rope bowls

Last week I went through yet another stint of rope basket making (click here to see my previous rope creations). I'm telling you, this is super addictive, I can never make just one bowl and be done.

I'm happy to say we're regularly using pretty much all the bowls and baskets I made so far, so it seamed like a good time to add a few more to our daily rotation. And by saying our daily rotation I mean our kitties' daily rotation.

Because they both absolutely adore these baskets. See? Looks pretty comfy, doesn't it?

And it really doesn't seem to matter much to Lola if half of her body spills out :).

Of course Kiki took over the biggest bucket :).

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Last time I wrote about my rope baskets I got quite a lot of questions about the supplies and the process. I hope you'll find the following information and links useful.

Before I started working with clothesline I read quite a few tutorials generously shared by other super talented folks.

Here's the list of the ones I found the most useful:
Cotton clothesline baskets by On my Honor
Rope basket mania by Schneider Peeps
How to make a coiled rope basket by We All Sew
Sewing a rope bowl by Flossie Teacakes - my absolute favorite
A basket for everything by Soule Mama

The clothesline I use is 3/16" thick and seems to be available in 50' and 100' lengths. I buy 100' ones to limit the amount of joint points as much as possible. I tried using 1/4" thick rope but I found it to be too thick and a bit harder to work with. Plus, I didn't really care for the final look of the bowl.

I don't use any of my expensive thread for these baskets as they "eat" thread like crazy. I just buy these cheap-ish cones of polyester thread in different colors from Joann store and I have not had any trouble with sewing or durability of my baskets.

 This is my usual set up for rope baskets. I use my Janome sewing machine as my Juki doesn't have a zig zag stitch but I do borrow Juki's extension table. You can probably see it's not a perfect fit, but it does the job very nicely as its main job really is to support the basket as I stitch.

As you can imagine, I've experienced my share of frustration when working with rope.

One of the things that really bugged me was that the middle of my basket wasn't turning out as pretty as I liked it to be. I was super excited when I came across  Florence's idea of using pins to hold rope in shape as I was working on those first pesky rounds :). Such a clever idea, isn't it?

My other source of great frustration came from the rope not being long enough for the projects I was working on. I quite hated how much one could see where I joined my second, or third rope. After a bit of thinking and trying things out, I decided to simply hand stitch the rope ends together and cover it with a scrap of fabric wrapped around the rope. Worked like a charm. And now I have little accents of fabric decorating my bowls and baskets. Don't you just love when useful and practical is also pretty?

And, even though I talked about my finishing method in my previous post, I feel like I should mention it here again. I personally didn't care for raw end of the rope to be showing. In the end I decided to cover the area where the rope ended with a piece of leather and a thick thread to secure it in place.

Happy campers :).

I think we're set with our rope bowls for quite some time.