Friday, December 22, 2023

Beginner Friendly Quilted Bucket Tutorial

For our December Aurifil Artisan challenge I chose to make a couple of quilted buckets. Having sewn similar from thread catcher patterns and online tutorials, my goal was to end up with ones that served the same purpose and were visually pleasing but constructed with simplified steps - omitting my dreaded tasks and adding in my most favorites. 

The quilting itself can be elaborate like the blue example, straight line stitching like the floral or anything else the maker feels comfortable doing.   Because the fabric bucket can be used for whatever you want - the measurements are only a guideline.  You can use any rectangle size you prefer.  

The front and back are the same size and the bottom is a 2" strip the same as your width.  These were cut two @ 6.5"x8.5" and one @ 2"x8.5" then sewn together as shown below.  Measure the size of the newly sewn rectangle unit and jot this number down to refer to when it's time to cut your lining. My example measures 14" once stitched. 

Keep in mind that the sides and bottom will wrap so you'll want to avoid positioning your favorite part of the fabric near those edges.  

Fold your sewn rectangle unit in half right sides together and stitch the sides as shown below.  Next, using a ruler mark a 1 1/2" square using the bottom fold line and the side stitch line then cut with scissors. 
Right sides together, fold to line up the side seem in the center and sew the raw edges from the cut out portion together.  *edited to include a step by step visual mosaic for boxing the bottom. There are a lot of video tutorials available that you can search and refer to as well. 

Repeat on the other side to form a boxed bottom.  Turn the bucket exterior right side out as shown below   


Including a bottom strip may seem like an unnecessary extra step but it not only allows you to orient directional print correctly but it also helps create a flat stable base.

I had originally picked the honeycomb fabric but felt it was too bold and graphic so I auditioned more from my stash and was happy with the dustier palette and organic scallops instead. 

Depending on how much of the lining you would like to show as the top accent, take the measurement that you jotted down from the exterior sewn rectangle and add about 1" to 1.5" to the longest.  In my example the exterior was 14"x8.5" so I cut my lining 15.5"x8.5".  Note that the width remains unchanged.

Construct your lining in a similar way by sewing the sides, cutting the 1 1/2" squares from the bottom and boxing it.  A couple of things are different for the lining: You leave it wrong side out and you fold and press the top down 1/4" and then again to meet the exterior. 

Set the lining inside and fiddle with the amount of fold until it rests flush.  If the amount of fabric showing is more than you like, simply refold the 1/4" raw edge fold more to reduce the visible accent rim.  This flexibility to easily alter the look and have a forgiving fit is the way I like to work.

Machine stitch around the top to secure the lining.  You can see that I sewed close to the edges and through the middle of the lines but you can include as many passes as you like to make the top even more structured.  I used 2930 Golden Toast 50wt for piecing and 40wt for topstitching. 

An alternative to topstitching multiple lines by machine is to hand sew with 12wt.  I love the look and texture it gives the rim of the floral bucket and think the treatment compliments the 40/3 wt channel stitching well.

This method is also more beginner friendly for those who struggle with aligning topstitching by machine.   I like not having to leave a side seam open for turning that needs to be sewn closed after like commonly done in other patterns.  

Fabric and batting scraps are perfect for this project and they make great gifts.  Even though similar quilted buckets are marketed as thread catchers for quilters, they come in handy for storing lots of other things too. 

Timing was perfect for these two projects.  I was able to complete both despite the busy holiday season and gift them to my swap partners without the stress of complicated construction.  Pairing fabrics and thread to personalize them for the recipients is where I'd rather focus my creative energy. 

Aurifil Threads : 
2930 Golden Toast 40 wt and 50 wt 
2715  Robins Egg Blue Fory/3 wt
2250 Red 12wt 
5020 Light Military Green Forty/3 wt