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It's still July so we must still be talking about Christmas...

It's still July so we must still be talking about Christmas...

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It's supposed to be 100 degrees today with a Heat Index about 10 degrees higher than that.  So instead of Christmas, let's talk about berries.  Specifically, Fabric Berry Boxes.

These measure about 5" x 5" square and about 3-3/4" tall.  The fabric is Farmer's Daughter by Lella Boutique - Vanessa Goertzen - and the pattern is Fabric Berry Box by Anna Graham of Noodlehead.  It's a free DIY tutorial that you find here.

Wouldn't these make terrific Christmas gifts?  Or be great for holding Christmas cards?  Candy?  Small gifts for visitors?  Candy?

Or charm packs or thread.  That works too.

The supplies are easy:

  • 2 fat quarters - or 2 - 16" squares
  • 1 - 2" strip of fabric for the binding or store-bought pre-made binding.
  • 1/4 yard of Pellon 72F - a fusible ultra-firm stabilizer
  • Aurifil 40wt. thread for top-stitching ~ I added this as I found that the slightly heavier thread showed up better for the top-stitching.
  • Binding clips - they'll make stitching the binding a bit easier.

While the boxes are fairly easy to make, there are a couple of things to note:

  • Printing the template - make sure you print it on Actual Size.  Measure the 1" box to check the size.  I didn't do that so these are a bit smaller than they should be.  It's not a deal-breaker, a different size template will just mean you need to cut the Pellon-interfacing to the size of your stitched piece.
  • Fusing the interfacing - I found that I preferred slipping the bottom square into the stitched piece and then fusing it, rather than fusing it to the one side before turning.
  • If you're not using pre-made binding... I started with strips that measured 2" x 24".  Two of these three were on the straight of grain, the gingham was cut on the bias.  To make the folded binding, I used a Sasher in the 1" size to make the folded edges.  A Clover Bias Maker will do the same thing - yes, it also works on straight-of-grain strips.
    • Or fold the strip in half with wrong sides together and press to get a nice fold.  Then open the strip and press each side to the center line and press.  Use the pressed fold as the stitching line.
  • Attaching the binding onto the box - use pins.  Anna recommends 1/2" space, I found that I liked a little bit less.  You'll figure out what you like as you're shaping your first box.
  • Stitching the binding to the box... this isn't easy.  But it isn't hard.  It just takes a little practice because you're essentially "fighting" the Pellon.  Practice helps.  Not expecting absolute perfection will help more.
  • Top-stitching.  To keep the folded-over binding in place while stitching, binding clips simply work better than pins.  When it comes to the actual top-stitching, remember that perfection is overrated.

I included this picture so that you can see there are places where the stitching isn't a perfectly even, straight line.  While I wish it were... I can live with this.  I choose to embrace "wabi-sabi", the Japanese tradition of finding and appreciating the beauty of imperfection.

And yes, just to see what it looked like, I added additional stitching lines to this box.

In addition to Berry Boxes, I have been making a list of some sewing I'd like to do before December, gifts and treats, and things for decorating.  Several of those items are things we've shown in the past couple of years...

Pillows.  Of course.

I love these pillows from last year but there have been some really cute quilt patterns - big and mini - that would be perfect for a Red & White pillow.  (I'll share those in December.)

Embroidery!  I would like to get at least one thing embroidered for Christmas and I think it might have to be one of Anne Sutton's Stocking Treats blocks for a pillow or to frame.  Anne designed an adorable quilt and she's posting a new Stocking Treats pattern each week - and they're free.

This is Block 1 - you can find the pattern on the Bunny Hill Blog.  There are already three blocks and they're adorable.  If you need a refresher course on embroidery, or some other Christmas stitchery ideas, you can find that here.

I will need a few more Candy Canes - if nothing else, we've had some wonderful red fabrics this past year.

Zipper bags for little gifts?  The only thing I still have to decide is whether to use Christmas fabric or just something pretty.

We shared the tutorial for these little zipper bags here.

And finally, I have a red and green for Christmas WIP quilt that might need to be re-classified as a UFO if I don't finish it this year.  If you need inspiration or motivation to make a Christmas quilt of your own, one of these might help.

This quilt - Colorway by Camille Roskelley of Bonnie & Camille – this Thimbleblossoms pattern is still on my "wish list"... to-do list.

So are you making a list - of holiday sewing?  Checking it twice?

Be nice... or I'll tell you how many days are left before...

Nah.  I don't want to think about that either.

Happy Friday!