My friend, Elizabeth, and I have recently been on a box-making course at Sticky Fingers in Coppull, near Chorley in Lancashire. During the course, which consisted of three full days spread over several weeks, we made a fabric-covered box.
Wendy Deverill, our tutor, is one of the owners of Sticky Fingers. I don’t think she will mind me saying that she has very high standards! Actually, although I am very much a “near enough, is good enough” type of crafter, I expect tutors of courses, classes and workshops I attend, to have very high standards. After all, what is the point of being taught shortcuts and easy options, if you don’t learn the exact and proper way that you are deviating from? If I’m learning, I want to learn to do it properly: it is then my choice whether to continue in that way or to take shortcuts.
Wendy set each of us working on a square box. The picture above shows my square box! I had made fabric-covered boxes on a short course with Little Sis 15 or 20 years ago, in Somerset. However, Wendy’s method was very different from that which I had been taught previously. In effect, Wendy had us making two boxes: an outer and a liner. Different fabrics were used for each. I wish I could tell you the name of the fabric I used for my outer but, unfortunately, I have no idea. I bought it at a quilt show in deepest Lancashire, probably two or three years ago. I can’t even tell you where the show was because neither Elizabeth nor I can remember! We happened across the show on our way home from somewhere: we noticed a small sign advertising the show and pointing down a turning, so we simply followed it. It was a good exhibition, with lovely people. There was a sales table which sported a lot of fabric. The ladies had been asked if they could try to sell the stash of a member who had recently died. My lovely blue flowered fabric was part of that stash.
Oops! Sorry, I wandered off the point a bit, there!
Returning to our boxes, the board for the outer was 2mm thick and that for the inner was considerably lighter weight. I have to say that I found the outer far easier to cover than the inner. It didn’t help that I felt as though I was making the box twice – especially as I made a coupe of errors when measuring the inner so had to unpick it and stitch it again!
For me, the most difficult part was attaching the ribbons which prevent the lid from dropping right back when the box is opened. I think I misunderstood where we should measure for the placement of the ribbon on the lid, so that probably made things more difficult.
I am fairly pleased with the end result but I do think that the way I have positioned the ribbons has diminished my pleasure. Let’s hope that the next box I make turns out better!
If you are interested in seeing what some of Wendy’s other students in her various classes have made, there is an opportunity on Saturday 18 July 2015. They are holding their third Exhibition of Patchwork and Quilting at the Methodist Church and Hall, Spendmore Lane, Coppull PR7 5BX. The exhibition venue is just along from the Sticky Fingers shop. All sorts of items worked on in their classes will be displayed, as well as the final pieces and design work of Wendy’s City and Guilds students. The exhibition will be open from 10.00am – 4.00pm, and all proceeds will be donated to Pancreatic Cancer Action.