sewing in a straight line February 6, 2012

I recently got a review copy of Brett Bara‘s fabulous new book, Sewing in a Straight Line, and I’m a huge fan! Brett shares 28 projects to make, from skirts and handbags to quilts and home projects – but the twist is that they’re all made by sewing beginner-friendly straight lines only. She uses very clever techniques to shape those simple seams and hems into stylish finished pieces you’ll love.

Patchwork folded flower bowls

For my first SIASL project, I decided to make a set of Brett’s beautiful Folded Flower Bowls in the small and medium sizes. (Update: Brett has a video showing how to make these, too!) I loved the wholecloth versions in the book, but thought it would be really fun to try them with a simple quilt block instead of a plain fabric square. I’ve been saving the jelly roll that Monica Solario-Snow kindly gave me of her lovely, colorful Happy Mochi Yum Yum fabric collection for something special… and this turned out to be the perfect (little) project for them.

patchwork flower bowls

I stitched a few strips together and pressed and top-stitched them, then paired them with a solid color for the other side of the bowl. Using Brett’s clear, nicely illustrated instructions, I backed the two sides with interfacing, sewed and turned them, and transformed them from flat squares to smoothly shaped three-dimensional rounds with a few well-placed seams!

Patchwork folded flower bowl

I used Decor Bond for my heavy-weight interfacing, which gives the bowls a nice body and definition, but I had a hard time keeping the fabric from showing ripples and crinkles once it had been turned and folded a few times. A tiny iron (I borrowed this one from Amy after misplacing the cord of mine!) and steaming the inside of the bowl worked really well for shaping and smoothing the fabrics. I definitely recommend this trick!

Folded Flower Bowls

I really like the small size (which starts with a 6.5″ square). Here it is in patchwork and plain versions.

Folded Flower Bowls

These are the two bowls I made to keep – cross-hatches in a small-scale Heath red and a bolder navy print by Lotta Jansdotter.

Patchwork folded flower bowls

What about the other two bowls? Well, I’ll be giving them away, along with a copy of Brett’s book, at the February PMQG meeting! Heather, Petra, Nancy, Ale and I are going to be posting new sewing and quilting book reviews on our blogs every month, and then giving away copies of the books at the monthly meetings. I’m up first, so here is mine!

Portland Modern Quilt Guild banner at the January meeting!

February’s meeting is going to be fantastic! We’re lucky to have Kathy Miller of Michael Miller Fabrics coming to speak to our guild (thanks to Violet Craft).

Michelle's demo at the PMQG sew day

And our own Michelle Freedman will be doing an improvisational patchwork demo for our 10-minute tutorial (these 2 photos are from her super fun improv demo/game at our All Day Sew on Saturday).

Michelle's demo at the PMQG sew day

Thank you to Potter Craft for the book, and to Monica for the beautiful fabric. I’m excited to share them! Along with the book and patchwork bowls, we have some very special prizes to give away… hope to see you there, Thursday, February 16 from 7-9 at PNCA!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *