Cultured Expressions
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Free Projects

Make This Coiled Fabric Basket!

Make This Coiled Fabric Basket!This 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 easy step!

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.

African Accents: Fabrics and Crafts to Decorate Your Home.
Adapted from the Dining Room chapter of African Accents: Fabrics and Crafts to Decorate Your Home. [Learn More]

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 tubes.


  • 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)
  • FasTurn® tube
To make continuous bias tubing:
  1. 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.
  2. Mark cutting lines parallel to the long edges, starting 3” in from one edge (point A) and spacing lines 3 inches apart.
  3. 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.
  4. 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:
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 small stitches.
Fig. 1

Fig. 2

Fig. 3

Fig. 4
African Accents: Fabrics and Crafts to Decorate Your Home.

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