Detail from "Rain Dance," an original quilt by Sherrie Spangler

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Fall rituals -- bowls

Our 80-something-day streak of sunshine ended abruptly last week, so it's time to settle into the rainy season traditions. For me, that means surrounding myself with my brightest fabric and making coiled fabric bowls for the holiday bazaars.

 This is how it looks today from our back deck. The party's over :(

Here's how I work on the bowls. First I cut a bunch of 1-inch strips, then I wrap them around cheap clothesline from the hardware or dollar store, securing the ends with a touch of a glue stick. (I spend $1.50 a package for polyester or something else fake. It makes a stiffer bowl than the cotton cording in sewing stores.) 

After you've wrapped a few feet of cord, coil a few rounds to make the center of the bowl and straight stitch across it horizontally and vertically to hold it together. Then zigzag the coils together, feeding the covered cord into the machine as in the photo above. When you're ready to start turning up the side, tilt the bowl and overlap the next few rows a little. Make sure you're coiling it in the direction shown for this to work.

You can play with fun handle shapes like this, or just taper the end and do a smooth finish. 

Here comes a fall colored one, but I had to inject a few flashes of this green to keep it light.

 They're starting to pile up, and my neck and shoulders are starting to ache. The red and green ones always sell well for Christmas.

Here's a post showing more bowls from October 2010:

I had to give my aching muscles a break, so I started getting ready for tomorrow's book club. I only have to host once a year, which means panic cleaning. (I basically just clean when I'm having company.) Now my arm muscles are aching.

But the kitchen looks so nice now, with my chunky colorful dishes and mugs and the fall tablecloth. I guess it's worth the achy muscles. My husband is always banned from the kitchen at this point the night before I have a group over. That means we'll have to eat out -- darn!

I even slogged out into the rain to clip a few branches for a quick arrangement. I should do this more often!

Have a colorful fall day


tiedyejudy said...

I love your fabric bowls! I need to try this... actually did a yarn wrapped hand stitched vase several years ago, but I've never tried these using the sewing machine... thanks for the tips! And I hope your achy muscles feel better soon!

Judy Ferguson said...

After thumb surgeries on both hands, I am not able to do the cord wrapping anymore. However I did make one small basket. I love all the great fabrics that you used. They are wonderful.

tiedyejudy said...

Started my first fabric bowl this morning, and I'm loving it! Had a little issue with fabric edges getting stuck on my foot, but have found a way to get around it. The colors I'm using are the autumn range, and they are sooooo yummy! I'm hoping to use it to decorate my table at an upcoming show next Saturday... thanks so much for the tutorial!

Lynda said...

I've been wanting to do this for years! I even bought the clothes line but haven't attempted it YET! Thanks for the push.

Cath said...

These look just wonderful! A great tip to use the firmer polyester rope (and cheaper!). Also love the bright colours and injection of green into your autumn bowl. Really lovely and useable!