Saturday, December 12, 2009

Vintage Fabric Fiber Bowl

Vintage fabrics emit a comfortable homey feeling.  I enjoy them immensely for their charm and simplicity.  Often times quilt blocks, especially during the 1930's Economic Depression, were made with fabrics recycled from homespun, clothing, aprons, and even printed feed sacks for the home sewer trying to stretch her dollars.  No telling when and where this quilt block began or how I even acquired it - probably through a local antique shop - but with a bit of ingenuity and a versatile heavy fabric stabilizer called Timtex, I transformed this old quilt block into a fiber bowl.

I adhered the block to the stabilizer with Wonder Under (an iron on fusible web), and did the same with canvas for the backing.  (Fast2Fuse is a similar stabilizer with fusible web already on both sides, thus eliminating the extra step).  This blocks pattern helped dictate which lines I would create with a machine satin stitch.  I used the center beige patch as the bottom of the bowl but found it to be too small so I enlarged the base by adding another satin stitched square on the diagonal around the first.  The plaid orange section was originally rectangular in shape.  After notching out a V- section on each side,  from the side edge of the block toward the center and deep enough to create the height I desired, the orange sections became somewhat football shaped.

Although I have machine quilted fabric bowls for added texture and design,  in this case I didn't feel this fabric needed it.  The beauty of this heavy stabilizer (which is used in baseball caps to make the bills), is that it will bend and hold its shape.  I folded back the blue sections and hand sewed vintage mother of pearl buttons on each corner with embroidery thread.

This is an inexpensive gift item and a great way to use up oddball blocks or just a piece of fabric while making something useful.  Recycling is a beautiful thing!

Here's the book I used to learn this technique by Linda Johansen

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