18 November, 2016

Artsy Fartsy Rope Bowl

 I had fun making this artsy fartsy rope bowl. This bowl took the longest at a little less than two hours - only because it involved a little hand sewing!

Those round curly ques (discs) stayed in my brain from the last bowl  and I went for it on this bowl. I wanted a small fruit bowl for my Thanksgiving table to go with my brand new vintage linen tablecloth. I picked out some purple fabric scraps, some purple shades of thread and started sewing.

I wanted to make those discs and either have them flopping randomly around or...
I put in two and didn't like the contrast thread on the one side so I elected to hand-sew them down.

I used small scraps of fabric  - about four inches long by one inch wide. Between organically thinking when to add a fabric scrap and when to add a disc, I was pretty engrossed. I guess I could have done a normal flat-side bowl and then sewn the discs and attached them later, but I am loving the totally organically placed 3-D discs and the whole vibe of this bowl.

I think if I were to sew the discs separately, there would be a temptation to place them evenly  and it wouldn't be as awesome.

I used Ace Hardware's 7/32" thick clothesline. It's got a braided cotton outer surrounding a polyester core. I used a size 14 sewing needle with zero problems. I also cleaned out two more spools of thread as well as five bobbins on this bowl.

This is the same clothesline that Pencil Girl uses to hand-dye rope for me.

This is how I worked the bowl. I used a neutral thread  on the top and colored threads in my bobbin. The great thing about these bowls is you don't really notice the stitching and they are seriously forgiving if you wander off. All I see above is the random color fabric stripes.

I also wanted a shallow bowl. Once I reached 4 inches in diameter on the circle, I tilted it as straight up against my machine as I could for about 10-15 rows. Then I let it drop a bit to make the sides be wider. If you tilt it straight up and over your machine you get straighter sides. At the end I was actually tugging it down to get those sides to widen out.

Once I decided to finish with an extra large disc, I threaded a sewing needle and hand-tacked the discs down flat. Easy peasy.

You could make a dog dish out of this. The discs really show off here.
I definitely had a preference for the discs to be inside the bowl although that was not in my dream design. I find these very freeing. And, like I've mentioned before, very satisfying to be able to finish something stunning so quickly.

I have a trick to get the wrinkles out of tablecloths. No ironing either. Wash/Rinse your cloth and let drain in washer until it's damp. Spread over your table how you like it centered overnight. A little dampness won't hurt your wood table and the cloth dries beautifully with no creases.  If you can wring water out of your cloth, it's too wet and you might damage your wood. Damp.

***To change subjects -- are you tired of these rope bowls yet?Here's a video of Canby, shot by a local resident with a drone camera.
Titled Ode To Canby
by Josh Lee Kwai
Shot October 24, 2016

It starts off with the school fields, Wait Park, Willamette River, Fairgrounds, Canby Cougars (High school sports teams), High School, Flower Farmer Train, Dahlias (Swan Island), Ferry across the Willamette River.


  1. I like the blue and white side. Those curly ques are just so nifty!

  2. Love the new bowl! Thanks for posting that neat video.. I was wondering if you took the videos from your plane! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  3. I never get tired of your rope bowls. Each one is so unique! Let me know your choice of colors for your next dyed rope. I am going to try some persimmons the next time I am at the store!

  4. Love the drone film. We have Heathrow airport one side of us and windsor castle the other side - both get a bit twitchy with drones in the air!!!! I could only get sash cording locally, but the man in the shop is going to look out for cotton washing line for me - the sash cord doesn't like sewing machine needles ! Loving your bowls

  5. Very pretty - you manage to make each one look different and fun - you must have a blast making them!

  6. You know-your bowls are just awesome. I agree...each one looks a bit different. Awesome talent!

  7. those little bowls are so cute!


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