More than 20 years ago, I designed a template to change my favorite quilting block, The Ohio Star, from a 2D shape to a 3D shape so that I could use it for the inside design of a bowl. The technique I developed for my first book on square bowls uses 2 layers of heavy double-fusible interfacing. All of the seams are hidden between these 2 layers. Over the years, I have perfected this technique, and I have designed special patterns for both square and round bowls.
These decorative fabric bowls offer many possibilities. They are great for using up scraps, and they make lovely gifts. Most of the projects are simple designs that can be made in an afternoon. Because they are made of 2 layers of heavy interfacing, all of these bowls are very sturdy.
The basic technique is simple. After you cut out the interfacing pieces using the templates in the book, these interfacing pieces are fused to the fabric and then sewn together to create the 3D shape of the bowl.
All the outside layers in this book are made from the same pattern, which only has 6 seams. The fabric you use can be of any design. A directional fabric can make for a very interesting outside layer.
One of my favorite chapters in Round Fabric Art Bowls is on how to select the fabric for your bowl. Because you are only making one unit (not like in a quilt, where you put several blocks together), the fabric choice for the center of the bowl is very important.
The first of the 6 projects in the book is a very simple cloth bowl with only 6 seams in the inside layer. This project is great for showing off a favorite fabric or for adding appliqué to a fabric with a simple design.
You can also ask a child to draw a fabulous inside design using fabric markers.
A round bowl lends itself to a flower design.
The book includes directions on how to sew the curved seams of the petals of the flower, which can be sewn either by hand or machine.
If you don’t mind a bit of hand sewing, the Single-Star and Double-Star projects are fun to make. The center of the star is sewn together by hand to avoid binding the interfacing in the center of the bowl.
The Dresden Bowl is for the advanced sewer. The inside of this bowl consists of 18 or 36 pieces of interfacing, depending on your fabric choices. Because the spikes go out over the edge of the bowl, it makes a very interesting outside design.
I love making these fabric bowls, and I hope you enjoy my books.
Kirsten has been teaching quilting and bowl-making for more than ten years. Her pieces have been exhibited in galleries and museums in New York and New Jersey. She is a member and former co-president of The Brooklyn Quilters Guild and is a member of The Textile Study Group of New York. Kirsten is the author of Modern Fabric Art Bowls (C&T Publishing 2021) and Round Fabric Art Bowls (C&T Publishing 2023).