Red Tambourine Basket

Project Description

What was your source for this sewing project? Improvisational What are you most proud of? I'm fascinated by the process of wrapping 1" strips of fabric around a 1/4" diameter cotton clothesline rope, forming a coil and zig-zag stitches to join rows. I'm experimenting with different sizes of baskets. The diameter of this basket is 15". I don't think I could handle anything bigger than this. Bigger is pretty, but bigger presents its own problems. A large basket like this one has noodley side walls. Too much flex. The problem was: when I picked it up--the round shape deformed and I had to straighten it with my hands to re-create its true roundness. TIP: To remedy the floppy side walls, I hand-sewed hemp cord around the circumference, to lasso and firm up the side walls. I stitched the hemp cord in place at intervals and decorated each interval with a small decorative bead. See photos. I used a tough dark tan upholstery thread for the handstitching. The big red tambourine is done. Let's start the party! What advice would you give someone starting this project? Give this project a try, and remember the tip to stiffen the side walls with a decorative cord and beads. It takes a day to sew, but it is worth it. Best wishes. Mrs. D (Shoestring) Project #120

What you will need

  • Three Flavors of Cotton Batiks: Red/Orange
  • Purples
  • Gray Green. 100 ft. of 1/4" diameter Cotton clothesline rope. Decorative Beads
  • Brown Hemp Twisted Cord
  • Dark and Tan Upholstery Handsewing Thread.

Q&A with Shoestring

4bird2 asked:
I like the vibrant colors. I'm wondering if something gets into the basket that the contents will help keep shape. If not, I like a basket with character, the handmade look is most appealing to me.
Shoestring answered:
Thanks for the reminder that adding contents to basket will help maintain its shape. Sometimes the simpliest problem solving ideas come from friends! Thanks so much.
duzysg1325873 asked:
Beutiful basket. Mine wasn't as pretty as I was using fabric from the stash just to try the project out. Mine is going to be BIG if I ever finish it but I liked your idea of helping out the shape. Maybe I'll take that "thing" out from under and go "around" again. You keep me inspired! Only problem is I can't, any longer, work as fast as you!
Shoestring answered:
Hi duzysg1325873. Glad to hear you're also trying a big basket. We can compare notes. I sure hope you'll post more projects and photos. I'll be waiting to see your beautiful work.
K Lee 2Strings asked:
Oh, wow! When did you start making baskets? I've missed them altogether! Love this! Great colors and the beads are a wonderful addition. What sewing machine foot did you use?
Shoestring answered:
Hi there 2strings!!! My friend. I've missed you. Answering your question I use the regular A presser foot. You want to hear a funny? I've been miss pronouncing/writing presser foot for 50 years! Yep, I opened my eyes one day and there it was! When I was a kid I thought Hallmark commercial said, "when you carrying enough to send the very best." Ha. Ha.
yiddi asked:
So the colors...I weave baskets from Pine needles and have the same problem with the sides if the project gets too big.
Shoestring answered:
Hi yiddi. I would love to see photos of your pine needle weaved baskets. Will you post photographs and show us?
Perk4me asked:
What stitch did you use to sew the rows together? Your color sense is lovely.
Shoestring answered:
Hi there Perk4me. I use a regular zig-zag stitch, and a 16/100 heavy duty sewing machine needle.