Friday, February 12, 2016

Tote Tutorial

OMG- I have been really bad about posting!!!! Well- here's a new one and I am trying something new...a tutorial on how I make most of my bags. This is the latest one- I've been trying to use up the MANY scraps of vintage tablecloths that I have stashed all over the place.

The finished measurements are 14h x 12w x 3 deep- a nice size tote. It has 3 inner pockets.

Here's what you will need:
18- 3" squares for patchwork
8" x 15 1/2" piece for front bottom
15 1/2" x 15 1/2" piece for back ( I chose not to put the patchwork on the back)
2- 15 1/2" x 15 1/2" pieces of lining
2-  6 1/2" x 15 1/2" pieces for inside pocket ( I used one from the lining fabric and one from the ticking- I like a bit on contrast in the pocket)
1- 6 1/2" x 15 1/2" piece of interfacing for pocket
2- 15 1/2" x 15 1/2" pieces of interfacing for main bag body ( I love fusible fleece!)
4- 1 3/4" x 27" pieces for straps
2- 27" pieces of nylon webbing for straps



Above are the front and back pieces . You will sew your 18 squares together in 3 rows of 6 each, then add the front bottom piece to that and attach your interfacing to each front and back piece. I love the fusible fleece- it is easy to use and gives a nice feel to the bag.
Sew the 2 pieces of pocket fabric together- with your interfacing inside, turn right side out and topstitch one edge of the pocket piece (this will be the top of the pocket). Sew the pocket to one piece of your lining fabric- about 3-4 inches from the top- sewing along the sides and the bottom, then divide the pocket in 3 sections and sew from bottom to top of the pocket to make the 3 divided sections of the pocket- make sure to backstitch at the top to make this secure. Set this aside for later.


Sew the front and back pieces together at the bottom seam- I usually do 1/2" seam allowances. Press open and then I like to topstitch on either side of the seam on the right side.


Sew the side seams, press open and then take the bottom seam and the side seam- match them up in this form, measure in from the point 1 1/2", draw a line and sew on the line- I double sew it for strength. Trim to 1/4". This will give you the boxed bottom.






Turn right side out and it can stand up! I also like to stitch along the very bottom to make the box  a little sturdier.


 Now- the straps...sew 2 pieces right sides together ( you will have 2 straps) turn right side out and then take the 2 nylon webbing pieces and bring them through the straps (put a piece of tape on the end- it goes through easier) This gives the straps much more stability. Topstitch on each side of each strap. Baste the straps in place on the outside of the bag body.



Sew the bottom of the lining- but leave a hole about 6-8" so you can turn the bag out later. Make the same boxed bottom as you did on the main pieces. Sew sides.






Place the main bag inside the lining- right sides together. Sew around the top...1/2" seam allowance all the way around.







Pull the main bag through the opening in the lining. Once it is all the way through you can close that hole- just machine stitch close to the edges. Press everything well then topstitch around the top of the bag about 1/4" from the edge.
All done!!! Go shopping with your new tote!







Monday, September 07, 2015


So, I am at my Dad's helping him get some things cleaned out (he's 91) Had to bring some sewing to keep me sane-haha! Top pic is a piece I am doing for a swap. I'm hand-quilting with perle cotton- fun! It's a big stitch so I don't have to be so precise which is good for me plus it adds some fun color!
The bottom pic is section #7 of the Gypsy Wife Quilt - hopefully I can get 7-10 done and then start quilting that one, too! It's been good sewing weather- very hot and humid, in the 90's- good to stay inside with the AC!
Happy Labor Day all!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Memory Pillows for Deanne and the Amelia Tote



Latest Memory Pillows for a friend. One from Grandpa's shirt and 3 from Grandma's nighties. They are all reinforced with lightweight fusible interfacing. The nighties have zippers on the back and the shirt can be opened by the snaps in the front. I really love doing this for people- especially when I know them!

This is a tote for my daughter, Amelia, thus I m calling it the Amelia Tote. It is made from a vintage tablecloth and has 3 inside pockets. She specified a certain size for her trips to the grocery store and to haul recyclables to the basement. Good thing it is washable!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015


2 of my latest projects: the T-Shirt quilt was for a cousin who attends a Rib-fest each year- the t-shirts are duplicates of ones he has collected.
The coin bags are on their way to Spain as gifts for relatives.
Summer has been busy- not much sewing done.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Vintage tablecloth tote made for my best friend. I bought the tablecloth last June in Michigan while on our 2014 Girlfriend Getaway. She'll get this the day before we leave for our next Girlfriend trip- coming up soon!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Quilt Back


The back of my daughter's Feather Quilt- she requested a pieced back. I had one feather leftover from the top, scraps from the feathers on the to and I just had to make an arrow block, too! She picked the creamy Kona cotton.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015


Tried a new bread recipe today: http://dineanddish.net/2009/07/how-not-to-budget-recipe-cheesy-beer-bread/comment-page-3/#comment-492959. It was easy and delicious! Served it with an Italian meat and bean soup. Great lunch on this cold day!