Using strip pieced scraps in a coiled wrapped bowl

Some of you may be asking what is strip piecing.  Strip piecing is a time saving method that can help you sew quick and easy quilts.  It is accomplished by sewing multiple fabrics together to create a "strip set".  The top photo are some left over strip sets that I recently found from a Boston Common quilt that I gave to my niece as a Christmas /wedding gift many year ago.  Along with the strip sets were a small amount of 3 of the fabrics that were left over from the strip sets.  I know why I kept them, they were just too nice to toss.  The question that popped into my mind was what could I made out of these wonderful strip sets?  The very first thing that came to me was a coiled fabric basket.

The first order of business was to press them flat.  Since they were 2 1/2' strips, I then cut them length wise into 4 narrow strips suitable for wrapping around rope.  At this point you have no doubt notices that these strip sets are a series of 2 1/2" squares with a seam in between each square.  When one goes about wrapping fabric around rope to make a bowl, it is not usually fabric that has been pieced together with a seam allowance to deal with.   Normally one just applies a tiny amount of glue at the beginning and end of each strip.  I quickly found out that much glue was needed to get these seams to lay flat when wrapped around the rope.  If I had not had 5 plus years of experience making coiled fabric baskets, this would have been a disaster but what it turned out being was mostly VERY time consuming.  

I started out the bowl with one of the three fabric scraps were in with the strips sets; the medium red brick color.  I knew enough not to try and wrap strips with seams in them in such a tiny round as you have at the base of a bowl.  I then wrapped several of the pieced strips and now it was time to start sewing.  You guessed it, it was a chore to sew through the seams once they were wrapped around the rope but I was able to do it as long as I did not go too fast.  I really liked the effect but I could see that the eye needed somewheres to rest so I threw in a non pieced strip of the dark brink red floral.  NICE!  I had some shorter strip sets that had only the 3 beige fabrics in them so I wrapped them next which turned out to be 2 rows in the bowl.  I had planned all along to finish the top edge of the bowl with two rows of the this dark brick red floral and I did not have enough of any non pieced strips to make a few more rounds so I went digging through my stash and found this lighter brick red and it matched the darker red beautifully so I wrapped a round of it.  Next I went back to the pieced strips and wrapped 4 rows of them.  MUCH glue was needed.  I finished it off with a row of the rosy red and then the two rows of the darker brick.  It was about then that my husband showed up for lunch.  HOLY COW, it had taken me 3 hours to make this bowl.  More than twice as long as it would have using "normal" strips.  When my husband poked his head into the sewing room and saw what I was doing he informed me that "WOW, you have something very special there".  

Do I like the looks of this bowl...you bet.  Would I have taken it on if I knew how long it was going to take me to make it?  Probably not.  BUT, I am glad that I did experiment with the seams.  Next time I will just use wicked short strips to get the same effect and know ahead of time this is gonna take awhile!  

 
 

 

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