Sunday, 22 November 2009

Full Circle: Helen Deighan's Coil Baskets

Last spring I came across a neat basket tutorial from V and Co. I'd been wanting to make something like it for years and was thrilled to find such easy to follow directions.Well, I did make one and I loved it but it took ages. I was hoping that there was a quicker way to do it. Later in the year I visited a gal who was 'dispersing' her quilting stash. She was so generous selling her fabrics and books for a song. Anyway, there was a book that showed some directions for stitching baskets together by machine. It looked promising. But other projects got in the way, as they do. Yesterday at the Knitting and Stitching Show, I came across a stand where the gal was demonstrating how to do it by machine. How cool is that! Anyway I started asking questions and Helen told me that she was the person who came up with the technique. Then I received my very own personal tutorial. Now I can't wait to get started. When I came home, I got out the book and guess who the author was? That's right, the very same Helen Deighan!

In the stripy purple basket base above, Helen is wrapping a strip of purple and white fabric around a special firm but flexible cording that she has made in specially China for these coil pots and baskets. She uses the little yellow bulldog chip to hold the fabric in place as she zigzags the layers together.

Here's the package. You can order this directly from Helen's website:

Another method was to cover the cording like piping. In the photo below, Helen is using hand dyed yarn to wrap the seam allowance around the cording. I just love how this looks like braided rag rugs.

In this photo, Helen is showing how to shape the sides of the pot by flipping it up with one hand as she zigzags. There are some more detailed 'hints' about this on Helen's website.

Finally, here's a gorgeous bag that Helen's created using hand dyed fabrics. I can't wait to have a go! Interested? Visit Helen's website for information, tips, gallery, books and workshops.

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