Friday, 21 September 2012

Nesting Boxes

This is one of the loveliest and practical  projects in the book BUT it takes a LOT of time! I think I would have spent a good 10 hours on this project doing the boxes as per the pattern in the book.

Fabric and Cutting

The fabric comes from Howard Marcus' 'Collections for a Cause' and is called 'Hope'. I have some leftover jelly roll strips from a queen-sized quilt, a bag, a dresser runner and placemats. 
I find that cutting everything out first is helpful. I decided to use the spotty fabric for the lining rather than linen.

I highly recommend reading through a couple of the posts by faithful Amanda The Patchsmith and  Debbie at A Quilter's Table. There is also an alternative method of construction posted by Wendy the Crafter's Apprentice.

I followed Amanda's tip for sewing  bottom in an opposite sequence.

Hand sewing the box together took watch some good drama. I've been watching 'Wallander' and 'Case Histories'.


Fabric Wastage - I struggled with the fact that the batting and lining was a good deal bigger than was needed. It had me scratching my head late at night and then again in the morning. Thanks to Debbie, for also noting the same problem - otherwise I would have thought I was crazy. Rather than cut it off I decided to fold it over and use it under the binding.
Binding - Then I used a 3" wide jelly roll strip in a single-fold binding. I should have thought about making the ends neat and tucked beforehand - but I ended up having to spend extra time unpicking, trimming and re-sewing them to get a clean finish.


I added fusible interfacing to the sides of the box which gave it a good stiffness at the end. I forgot to add some to the bottom and they are noticeably softer even with quilting.
I decided to keep the decoration simple so I left out the leaf applique.
They nest nicely and...
 match my dresser runner.

Linking up with...

Zakka Style Sew Along


  1. Your nesting boxes are fabulous! They look worth all the time and effort you put into them! (I love Case Histories BTW!!)

  2. They look terrific! And such a handy thing to have, nice work!

  3. These are awesome! I like the way you done your binding, that's fab!

  4. They're just beautiful, Fiona!! And they are so perfect for the top of your dresser :)

    Happy anniversary!

  5. They look fabulous - and they work so well with the runner.
    Thanks for linking into TGIFF :)

  6. Your nestng boxes look great! Thanks for the tips and links. I'm intending to make some of these for my grandma as a Christmas gift and I have bookmarked your post for reference.

  7. Your boxes look lovely, I really like the fabrics you have used. Haven't tried these yet but will certainly be checking your tips when I do :)

  8. A beautiful finish, Fiona, and they look lovely with the runner! I really like the top edges and the spotty lining, too!

  9. Beautiful boxes! I am just wondering about the binding, did you sew it under the batting and backing fabric and just turn it over? It looks very neat and lovely!

    1. Good question - if you look at the middle photo above the 'Binding' section you may see that I sewed the binding strip a quarter inch down onto the front panel. Then I folded it back over the top of the box as a 'single fold' binding and sewed three rows of straight stitch to quilt it in place. I didn't turn under the strip on the inside by 1/4" but rather left the selvedge raw edge exposed. I hope this helps.

  10. Thanks for the detailed pictures of constructions, I need to make some of those - and I probably usually skip interfacing even when things call for it, so thanks for the comparison between the sides and bottom sturdiness.

    1. I think that without interfacing, on this project, that the sides would look a little saggy but also because I skipped the leaf applique and the flower quilting in the fabric squares, it was not as sturdy as the 'by the book' finishes as others found.

  11. They look wonderful! Glad you stuck it out to the end and didn't give up on making them! =D

  12. Ooh, great job. They look great, Fiona!


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