Hi Creative Mamas! I want to share with you another way to make a cute quilted bag pattern that will allow you to create the most divine little applique tote bag.
I am sharing this free quilted tote bag pattern with my community because it’s a great way to use fabric scraps, old buttons and embroidery threads in the appliques but also for the actual bag and handles.
I love upcycling fabric in different ways. My favorite ways of upcycling fabric and yarn are:
- Using fabric scraps in applique patches
- Making flowers from naturally dyed scraps
- Upcycling old clothes into new items
- Using left over yarn to make pom poms and dolls hair
Making tote bags is a passion of mine because not only it allows me to recycle and repurpose old fabric but they also make great gifts for my friends and family.
Tote bag patterns
I have previously shared different tote bag patterns that I love such as the upcycled tote bag from old upcycled jeans, the reversible tote bag pattern with embroidery patch and the folding grocery bag pattern with pocket.
For this tutorial I am using a new tote pattern which is a medium size and has no pocket on the outside. You can always add the pocket to the lining following the tutorial of the foldable grocery bag.
Download your quilted tote bag pattern by filling the form below.
Quilted tote bag tutorial
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Materials and equipment
- Fabric for the bag (100% cotton)
- Fabric for the lining (use any fabric scraps)
- Fabric scraps for applique (100% cotton)
- Batting 100% cotton (I like this brand)
- Adhesible fusing (I like this brand)
- Fabric scissors (These are the ones I use)
- Paper scissors
- Quilting clips
- Applique patterns (available in my FREE RESOURCE LIBRARY— get the password for free by filling out the form above)
NOTE: For the tote bag and the applique you will need to use 100% cotton fabrics because we will fuse the applique with a hot iron and we don’t want the fabric to melt 🙂
Step 1: Quilt bag materials
Gather your quilting materials as well as your lining fabric.
You will need the outside fabric which will be quilted with the 100% cotton batting using the quilt as you go technique.
You will also need your choice of fabric for the lining.
Decide on your fabric scraps for the applique and place them on your working surface.
Print out your applique patterns. You can use any applique patterns that you want for this project but if you want one of the FREE La Creative Mama applique you can download it by completing the form below.
Download and print the applique.
Place the adhesible fusing sheet of paper on top of the applique pattern template. Make sure that the paper side is face up.
Trace around the outline drawing leaving gaps in between each part of the applique.
Cut around each applique traced piece using your paper scissors.
Determine which fabric scraps will be used for each applique piece.
Once you are ready to fuse the applique and apply the applique pieces onto the base fabric for the tote bag watch the video tutorial below.
But before you apply the applique we need to cut and quilt the bag 🙂
How to applique Video tutorial
Step 2: Quilting the tote bag
Cut the outside of the bag, the batting, the bag handles and the bag lining.
Place the bag fabric on top of the batting.
Using a regular sewing stitch start sewing random curvy lines from left to right. Start at the top left of the big rectangle and work your way to the bottom of the bag.
This technique is called quilt as you go (my favorite technique to quickly quilt and add texture to the fabric)
Once the quilt as you go is completed it’s time to fuse the applique pieces on top of it (on the front part of the bag)
Follow the video tutorial above for this step.
Once the applique is fully fused stitch it around with a regular sewing stitch.
Decorate your applique by embroidering the eyes, mouth and nose. Choose from your favorite embroidery stitch.
I also like to play around with upcycled buttons to create funky hairstyles, details in the clothes and fun textures.
I like using naturally dyed embroidery thread to decorate my appliques. You can learn all about natural dyes and the different methods here.
Step 3: Sewing the applique tote bag
Fold the bag in half with right sides touching. These quilting clips are super handy at this stage because the pins will struggle with the thickness of the batting.
This is how the quilted applique bag should look like at this stage. We now need to finish it by sewing it to the lining and attaching the handles.
Sew both sides using a regular sewing stitch.
Repeat this step with the lining.
Now you have the outside of the bag which has been quilted and applique, the lining which has been sewed and the handles which have been folded in half twice and then stitched on one side to close them.
Using your quilting clips place the handles on the front and back of the bag. Make sure they are placed in a comfortable position for the user and also be sure to place them evenly to each side of the bag.
Sew them in place and lift them to check that they are evenly placed.
Insert the bag inside the lining right sides touching. The bag handles should be sandwiched in between the lining and the outside quilted bag.
Make sure that the side seam on the lining is directly placed on top of the sede seam of the quilted bag.
Sew the lining to the bag and leave a 3 inches (10 cms) open gap.
Flip the bag inside out through that gap.
This is how the quilted bag should look at this stage.
Take the bag to the sewing machine and sew a topstitch to hold the lining in place and to close the open gap.
Voila! Here are 2 bags, one black and one white with 2 different versions of the same applique template.
Fell free to play with your fabric scraps and accessories to dree up these mama applique and have fun with the process!
My quilted tote bag has been very handy to carry my yarn to my creative sewing and natural dyeing workshops 🙂