go slowly and carefully to insure you are catching both the front and back of the binding in this one seam.
  13. Remember, you are stitching just the binding and the seam allowance. You are not stitching onto the body of the basket at all. 

Top binding 

  1. Find the remaining two long lengths of accent binding. 
  2. Fold each length in half to find its exact center. 
  3. Line up this center point on one length of binding with one of the basket’s side seams. With these points aligned, slip the binding in place over the top raw edges of the panel. Pin in place from the center out to each side until you get to the cutaways. 
  4. At the cutaway, continue to place a few pins along the remaining length of just the binding itself where it extends beyond the fabric panel, creating the free ends of the ties. 
  5. Re-thread the machine with thread to best match the binding in the top and bobbin. 
  6. Starting at one free end, edgestitch along the tie portion…
  7. … across the panel, and out to the end of the opposite portion of the tie. 
  8. Repeat to attach the remaining tie to the opposite side. 
  9. Slip the liner inside the basket and fold the cuff over the top rim. 
  10. Cinch the ties at each side to flatten the cuff against the basket and tie into a pretty bow over each cutaway. 
  11. Trim the ends of the ties to your desired length and either treat these raw ends with a seam sealant (our choice) or tie them into a tiny knot. 

Contributors

Project Design: Alicia Thommas   
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Debbie Guild

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Comments (12)

cori said:
cori's picture

I have 3 baskets that I use for produce, now I can line them and leave them on the kitchen shelf. Thank, love this project.

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:

@ cori - Thank you! Sounds like this is just the solution you need. If you are on Facebook (sew4home) or Instagram (sew4home_diy) we'd love to have you post a picture of your three finishes lovelies!

debbiebanks66@yahoo.ca said:
debbiebanks66@yahoo.ca's picture

I have started to attempt this project and Im a little stumped - I don't know - maybe Im a little brain dead this am..But on the directions for cutting on #12 , shouldn't you be cutting one more lining piece, and 2 from the batting?  Thanks in advance for your help.

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:

@ Debbie - so sorry - you are correct. This step was right in our draft, but somehow was altered in the final. We've changed it back to the original. Thanks for the catch.. there are so many numbers in this one 

Susan Roberts said:
Susan Roberts's picture

These are so adorable!  Not sure I have the sewing expertise to make one, but I'd like to try.  Thank so much for sharing!

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:

@ Susan - Thanks - of course you can do it! We did all the hard parts to figure out the sizing and patterns. Putting it together is quite easy.

Teaberry said:
Teaberry's picture

Thank you so much for this cute pattern and the instructions on how it goes together! I would like to make one for summer but also for the fall season.

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:

@ Teaberry - Thanks! I think you'll find it very easy to put together. Let us know how your fall version turns out. 

KayZee said:
KayZee's picture

Thanks for another great tutorial! I love this project and fabric collection, but it's your step-by-step tutorials I want to rave about! They are always so clearly described and photographed! I always feel as though I could tackle any project you present. Thanks for sharing with us!

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:

@ KayZee - Thanks! So happy you like this project... and all the others . Making the challenging seem like a breeze is our specialty. 

avablondie said:
avablondie's picture

I look forward every day to your tutorials!  Today, I jumped for joy as I saw what it was!  When you featured  Vanessa Goertzen, I was immediately drawn to the picture of the quilted bushel basket cover.  In a recent "dumpster dive"  I aquired a beautiful basket, and had been searching for a tutorial.  I searched your site as well as Vanessa's, and a Google & Pinterest search,  to my dismay found none.  I'm starting this project today.  Thank you so much Sew4 Home!

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:

@avablondie - This was a more complex project that you might think to plan out, but now... it's very easy to make! Let us know how yours turns out. 

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