Tidy not Tangled: Hillarys Blinds Competiton

Happy Mothers’ Day for this weekend!  I am late linking up to Handmade Monday as I was enjoying myself too much on Sunday to do the link up!

Do untidy baskets and bags of yarn get you down as much as they do me?  I have been so fed up of having to sort out and untangle my balls of yarn everytime I start to crochet I have been trying to design a storage method which would allow me to have several colours on the go at once but keep them all separate, tidy,  NOT TANGLED!  Soooo much time spent untangling instead of creating does not make for a stress free enjoyable hobby!

So when I read about the Hillary’s Blinds Country Crafts Competition for bloggers to design something using some of their fabric I had an idea! The fabric I chose (from a choice of 4) was Calluna Amethyst, a beautiful upholstery weight fabric with a cream background with splodges of amethyst, emerald, gold and ruby, very pretty and so much my type of colours!  The free sample was 39×39 inches and the design was up to the blogger!  Exciting!



In my craft room I have a purple open weave plastic basket for keeping fabric bits in. If I put my yarn in this I could feed the ends of each ball through a hole and tie them to the side to keep each one tidy!  Only one disadvantage – not very pretty for the living room – but this is where the Hillary’s fabric came in!  A pretty cover for a yarn storage basket!


So how do you make it?

First you need to measure the height and circumference of your basket or box, or whatever you are covering and cut a rectangle accordingly – ie the size in height and length plus a couple of inches for hemming and seaming.

Now turn down one of the long edges half an inch and iron it flat, then turn this down again half an inch and pin in place.  Sew this to make a neat hemmed top edge. You can see in the picture I have aligned my 1/4 inch foot with the left side of the hem instead of the usual right side, this is to ensure I capture the turned under fabric as I sew!


Now fold your rectangle right sides together and check if the piece needs trimming to neaten it up and if so do this now before sewing up the side seams.

Now you have a circular tube of fabric which you put your basket into – this bit is quite fiddly but keep going till you have the cover round the basket up to the top row of holes. If you find the fabric is too small just unpick the side seam and add in a contrasting panel – no-one will know it wasn’t part of your original design!

Now you make some ties to keep the cover in place!  Take your cover off again. I used some grosgrain ribbon from my stash but bias binding would be good, or you could make some ties from the remaining fabric.  Anyway, cut 4 lengths of your ties, each 12 inches long.  Fold each in half and pin to the top edge of the cover with the folded end about half an inch down and the two ends pointing straight upwards.  The four should be equally space round the top.



Start by putting the first one over the side seam and then place the others accordingly. Sew over each a couple of times to secure in place.  At this point you can also hem the bottom edge or you could simply fold it under the basket and pin it in place or glue it in place – depends how quickly you want your basket to use!

Now you can replace your cover and secure the ties to the top row of holes.


So far so good!  I decided to make a loose cover for the top of my basket,  so if you do too you, go ahead!   Put your chosen fabric right sides together and draw on it a circle the same size as the circumference of the basket.   Cut this out and then cut out one of fusible interfacing or ordinary interlining as well.  Either iron on the interfacing or pin the interlining to one of the wrong sides of your circles.



You should now have the fabric still right sides together but one has interfacing on the back making a third top circle.  Sew the round the circumference of the three circles using a 1/4 inch machine foot aligned to the right hand edge of the top circle. Leave a gap of 4 inches for turning to the right side. Snip into the seam allowance round the circle being careful not to cut the stitch line.


Turn right sides  out and turn under the fabric in the gap and pin it so the the circle is now complete.


You can now just hand sew the  gap together and have the top as it is or you could quilt it.  You can get quite a nice effect even with an ordinary machine foot.  Although I have a walking foot and a free motion foot I have finished my top cover off with the normal foot to show you how it can be done.  Put the needle into the centre of your top circle and start to sew forward and round, guiding the fabric with both hands so that it turns as you sew  to make concentric circles,  spreading out from the middle to the very edge where  you take in the pinned gap area and so close it up.










All that remains now is to choose your yarn balls and put them into your basket with the end of each going through a different hole in the side and tied to the top.  Do not tie up the colour you are working with, just poke this through a hole and up to your work area. Every time  you need to change colour just tie up the one you are working with and untie one of the others!  You now have a  pretty and very practical basket and no more tangled yarn!!


wool in basket