This past week at my quilting group, our friend Margie Binker was kind enough to show us how to make these wonderful fabric baskets. The previous time we had gotten together to "do our own thing," Margie was sewing baskets, and we all wanted to learn, so she taught us how.
This basket is what I ended up with! I'm actually quite pleased with it. And it was super-fun to make.
It starts out with regular old clothesline
rope, available in lots of hardware stores, and probably craft stores, too. This was on our materials list for this "mini-workshop," along with cotton fabric cut into 3/4" strips. Those are the only basic materials.
There is a certain knack to beginning the basket, to start wrapping the fabric around the clothesline, but after a couple tries, I got it!
Then we formed a little coil with the fabric-covered cord, and began zig-zagging it together to shape the basket.
I forgot to take photos at the very beginning, but the photo above shows my basket as I'm sewing the fabric-wrapped cord to the previous cord in order to form my basket. I have already started to form the bowl shape by just supporting the basket with my left hand as I sew on the next cord.
Here is a closer photo. It shows how I had the presser foot centered right between the two cords, so that the needle would catch parts of each cord as it went left to right. We used the stretch zig-zag, which has three little stitches to the left, then three little stitches to the right. That holds the cords together real well.
These are some of the baskets that Margie has made and brought to show us. One of them even has a lid on it! And she encouraged us to embellish our baskets with anything: buttons, beads, shells, fabric flowers, whatever...
This photo shows her wonderful storage bin overflowing with 3/4" strips of fabric!
The great thing about this craft is that you can use "ugly" fabric. Now I know that ugly fabric is a relative term. Fabric that my friend turns her nose up at, I absolutely love. But if you have a piece of fabric that just doesn't float your boat anymore, it would probably be a great candidate for cutting into strips and making a basket.
I had recently acquired a piece of fabric at a Quilt Guild party, which I didn't particularly like; the print just was not anything that I would want to use. So I cut it into strips. At 3/4" wide not much of that offending print was recognizable!
And from that unwanted print came a basket that I really like! I added a couple of other fabrics that coordinated with my main fabric, to add some stripes.
I think I will add some fabric flowers to my bowl.
The possibilities stretch out before me endlessly! Christmas bowls, Halloween bowls, boy bowls and girl bowls, gift bowls to go with different decors, baskets to hold things (like maybe more fabric!?!). I wonderful if I could sew one completely flat mat, without curving it into a bowl, and make it big enough to be a rug. What do you think?