Ingrid Quick places strips of reed onto the bottom of a basket handle and begins weaving other strips of reed in and out of them. The process goes on for a while.
When she gets tired of weaving the basket, she turns to her other passion — decorating eggs.
The 79-year-old makes all kinds of baskets and decorates eggs for the Easter season.
She started weaving baskets about 15 years ago when she took lessons at Herman Park Center.
“I thought it would be interesting,” Quick said.
She has also gone to several basket-weaving conventions and even joined the local Goldweavers group.
Quick has honed the craft enough that now she can make up her own basket pattern.
“My technique has changed over the years with more experience, but I’m still a slow weaver, that hasn’t changed,” she said. “I’ve learned a few tricks to help make it all easier.”
The first basket she ever made — a market basket — hangs in her workshop at home.
“One unusual one I made was called ‘almost melted’ and looked like something that had started to melt,” Quick said. It sits in her youngest daughter’s home.
Quick said that every basket is different; even if she uses the same pattern, it will still be different in some way.
“I like bright-colored baskets because they’re more Eastery,” she said. “And for Easter, I like the round or square ones and ones that are not too big. If you think of a little child carrying them, they can’t be too big. And I think it definitely has to have a handle for little ones so they wouldn’t have to put the basket down to hunt Easter eggs.”
Quick has made more Easter baskets than she can count.
“I made an Easter basket for my youngest daughter, and after so many years, I passed it on to my granddaughter,” she said. “She’s outgrown it because she’s almost 21 now. So I sent it to my great-niece in California. I glued half a wooden egg on the outside, along with other different things to decorate it.”
She said it makes her feel good to give someone a gift of one of her baskets.
“I feel like I’ve given part of me,” Quick said. “Anybody can go out to the store and buy something, but when you take the time to make something and give somebody something you’ve created, to me, it’s more meaningful.”
Although weaving baskets is sometimes frustrating, it’s also relaxing for Quick.
“Most of the time, I just feel happy doing it,” she said. “Any time I’m creating something, it makes me happy. I get enjoyment out of it. And most of the time, I try to challenge myself to take on things that look very difficult.”
Quick began painting eggs for Easter last year. She had some plastic ones lying around and thought they would make pretty table decorations if she painted them.
“I’ve got my kitchen counter full of jars of paint,” she said. “I can’t really cook in my kitchen because it’s a paint shop.
“In the evenings when I’m at home, I just walk in the kitchen and play with the eggs, paint on them a little bit, let them dry, go back and paint a little more.”
After painting some, Quick decided to try some different decorating techniques. On some of the eggs, she glued small crochet yarn in a pattern.
“I cut off a piece of yarn, dip it in glue and wipe the excess off, then make a design on the egg,” she said. “After it dries, I just paint the little squares and areas.”
On other eggs, she has glued handmade colored paper. She really likes the way those eggs turned out.
Recently, Quick found some papier mache eggs, which don’t have seams like the plastic ones do.
She said right now she probably has three or four dozen decorated Easter eggs done.
“I like the ones with the stripes on them,” Quick said. “Some I put a solid color on then painted a design on, and I like the way those turned out, too
“I found some little eggs this year. I’d never seen little ones like this before. I call those my Bantam eggs.”
Quick decorates large, medium and small eggs with whatever design comes to mind at the time. As a special touch, she puts a little sparkle on them, too.
“I don’t think you can decorate an egg in any wrong way,” she said. “You decorate to whatever your taste is.”
And Quick’s eggs won’t crack; they just bounce off the floor.
“When decorating eggs, it makes me laugh sometimes because I think this one or that one really looks funny and I need to do something else to it,” she said. “But how can you not be happy when you look at all those bright colors on the eggs?”
Quick said weaving baskets and decorating eggs for Easter keeps her sane.
“I’ve had some big losses in the last few years and that could get me down,” she said. “But instead, it just keeps me upbeat doing baskets and eggs. Creating something helps replace a loss. You can’t totally replace it, but it helps.”