The small challenge in our ThreadBenders group this year was called 3-D Boxes with Covers. Here are the rules:
“The box may be any shape and made from any material. It must be no smaller than a 6″ cube and no larger than a 15″ cube. It must be able to stand on a table on it’s own. At least one side has to open and the inside must be visible. Some portion must be quilted (three layers held together with stitching).”
The resulting pieces are a fascinating array of unique containers made by a very talented group of fiber artists. You can see them all at: https://threadbendersblog.wordpress.com.
Making my “box” was an adventure and I’d like to tell you a bit about it.
I had no idea what to do at first, so I decided to go through my UFO bins and find an unfinished project that was yelling for me to do something with it. What surfaced was 4 “Spin Star” blocks made with a wild Jane Sassamann fabric.
I needed to make one additional “Stack and Whack” style block, leaving the bottom of the box available for a piece of the original fabric – so everyone could see what the blocks started from.
The rules stated that the box needed to have a portion that opens to reveal the inside. I decided to have an entire corner of my box open. This presented some interesting logistic problems. Three sides of my cube could be finished as simple squares before putting the box together. That would be the fabric on the bottom of the box, pictured above, and these 2:
The remaining three sides needed to be made as 3/4s of a square, with the last 1/4 finished separately so it could swing open.
To make the sides stiff I used plastic mesh canvas, batting, and Pellon Decor Bond™. I layered each block with the batting and quilted it first. Then I put the rest of the layers together and beaded through everything to hold them all in place. Once each side was complete I sewed it all together by hand.
Three flaps open in a top corner to reveal the inside. I found the box was still a bit wobbly at this time, so I glued in some wooden stabilizers (painted black).
The flaps struck me as boring, so I decided to make them more interesting by adding a portion of one of my favorite Scripture verses to each: “Ask and you shall receive, Seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened onto you” Matthew 7:7. It fit well on the three “doors” of my box.
The closure was a bit tricky. I glued flat glass beads onto pins, stuck them into the edge of the flap, then I attached metal rings to clasp them.
The “doors” didn’t lay as smoothly as I had imagined, but it was my first attempt – and I can live with it ?.
I learned a lot along the way and love my new piece of art. Sommer and Trey keep wanting to fill it with toys, but that will have to wait until after our 3D boxes have been exhibited. If you know of a venue that would like to show all of our pieces, please let me know.
My Spin Star class has been one of my most popular workshops over the years. In it we make 4 blocks that can be placed in a table runner or wall hanging. And it’s amazing how different they can each be!
I’m scheduled to teach it again at Sew Much More in Waukesha on Friday, October 11th. Click here for all the details!
While you’re there, please check out my “Snow-people Topper” class too. I’ll be teaching it on November 22nd.
The batting in this project is polar fleece, and it peeks through to make the faces.
Quilting really makes me smile!