Listen with Your Eyes


The blog of designer-maker Laura Thompson who specializes in fibre art, including art dolls, bowls, art journals and artful clothing.  Creativity, kindness, understanding and patience. 



Small Fabric Bowls - part 1


Griffonage: NOUN (rare) careless handwriting. 

I have long-enjoyed writing. Writing in the literal sense. There is nothing quite like the feel of a pen as it glides across the page, drawing and shaping words that are as beautiful to look at as they are to read. I spend a considerable amount of time practicing new fonts on both paper and fabric. I now have a considerable stash of hand-lettered fabrics that I regularly use when I make and create. The words on the fabric don't form sentences, they're meant to be ornamental. The font I like to use is one that works well for me on fabric. It's loose and somewhat messy, so the term "griffonage" seemed apropos. Generally I use smallish pieces where the words themselves are harder to see.  But, I recently decided to let these beautiful fabrics take centre stage by using them in a series of small bowls (another love of mine).

Here's part I of a three part series on my Griffonage bowls - Making the Bowl.

Here's a look at my stash of hand-lettered fabrics. I create small pieces (not long yardage) generally no more than 18" X 18", in a variety of colours and styles. More details on the fabrics themselves in another posting.

As you can see by the pattern, the finished bowls are rather small. I like to think of them as decorative, or for holding small trinkets, like earrings, necklaces or rings. On the wrong side of the fabric I trace two bowls with a quilter's pencil.

The inner and outer pieces are cut out and each one is sewn into a bowl shape using 1/4" seams.

With the right sides together, the two bowls are joined at the rim. I leave a 4" opening in order to turn it right side out. Once the right sides are facing out, a few pins around the rim help to stabilize it for top-stitching. 


I top stitch as close to the edge of the rim as I can. I often use only a neutral grey coloured thread when I sew fabrics in a variety of colours. I save time by not rethreading my machine with each new colour of fabric AND the medium grey blends more readily with most colours rather than black or white that can look rather stark. But, not to worry, if you don't like this idea you'll  learn in part II that the top stitching is going to be will be covered up. 

In part II I'll explain how I decorate the rim.