Plates and Mugs

My three siblings are all good cooks. The cooking gene missed me all together. In fact, I think my kitchen is a waste of space. I would like to remodel it into a third sewing room.šŸ˜
My brother, Joseph, is an excellent chef. He is self-taught, and has taken lessons and training. On his last trip to Spain, he took a class and learned how to make paella…my favorite dish!Ā  I will be visiting him soon, and I am looking forward to some great meals. I do not want to go empty-handed, so I made him some fabric-rope place mats. I used the remaining material from the plates to make some coordinating mug rugs.

It’s a Wrap, by Susan Breier, has directions for making the coiled plates. I have made these before, but each time I have learned new tricks to improve the process. I used to wrap the fabric around the rope all in one sitting. I thought this would be better in order to not have to stop while sewing. However, it was tedious to wrap 15 yards (X4) of the clothesline. Also, the clothesline tended to twist. Now, I wrap as I go along, and I find this is much better. When I stop to wrap more fabric, I also take the opportunity to see if I missed any of the zig-zag stitches. It is easier to fix a section as I go along, instead of waiting to the very end. This book has so many wonderful patterns for baskets, purses, and different shaped bowls. I hope to make one of the purses one day.

The mug rugs are from All People Quilts. There is a Coffee Time Quilt block pattern on this site that is very easy to make. I added a heart on one of the mugs to make it special for my brother.

Now, we will have some pretty place mats to use for that delicious meal he will be making!


It has been a beautiful first day of spring.
After enjoying the morning outdoors, I met my former teaching partner at school for lunch.
It felt so good seeing her and the children again.
The last students I taught are now fifth graders.
I got to visit with them, and I promised to return for their graduation.
I spent the rest of the afternoon making rope products.

I had just enough black and white strips and rope remaining to make this ring dish.
It takes a bit over 2 yards of rope for this size bowl.
Then I started a project that is more time consuming than I thought.
It’s a Wrap by Susan Breier has directions for making a coiled plate.
There are two versions.
The first is a fabric covered coiled plate.
The second is a whole-fabric coiled plate. This plate is just the coiled rope, covered by a top fabric that is quilted.
I chose to do a fabric covered coiled plate, because I am using up my stash.
It takes 15 yards of rope, and 3/4 yards of fabric or stash.
I like the end result, but it takes up time. The thought of making a set of 4 is making me wish I had not started this.

I self-imposed some timelines and rope projects.
I want to get through these projects so I can continue working on the quilt for my grandson.
I also want to get back to some more thread sketching.
When I finish the quilt for my grandson, I will start on an improv quilt.

Now I wish I had two sewing machines.
If I had two, I could have one set up for the rope products, and one for the quilts.
It is too much hassle changing needles, type of thread, and the presser foot when switching projects.
If I had two machines, I could split my time and work on both types of products.
I have a running list of the pros and cons for getting another sewing machine.
Right now, the pro list is winning.

Working on new projects gives you the opportunity to learn and absorb new things
Ā Michelle Ryan

I am always setting my glasses down and forgetting where I put them.
Today’s project was made to help remedy this problem.
The project also gave me the opportunity to learn something new.
In the book, It’s a Wrap, by Susan Breier, there are directions for making an oval basket.
In my rope project supply box, I found some already prepared fabric that was left over from one of the baskets I made. There was only 4 yards, and I did not want it to go to waste.
I guessed and made adjustments to the directions and was able to make a small oval basket.
It would be have been better if I had had more fabric to build up more of the walls.
The directions state that the walls of an oval basket tend to be flimsy. Suggestions are given to support the wall with cording on top of the wall as embellishment. I used buttons instead, and they seem to give the support necessary.
As you can see below, the ends are dipping.
I added a handle made out of a remnant of webbing.
The button that is holding the webbing, also adds support to the end.
The basket is narrow and so it will sit nicely on my side tables without taking up too much space.
Now, I have a special place for my glasses.
I just need to remember where I put the basket!

Spring Basket

After studying the book It’s a Wrap, by Susan Breier, and other various online tutorials, I spent some time designing an Easter, spring basket for my granddaughter. I had planned to use the white, orange, green, and aqua cotton rope that I had ordered.
After making the center for the basket, I learned the difference in using 100% cotton rope, and 100% cotton clothesline. The rope is not as tightly woven as the clothesline. This makes it a bit more difficult to start the coil. It also makes it more difficult to use and connect different colors.
I also soon realized that no matter how much I planned a certain design for the basket, the rope just takes on a life and shape of it’s own. I thought I had control of the angles I wanted for “throwing” the basket, but it kept changing as I went along. This does not necessarily mean that I do not like the outcome. It is just each bowl or basket will be different and unique.
One of the cool things about making the baskets is that it is easy to cover up mistakes. I had made a handle that just didn’t look good. I cut it off, and covered it up with a coiled handle.
Some of the stitching is off in this basket because I had trouble controlling the softer rope.
Also, the natural white rope seems to get dirty. I do not think I will be using it as much any more.
But, all in all, I think it will be an okay basket for my granddaughter’s Easter basket.
Now, I need to makeĀ  a basket for my grandson.
No telling how this one will turn out.
I plan to use just one color.

Coiled Fabric Rope Mania

Today, I received the book I had ordered, It’s a Wrap, by Susan Breier.
After reading the Dedication segment written by Susan Breier, I knew I was going to love this book.
She dedicates the book to all women who don’t have any clue as to what they want to be when they grow up, even though they are already full grown!
Susan Breier also uses the phrase my mother frequently preached about using one’s “God-Given Talents.”
The possibilities for creating with rope and fabric are endless.
I do believe I am caught in a bit of Coiled Fabric Rope Mania.
The other day, I gave some small baskets to my Meemaw friends.
One of the Meemaws said that her granddaughter loved the basket.
She asked if I could make spring baskets for her two granddaughters.
I made two baskets similar to the one I had made my friend.
Then I made one smaller bowl with a wider brim.
With the remaining fabric strip, I made a basket with handles.
I am studying the different techniques in Breier’s book.
There is a square basket that I would like to try out.
Here is a little video displaying the baskets I made today.
I had prepared the fabric rope strips the day before.
This may be the tedious part of the whole process, but it is also fun to put colors together and see what happens.

More Bowls

Yesterday and today was spent visiting local fabric shops.
I have some ideas and designs for a quilt, but I am still just thinking about it.
The fabric I saw was beautiful, but it didn’t seem to gel with my ideas.
So, I will keep looking at fabric and thinking about my next quilt.
In the meantime, I am keeping myself busy making rope bowls and dishes.
I really like making the bowls out of rope and not using fabric.

I had some small amounts of white rope left; so, I made my second ring dish and gave it to my sister.
This time, I tried making handles.

I bought a small amount of purple rope just to practice new shaping techniques.

This purple dish was finished off with a coil on the side.
I embellished it with some buttons.

I have been viewing different tutorials on creating rope products.
I ordered It’s a Wrap by Susan Breier to check out instructions for making baskets, bowls, and purses.
My friend has asked if I would make two small bowls for her granddaughters.
Tomorrow, I plan to cut strips of bright fabric and start on the bowls for these girls.
The bowls I plan to make for my brother are on the back-burner for now.
I had to order more rope in order to practice making the larger bowl that my brother wants.
The rope should be here in a couple of days.