After retiring from catering, Josephine had a love of textile work and went on a course for rag bowls, and was soon hooked. Josephine enjoys hand embroidery and making jewellery with fabric and metals. She belongs to 'Diversity', a textile group who display their work in exhibitions.We were shown some lovely pieces made by Josephine to give us ideas of what kind of bowl we could make.
We were advised to make a sample first, so that we could make any mistakes on the sample fabric and we could check our zig-zag stitch for closeness and width. We learned that the closer the stitch, the more firmer the material will become, the more open the stitch, the looser and more flexible the bowl would be. After we had done a few inches, we finished the edge off by cutting the cord obliquely again and easing it in as close to the last round as we could. Edging the final round in satin stitch looked nice.
There are lots of cords that can be used, we were going to use washing ropes, but you can also use plastic rope but this would give a very firm result (which can be used for place mats).
Josephine mentioned that she buys clothes from charity shops to cut up, and gets some amazing results at reasonable prices. Batik is one of the best fabrics to use and a batik skirt can sometimes be bought from a charity shop from as little as £3.
Fabric with no 'give' should be cut on the bias, otherwise the fabric can just be cut straight across.
Josephine then began to demonstrate how to start off, by cutting an oblique edge to the cord and then wrapping our fabric around it. Once the coil was a couple of inches wide, she began straight stitching across it to hold it in place, and then went on to zig-zag around it, eventually keeping the loose end to the right of her work.
| || |
We began to zig-zag along the joins moving the coil around and around as we went - making us all feel a little dizzy at first.; we continued to wrap the fabric around the cord as we went along. It was quite intense at times, and we would continue this way until we had a base width of around 6 inches.
Josephine then demonstrated how we could lift the base up at an angle, as we continued to sew the coil, which would then make the new coils stand up at an angle, and thus creating our bowls.