A quick quilted fabric box.
Free motion quilting is not a talent of mine. I would much rather be hand quilting, where I feel I have much better control of my stitches. I love my machine, but putting that darning foot on and dropping the feed dogs sends me into a bit of a panic! Hand quilting isn’t always going to fit into my schedule so sometimes… machine quilting it is. In such cases, before I get started I pull out a couple of old fat quarters and do some practice quilting. I end up with all of these quilted squares hanging around; I want to toss them, but I can’t. I just know there must be something I can do with them!
The other night night, I was quietly nursing and rocking my youngest and I started to think of origami. I love all of the things you can create from a simple square of paper, animals, stars, flowers… then I thought of my quilted squares. I was folding and turning the squares in my head and almost immediately saw a box, a very simple box!
Today, I decided to try it out.
I started this just like any other practice quilting run, I found two fat quarters, sandwiched them with some batting and squared them up. I chose 15″ because I had a batting scrap a little larger than that.
Next I pinned the 3 layers together, sketched out a quilting design and set to work quilting it on my machine.
Next you have to decide on how tall you want your box. I decided to make a sqaure box with 5″ sides and a 5″ bottom.
Draw lines marking your sides, if you are going to have 5″ tall “walls” or sides of your box, measure and mark 5″ in from the outside. Do this on the fabric which will be the OUTSIDE of your box.
Take the sandwich to your ironing board and fold along this line and then press. Repeat the process for all four sides.
Next, fold up two adjoining sides, at the corner match the draw lines, folding the excess fabric into a triangle.
Lay the resulting triangle along a wall of the interior of the box, matching the top edges. Continue to do this with each corner always laying your triangle along a new wall. When you finish each wall will have a half triangle and the thickness of each wall will be the same along the top.
Now it is time to sew up the sides, I like the look of a ladder stitch. When you pull the thread tight it will disappear into the fabric, giving you a very clean edge.
If you prefer not to hand sew, you could use a wide zigzag
Continue, using your preferred method along each corner. Next, flip the box inside out and sew down the triangles. Again, I prefer to hand sew, but this could also be done on your machine. Keep in mind if you use your machine for this step you will have a zigzag showing diagonally on the outside of your box.
Now all we have left to do is bind the top! To have a 1″ wide binding cut your fabric into 7″ strips. I do not press my binding in half before sewing because the fold is never exactly in the center.
Mark where a 1″ seam allowance falls on your machine.
Fold your binding in half, match the raw edges of the binding with the raw edges of the box and machine stitch the binding to the outside of your box. It is best to start sewing about 1/3 of the way in from a corner, be sure to leave a 6″ or 7″ tail of binding before you start sewing.
I typically close my binding with a continuous binding method (this is a great tutorial for continuous binding) however the box is so small, I found a square end to be best.
If you are unfamiliar with how to attach a binding, follow these basic steps:
After finishing off your binding, flip the box inside out and sew you binding down to the inside of the box.
Flip your box right side out and you are done!