Bowled Over!

September 1, 2008 at 12:04 pm 13 comments

I’ve been having the best time with Susan Brier’s book, It’s A Wrap. My copy is pretty well beat up, a sure sign that it’s a great book.

What a concept! You take cotton clothesline and wrap strips of fabric around it, then zigzag them on the machine. They are so cool! People go nuts over them, and once you get the hang of it, they’re easy to make.

Susan’s instructions are terrific and the photographs are spectacular. Plus, you can use your scraps. I put together some teals, greens, oranges, and yellows for my first set.

I started small, and then went smaller. The bowl on the right is holding my 6″ Omnigrid little ruler, so you know it might be big enough to hold about an apple and a half. The one on the left is smaller still. I was holding back, trying not to use up all my clothesline so I could save room for my third attempt at fabric bowlery.

I’m always forgetting where I plop my keys when I come into the house. I wanted to throw them on the bench, but they slid off the cushion and I was a fraid of scratching up the wood part, so this fabric bowl was perfect. I would like to say that the amorphous shape was intentional, but alas, I running before I leanred to walk. (Story of my life.)

This last project from my first package of clothesline was constructed in two parts, a cylinder coiled and stitched around the free arm of my Bernina, and a coaster made to fit its bottom perfectly (I am so impressed with myself). The coaster was hand stitched on.

I have not had more than an hour to do the stitching, but I have had gobs of time in the car on the way to and from seeing Jennie to wrap about 500 yards of clotheline.

I even invented a PowerWrapper which cuts the wrapping time in half. And I discovered I much prefer using bias strips instead of straight cuts. Both work, but I am nothing if not opinionated.

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It’s A Dog’s Life But First A Bath

13 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Alice Luchini  |  September 1, 2008 at 6:38 pm

    Love your bowls. I made a purse on my first attempt and had a ball. Then I learned that one of my Bernina feet is perfect for sewing down the middle of the cords so I’ll use that on my next project.


  • 2. Donna M.  |  September 1, 2008 at 7:20 pm

    Aren’t these fabric bowls fun? I featured one on my blog back in January. I am intrigued about the powerwrapping technique because the book and the class that I took talked about wrapping just a bit at a time while sewing.


  • 3. Ellen  |  September 1, 2008 at 10:40 pm

    which bernina foot would be the perfect one for this project?


  • 4. Tunie Moreno  |  September 1, 2008 at 11:19 pm

    15 years ago I made some placemats that I’m still using. I used strips of bias from many scraps and I don’t wrap ahead other than a few inches at a time while zigzagging the cording together. I have also used string to wrap and make very small baskets.

    These can be put in the washing machine and after several washings even in the dryer. The first few times I did find it easier to just let them air dry after flattening on a counter.

    I even edged the top of a few with leftovers from my rag fur jacket. Those baskets are my favorites.


  • 5. Daphne Stewart  |  September 2, 2008 at 10:04 am

    When you’re spending gobs of time in the car and wrapping 500 yards of clothesline on a go-see-Jennie trip, you’re NOT doing the driving, right? And Madison’s not driving either, I hope. Must be that other fine feller that lives with you two …


  • 6. Kathy Treece  |  September 2, 2008 at 2:16 pm

    So, I already have the book–bought it in Paducah. But I’d love to know that trick with the hoop for making the wrapping easier! Please…


  • 7. Rita  |  September 2, 2008 at 3:09 pm

    I have been doing this technique for years. I learned it from a PBS show from a lady whose name I can no longer remember. So, I was excited when the book came out. I purchased it right away and love all the new techniques.

    I too would like to purchase the power wrapper instructions and bias cutting instructions.

    Can you help us out, Ami? Thanks


  • 8. Anne  |  September 2, 2008 at 4:40 pm

    I also would like to know which Bernina foot is best! Thank you.


  • 9. Alice Luchini  |  September 2, 2008 at 10:56 pm

    The Bernina foot that works beautifully with this technique (according to my dealer) is the #60 C foot. I believe it’s called the double cord foot, but I’m not sure. I use a newer Bernina and do not know if there is a comparable foot for the older machines, but I’m sure a more knowledgeable Bernina user would know. I’m looking forward to trying this when my machine returns home. I’ve looked at the foot and believe the clothesline cords will fit perfectly into the foot’s grooves.



  • 10. Elaine  |  September 3, 2008 at 8:45 pm

    You mention a Bernina foot to use for sewing the basket. I have a Janome machine, any suggestions for a foot to use?


  • 11. Pam Frederick  |  April 2, 2009 at 6:02 pm

    Great bowls. I recently found this great project idea and having been making bowls right and left—–7 just this week with matching coasters for some! I have subscribed to your blog and am looking forward to reading it regularly. By the way, CAN I PAY FOR THE BIAS CUTTING INFO AND POWERWRAPPER INSTRUCTIONS WITH PAYPAL? Please let me know. THANKS!


  • 12. Lynda Thompson  |  August 19, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    I make these also but I do not “wrap.” Instead I take strips of at least 1.25″ wide and put the cord inside the strip and sew to the right side of the cord using my cord sewing machine foot. I just add a piece on to the previous strip and continue. I trim the fabric down to outside the seam. It is faster and I believe it takes less fabric. I use variegated thread to stitch the cording down as I make the purse. I use strip scraps.


  • 13. kuby2u  |  November 3, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    I just got the 59C foot and I’m so excited. I’m going to be blogging about my bowl making experience as soon as I’m finished. I made a large bowl with a Pfaff a few years ago, I hope this comes out better.



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