“Throwing Pottery” on the Sewing Machine

Are you familiar with the phrase “throwing pottery”? This phrase relates to creating some type of clay vessel/bowl on a pottery wheel.

Recently I made a fabric bowl by “throwing” it on my sewing machine!


This bowl is made from batik fabric strips wrapped around clothesline using the instructions from the Bali Boxes pattern by Aunties Two.

It measures approximately 11.5″ in diameter and is 4″ deep.

Several years ago I was really into making batik fabric bowls and boxes and had a stash of cotton clothesline and 2.5″ pre-cut batik fabric strips (like Hoffman Bali Pops). Here are a couple of my baskets from that period:

I burned out on making these baskets, however I had enough wrapped clothesline to make one more small basket and set it aside for the day I wanted to make another basket (into my “abandoned project stash”).

Well that day arrived a week ago – I was ready to “throw” a new basket!

Here is the wrapped clotheslines and the fabric for the center:


Making the basket begins with making a coiled foundation around a Timtex (heavy interfacing) filled center fabric pouch:


Once the base is created, it is time to “throw” the basket and angle it around the sewing machine as you add rows of covered clothesline using a zig-zag stitch:


The piece is finished off with a binding on top to cover the ends of the wrapped clothesline:


And now a couple images of the completed bowl (I added a little tierneycreates tag to the top under the binding):


I am pleased with my “thrown” fabric bowl and glad I pulled the remaining wrapped clothesline out of my abandoned project stash!

51 thoughts on ““Throwing Pottery” on the Sewing Machine”

  1. Oh wow, I saw this bowl on Instagram last week, so it’s so cool to see how to put one together! This really is some next-level sewing machine skill… But am I right in thinking that once you nail the method, it’s actually quite a calming, meditative project? Nice work! πŸ˜€

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    1. Thank you and yes once you nail the method it is calming – but it was not calming when I made my first two bowls – it was emotionally exhausting – ha! The main challenge to making the bowls is the prep – you have to first join 40 – 42, 44″ strips of batik fabric, then fold the giant strip in half and then do another fold (like when creating bias tape). Then you have to stitch clothesline into the center, all while keeping your seams straight! πŸ™‚


  2. I have enjoyed making mugrugs, trivets and bowls using a similar method but a wrap narrow strips around the rope. I did lots a few years ago and brought the idea back out this Christmas. I’ve sold a number of pieces at our art gallery gift shop. I’m planning to make a large black & white bowl for the February Black & White exhibit. Now I’m debating sewing the fabric on your style. Can’t decide if it might not be more work: can’t have that! But a smoother look, no slightly frayed edges….hmmmm.

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    1. Thanks for your comments and I have been thinking of making a bowl in your style – with the wrap around strips! I think it would be a wee bit easier process. The pattern for Bali Boxes calls for joining end to end a bali pop (42 precut 2.5″ strips) and that seems to take forever and then you have to do several folds of the final giant strip to make something similar to bias tape. I think the frayed edges on the wrap fabric bowls are cool. πŸ™‚


    1. Thanks Melanie and I did sell one as a commission. I resisted at first but someone at a quilt retreat saw one of my bowls and said they absolutely had to have one. The problem is I could not charge enough for the work it takes to make one so I have given a couple as gifts and kept the rest for my home πŸ™‚
      Happy New Year to you too!

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    1. Thank you! Well I cannot say it is easy to make one, especially the first 1 – 2 but it gets better. It is tedious to prep the clothesline (see my replies in the comments above as I whine about how much work it takes, ha) and it took a while to get the hang of pulling the covered clothesline taut enough to get it to curve upwards (it was like throwing pottery lol) πŸ™‚


  3. Well, off t9 make m6 bowl. Thanks for the instructions. πŸ€£πŸ˜‚πŸ€£πŸ˜‚. Uh…should be easy peazy. Okay, I’m not really gonna make a bowl, but in my mind I wished for a split second i knew how to sew. I think I will just look at your pretty pictures instead.

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      1. Okay, but you will be sorry. When the zombies come and you need to stay warm, it is gonna be hard to snuggle up in a 16x 20…I however will be snug as a bug in a rug with a pretty bowl to boot!!!

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    1. I am honored you are sharing with your Mom πŸ™‚
      I too use to throw clay pottery for a very brief period of time and no longer have any of the sad looking pots I made! I do better with fabric, ha! Thanks for your comments!

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  4. I went back and checked at the “throwing the pottery on the sewing machine”. Way cool. I have to see this real time as this is pure talent!!

    Liked by 2 people

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