Fabric Coil Baskets and Bowls
These fabric coil baskets and bowls are so much fun to make and they have so many uses! Easter baskets, fruit bowls, notions catch-alls, gift baskets, craft storage, toy baskets, and more. If you use washable materials to make them, you can wash your finished projects. I’ve popped mine in both the washing machine and the dishwasher.
The construction starts with cotton or nylon cord. Cotton results in a soft, flexible basket while nylon yields a firmer shape. The size of the cord is up to you, as long as it fits under the presser foot of your sewing machine. My machine can handle cord up to ¼-inch in diameter.
Tear your fabric into strips (about 1-inch wide, maybe a smidge more) or use pre-cut rolls of skinny strips. The indigo bowl pictured is about 4 inches deep and 8 inches wide at the rim; it was made from just ½ yard of cotton fabric. I’ve made some very cool bowls from “what was I thinking” fabric – prints that no longer appeal to me in colors I like. I wouldn’t use them in a quilt, but after tearing into strips and wrapping around cord, the prints are unrecognizable – you see just the great colors.
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There are a number of methods to construct the baskets, with books and videos readily available. I learned to make these in a class with Helen Deighan and use her method. Susan Breier’s method is similar. Wrap the cord with fabric strips, form into a tight coil and secure with stitching. Then place the beginning of your bowl under the needle in the form of a number 9 – this will ensure that your projects grows to the left of the needle where there is plenty of room. Hold each pass of cord tight against the previous one and attach them to each other with a zigzag stitch. Add fabric one strips at a time.
When your base is the size you want, tip it up at an angle and continue to sew. The sides will begin to form at this curve. Keep sewing until your project is as large as you want and cut the cord, leaving a fabric tail of a couple of inches. Then continue spiraling and stitching the fabric, tapering to the end.
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