Update on this: after the meeting at Penny's last week, I went home and tried adapting Charis's paint methodology to the fabric base. The base, as we discussed, might be a previously done piece that we no longer wanted to keep. For the reverse side, I just sewed together some similarly colored blocks that I'd done some time back and now had no use for. It ended up being a piece about 14 inches square. I lay the blocks on the back of the finished piece and then just free-motioned it all together, very densely. (i didn't use any fusible and the original piece had some quilting and batting+front+back).
Then i painted both sides with slightly thinned white acrylic paint. I didn't have house paint at hand. After it dried, I put some red metallic shiva stick on it, in no particular manner: just to bring out the stitching here and there with some red shininess.
Next, I cut the square up into the pieces to make the basket (i can tell you how that's shaped if anyone is interested) and sewed the three pieces together and, Voila! Here's the photo. (again, it's about 10 inches wide and 5 inches high and 3 inches deep.
The red flower was just something hanging around and it's just pinned to it. I liked the 'ears' standing up this way, although previously i have fastened them down in a loop with rivets. If i decide to keep the flower, i'll probably velcro it on.