Casserole Cubby

My mother in law had borrowed her sister’s casserole carrier and asked if I could make one for her.  It seemed simple enough, and a good excuse to practice some free-motion quilting.  I measured up the carrier that she’d lent me and the dimensions looked something like this:

12.5″ x 40″ for the handle piece (includes 1/4″ seam allowance and allowance for handles)

10.5″ x 36″ for the cover piece (includes 1/4″ seam allowance)

The pieces should look something like this:

handle pieceII

cover piece

I cut the lining fabric and the outer fabric to these sizes and cut the first piece of wadding the same size as the cover piece. I cut the other piece of wadding 12″x 36″so that it fitted when poked in to the handle piece.

This also requires two pieces of thickish dowel around 8″ long and a piece of plywood or MDF around 10″x 12″.

I also watched a YouTube clip from Niler Taylor about how to make a “casserole cubby” which I loved the name of and is definitely worth a look if you’re making something like this.

I cut a rectangle 4″x4.5″ out of the top of the handle piece to make the turnover for the handles.

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And rounded the edges of the cover piece using very high tech equipment (a pasta bowl). I folded the strip in half to do both sides evenly and at the same time.

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To join it all together I first did the “cover” piece that goes in the middle to hold the casserole. I sandwiched the backing fabric, the wadding and the print fabric and basted with spray.  I then free-motion quilted it and used binding to tidy up the edges.  I also added Velcro pieces to hold it closed.

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I then did the “outer” piece.  I sewed the right sides of the backing piece and the print piece together, turned it inside out, poked the wadding in, top stitched the whole thing closed, then ran a line of stitching along either side to keep the wadding in place.  I then turned the handle pieces in towards the inner fabric and sewed them in place along two sides (the outer edge and the edge that was folded over).  You have to leave the inner edge open to allow for the pieces of dowel, of course.

I then found the centre of the pieces and placed one on top of the other like a cross (both pieces lining side up with the cover bit on the top) , then stitched three sides together, leaving one long edge open on the inside for the plywood. I matched the threads to the fabric colours as much as possible so this bit was camouflaged and didn’t detract from the free-motion quilting.

Add doweling and plywood and you’re done!

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Some things I learned making my version were

  • Remember to put wadding in BOTH sections, not just the bit you want to quilt and make look all pretty. D’oh.
  • You could put binding the edges of both pieces but I didn’t think I needed to on the outside layer because I wasn’t planning to quilt it. In retrospect this would’ve been easier than what I did (sewing right sides together, turning inside out, poking wadding in, topstitching closed, running a line of stitching along the side/top to keep the wadding in place).
  • Make sure that you have the right piece when you’re cutting out the handles/rounding the edges. Again, d’oh.

I made one for my mother in law and one for my mum and they both turned out ok in the end, even after a few false starts. 🙂

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