Quilted bag pattern – tutorial

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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.

quilted applique tote bag tutorial using fabric scraps, upcycled buttons and embroidery stitches.

I love upcycling fabric in different ways. My favorite ways of upcycling fabric and yarn are:

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

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using this link. Please see my disclosure for more details.

Materials and equipment

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.

tracing the applique pattern from la creative mama free resource library to make fabric 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.

tracing the applique pattern from la creative mama free resource library to make fabric applique

Cut around each applique traced piece using your paper scissors.

Determine which fabric scraps will be used for each applique piece.

tracing the applique pattern to make fabric applique

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)

quilt as you go technique for making a quilted tote bag

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.

sewing an applique using iron on fusing techniques. Using fabric scraps and embroidery to create a beautiful applique design using la creative mama applique patterns.

Decorate your applique by embroidering the eyes, mouth and nose. Choose from your favorite embroidery stitch.

sewing an applique using iron on fusing techniques. Using fabric scraps, upcycled buttons  and embroidery to create a beautiful applique design using la creative mama applique patterns.

I also like to play around with upcycled buttons to create funky hairstyles, details in the clothes and fun textures.

Check out this super easy way to sew buttons so that they wont fall out!

sewing an applique using iron on fusing techniques. Using fabric scraps and embroidery to create a beautiful applique design using la creative mama applique patterns.

I like using naturally dyed embroidery thread to decorate my appliques. You can learn all about natural dyes and the different methods here.

sewing an applique using iron on fusing techniques. Using fabric scraps and embroidery to create a beautiful applique design using la creative mama applique patterns.
sewing an applique using iron on fusing techniques. Using fabric scraps and embroidery to create a beautiful applique design using la creative mama applique patterns.

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.

sewing a quilted tote bag tutorial

Sew both sides using a regular sewing stitch.

sewing a quilted tote bag tutorial

Repeat this step with the lining.

attaching the handles and the lining to a tote bag tutorial

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.

attaching the handles and the lining to a tote bag tutorial

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.

attaching the handles to a tote bag tutorial

Sew them in place and lift them to check that they are evenly placed.

attaching the handles to a tote bag tutorial

Insert the bag inside the lining right sides touching. The bag handles should be sandwiched in between the lining and the outside quilted bag.

sewing a tote bag to the lining tutorial

Make sure that the side seam on the lining is directly placed on top of the sede seam of the quilted bag.

sewing a tote bag to the lining tutorial

Sew the lining to the bag and leave a 3 inches (10 cms) open gap.

sewing a tote bag to the lining tutorial

Flip the bag inside out through that gap.

flipping a tote bag inside out through a 3 inched gap

This is how the quilted bag should look at this stage.

sewing tutorial for a quilted applique tote bag

Take the bag to the sewing machine and sew a topstitch to hold the lining in place and to close the open gap.

sewing tutorial for a quilted applique tote bag

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!

finished white and black cotton quilted bag with fabric scraps applique from La Creative Mama

My quilted tote bag has been very handy to carry my yarn to my creative sewing and natural dyeing workshops 🙂

finished black cotton quilted bag with fabric scraps applique from La Creative Mama

Save this tutorial to your favorite Pinterest board

finished white cotton quilted bag with fabric scraps applique from La Creative Mama

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