Welcome to Team Timeless, an ongoing series of fun tutorials brought to you by some of our favorite designers! Osie Lebowitz is back this month with instructions for a handy set of nesting boxes to make for your sewing room.

Use them to store fabrics, WIPs, batting scraps and anything else your crafty heart desires! And, it being back-to-school season, how about whipping up a few of these boxes for the teachers and students in your life? They would be great for organizing supplies in a classroom or dorm!

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Follow along to make the 12″, 9″ and 6″ versions using our new Tonga Orchid collection. (Download a printer-friendly PDF version of this tutorial here!)

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12” Fabric Storage Box

Fabric Requirements
1 pack Treat-Mini-Orchid (5” squares)
½ yard each of 4 different fabrics from the Tonga Orchid Collection

Additional Requirements
1 package – ByAnnie Soft and Stable, size 36” x 58”
1 (11 1/2”) square piece of carboard for box base


From Tonga Treat Orchid Minis:

Choose 9 fabrics from the Mini pack and trim to 4 ½” square

From various ½ yards Tonga Orchid Fabrics:

Cut four 12 ½” x width of fabric (WOF), sub-cut into eleven 12 ½” squares (select 3 for sides, 1 for bottom, 5 for lining and 2 for cardboard cover)

From Soft and Stable

Cut five 12 ½” squares and cut two 1” x 7” strips for handles.

Box Construction:

All seams allowances are ¼” and pieces are right side together, unless noted.

  1. Lay out nine 4 ½” squares in three rows with three squares in each row in a pleasing order. Sew 3 squares together in each row.   Sew the three rows together while matching seams and press to create a 12 ½” Nine Patch block. This will be the front outside of the box.
  2. Place the Nine Patch Block on top of a 12 ½” Soft and Stable square, aligning the edges. Pin the two layers together and quilt as desired. TIP: I found it very helpful to sew/quilt using my walking foot when working with Soft and Stable.
  3. Place a 12 ½” outside fabric on top of a 12 ½” Soft and Stable square, aligning the edges. Pin the two layers together and quilt as desired. Repeat to make a total of 3 outside squares and one bottom square.
  4. To make handles, fold one long edge of 3” x 8” handle fabric under a ¼” and press. Place 1” x 7” Soft and Stable strip on top of the wrong side 3” x 8” fabric, while centering 7” strip over the 8” fabric. You will need enough fabric on the non-folded long edge to wrap about 3/8” onto the 1” x 7” Soft and Stable, pin in place. Fold both fabric short ends over the Soft and Stable, pin in place. Lastly, fold over the long-folded edge over the Soft and Stable to overlap the first fabric edge, pin in place and press. Top stitch round the 1” x 7” Soft and Stable to hold fabric in place. Repeat for second handle.
  5. Position handle on the outside of a box side, measuring down from the top 2 ¼” and centering side to side. Pin in place and sew the 1” edges of the handles to attached to box side. Repeat for second handle on second box side.OPTIONAL: It could be fun to sew buttons on the ends of handles to attached the handles to the box, like I did on the medium-size box.oButton-Closeup
  6. Following figure 1, layout the five box layers (Nine Patch front, 3 sides and bottom quilted layers) with fabric side facing up.   Be sure the handles on the sides are the further away from the bottom layer. With right sides together (fabric facing in and Soft and Stable on the outside) sew seam #1 (refer to figure 1). Be sure to start and stop seam ¼” from each corner. Repeat for seam #2, #3 and # 4.

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  1. Time to sew the box corners (refer to figure 2). Start with the Nine Patch front and one side with the handles. Pull the corner edges together with right sides together to meet and pin in place. Sew from the bottom of the box and all the way to the top edge. Repeat for the other three corners.   Turn box right side out.

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  1. Repeat Step 6 and 7 using five 12 ½” lining fabrics. The lining fabrics only, no Soft and Stable layers.   Sew with ½” seam allowance instead of 1/4” seam allowance on the lining only (this makes the lining fit better). Leave a 6” to 8” opening on one of the bottom/side pieces for turning later. Do Not turn right side out at this time.
  2. Place the outside box from Step 7 inside the lining square (the fabrics will be right sides together). Match up each corner and pin in place along the top edge of the box. Use several more pins to hold the top edges aligned.   Sew around the top of the box.
  3. Use the opening on the lining bottom to turn fabric box right sides out.   Press around the top edge of the box and top stitch.
  • Hand stitch the opening in the box lining.
  1. Lay cardboard box base inside the box to check for size.   If the fit is too tight, trim the cardboard to size.
  2. Place two 12 ½” fabrics (to cover cardboard) right side together. Sew only 3 sides together using a generous ¼” seam allowance. Trim corners and turn right side out and insert cardboard into the open side and hand stitch the opening closed.   Place the fabric covered cardboard inside the box.


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To keep the fun going, I also made a 9” Fabric Box.

Fabric Requirements and Cutting:

Use your leftovers squares from the Minis and trim the squares to 3 ½”.

You will need 1/3 yard of 3 different fabrics from the Tonga Orchid Collection. Cut them 9 ½” x WOF, sub-cut eleven 9 ½” squares.

Cut five 9 ½” squares and cut two 1” x 7” strips for handles from the leftover packs of Soft and Stable.

1 (8 ½”) square piece of cardboard for box base.

Follow Box Construction steps to complete the 9” Box.

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Last but not least, I used the leftover supplies to make a 6” Fabric Box. Using the leftover fabrics, I striped pieced the box front. Cut 9 fabrics 6 ½” square and 5 Soft and Stable 6 ½” squares.  I found this size box didn’t require a piece of cardboard. Again, follow the Box Construction steps to complete the 6” Box.

Thanks for following along! See you in November for my next Team Timeless tutorial!

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