Saturday, October 5, 2013

Scrap Happy Baskets and More!

My fabric bowl projects - bowls #1 to #5! 
     Well,  I had some unexpected days off of work this week, and decided to finish a long overdue project - making a new cover for my ironing board.   I have had my ironing board since college.  Why buy a new one, when the old one is perfectly fine?  But it wasn't.  I needed a new cover, but when I took off the padding - ick!  The metal had gotten all rusty.   I didn't even want to take a photo of the rustiness, but my husband, normally put to work holding quilts, sanded and spray painted the metal so it was like new!

Newly painted iron board base!
      I have made many curtains and window treatments over the years, and took apart some old kitchen curtains that no longer matched in the kitchen, but I just loved the fabric.
The great yellow happy fabric!
I had to piece together the curtain pieces to fit the large ironing board cover.

I used three layers of batting left over from quilts to go under the cover.  I just put the old board on top of the batting, drew a line around it, and cut it out.  I later added elastic to the batting to keep it taut. 

Voila, the newly recovered ironing board!  There is still a little too much give in the cover underneath, but that doesn't appear to affect the usefulness of the cover.
     I still had time off, and leftover fabric!   I have wanted to try my hand at making fabric covered bowls.  I checked out some internet sites, and without too much ado, just jumped into the project.
Fabric strips and clothesline.
     The first attempt was predictably lame.  I cut the fabric strips too wide, and used a non-cotton clothesline.  I also didn't make much of a base, so the bowl is a little tipsy!
My first fabric bowl!

The first fabric bowl!
    I tried again, making a larger base, and a larger bowl.  This was better, but still not great.
Bowl #2
      I got a bit fancy with this one, trying handles, and also a little fancy swirl to end the bowl.
Showing the handles on Bowl #2.

Little fanciness to the bowl!

      To wrap the cord in fabric, I initially started by clipping the cord to the inside of my sewing cabinet, and just wrapping and pinning from there.  

Wrapping the cord.

     Still more time off - I tackled Bowl #3.  I found a left over piece of fabric I had used in my daughter's  broken dishes quilt.  I was still using strips I cut at 1 1/2 inches, which I now realize was too wide.  This was a much bigger bowl, with a pretty large base.  I used some light blue threads for the zigzagging.
Bowl #3, finished

A close up of the stitching and fabric

Close up of the bowl.  I wish the fabric was wrapped tighter on the top of the bowl.

       I then bought some 100% cotton cord at a hardward store, which made a difference in how the wrapped cord handled.
The new 100% cotton cord
     Bowl #4 used some I had some leftover quilting fabric from the quilt backing on my exotic garden quilt, and cut that up to use.

The blue backing fabric.
Bowl #4 had a larger base, and the cotton cord made for a smoother bowl.

This bowl just looked better to me.

A close up of the inside of the blue and roses bowl.
      I then watched a video on making fabric baskets that was quite helpful.  I should have watched it sooner!   The big tip was to use very narrow strips of fabric to wrap.   I had some leftover fabric I had used for curtains and a seat cover in the foyer, and cut it up in strips about 1/2 inch wide.  
The gorgeous fabric with rich jewel tones before being cut up!

The narrow strips.
      Bowl #5 was a great improvement.   I used a deep red thread to complement the colors in the fabric. 
The finished bowl.

Bowl #5.     I love this bowl!
       I am glad I got the hang of this.  It is a great way to use up fabric scraps, especially home dec fabric that I wouldn't use (anymore) in a quilt.   I am envisioning using some holiday fabric in a bowl or two!

     I am also working on some quilts which I hope to share in the not so distant future.

Take care,


  1. Can you add a link to the site where you found the pattern/instructions for the bowls?

    So cute!

  2. So cute!! Love seeing your progression from 1 - 5. I think you've mastered your fabric bowls!!