Nautical Patchwork Lunch Box

A lunch box has been on my to sew list for months since George lost his old one. I have been waiting for the perfect fabric and the Craft Cotton Company's Explore the Oceans collection is definitely it. Towards the end of 2018 I got the chance to visit their warehouse, along with the rest of the team I got to meet Victoria who designs all their fabrics. It was fascinating to hear how they all start off. This collection has been put together alongside the Natural History Museum and all the illustrations are taken from real illustrations from their archives. Teamed up with facts and names of the animals, this is the perfect fabric to take to nursery everyday.

There are a few things you will need that you may not have in your stash. The first is the thermal wadding. I used it to help keep his lunch cool. It is fully washable and can also be tumble dried which is great news since it will be holding a 2/3 year olds lunch. Due to the number of thick layers I found that I needed to use my walking foot attachment on my sewing machine.

This was a little fiddly to make so not a great first project and you will need to set aside a couple of hours at least.


  • Explore the Oceans fat quarters

  • 8x8" plain cotton

  • Thermal wadding

  • Heavy weight interfacing

  • 8" velcro

  • Rotary cutter, mat and quilting ruler

  • Clips or pins

  • Sharp scissors

  • Sewing machine

  • Walking foot

  • Iron and ironing board


Cut out all your fabric, interfacing and wadding.

  • Pocket lining - 8" x 10" (plain blue)

  • x2 side panels outer 5" x 10" (whales)

  • x2 side panels inner 5" x 10" (fish)

  • x2 front/back panels outer 17½” x 8" (penguins)

  • x2 front/back panels inner 17½” x 8" (fish)

  • x2 handle strips 8" x 2" (penguins)

  • x2 interfacing for handle 8" x 2"

  • 2.4 metres" 2" wide bias binding (ships)

  • Wadding 8" x 10"

  • x2 side panel wadding 5" x 10"

  • x2 front/back panels wadding 17½” x 8"


If you have decided to do the boat panel follow these steps. If you are keeping it simple cut a 8 x 8" piece in which ever fabric you prefer and skip to the lunch box method.

When I put together this boat block for George’s lunch box, I created it in my unique “make it up as I go along method”. It made me realise how much I need to up my quilting game so I have set myself lots of quilt along challenges to start 2019. I have already learnt lots of techniques and my head is spinning with new ideas.

Start by cutting your fabrics. The measurements are given in width x height which is important if you are using directional fabric.

White Background

A - 2 ½” x 4 ½”

B - 3 ½” x 3 ½”

C - 1 ½” x 1 ½”

D - & E 2” x 2”

F - 1 ½ x 4 ½”

G - 3 ½” x 1 ½”

H - 1 ½” x 3 ½”

I & J - 1 ½” x 2”

K – 3 ½” x 1”

L – 4 ½” x 1”

M – 8” x 1 ¼”

Turquoise Sails

A - 2 ½” x 4 ½”

B - 3 ½” x 3 ½”

C - 1 ½” x 1 ½”

Blue Ships

N – 6” x 2”

O – 1” x 5”

Blue Whales

P - 8” x 1 ¼”

1. You will need your As, Bs and Cs to make your sails. I don't know if my rectangle method is an official technique but it gave me the result I needed. You will need to pair them up to make half square triangles and a rectangle. Use a fabric pen or chalk to mark from one corner to the other and sew along the line. Place your turquoise fabric facing up and your background on top, right sides together, it will need to be on its side so when it is pressed out it is facing the right way. You may need to have a play around and look at the next few pictures so you understand what I mean.

The B & C squares are placed exactly on top of each other but the rectangle needs to be placed as the picture shows and sewn from one corner to the other. Trim the access and press your seams open.