Saturday, October 6, 2012

Too Many Bowls

 Many years ago, a very creative friend named Mary Ann, attended a quilt club meeting and demonstrated to the group how we could take ordinary cotton clothesline and transform it into beautiful and functional bowls.  She hauled in her sewing machine and explained that she would sit at her machine and wrap the little strips of scrap fabric around the clothes line when her TV shows were on, and then sew the clothesline together during the commercials.  I thought the concept was unique and looked like fun, but didn't jump into making them until several years later.  But once I jumped in, 
it was with both feet and after I finished that first bowl, I was hooked!

I have made several over the years, mostly to turn into gift baskets for Christmas or to donate to a Chinese Auction. I just tuck in a mug or 2, add a few coasters, hot chocolate, cookies, maybe coordinating napkins, and Viola! 
A hand crafted, made with love, one of a kind gift.

This was a Christmas raffle exchange a few years ago at the quilt club. Pam won this bowl. 

I took a bowl to Show & Tell at the quilt club, and the club ladies asked me to teach them. I got to turn a whole new group on to this contagious technique! 

 This is one of the largest bowls I've made. I just used scraps from my quilting scrap bag. (Quilters always have lots of scraps. We can't throw anything away!) You have to use strips that are about 1/2" wide and about 12" long.  But really, as long as you can wind it around the clothesline, it will work. A little dab of a glue stick on each end of the fabric to hold it down, and you can sit and wrap away a whole evening of your favorite TV shows. I guess I got carried away...

Bandit even wanted to help!

  In case you've never made one, after you wrap the clothesline, you coil it and sew it together with a zigzag stitch. In order to get the sides to go up, you hold the coil up against the machine and keep sewing around the coil. Eventually, you get sides.

My sewing room is crowded enough without adding bowls to the mix.

 After a while, the clothesline bowls started stacking up in my sewing room. I had to either stop making them, or come up with something to do with what I already had.

I put them on the table to take inventory.
What to do with all these bowls...  I decided to take them to a craft fair and see if I could sell them. It sounded like a good idea at the time, but it was an outdoor fair and you guessed it, it rained. 
Needless to say, I only sold one item, a little Mug Rug.

Some specifics on certain bowls:

Thanksgiving centerpiece maybe?

Mug Rugs, sets of 4 - the green & purple one sold at the fair.

2pc Bowl with lid
This one was made by wrapping the clothesline with white muslin and then dying 
the finished project. Not sure the technique is worthy of another attempt 
as it was supposed to be red, but the final product, with the beaded fringe attached, 
did turn out pretty.

Tote Bag
The tote bag was made without wrapping the clothesline. It's just dyed cotton clothesline shaped into a tote. See the difference in the colors? The tote and bowl were dyed in the same red bath, but they absorbed the color differently.

Bright and Cheery!
 This one was made using only one fabric, cut into strips. It was not my favorite pattern (or color) as yardage, but it turned out pretty nice as a bowl. Or what about using it to hold a plant? Violets maybe?

I decided that this red, white and blue one was just a little too "bright". I thought I could tea-dye it to tone it down. Maybe I didn't let it soak long enough. I really couldn't tell the difference in the before and after.

Kool-Aid bowls
I used cherry Kool-Aid to dye this batch of clothesline.  I wanted to try the crochet edging and you can't do that with fabric wrapped line. I'm afraid it would unravel without the stitching to hold it together.

So there you have it, I have a lot of clothesline bowls. I guess I'll have to make up some gift bowls for the holidays and surprise a few people.  If you get one, act surprised!

It would have been nice to sell them, but quilters already know that most of their items will be given away. That's just a fact, and the way we are. (And even though these aren't "quilted", the same stands true for bowls I guess. )

I personally would rather know that someone loved my bowl enough to put it out on their table or shelf, than know that I made money selling it.

Have fun BOWLING!

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