Would you like to make a fast and colorful summer tote bag? It’s really easy, just with a couple of fabrics and a batting. It doesn’t have to be complicated: you can even use large remnants from you quilts, otherwise you will need the following:
Fabric for straps, binding lining and binding top side tote bag: Batik, turquoise, 0.25×1.10m – cut 2 strips, each 50 x 10 cm, one of 110 x 5 cm and 2 strips, each 11 x 4,5 cm.
Fabric for outer bag, bottom pieces: light fabric with flowers, 0.50×1.10m – cut 2 pieces, each 40 x 30 cm.
Fabric for outer bag, top pieces, and lining: dark fabric with flowers (preferably of the same print), 0.50×1.10m – cut 2 pieces, each 40 x 12 cm, and 2 pieces, each 40 x 40 cm.
Batting 100% Bamboo (I have used Matilda’s Own): 2 pieces, each 40 x 40cm for the bag, and 2 pieces, each 58 x 4 cm for the straps.
Bohin Glue Pen
Matching sewing thread and machine quilting thread.
Place both quilted sandwiches right sides together – matching the seam of the outer bag, And glue both sides and the bottom with Bohin Glue pen only on the seam allowance itself (not beyond, so the needle will not touch the glue when sewing it all together), up to 1 cm seam allowance.
Stitch both sides together, 1 cm from the sides. After this, attach the strips of 110x4cm to the sides, and sew the neccesary lenth to both sides, at aprox 1.2 cm from the sides (be sure you will not see the first stitches after sewing the strip of fabric). Cut the length needed from the batik strip,
Be sure the binded seams are in opposite directions from each other, otherwise this part will be too thick to sew through. After sewing, trim the seam allowance down to 1 cm. Be sure when you are sewing the other bottom corner, to place the binded seams in the other direction than the first one.
Use the remnant pieces of the 110x4cm strip to bind these corners, the same way you did with the sides and bottom. Be sure to use the Bohin Glue pen often, to glue the ends down. If you want to, you can slose the sides by hand (just where the binding pieces meet).
Because of the thickness of the binding of the seams, there will be ridges on the inside of the bag, but that is no problem when using the bag – you could even turn the bag inside out and use it with the seams showing! After all, they are very decorative!
Bind the top of the tote bag the same way as you have did with the other seams: use the turquoise batik strip – 110x5cm. Be sure to use a wider seam – aprox. 1,5 cm – because of the decorative effect of the strip.
And there you have your summer tote bag! You can take it to the beach to hold your books, sun lotion, water bottle etc, but also a small embroidery or quilt. This bag is not very big (bag itself aprox. 36 x 36 cm), but nice enough to take it anywhere you go.
Sylvia’s Art Quilts Studio