Sunday, August 17, 2014

Quilted Tote Bag with Lining

This quilted and lined tote bag started out as "what should I do with these leftover quarter circles" from a previous project. I hate waisting pretty fabrics!

 
I started sewing the quarters together into 4 part circles and then trimmed them to 4" circles. (You can also start with squares of different fabrics. See my cutting instructions at the bottom.) 



 
I wanted to keep the soft look of the colors so added different off white prints for the main blocks. Then the circles are centered in the middle of the blocks by folding in half in both directions to position the circles.

 
 I stitched 1/4" around each circle. Then sewed the blocks together for each side of the tote.


For the lining, I added strips of leftover fabrics to show at the top and added a large pocket and sewed down the middle to make 2 pockets.

 
To sew in super simple lining just place the lining right side to tote right side and stitch around the top. Then the bottom of the lining is stitched 1/4 from the edges.

 
Turn the lining to the inside and stitch in the ditch around the top edge. I wanted the straps to be sewn on the outside so lined them up with the blocks and top stitch around them.

 

Each side is quilted differently which was fun to try different quilting on the same block to see the different results.This bag is super soft and will wash up nicely!


Bonus (or how to really be "green"): This is the trimmings from the circles which looks pretty jumbled together. But this will make great bird nest material if you set it outside. Believe me the birds will find it and use it!

 
My Cutting Instructions:

  • For circles: cut 76 - 4" squares. Make a 4" circle template and mark it  in the center to line up the middle of the 4 parts.
  • Blocks: cut 18 - 6" x 6" squares
  • Pocket: desired pocket size (I made mine 11" x 14" and folded in half to make 11" wide x 7" deep)
  • Straps: cut 4 - 2 1/2 wide x 30" long (press down the middle, and press each side toward the middles)
  • Batting: 2 - 16 1/2" x 16 1/2" and 2 - 1" x 30"
  • Lining:  2 - 16 1/2" x 16 1/2"

Sewing Instructions:

  • Cut fabric including lining and batting
  • Sew small squares together to make 4 x 4 squares
  • Trace around circle template and cut out circles from 4 x 4 squares
  • Position circles in the middle of the blocks and sew 1/4" from the edges
  • Sew 3 rows of blocks together for each side of the tote
  • Sew the 3 rows together for each side of the the tote
  • Sew two straps lengths together with batting in the middle
  • Quilt as desired!