Well, now that I've made 4 baskets I finally feel like I "know" what I'm doing...at least I understand the basic mechanics. So I tried this time to make something for my DGD...a "Hunny" pot. She's really into Winnie the Pooh right now. The plans were to use this one fabric and accent the top with a honey colored fabric. I wanted the pot to be fairly small (because DGD is small!) and have a narrow opening. Well, things did not go as planned so when I finally figured out the limitations (based on the shape of my sewing machine) I changed course in mid stream and changed the top fabric and this will be a Christmas gift for a friend.
If you're into making these, this is what I learned:
FIRST...if you're using regular thread vs. machine quilting thread which is a tad heavier...switch to the quilting thread. I noticed that this makes the basket/bowl sturdier.
SECOND...the shape of your sewing machine that is to the LEFT of your needle...(on my machine it houses the light and other stuff) will dictate to some degree just what kind of shapes you can make. You really do have to make your project fairly tall or wide to give yourself the room to negotiate the basket and so, at least as far as I can tell, you may not be able to make something the size of a coffee cup for example. (you can if you go out from the base at an angle, but not straight up the sides).
THIRD...don't underestimate the amount of thread you'll need for your project! These do require a lot and so make sure you start with a full spool or have a second one on hand. Too difficult to say how much you'll need per project because the amount you use can depend on your stitch length, but the shorter length, again the tighter the basket will be and will be sturdier.
FOURTH...it's recommended to use cotton clothesline, but I have yet to find ALL cotton that's not hard as a brick. (I found it at one place but it's not the kind that's recommended). I have had no difficulties though using the all polyester. I did though finally find a cotton/poly blend that feels a tad firmer and so I'm going to try that on my next one.
And just a side note...my local craft store in our small town has asked me to host a class on making these! How cool is that?! I hope to get a couple more done to present as examples and to continue to learn the "fine art" of making these. Really, if you have small scraps (1/2" wide) that you just don't want to toss...keep 'em...this is a great stash buster! And makes great gifts as well!
This was the main fabric that I used