In a previous post, Sewing Room Problems and Solutions, I offered that the first person to find the stray spool of thread that escaped my sewing room clean-up would win a handmade, quilted fabric box.
Congratulations to Cindy, who was the first person to reply, so I gave her a choice of either one of the boxes in the post From 2D to 3D or I could make one in her favorite color, she chose one in her favorite color green.
If green was the color, then what shape was the box going to be? I have made four sided boxes before, but I wanted to try a six sided box with a hexagon base and a flap closure. In order to have a continuous quilt pattern going around the box that was not interrupted by raw edge joins on the sides.
When making fabric boxes, there are different ways of laying out the pieces for construction. I usually prefer to start with a base and have the sides connect to the base and any lid flaps connect to the corresponding sides. In this case, the hexagon base would have a square connected to each side of the hexagon and on the opposite side of each square from the hexagon would be the triangular lid flaps. It would look the this:
The sides would be sewn together after the stabilizer was sewn to the fabric.
So, another option was to make the sides and lid parts as one unit and the base separately. This layout would look like this:
This would mean there would be only one unobtrusive side seam (finished and not raw edge). This made it possible machine quilt the side in a continuous line design around the box. The lid flaps were similarly quilted. The base and sides are constructed separately and then hand stitched together.
With the box constructed the other way, it would be possible to machine quilt it but it would have a different finished appearance and not one I was looking for with this box.
Here are the steps used to make this box:
1. cut out hexagon, six squares and six “triangles” from Peltex stabilizer.
- The sides of the squares are equal in length to the sides of the hexagon.
- The sides of the triangles are equal in length to the sides of the hexagon and squares, but two sides are convexly curved so that the flaps will overlap.
2. Hexagon stabilizer piece was sewn with an over-edge zigzag stitched to the wrong side of the inside lining fabric.
3. The outside decorative fabric was sewn to the lining fabric with right sides together using a straight stitch about 1/16″ from the edge of the hexagon, leaving one side unsewn.
4. The hexagon base was turned right side out and the unsewn opening was hand stitched closed and was machine stitched about an 1/8″ in from the edge all the way around.
5. The base was quilted to reflect the same pattern that would be quilted on the sides.
6. The side squares are over-edge zigzag stitched to the wrong side of the inside lining fabric with about a 1/16 of an inch separating them.
7. Then the lid triangles are sewn to the same fabric, each with a 1/16 of an inch separating them from the squares.
8. The outside decorative fabric is sewn to the bottom edge of the lining fabric with the sides and lid parts, by placing right sides together and sewing about 1/6 of an inch from the squares.
9. The side seams are sewn together.
10. The outside decorative fabric is pulled up to cover the stabilizer, making a quilt sandwich of lining fabric on bottom, stabilizer in the middle and outside fabric on top. This forms a tube.
11. The sides were stitched along about 1/8″ up from the bottom edge and stitched along the top edge of the sides, in the space between the squares and the triangles.
12. The sides were quilted in one continuous line.
Here is where I would have proceeded differently, with what I know now. I would have quilted the lid pieces at the same time as the sides, before stitching around the lid pieces and trimming the fabric around each triangle flap. It would have been easier that way.
13. Each flap was stitched around with a straight stitch about an 1/8″ in from the edge of the stabilizer. The excess fabric was trimmed back to about 1/4 allowance.
14. The lid flaps were quilted.
15. The fabric was trimmed back to almost even with the stabilizer and the edges were finished with an over-edge zigzag stitch.
16. The hexagon base was hand stitched to the side/lid piece.
17. The final touch was beading a pattern around the box that echoed the quilted pattern.