Closeups (baskets)

I love baskets and have included all kinds in my artwork since the beginning, like this Easter basket crayon drawing from my childhood.

crayon drawing, age 7

The elephant mother in my first picture book, The Way Home (1991), needed a way to carry bananas, so I made tiny (1/2″) wire baskets, wound in embroidery floss. Read my story about the making of The Way Home here.


Here is Mary, from Mary Had a Little Lamb, holding a basket of clay strawberries. This basket is also made with thread wrapped wire, but a little bigger at 1 1/4″. Real stones are glued in the garden.


This egg basket appears in Pocketful of Posies, in the illustration for the rhyme, Higgety, pickety, my black hen. It’s made by coiling and wrapping wire with embroidery floss. You can see glimpses of the green florist wire through the thread. I can’t for the life of me remember how I did the pattern on the top and bottom.  The original is about 2 inches long and filled with 1/2 inch wooden eggs.


Also from Pocketful of Posies, Daffy Down Dilly’s 3/4″ basket is made the same way.


This detail from Jerry Hall is enlarged quite a bit, with the original basket being less than 1″.


13 thoughts on “Closeups (baskets)

  1. Your attention to detail is just amazing, Salley. A friend gave me a copy of A Pocket Full of Posies recently and I’ve enjoyed it so much! I love reading your blog and learning some of your methods!!

  2. I second Carolyn’s suggestion! The embroidery work on the tiniest baskets is just lovely. And I particularly liked seeing your early drawing of the Easter basket…reminds me of some art work that my dad saved for me. Wonderful to see how you began your love of baskets!

  3. Hi Salley! I just found your blog via Feeling Stitchy and I was SO HAPPY! I have been a fan of your work for years but I did not know about your blog and your new book. Mine is on it’s way, but in the meantime I enjoyed every post on your blog and am so intrigued by your process. Thank you very much for sharing!

  4. Dear Sally, Your crafts and designs are amazing!! I saw this in a passing tweet and would just like to say – Happy belated easter and thanks for sharing your lovely work! OMG! Heart it!!!!

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