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Acorn Squash Basket

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Photo Details:
Camera SONY DSC-TX1
Exposure Time 1/10
F-Stop 3.5
ISO 400

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Here are some details about my project:
Category Sewing
Type Accessory
Sizing Unisex
Style Retro Vintage, Classic, Casual, Preppy, Hipster, Traditional
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What was your source for this sewing project? Improvisational

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What materials did you use? Cotton prints and batiks in wheat, orange, green bean, and dark dark green. One 100 ft. roll of cotton clothesline rope, a NEW size 16/100 sewing machine needle (also used to sew upholstery, denim, canvas projects). My handmade polymer clay buttons in burnt orange and lime green swirl.

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What are you most proud of? I was inspired by Susan Breier's book, "It's a Wrap" loaded with inspirational photos of baskets made from wrapping 1" cotton strips around 1/4" cotton clothesline rope, and sewing the fabric wrapped rope together round and round with a zig-zag stitch. Be prepared to use a heavy duty sewing machine needle 16/100. I use serger thread in both the upper and bobbin because this project is a thread eating monster. I used a dab of glue stick to join one strip of fabric to the next strip as I wrapped and zig-zagged round and round. To begin, you wrap fabric around 5-6 inches of rope and coil it into the size of a silver dollar. medallion. Straight stitch across the diameter. Rotate 90 degrees and straight stitch across the diameter. These two straight stitch lines form an "X" across the coiled fabric medallion--holding it secure. Change to zig-zag stitch, and continue wrapping fabric around the rope about 6 inches, then zig-zag and you will watch it grow larger and larger. Once you are satisfied with the size of the base of the basket, begin to lift the base upward as you continue to wrap rope and zig-zag (see photos). It's----it's magical! This basket was made from a 100 ft. roll of 1/4" cotton clothesline rope that I purchased at a farm and fleet store here in Wisconsin. The 100 ft. roll was under $6. This type of project can be a scrap buster with a little bit of effort. I'm going to continue to sew baskets this week and experiment. The finished basket I made has a base diameter of 11" and the height of the basket is 8". I handsewed my handmade polymer clay buttons to the basket with heavy duty upholstery thread $2.79 at Hancock Fabric. Protect your needle pushing finger with a thimble.

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What advice would you give someone starting this project? NEEDLE SIZE: The European Needle Sizing System is numbered 60 to 110, while the American sizing is 8 to 18. I use a heavy duty 16/100 sewing machine needle because it works best to sew heavier, tougher fabrics when I make purses, and especially with this fabric wrapped rope basket project. Your sewing machine is very powerful, but if you use a smaller needle like a 90/14, or 70/11--those needles will bend and break under the impact of thicker, tougher fabric projects. CHANGE TO A NEW NEEDLE for each new basket project and your first basket will be effortless to make, and you'll be picking out new fabric combinations right away to make more baskets! Great gift idea for the holidays. Now, go buy your rope and get going.

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