Wednesday, May 25, 2016
This month I used my GO! Qube Mix & Match 6” Block Set, and the GO! Fantasy Flowers die to create a whimsical tote just in time for Summer. This happy tote is perfect to carry to the beach, craft fairs, shopping or just around town. I used the wonderful dies from the GO! Qube 6” block set for the background and then added a big beautiful daisy to the front to add a touch of whimsy to the bag.
You can download the free pattern at www.TheWhimsicalWorkshop.com . These instructions can also be adapted to make a variety of totes. Once you make one tote, it is hard not to keep making them so that makes them perfect gifts.
This month I am sharing some photos of how this bag goes together, make sure to refer to the pattern for the complete instructions and this is just an overview.
First step is to make the outer bag unit, I have used quarter square triangles and 3 ½” squares for my bag front, but you can mix up the blocks for the front of your bag, just make sure each square is 3 ½” before sewing it together. I picked a mix of soft blues for the bag so the flower, which is hot pink, will pop. Then I added the side strips and then the green trim strip to the top and bottom of the bag unit. Finally I added the bag bottom strip to the complete the outer bag unit.
The next step is the applique, which the technique I used is covered in the pattern. I do want to note that I pressed the outer bag panel to the fusible fleece before doing the finishing stitching on the daisy. This added some dimension to the applique and also acted as the quilting on the front panel. I used hot pink thread on all the shapes to make them pop!
Now it is time to make the box bottom for the bag and the lining. If it is your first time making a box bottom, it can be a little scary to cut into the bag panels. So here are step-by-step photos of what it looks like. Again these instructions are explained in the pattern, but sometimes a photo is worth a 1000 words. First, sew the bag front and bag back together down each side and across the bottom. Then cut a 1 ½” square from each bottom corner. Open up the cut corner to align the bottom edge with the side edge and sew together using a ¼” seam allowance. This will form the bottom box corner.
Turn the outer bag right side out to see the lovely bag bottom that is formed by this technique. Repeat to make the lining unit, this time make sure to leave a 4” opening in the bottom seam of the lining to turn the bag right side out at the end. Also make sure to leave the lining inside out.
Once you follow the instructions to make the handles, pin them to each side of the outer bag. I used the pieced blocks as a guide as to where to line up the handle on the front and on the back of the bag
Now to finish it up! Slide the outer bag into the lining, so they are right sides together and the handles are tucked inside. Align the side seams and the handles together and pin around the two edges. Sew all the way around the pinned layers. Once sewn, turn the bag right side out through the 4” opening in the lining. Sew the opening closed and push the lining into the bag to form the tote. Now you are ready to go out in style!
Make sure to visit my blog each month where I will share with you some tips and tricks on cutting and assembling of the project of the month along with posting the free pattern on our website The Whimsical Workshop You can also see our pattern and post at www.accuquilt.com
Until next time…..