Fraser Valley Quilters' Guild
May 2006

                         

©D.E.Snow

A long rectangular 12 ½" by 5 ½" unfinished May Basket .

In England, in the countryside, it was customary to make a cone basket and fill it with May flowers on "May Day" The young woman might also have washed her face with dew and on her arrival home find a cone basket of spring flowers on the door knob or the fence post from an admirer. Spring was a magical time of hope and promise.

On "Mothering Sunday," the same style of container might be used to thank a Mother for her love and care. Sometimes the basket was made early and filled on the way to church, where in some parishes, the children took them to the alter to be blessed and at the end of the service presented them to their mother.

As an English derived kid, an aunt taught me to make a cone, to add a ribbon for the handle and then fill the cone with wild flowers in the spring. I balked at washing my face with dew as I knew that the slugs and snails had already left their slime in the early moments of morning, but I made myself a May Queen Crown of the "Grass Daisies". Some things are simply necessary for a May Day Celebration. This was part of my family mythology, long before May Day was a parade of war machines or tainted with the dark side.

Enjoy making a May Basket, and maybe you will have a special collection to build into a Spring Quilt. Ethel Snow.

Fabrics needed:

A basket fabric 7 ½" long by 5 ½" wide, a spring background fabric , a 16" - 18" length of a fine ribbon for the handle, scraps of fabric for the flowers and leaves, embroidery threads to couch down the ribbon handle.

Cut:

1 - 5 ½" by 5 ½" piece of background.

1 - 5 ½ "by 7 ½" long piece of basket fabric.

2 - 3 ½" by 8" long strips of background for the basket background portion of the block.

Draw the foundation basket pattern as follows:

Draw a rectangle 5" wide and 7" long. At the bottom of the rectangle mark at the 2 ½" point. Join this  point with two lines to the top two corners 3/4" in from the left and right top edge -  making the cone of the basket. At the top also mark in 1" from both left and right. These are "A" and "B" for your ribbon placement. Now add a ¼" seam allowance all around the 5" by 7" rectangle. This is your foundation basket form.

To make:

Rough cut the cone foundation pattern out. Pin the cone fabric to the back Add the two background sides to the cone, using the 2 - 3 ½" by 8" strips. To keep the edges on grain, test fit for the triangle backgrounds and pin into place. Sew, press and trim out the seam. Re -trim to make the cone a 5 ½" wide by 7 ½" long rectangle. Pin the 12" ribbon at point "A" and "B" so that the ribbon right sides face the basket right sides. Now add the pre cut 5 ½" by 5 ½" background, placing it face to face with the cone with the ribbon sandwiching between. Sew across, joining the top to the basket and remembering to back stitch at each side. Pull off the paper.

Press the seam allowance to the cone and tie a two loop bow or cut the ribbon and tie a bow. Couch the ribbon down with French knots, cross stitching or a simple running stitch.

Now you need to add the flowers. Make your shapes and appliqué in your favourite way. You may add stitched down wonder under printed flowers, appliqué flowers, primitive flowers, yo yo flowers, folded flowers, button flowers and a leaf or three.

Enjoy. Ethel

 
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