Make This Coiled Fabric
project lets you incorporate a favorite fabric print into any room
setting in a unique way. But how do you stuff the fabric tubes? It’s
easy with a tool called FasTurn®,
invented by a dollmaker in Oregon. Once you sew strips of fabric
into long tubes, FasTurn allows you to turn the tube right side out
and stuff if with cording or quilting fleece, all in one fun and
The effect is especially interesting with striped
fabrics, resulting in a diagonal design because the fabric tubes are
cut on the bias, or diagonal grain. Experiment with basic African
cotton prints. Heavier fabrics like denim, mudcloth or home dec
weights may not feed through the tube as smoothly.
Adapted from the Dining Room
chapter of African Accents: Fabrics and Crafts to Decorate Your
The project is versatile enough to fit into any room in the house,
too -- simply change the size, shape or fabric design: try a
smaller, shallow bowl to hold potpourri in a bathroom, or work up a
larger, deeper style to hold needlework supplies. You’ll find lots
of uses for these light-duty containers, using existing round, oval
or square shaped containers as forms around which to coil the fabric
- 1 yard fabric (for a basket approx. 10 inches
long x 7 inches wide x 5 inches high)
- 4 yards of ¾ inch thick cotton cording
1 yard low-loft quilting fleece (1/8-inch thick)
|To make continuous bias
- Cut a 27x 27 inch square from the basket
fabric. Cut the square diagonally to form two triangles.
With right sides together, edges even, stitch a 3/8 inch
seam. (Fig. 1) Press open.
- Mark cutting lines parallel to the long
edges, starting 3” in from one edge (point A) and
spacing lines 3 inches apart.
- With right sides facing, bring together
short edges so that point A meets C and point B meets D.
(Fig. 2) Stitch a 3/8 inch seam. This forms a wide fabric
tube, offset at each end by 3 inch. (Fig. 3) Press seam
open. Beginning at point A, cut along the lines you drew,
rolling the tube around as you cut, until all fabric is
cut into a single continuous strip, 3 inch wide. Cut off
ends to square them.
- With right sides together, fold strip
lengthwise. Sew tubes with a 3/8 inch seam allowance, for
a finished tube width of 1-1/8 inches.
|To make the basket:
- The FasTurn tube size #6 can accommodate
approximately 3 yards of fabric tube at a time, so cut
your continuous bias tube into pieces for easier handling.
Cut 8 fleece strips measuring 6 x 36 inches long. Roll the
long edges of the fleece strip so that it fits the FasTurn
tube opening. Refer to the FasTurn instructions for
filling, turning and joining the fabric tube sections.
- Working on a pinnable surface, begin to
coil fabric tube to create the bottom of the basket. (Fig
4) Secure the desired shaping of the basket base by
pinning the coils together. As much as possible, keep the
lengthwise seam turned to the underside or inside of the
basket as you pin the coils together. OPTION: Shape your
basket around an existing basket, box or other container.
- When the base measures approximately 6 x
8 inches, begin to gradually wind the fabric tubing upward
and slightly outward. Build up to a height of about 5
inches. When pinning the uppermost layer in place, tie
knots at each end for basket handles. After knotting the
second side, cut fabric tube, trim away 2 inches of the
fleece, and tuck in the end of the fabric under the knot
or taper it off toward the inside of the basket; glue.
Starting from the center inside the basket, apply hot glue
between the coils, pulling the pins out as you go around.
The basket coils can also be hand-stitched together with