Patchwork Tote Bag Tutorial
Bonnie Evans aka Sewbizgirl
This tutorial is for a roomy tote bag, 34 in diameter and 12 tall. The design and construction method was inspired by the free online pattern, So Sew Easy Schlep Bag. For this bag we use 2.5 mini charm squares, also called candy squares.
*132- 2.5 squares of your choice. I used my stash of batik charms.
*Approx. 1 yard of coordinating yardage for your lining and straps.
*Approx. 1 yard ( or big scraps) of thin batting or foam interfacing for bags. I used Hobbs 80/20 cotton/poly blend batting for mine.
**All seams for the bag are ¼. Seams for the lining are 3/8.
I made this bag in an afternoon!
Step 1: Making the 9 Patches.
Make 9 patch blocks12 of them! Nest your seams as you sew. Press the blocks and trim each to 6.5.
Step 2: Making the Angled Ends.
Following the photo below, sew 6 charm squares together. Make 4 of these units.
The seams on the top 3 charms will extend into the next blocks. This is what you want to be trimmed later with a ¼ seam allowance left on.
Now neaten and trim the two long edges of these pieces to 6.5.
Step 3: Constructing the Panels.
Sew two of the 9 patches together, nesting seams again. Then, sew one of the 6 piece units to the left end of the unit, as shown. Press.
Now you will trim the angled end of the piece, leaving ¼ seam allowance as shown. To do this, place your rulers ¼ line along the top points of the second row of charms, and cut.
Repeat step 3, 3 more times to give you 4 units with angled ends. (Set aside the remaining 4 9-patches to use for the bag bottom.)
Step 4: Cutting The Lining.
Lay out your lining fabric and, using one bag panel unit as a pattern, cut 4 pieces out of the lining fabric.
Next cut 2 pieces for straps, 4.5 x 22 long.
OPTIONAL: If you want a patch pocket in your bag lining, cut one now and prepare it by pressing in the edges and hemming the top. Set aside until we construct the lining.
Step 5: Making the bottom.
Join the remaining 9 patches into one big 36 patch, again nesting seams. Press well and trim to 12.5 square.
Step 6: Quilting the pieces.
Lay out your batting and cut one 12.5 square for the bottom. Then using one angled panel as a pattern again, cut 4 batting pieces for the 4 panels.
Quilt as desired, taking care not to distort the size of the pieces. I merely did Stitch In The Ditch for all of mine.