Friday, February 17, 2012

Block of the Month Tote Bag

Here is a project you can make with two of the Dutchman's Puzzle blocks from last week.

Double Sided Bag Made with Dutchman's Puzzle Blocks

This is a large tote, perfect for carrying a project to quilting class, or to use as an overnight bag.  Finished bag is 16" wide, and 15" tall, with a 4" wide bottom.  I added 15" straps to make it hang at hip level, but you could make shorter straps if desired.

Here's What You Will Need:
Two 12" Dutchman's Puzzle blocks 
A pack of charm squares in coordinating fabrics.  I used fabrics from the Stitch in Color collection
1Yd of a solid lining fabric
Fusible batting

You will need fifty-two  2 1/2" squares for each side of the bag.  To get 104 squares for both sides of the bag, cut twenty-six 5" charm squares into quarters.

Lay out the front and the back of the bag as shown below.

 This is a photo of my bag partially laid out. 

  • Sew 2 1/2" squares together in rows, adding the large Dutchman's Puzzle Block.   
  • Lay pieced bag front on top of batting and backing, and use as template to cut batting and lining to match.   You will cut two pieces of batting 1 for the front of bag, and one for the lining. 
  • Repeat for bag back.
  • Following manufacturer's instructions, fuse a trimmed batting to wrong side of bag front.  Do the same with bag front lining. Repeat with bag back, and back lining.
  • Quilt bag front and back as desired. 

Batting side of Front after quilting
With right sides together, stitch back and front of bag together along side and bottom edges, leaving notched portion and top of bag unsewn.

Sew lining right sides together in the same manner, with the following exception - leave an opening for turning in the middle of the bottom seam.

Next, square the bottom of the bag by aligning side seam with bottom seam, and aligning edges of squares as shown in the picture below.  Stitch across.  Repeat for other side.  Square the bottom of the lining in the same way.

Turn bag right side out.

Make the straps by piecing some of your left over charm squares to make a strip 3" wide and as long as you would like your straps to be.  Cut a piece of fusible batting the same length and  2 1/2" wide.  Center batting on strip.  Press 1/4" to wrong side of both long edges of handle strip, enclosing batting edges.  Then press fused strip in half lengthwise and top-stitch close to long sides of strap.  Add two more lines of stitching evenly spaced to finish the strap.  Make second strap the same way.

Pin the straps on bag front and back, right sides together, baste in place.  Insert the bag into the lining, right sides together, aligning side seams, with straps in between bag and lining.  Stitch around top edge of bag.  Turn bag right side out through opening in lining bottom.  Push lining into bag, realigning seams.  Top-stitch 1/4" from top edge of bag, making sure straps are clear.

To make a stiff bottom for your bag, sew a rectangle pocket the width and length of the inside bottom of bag.  You can fill the pocket with a piece of cardboard, plastic, or a stiff interfacing made for bags.

Voila!  You have a great new tote for on the go.

Happy Sewing ♥


  1. I love this desighn! Thank you for the instructions!

  2. Hi there, just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris

  3. Thanks a lot for these wonderful bag pattern!!

  4. Love this bag. Can't wait to make one. Annabellouise

  5. What a great way to combine quilting and bags! Lovely pattern, and very clear instructions.