Meditation Bowl

bowl1These bowls are enough to drive you sane.

With a little bit of practice, you can make these and they are useful, visually pleasing and mesmerizing to sew.

bowl2I start with 20 yards of cotton cording (generally found in the uphostery section).  Traditionally, folks used cording like this as large piping or for drapery –home dec. sewing.

This particular cording, because it is all cotton is very soft, not rigid, like clothesline cord.

I used King Tut all-cotton variegated thread from Superior in both the top and bobbin.



Be sure to have more than 1 spool available. You go through quite a bit of thread.  Set your machine to a nice wide zigzag…enough to cross over both sides of the cording.

bowl4Start in the center of the bowl and simply sew the cording together.  Keep the cording to your right so you can feed it into the machine.

bowl5The bottom section of your bowl stays flat.  As you progress, gently lift the side of the flat disk and continue sewing.  This begins to form a shape.

Crazily, uncharacteristically, the sewing begins to feel like sculpture, like pottery.  This is where the meditation kicks in.

bowl6You continue to sew at a relatively slow speed, always keeping your eye on the two cords.  Is the zigzag always straight down the middle between the two?

You’ll be tempted to keep sewing while you glance away at the cording to see how much you have left. Don’t.

Stop sewing if you need to, but don’t take your eyes off the needle. Guarantee you will slip off track.

bowl7The beauty of the process is that if you keep going, you’ll ascend to a higher place.  You”ll become a part of the hum, a part of the cording.  Your hands will follow the movements automatically and you’ll feel the flow.

Your mind will calm and focus on just about 1 inch of space on the earth.

bowl8And when you are done, you will have created something very peaceful, very zen.

And it will be more than just a bowl. It will be the place where you put your effort for a while, and the time when you let your racing thoughts evaporate.

Namaste, friends.


Sew Practical

A lot of the quilts I make are decorative. Or they are gifts for family or friends.  Or they are just something whimsical I decided to try for fun.

But lately, I’ve been looking around the house thinking we need some changes.

Pottery Barn has some queen size duvet covers I really would like, but they never seem to fit perfectly.  They are always slightly too large.  And they cost upwards of $150 plus shipping if I order online. If I want something in the current line (not on sale) it is closer to $200.

I should stop right here and say that I have a love/hate relationship with Pottery Barn. I love that they always have interesting merchandise.  I hate that I could make so much of it myself.  One part of me loves to go in and wander around, get ideas, be inspired, wish my house looked that way.  The other part of me is just scornful at the way they sometimes say their quilts are “hand-quilted”…by whom?  And how much are they getting paid?  And who needs all this stuff anyway? So, it’s an ugly argument with myself.

That aside, we still need a duvet cover.

So I picked out some French General fabric from Moda. La Fete de Noel.

Now, I spend a lot of time around fabric.  I touch it, fold it, cut it, work with it day in and day out.french general

But this stuff is really lovely.  The fabric is made in Japan (very little fabric is made in the US, but that’s changing.) For some reason, the Japanese have a way of making their fabric very soft…like silk.

After I washed it, it felt like brushed cotton…even better for quilt fabric.

selvageOne of the best parts is the lovely selvage, which is almost a shame to cut off.

A duvet cover sounds easy enough, right?  Just a couple of pieces of fabric sewn together.



First, quilt fabric doesn’t fit across a bed.  You have to assemble it.  Second, you have to get the measurements at least somewhat precise.  Third, for a queen size you have to lay out and assemble all that bulk of fabric, pin it, press it and on and on.

Pottery Barn is starting to look pretty good.

But all’s well that ends well. Got my new duvet cover for the cost of some fabric (lovely fabric) in the pattern I wanted – with coordinating fabric on the back.

duvet cover

Now our front window is leaking…too bad I can’t sew up a new window.  But the valance? Hmmmm…..that’s another story.