Thursday, March 28, 2013

Fabric Box Tutorial

 I hope you enjoy this little fabric box tutorial as much as I do. It is simple enough to complete in about an hour, which makes it perfect for a last minute hostess gift. Fill it with candy and you are ready to go! 

A friend gave me the pattern* a couple of years ago, but after I made the first sample, I lost the pattern! Luckily, I remembered what to do, and wrote up my own instructions. There was no indication of who had designed it, so if you know whose pattern this is, please do let me know. I haven't seen anything else like it online.

*The original was a one page, hand drawn pattern that looked like it had been photocopied a number of times. I interpreted the pattern in a completely different way from my friend.

Let's get started!

You will need:

 (2) squares of fabric, between 8" and 12". My sample was made with 10" squares. 

A piece of batting the same size as the fabric (or a little bigger).

(4) coordinating buttons, optional.

A walking foot, if you have one.

Step 1: Layer the fabric, right sides together, on top of the batting.

Step 2:  Stitch 1/4" seam around perimeter, leaving an opening of about 4" on one side.

Step 3: Trim away the batting from the seam allowances to reduce bulk. Trim as close to the stitching line as you can without clipping into it!

Step 4: Turn right side out and press.

Step 5: Top stitch close to the edge, closing the opening as you go.

Step 6: Quilt as desired. I just kept going around and stitched concentric squares...

... until my bobbin ran out!

Step 7: Fold the quilted square in half, right side in. Mark a 2" triangle in the corners.
(If you started with a different size square, you may want to alter this dimension.)

Stitch the 2 bottom corners, back-tacking at the beginning and end. Since I had used a Frixion pen for marking, I just needed to hit it with an iron to erase the line!

Step 8: Open it up and fold it in the other direction, marking and stitching the remaining 2 corners.

Step 9: Turn the box right side out.

 Step 10: I like mine with the points folded down...

 ... and the inside flaps tacked down.

If you would like to eliminate the inside flaps, try Connie's modification with French Seams!

Step 11: Stitch on some cute buttons, if desired.
(I bought these buttons at Walmart. I think I need to go back and get more in every color!)

Starting with 10" squares, the boxes finish at about 4" x 4" x 3" high.

My original sample was made with Meadowsweet leftovers. I still love that collection so much!

And this is the one I made last weekend for Barbara. This one started with a 12" square, so I made the sides a little higher (2.5" corners in step 7).

Have fun with the tutorial and let me know if you make one!

Edit 4/13/14: I am not affiliated in any way with the pattern being sold on Craftsy for $6.

Edit 5/22/14 for clarification: The pattern I was given did not include any authorship information, or I would have given credit from the start. There were just a few hand drawn diagrams and cryptic text open for interpretation. It was not a copy of the pattern being sold on Craftsy. I wish there was a name on the original drawing, but there was not. I struggled with offering it online, but I felt my finished product was more detailed and my instructions were much clearer. I added the quilting and the buttons that were not included in the original.

The pattern on Craftsy was not offered until after I had posted my free tutorial. I believe the designer used the ideas that I had fleshed out. If she used her own photos and text, there is no copyright infringement. I haven't purchased it, so I don't know that to be true. She claims there are design differences, but her sample in the Craftsy listing looks just like mine. It is even quilted the same way. I don't believe she is the designer of the pattern I was given many years ago.

Because the basis for this fabric box was not my original idea, I struggled with offering the tutorial at all. I did not feel it was right to profit from it by selling the pattern. Again, I wish the person who drew the original diagrams by hand had signed her work.

It is in the spirit of sharing that I offer this free tutorial. They look great filled with candy or a small potted plant. You may use it as a guild or sewing bee project. You may make them to sell for charity fundraisers. If you make them to sell for personal gain, please drop me an email.

Visit my Pinterst board to see how other sewists are interpreting this project.