• Quilted & Woven

Coiled Rope Bowl with Jelly Roll Accents

Today was a good day for sewing (but when isn't it?). I picked out a few bright colors from a leftover jelly roll and decided to make a coiled rope bowl with a splash of color. I wanted to make a white bowl but randomly add bright pieces of fabric throughout. Here's what I did:

I knew I wanted a white bowl with some bright colors - but the possibilities here are endless. You could make a black bowl with pieces of white fabric randomly placed or a natural rope bowl without any fabric and add color with your thread. There are so many color combinations you could use.

First, choose the color rope you want to use and then the thread. I chose white thread so it would blend with the clothesline rope I was using but you could use a brightly colored thread to match with your fabric pieces if you wanted more color.

Once you have your materials ready, it's time to start coiling. Getting the coiled ropes tight enough to start sewing is probably the most challenging part. The key is to pin it on all sides then you can begin to sew a zig zag stitch. From there it becomes much easier.

This picture shows the bottom of the bowl where the first rotation of the rope starts. The fabric gets wrapped around as you sew and turn, sew and turn. Make sure you have a wide enough zig zag to go across both sides and keep the center of your pressure foot in between the two pieces of clothesline.

It isn't necessary but we chose to enclose both edges of the fabric so that the frayed edge is inside, it's just a matter of preference. You could choose to keep the frayed edge on the outside and give your bowl a scrappier look. Keeping the frayed edges on the inside gives the bowl clean lines and feels a little more modern than a frayed bowl. But, again, both ways are great - it's just a matter of deciding what type of look you're going for.

Keep rotating the base of your bowl gently and keep the rope close to the finished piece but you'll need to decide how big you want the base of the bowl so you can start the upward motion. Once your base is the right size, lift up the base and continue sewing a smooth zig zag - the sides will begin to define itself.

When you're ready to add more color, then wrap the fabric and sew and turn. Get creative and enjoy the process.

The sides are taking shape now. If you wanted an angled basket, you would tip it slightly at this point - not straight up.

Here our base wasn't completely flat (it happens) but it does flatten out in the end. To finish the bowl, just make your final coil and sew it to the bowl. And, that's it. These bowls make great handmade gifts or are perfect to hold more fabric scraps (we love scraps!), pieces of yarn, or thread.

Just to show a variation, we also made a bowl with a white center on the bottom whereas the other had a fabric center on the bottom. On this bowl we also had to create a support foundation (I stacked up books next to my sewing machine for the bowl to rest on) for the base so it started flatter than the other bowl.

Enjoy your bowl and happy sewing!

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