Bethany Morelli, Quilter
I love to make these bags and thought I’d share the fun!
Grab a bunch of strips. You need to assemble them into two pieces (front and back of the bag) that each measure about 12 1/2″ x 14 1/2″. If a scrap isn’t wide enough, just sew a few together until it is. Sew the strips together until it’s big enough.
Here is one finished piece (remember you need two).
Layer it with batting and backing. The backing won’t be seen, so you can use muslin or another scrap. I’m using up an old sheet.
Now quilt it!!
I usually just do some straight and curvy lines with my walking foot. This is a good time to use up some little bits of quilting thread. I also use up bits of bobbin thread because it doesn’t really matter what color I use.
For the strap, use some of your smaller leftovers to make some stripy bits. These bits are various lengths and are 2 1/2″ wide.
Then cut 4 rectangles that measure 4 x 5 1/2″. Find some strips that are 2 1/2″ wide by various lengths and connect all these pieces (rectangles on each end) and sew TWO straps (see the photo below). The entire length of the straps should be 43″ from end to end (including the larger rectangles). Remember, you need two of these.
Prepare ONE piece of batting that is a little wider and longer than the straps. You can use scraps for this. I zigzag a larger rectangle to a skinnier scrap. Use one of the straps you made to be sure of the total length.
Layer as follows: batting on the bottom, 1 strap Right Side Up, 1 strap Right Side Down. Pin together.
See those lines I have drawn with my chalk marker? That is a sewing line to make the flare at the ends of the strap. Mark this sewing line by starting a line 1/4″ from the wide lower edge top where the 1/4″ seam will be on the 2 1/2″ strap part and extending the line down to the bottom of the strap.
Sew the seam on both sides of the strap. Trim the batting close to the seam allowance and trim the flare on the rectangle ends.
It should look something like this.
Turn it Right Side Out so it looks like this!!
Topstitch a line of quilting close to the long edges (I like to catch the seam allowances in this line of stitching) and then sew another seam inside it. This will help all those scraps stay together.
Next we will form the outer bag bottom.
Trim both of the outer bag sections so they measure 11 1/2″ wide and 14″ tall.
Trim off a 1 1/2″ square from both sides of the bottom.
On the top edge, make a mark 2 1/4″ in from each side and another mark about 3″ down from the top in the center. Find something circular (this is my garbage can) that makes a nice curve that fills up that area and trace it.
Cut out the curve. Do the same steps on the other piece, so you now have two pieces trimmed to size, with the bottom corners cut out and a scoop in the center of the top.
Place these two pieces Right Sides Together and sew the bottom seam. Iron this seam to one side and sew it down again, through the seam allowances and one side of the bag. You can see this in the photo. This strengthens the bottom of the bag. Then sew the side seams.
To form the bottom of the bag, bring the side and bottom seams together. Be sure the seam allowances go in opposite directions to reduce the bulk. Sew the seam.
Now you can turn it Right Side Out and admire!
Cut the following for the lining:
2 rectangles 11 1/2″ x 14″ (sides)
1 rectangle 11 1/2″ x 10″ (pocket)
Trim these just as you did the outer parts of the bag, taking a 1 1/2″ square off the bottom corners and trimming the curve in the center of the top. You can use one of the trimmed off sections from the outer part of the bag for a template.
Fold the smaller rectangle in half Right Sides Together so it measures 11 1/2″ x 5″. Sew a seam on the long raw-edge side and then turn Right Side Out making a long tube. Topstitch the edge where you just sewed the long seam.
Place the pocket on the Right Side of a lining piece so that the topstitched edge is about 3″ down from the bottom of the curve. Pin in place. Draw vertical lines on the pocket about 3-4″ from the outer edges of the lining as shown below (see the chalk lines). Stitch the bottom edge of the pocket to the lining. Stitch the vertical lines to create sections in the pocket. Baste the side edges to the lining to hold in place.
Place the two lining pieces Right Sides Together and sew the bottom seam. Iron this seam to one side and sew the seam allowance down, reinforcing the seam, as shown below.
With Right Sides Together sew the side seams. On one side, leave about a 4″ opening (which you later use for turning).
Finish the bottom corners by bringing the side seams to the bottom seam, just as you did with the outer parts of the bag. Here you can see the lining with one side left open for turning, and the bottom corners sewn.
Now you are going to pin the curved portion of the lining and outer bag together to sew. Place these two pieces right sides together. On the straight parts of the top of the bag (where the straps are going to be added) bring 1/4″ of the right side to the back and pin in place on both the outer sections and the lining sections as shown in the photo.
Sew the curved part of the seam from edge to edge, backstitching at the beginning and end to hold in place. CLIP THIS CURVE to the stitching line. Then turn the bag Right Side Out through the gap you left in the lining. Now we can attach the straps and finish the bag
Mark a couple lines straight across the bottom on the straps on the Right Side of the handles. These will help when you insert the handles into the bag.
Tuck the end of the strap into the opening on the bag sides. Keeping the strap straight (follow the lines you just made) work the strap into the opening until the flare of the strap fills up the opening in the bag body. Pin in place as shown below. Do this on both sides, and be sure not to twist the strap.
Here you can see that both straps have been pinned to the bag.
Sew the strap onto the bag and continue this seam so that you are topstitching around the curve to the other strap, across that strap and then around the other curve back to where you started. Add another line of stitching about 1/2″ below the first line of stitching on the strap to help hold the strap on the bag.
You are finished!! I hope these directions are clear!! Email me any questions at email@example.com. Send photos too!!