Fiber Bowls Tutorial - Section 1 of 4

During the past years I have received many requests for instructions on how I make Fiber Bowls. Some people come to take a class and for others it is just not possible. So, I’ve decided to make this my first real blog post.

There are numerous publications, videos and articles about making these bowls varying the materials and shapes, but the basic technique is always the same, and it is the technique that I use. Where I spend more time and effort is in the design, in the fine-tuning, in making these bowls three-dimensional art pieces rather than utilitarian bowls. You can see a selection of my bowls on my website here

I’ve divided this tutorial into four sections:

  • Prepare Canvas
  • Shape Bowl
  • Fine-tune Design
  • Finish Edges and Stitch

Let’s start with Section 1 – Prepare Canvas

For a complete supply list please go here and choose Bowl Art. In this section we will be using the heavy duck canvas and the Wonder Under fusible web. You can find duck canvas online and Wonder Under fusible web at quilt shops or JoAnn Fabric stores.

Start by cutting two identical circles of heavy duck canvas. I generally work with circles that are somewhere between 16” and 18” in diameter, but they can be any size.

Apply a layer of Wonder Under fusible web to one of the circles.

Fuse the two heavy duck canvas circles together. The two layers will make a sturdy bowl. You will need a very hot iron as the heat needs to go thru the thick layers of canvas to fuse properly. This fusing takes 15 to 20 minutes and may leave burn marks or a slight yellow coloration on your canvas; don’t worry, this will all be covered up later.

Once you have your two layers of canvas fused together, add another layer of fusible web to one of the sides and apply one piece of fabric to the entire surface.

This will be the outside of your bowl.

Now onto decorating what will be the inside of your bowl. For this, I chose two slightly different reds and applied fusible web to one side of the fabric. Batiks are my preferred fabrics since they become less worn at the edge with all the manipulation that happens when working on your bowl.

Using pencil, start by making a very high level sketch on your canvas. My design will be a set of asymmetrical concentric circles swirling in my bowl.

Using both red fabrics with fusible web already applied, I start cutting out shapes and covering the canvas, making sure to distribute the two reds in a “swirly” way. At this point we don’t add any details since they may distort when we shape the bowl.

We only cover the canvas with our background palette, in this case red. Your canvas is ready for shaping!

While you work on this, I’ll go and write Section 2.


Comments

Regina (May 4, 2018)

The tutorial on your blog has me even more excited to meet you in Kalispell Montana this coming week to take your bowl class. Thank you for the generous preview!

Pam Roberts (Apr 8, 2018)

Thanks Hilde! As one of your online followers in Australia, I am delighted with your blog instructions. One day I may be able to get to your classes, but this is great as an alternative. Now to have some fun!

Gayle (Apr 6, 2018)

I took your bowl making class several years ago in Sisters, Oregon. So many other quilting and sewing projects has passed through my hands since then so this was a much needed refresher course for me! I have been wanting to make another bowl. Thank you for sharing!

Tereza (Mar 22, 2018)

Hilde, I have always admired your work! I have been into art quilting a lot even if now I have switched to making hoodies for my granddaughter (trying to tame my overlock machine working with knits). But I am still tempted to learn something new in the field of art - there are so many techniques! I am delighted that you have decided to share some of your precious experience and expertise! I am looking forward to whatever you show us on your blog!

Marleen Van Ballaer (Mar 22, 2018)

Thank you for the instruction. I love your work. It is wonderful!

Gail CS (Mar 22, 2018)

Looking forward to following this very much. As a UK follower this will be my best bet to see your techniques. Best wishes to you for this new venture.

cheryl g (Mar 22, 2018)

looking forward to hearing from you more often. Good luck on your new venture!

Vel Saddington (Mar 22, 2018)

I’m looking forward to following your blog. I have been following your work for some time & was fortunate to be in your class last November in Sisters. Thank you for being so generous & sharing your techniques!

Marsha Cochrane (Mar 21, 2018)

Hi Hilde, I am so excited that you are sharing this tutorial on your blog, thank you so much! I’m not able to go to Sisters this year so I will miss seeing you there. I’ve always loved your bowls, they are fabulous!

Marci Pinkerton (Mar 21, 2018)

Great instructions, thank you for sharing! Please let me know when your classes will be held. Can’t wait to take them.

Marilyn MacBride (Mar 21, 2018)

Just as you resisted blogging, I have resisted following blogs. But you had me at Fiber Bowls. Yours are so creative. Might you post a photo of one on your blog so we can see what we’re aiming for? Thank you.

Gerri McCullough (Mar 21, 2018)

Wow! Thanks so much! :)

Lynne Sward (Mar 21, 2018)

I am a huge fan of your work, and if I lived anywhere near you, I would sign up for your classes, but I live all the way across the country in Virginia Beach, Virginia. I have made my own total machine-stitch fabric vessels using a 2 pattern shapes (mainly cylindrical, but I need to create more of a basket,,,so maybe with the rest of the steps, I can accomplish. this. Also does the act of turning the bowl/basket dictate the form,,,,thanks in advance….

Wilma Scott (Mar 21, 2018)

I’ve always wondered how you made those beautiful bowls! Thanks so much for sharing your technique. I look forward to the next three tutorials. I took your curves class when you were the guest speaker at Clark County. Quilters. It was several years ago, but I’m still following your emails.

Robin Ryan (Mar 21, 2018)

Can’t wait to see what you do! Thank you for the inspiration. Robin

I cannot wait to attend your class! (Mar 21, 2018)

I am so looking forward to taking your class at the Pacific Northwest Quilt Museum in La Connor WA. Thank you for the bowl instructions!

Ingrid (Mar 21, 2018)

Thank you so much! I have dreamed of travelling all the way to the west coast from Ontario, Canada to take a class with you. Your work is beautiful and inspiring, and I love your use of colour! Thank you for sharing this technique.. I am looking forward to making a bowl and maybe one day, I will make it out there to take a class with you in person.

Sharry O. (Mar 21, 2018)

My first class with Clark County Quilters was your fabric bowls…yes, way back then!!! Thanks for sharing!

Barb Wyse (Mar 21, 2018)

Thanks, Hilde! My friend wants me to teach her how to make bowls and now I don’t have to remember what I did in class (it’s been a while). Step by step directions are always nice. Hope to see you at Sisters!

Nancy Woodling (Mar 21, 2018)

Beautiful and you must be a mind-reader. This is something I have hoped to see. Thank you sooo much!

Kathey (Mar 20, 2018)

Hilde I so love your work! I’m so happy you decided to do this. Maybe it will inspire me to finish my bowl l started at a class at your home a few years ago. So many projects, so little time!

Margarita (Mar 20, 2018)

Me encantó recibir el correo que anunciaba el blog!!! …. Muchas gracias por estas instrucciones!!! …. ya voy a divertirme tratando de hacerlo … y estar lista para la sección 2 ….

Sally (Mar 20, 2018)

Your bowls and artwork is magical. I’m preparing fabrics tomorrow and looking forward to trying your techniques. Thank you so very much, Salky (from San Diego CA)

Carolyn Chadwick (Mar 20, 2018)

Hi Hilde, Thank you so much for the blog. I can’t wait to make these beautiful bowls.

Bobbie Vruggink (Mar 20, 2018)

Thank you! I can’t wait to make one, but first I have to finish my Montreal scene. I am on my way downstairs to make more windows. It has been just starring at me since I got home!

Darlene kihne (Mar 20, 2018)

Looking forward to Section 2

Sher Beller (Mar 20, 2018)

So very thankful for your blog bowl lessons. Have been wanting to get to one of your classes on this for a year. A seemingly on-going sequences of family needs from my parents, children, and spouse have had to be prioritized instead. Bless you! This gives me something to get going on for myself.

Terrie (Mar 20, 2018)

I will complete Step 1 tonight. Thank you…

Sharon Biddiscombe (Mar 20, 2018)

Thank you for these directions. Your bowls are wonderful and I can’t wait to make one.

Ana Barra (Mar 20, 2018)

Gracias… Por las instrucciones… Se me habia olvidado que se unian dos canvas…

Donna Akins (Mar 20, 2018)

Thank you so much. I intend to have fun with this.

Sally (Mar 20, 2018)

Thank you, Hilde! I have taken your class, and had a great time in the class, partly because of your fun personality. My bowl turned out nicely too! :) I hope you’re doing well!
Leave a comment