Quilter’s Tote Bag – Tutorial

Ask and you shall receive.  Many of you feel in love with our “Quilter’s Think” tote bag.  Here is the tutorial so you can make one for yourself.



  1. Iron panel flat and cut out according to the lines.  You will end up with (12) 3.5″ squares.totebag1
  2. Cut (12) 3/5″ squares of each of the polka dot fabrics. totebag2
  3. Iron onto piece of grid in the pattern shown in the picture.  (I ironed both sides of the bag at the same time and will trim it after sewing.)totebag3
  4. Flip and sew each row, leaving the middle seam unsewn for trimming.  (Check out our video HERE to see how to use the Quilter’s Grid).
  5. Cut down the middle, unsewn seam to separate into 2 equal pieces. totebag4
  6. Measure across the middle of each piece to determine the size of top and bottom borders.totebag5 totebag6
  7. Cut (4) 4″ wide strips by the width of the main piece.  If you are going to add the accent strip, you will want to cut (4) 1.5″ strips the width of the main piece as well.totebag7
  8. Fold accent piece in half and iron.totebag8
  9. You will now sandwich the accent piece, the 4″ border strip, and the main piece together, with right sides together and raw edges towards the seam.  The Wonder Clips are great for this step – NO PINS NEEDED 🙂totebag9
  10. Sew and iron with the accent piece facing the desired direction.totebag10
  11. Repeat for 3 other seams.
  12. Measure you main body pieces and cut (2) squares of Soft & Stable to match.  I used Basting Spray to attach the stabilizer to the main body piece.  You can now quilt these pieces or just leave the way they are.  I just ran a straight stitch across the seam of the border pieces.totebag12
  13. Cut out (2) 4″ x the height of the main body piece & stabilizer.  Spray bast these pieces.totebag13
  14. Cut out (1) 4″ x the width of the main body piece & stabilizer for the bottom of the bag.  Spray bast this piece.
  15. Sew the 2 side pieces to the main body pieces to create the body of the bag.  Then carefully sew the bottom piece, making sure you get the corners attached.totebag14 totebag16
  16. Cut out (2) pieces of the Pink Polka Dot fabric to the same size of the main body pieces.
  17. Cut out (2) 4″ x the height of the main body piece.
  18. Cut out (1) 4″ x the width of the main body piece.
  19. Cut out  (1) 10″ x 12″ piece.  Fold, right sides together, to create a 6″ x 10″ rectangle – press flat.  Sew 3 open sides, leaving a small gap for turning.
  20. Turn right side out and press.
  21. Line up the pocket about 4″ from the top of the bag liner piece and centered, making sure the gap for turning is at the bottom.totebag17
  22. Sew on the pocket on 3 sides, leaving the top open.  You can also add an additional seam in the middle of the pocket from top to bottom to create a double pocket.totebag18
  23. Sew all liner pieces together to create the bag lining.
  24. Insert liner into main body, matching seams.  Sew a small hem to keep the liner in place.totebag19
  25. Create a “binding” for the top of the bag by cutting a 2″ strip and ironing it to create a double folded strip.
  26. Using the Wonder Clips, attach. the binding to the top of the bag.  Machine stitch this on, covering all raw edges.totebag20
  27. Once done, you will hand stitch the leather handles on.finished bag
  28. The last step is to show off your beautiful new bag to your friends 🙂finished bag2

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial.  I’m still new to writing directions, so please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions for future tutorials.

~Happy Sewing!


Simple 1-2-3 Patchwork Quilt Tutorial

I want to share a very simple quilt that actually packs a wallop presentation wise.  This is the 1-2-3 patchwork quilt.  Very easy! Very Simple!  If you are just starting in quilting…you will love making this quilt.


3/4 yd. of 3 coordinating fabrics  I used Airborne, Faded Blue Dottie, and cream chenille
2 yds batting 
2 yds backing fabric (I backed this quilt with the cream chenille)
fabric for binding.  I just used scraps left over from my squares.

Cut your fabrics into 6″ squares.  Figure ahead of time how many you need for how big of a quilt you want.  We wanted a baby quilt so we went with 7 x 9 grid.  This means I would need 63 squares.  Divide that by the number of fabrics you have (3) and that will give you how many squares of each fabric you will need…in this case (21).

Next lay your squares out in a 7 x 9 grid.  Put them out in a 1-2-3 pattern.  Follow that simple pattern and it will lay out very quickly.

Now you want to sew each row together.  I start by doing the vertical seam first.  Once I have done that, then i sew each row together horizontally.

I love how the chenille adds some texture to the quilt top!

Layer your quilt top, batting and backing fabric together and pin.  Now you are ready to quilt your pieces together.

I went with a basic diamond pattern.  This is the first round of quilting.  It  didn’t quite look right, so I decided to add more lines…

I like this MUCH better…don’t you?

Make your binding.  You want to cut strips of fabric that are 2.25″ wide.  Make one long strip that will go all the way around the perimeter of your quilt.  Remember to allow for corners.  Once you have your strip, fold it in half and press.  

You are now ready to attach your binding.  Always, Always, Always finish your binding by hand stitching it down.  You will get a much more professional finish in the end.

My quilt finished off at 39′”x 49″.  The perfect size for a little one to crawl around on.  You can make this any size your want.  My hubs is actually trying to talk me into making one for our king size bed.  I told him it would take a lot of bribery on his part.  Let’s see if he comes through.  

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.  Stop by Home a la mode and check out our great fabrics for your next patchwork quilt.

Tool Review – Mighty Bright Seam Ripper

Has this ever happened to you?

You are sewing along, singing to some great music…you look down and something doesn’t look right.  UUUUGGGGHHH!  You have sewn the wrong things together.  This happens to me more than I care to admit.  Anyway, time to get out the old seam ripper.

This, for me, is a pain.  I feel like I have to practically stick the project up my nose to be able to see things…Think, Think, Think…there has to be something that can make this easier.  Oh wait! There is!  I begged on bended knee for us to try this tool:

OOHHHH!  This is the Mighty Bright Seam Ripper.  Yes, ooooo and  aaahhhh.  I LOVE this thing.  OK, it has an ergonmic handle, a magnifier, AND a LED light.  WOW WOW WOW.  This is an absolutely wonderful tool.

If you haven’t seen this or tried it… STOP what you are doing…put down your coffee cup…go here and get one.  I would even recommend that you get a couple of extras for your friends and family.  This would make a great little gift to give someone.  I can’t wait to hear back from you and tell me what you think.

Let’s Go Sew!