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If you've ever crafted with clothesline, you know this cotton cord is soft, sturdy and surprisingly easy to sew. When covered in fabric, clothesline adds style and structure to some fabulous home decor projects.
We've thought up a laundry list of ideas for this fine line, starting with our adorable Quick Clothesline Carry-Alls (IJ899). Funky and folksy, this handy bag can be constructed in a few hours. Want more inspiration? Try these tips. Use clothesline to make your own piping for a pillow or upholstery project. Swathe clothesline in scraps of fabric and stitch together to form a coaster, trivet, placemat or rug. Coil it into a flat circle and use a zig-zag stitch to secure each layer. Hot glue a border of fabric-covered clothesline to a picture frame or wrap around a tin can to make one pretty planter.
We asked Jeri Lijewski, designer of the Quick Clothesline Carry-Alls, for her tips and tricks for crafting with clothesline.
Indygo Junction: What are the benefits of sewing with clothesline?
Jeri Lijewski: Cotton clothesline gives the bag, or project you are working on, dimension and stability. I like the old-fashioned rag rug look that you get with the continual lines of fabric covered rope. I also think that with the right fabrics the items have a wonderful "bought on our world trip" look.
IJ: What can you make with clothesline?
JL: Obviously, I like making totes and baskets with clothesline. Bowls are fun, coasters, placemats. I am working on a pincushion idea. A rug might be a fun project to tackle.
IJ: What other materials do you like to work with?
JL: I have had a thing for wool blend felt for a few years. I love all the colors, the ease of cutting and stitching - and no raw edges to turn under! Like clothesline crafts, felt has a traditional, old-timey feel.
IJ: What inspires you and your designs?
JL: Color is always what seems to get the creative juices flowing. I also like taking a difficult process and simplifying it. I am basically a teacher at heart and love to pass on ideas and shortcuts to other sewists.
IJ: What advice can you give to someone who has never sewn with clothesline before? Are there any challenges to sewing with it?
JL: Buy cotton clothesline. It can have a synthetic core, but pass on clothesline that is 100% synthetic. Use a heavy needle, either a 90/14 or a 100/16 topstitch or jeans needle. I have had students with all types of sewing machines, and they all can sew through the cord just fine. Some machines need a little manual lift on the presser foot to get the clothesline under, but then you are good to go. Just remember to lower the presser foot lever to engage the tension discs, or you will get a bird's nest of thread!
How do you use clothesline in your crafting projects?