Friday, August 24, 2012

A Political Thread Box for 2012

I made a thread box in the tradition of 19th-century campaign memorabilia.

Going back to this Andrew Jackson box from about 1830.

I bought a fat quarter of the Obama campaign fabric I put up on the Spoonflower.com site.  I fussy cut it for the top. I decided to cut the fabrics 5" square so this pattern would work for a charm pack, which contains 42 squares, 5" each.

You need:
  • 12 squares of fabric.
  • Cardboard scraps.
  • A little fiberfill to stuff the top.
  • A button for a pull.
See the Obama Campaign Fabric here:

I used pieces from my new Civil War reproduction line Metropolitan Fair. I decided to cut from yardage (because I have the yardage that's been air-freighted in.) The yardage won't be in the shops for about 6 weeks, but the Charm packs are available now. I used the little star for the bottom and the sides.

Cut 5 inch squares of fabric
For the top: cut 1.
For the sides: cut 4.
For the insides: cut 6.
For the outside bottom: cut 1.
12 in all.

If you are using charm squares you might want to sort them into darks and lights because you get some nice contrast when you open the box.

Cut 6 pieces of cardboard. I used scraps but you might want to use white mat board. I cut these 4-1/4" square.

Pair off the fabric squares and place them face to face to sew up like little pillow cases. Clip the ends and turn inside out. Press.
Insert the carboard and finish up the top with a whip stitch by hand. (You could probably do this on the machine.) Press.
For the top I added a handful of fiberfill so it could be a pin cushion.

Then whip stitch the finished squares together. Here's how they go. You are looking at the inside of the box.  The lighter pink square in the center is the bottom of the box. The blue square to the right is the top (upside down). I left those threads hanging because I still have to whip stitch the sides together to make a box.

Be sure to put the candidate with his chin towards the opening for the top. I did that wrong the first time. I added a button for a handle, but you could make a little loop too.

It's a thread box and a pincushion
and a souvenir of the 2012 election.

I plan to put this in the American Quilt Study Group's charity auction that raises funds for the group at the annual seminar in October. I made something with limited edition campaign fabric for the last election and raised a lot of money.

I suggest you use this campaign fabric to make gifts and fund raisers. The print is copyright by me, but you may buy it and make things to sell for charity or profit. That's why we print fabric.


  1. What a memorable box! and thanks for the directions - looks easy and I'm sure the recipient would appreciate your time making the box!

  2. Your box came out beautifully, but I like the idea of putting my kitty head in it, lol.


  3. I love the look of your thread box. Thanks for sharing the directions, it would make a fun group make and take project.

  4. Where the other comments go? Not wise to be political on a quilting blog. You invited the comments but then didn't like them. Not very smart. IMO

  5. where do I get the Obama fabric?

  6. O'Quilts: Here's the link

  7. Great instructions for box construction.

  8. http://oquilts.blogspot.com/2012/08/my-modern-political-quilt.html

    just thought I would share my new modern political quilt.

  9. I'm always on the hunt for fun, quick projects. This is right up my alley. Thanks for sharing and thanks for such clear instructions. I'm heading into the sewing room right now!