And now, for something completely different….

by Sandra Bruce

I am borrowing that wonderful title from one of my favorite Monty Python movies, as my post today is about something new I tried this week. But first, I’m in the homestretch on my latest Matrix quilt, which I’ve been working on since May. I still have a bit to do, hand appliquéing, the binding, etc. but I’m really happy to be almost done. It was on my longarm for a few days and here’s a peek at it. Stay tuned on my social media for more news….Sandra Bruce Creative on Facebook, and my Instagram account as well.img_1332

So, I signed up to attend a pine needle basket class. This is outside my usual craftsy know-how, and ever since I saw a basket made by my friend Kate I kew it was something I’d like to try. She taught a wonderful class, along with her friend Bernadine, who was a lefty like me, thankfully, and a big help. I decided this endeavor was to be a homage to all the pine trees on my property that have to be cut down soon due to the pine beetle that has ravaged our area here in the Sierra Foothills.

The first step was collecting and soaking pine needles to bring. They are soaked and wrapped in paper towels and foil to keep them pliable.img_1349

Starting the basket is the most difficult part and takes some coordination. Pretty soon though you have a nice coil going and it becomes contemplative work. There was a nice group of ladies in the class and we enjoyed comparing the shapes of our baskets as we went along.img_1345

You can see there’s a needle involved…it really is sewing a basket! The yellow thing is a piece of drinking straw and keeps the pine needles in a nice little bundle as you proceed.


Here’s a couple of the ladies’ baskets, coming along nicely.


At a certain point the walls of the basket are begun.You basically keep going until you’re happy with it and are ready to call it done. Here’s my finished bowl, ta-da!img_1347

img_1354One plus of this craft is the supplies do not cost much. There are certainly plenty of pine needles around here, and I will never look at them the same way after taking this class and making a basket. Here’s a few shots of some of Kate and Bernadine’s beautiful baskets they’ve made:img_1359img_1355

Finally, here’s my bowl, with a few sewing items in it. Cute!!!img_1363

I hope I can do this again and try other patterns and use other objects in the basket, such as……..hmmm………how about a polymer clay base?

Happy Fall, I hope you all are getting into the mood to create, whatever your passion may be!





6 thoughts on “And now, for something completely different….

  1. Your basket and the all the others are just beautiful! What a wonderful homage to Native Americans. How nice that you could do this with others in a calm, peaceful atmosphere! Thank you for sharing.

  2. Sandra, this was a delightful walk down memory lane for me. I made many pine needle baskets in college and beyond. My brother still has one of them. They really last!

  3. So beautiful Sandra! I worked on one of these many many years ago but used green needles which were pliable, but soaking must do the trick. Great to learn something new!

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