Take a look at the fabric bowls by Kirsten Fisher – they are amazing. Her newest book Round Fabric Art Bowls has step-by-step directions and templates for six (6) variations of the basic bowl. When we chatted she suggested I make one of the versions and share my experience in an article.
This is a book you’ll want to add to your personal library. Kirsten includes full size templates for all six fabric bowl designs and includes many great tips and tricks including how to select fabrics and fussy cut them for amazing designs.
Where to begin? Start by looking through her book at all of the delightful bowls Kirsten has made, I had so many ideas for fabric choices. There will be more bowls in my future! She suggested I start with Bowl Version 2 in her book, as it is a basic design. Each of the bowls is made with heavy weight double sided fusible interfacing, like Timtex or Pelltex II. The bowls are constructed in two layers, the outside layer and the inside layer. For the version I made there is a binding around the edge.
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Tips for Making a Fabric Bowl
A few things I learned making the fabric bowl.
Wonder Clips or binder clips are really important to hold the layers together and in place. With two layers of double sided heavy weight fusible interfacing, pins just don’t work.
Add a mark on your template for grainline of the fabric for the pieces. This keeps the fabrics all in the same position around the inside of the bowl.
In her book, Kirsten talks about adding a second circle of interfacing inside the base of the bowl. I will do that next time. The bowl could use a little more support on the bottom.
How can I use my new fabric bowl?
These bowls are not intended for use with food items. I love to collect my projects in bowls to have them tidy in my living room. Here I’ve put some yarn I’m using on some projects in this bowl. This 16-inch diameter bowl is perfect for projects that have bigger and bulkier items.
Other ideas for using the fabric bowl in your home include use the bowl in your home office to gather pens, pencils, post-it notes and other small items. Use a bowl to gather small toys, like Matchbox cars. Collect hair accessories in a custom-made bowl! The ideas are endless!
What materials do I need to make a round fabric bowl?
You’ll need fabric for the outside, inside and binding. You can use all one fabric, or three fabrics – you be the designer! Double sided fusible heavy weight interfacing, such as Timtex or Peltex is needed to give the bowl structure. If you sew, you probably have everything else in your creative space! You’ll need thread, sewing machine, iron, ironing board or pressing station, Wonder clips or binder clips and a rotary cutter (and mat).
What type of fabric is best for making fabric bowls?
Cotton quilting fabrics are perfect for making bowls. Quilting cottons work well with the fusible web and if they get a little dirty, they can be cleaned up!
Do I need any special tools to make this project?
If you do much sewing, you probably have all of the tools in your creative space! You need a sewing machine, iron and pressing station, teflon sheet for pressing, rotary cutter and mat.
What is the purpose of using the interfacing in the bowl?
The interfacing gives the bowl its structure. Without it, the bowl wouldn’t stand up on its own. With this method by Kirsten, there are two layers of the heavy duty interfacing making the bowl nice and sturdy!
Can I use scrap fabric for making a fabric bowl?
Yes! Sew scraps together to make a 20-inch square for the outside of the bowl. Then sew pieces large enough for the inside wedges. This would be a terrific scrap-busting project!
Can I personalize or embellish the fabric bowl?
Yes! Personalize the bowl with embroidery! Do this before fusing to the interfacing. Stitching through all of the layers after fusing would be difficult (it can be done!).
Another idea is to stitch through the fabric and interfacing when they are fused together but before they are sewn together. You can add a quilting design, use a decorative stitch on your machine or use a machine embroidery design.
Add embellishments like couching yarns, or sewing fancy ribbons to the pieces before stitching.
Have fun and make the bowl your own!
Here are more images of the finished fabric bowl.