Add a Handle to Your Basket Quilt BlockChoose a basket handle:
- Cut from the same fabric as the basket and appliqué to the background.
- Fashion a handle from rickrack
- Sew a handle with a decorative stitch
No matter which basket handle method you choose, begin by determining its position on the large background triangle.
- Make a paper template that's a 3-1/2" circle. Mark the midpoint across the circle, and then cut all the way across 1/4" below the mark. (my PDF template file does this for you)
- Center the circle on your unsewn large background triangle as shown. Trace around the circle to mark the position of your handle.
- Cut a 1" x 7" strip (adjust length for the next handle if too long). Bias strips have some stretch and will allow you to curve the handle with ease.
- Fold in half, wrong sides together and stitch about a 1/4" seam. Trim the seam a bit.
- Press, rolling the seam to place it midway between the pressed edges (a bias press bar makes this much easier, but you can open the tube with a bamboo skewer or other similar object and remove it before pressing).
- Placing the seam down, appliqué the strip to the triangle, taking care not to stretch the triangle in the process.
Read the June Block Lotto discussion for ideas about handles.
For a rickrack handle, match a length of rickrack to the marked handle lines and sew to the triangle (illustration). Be sure to extend the ends of a rickrack handle into the seam allowance below them. When basket halves are joined, the seam will stabilize rickrack ends and keep them from fraying.
If you plan to hand-embroider a handle, do it after the block is assembled to keep from stretching the triangle when placing it in a hoop.