Fun, Fast and Easy Fabric Bowls...and you don't need a pattern!

Fun, Fast and Easy Fabric Bowls

When working on a large quilt or art project I find I need a diversion if I am feeling "stuck".   Working on a quick easy project is a good way of get those creative juices flowing again they make me feel like I accomplished something.  These fabric bowls fit the bill perfectly, they are easy to make, don't require a pattern, and are very forgiving of mistakes.

Try out these instructions.  If you have any questions, or better yet, suggestions, please let me know.

Here is a list of the items you will need to complete this project.

  • One 16 inch square of double-sided, fusible stabilizer.  I use Pellon Peltex 72F Ultra-firm.
  • Two 18 inch squares of two fabrics that you really like.  I like to fabrics that have some contrast.
  • A 6 inch square of Wonder-Under fusible interfacing.  
  • A 6 inch square of another contrasting fabric.  (You can use a matching fabric but I always like to a fabric that makes one of my other main fabrics pop.
  • Any thread color you feel goes well with your fabrics.  I chose a blue, variegated  thread.
  • Misc sewing items: rotary cutter (or scissors), a ruler at least 16 inches long, an iron, a marking pencil and a sewing machine.

For this project I chose a blue fabric and pink fabric.  I wanted to make sure that everyone could see the contrast.  I chose a  hand dye for my center square.

Step One:  

Measure and cut your firm stabilizer to a perfect 16 inch square.  If this works best with a rotary cutter but you can use scissors if you need to.

Step Two

Iron your fabric and make sure that it is wrinkle free.  Iron on your first fabric on to your stabilizer.  Iron from the center out.   I use a high cotton setting on my iron for this project because I want to make sure my stabilizer adheres well to the fabric.  Turn the stabilizer over and iron your next piece of fabric to the other side of the stabilizer.  Take special care with the edges and corners.  One you are done, let the fabric cool (usually takes just a few minutes.)  Look for any areas that did not adhere properly.  Re-iron if necessary.  Trim away the excess fabric from the stabilizer.  Be careful not to trim the stabilizer.  If you do, your bowl will no longer be square. (In the event of an unintended trimming, just resize the square to make sure all sides are equal.  As I said, it is a "forgiving" project".

Step Three

Measure your square diagonally.  Find the exact center of your square and mark with a chalk pencil or pin

Step Four

Take your small contrasting fabric square (I used a 5x5 piece of fabric for this bowl) and back the fabric with Wonder-Under.  Peel off the fabric backing.  (Note, the size does not have to be exact, it just has to be square).  Just be aware the size of this small square will affect the the shape of your bowl.

Turn the fabric over and find the center of this piece of fabric and mark with a straight pin.

Place the 5x5 fabric square on top of your 16 inch fabric square using the pin to find the center.   I wanted the corners of my smaller square at an angle to the corners of my larger squares so I drew a chalk line on the fabric that indicated where I wanted the corners pointing.  They could have just as easily pointed to the corners of the larger square, it makes no difference.  Iron the small square in place.

Step 5

On your larger square mark the centers and 1/2 inch on either side (these will be for your darts).  Make a note that the widest point of these darts will determine the shape of your bowl.  If you change the width, be careful, darts that are too wide will make your bowl too high and deep and you won't be able to sew them closed on your machine (trust me on this one, I learned the hard way). I encourage you to experiment though!

Next, draw lines in chalk from the side marks on the larger square to the tip of the center square.  Do this on all four sides of the square.

Cut out the darts using scissors (it is difficult to do this with a rotary cutter, but not impossible).

Step Six

Sew around your center square using a satin stitch.  I used a 5mm stitch width. with a length of .30mm.  At this point you can also add any embellishments or embroidery that you like.

Step 7

Next, sew the darts closed, starting from the corner of your small square.

Step 8

Sew a satin stitch around the edges of the bowl.  And your are done! Congratulations
Also, be sure to note that your bowl is reversible.

These bowls can be made in a variety of shapes, round, hexagon,  square or even triangular.   The principals are still the same.   You can also trim your bowls corners to make them round or any angle you would like.   You can use 4 darts or 6 darts or even two darts.  The possibilities are endless and I would love to see some of your creations!  


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