Sewing Pattern: Quilted Tote

Sewing Pattern: Quilted Tote by Underground Crafter

The Quilted Tote is a quick project for using up existing quilt blocks or for busting through your stash of fat quarters. You can gift it to another crafter (it makes a great project bag), pair it with a book or tablet (it’s also a cute, padded carrying case), or use it as gift wrap.

This post contains affiliate links. I may receive compensation (at no added cost to you) if you make a purchase using these links. My sewing machine sponsor is Baby Lock. Additional materials for this post were generously provided by Fairfield World and Fiskars.

I’ve included instructions for piecing the quilt blocks for the bag front and back, but you can substitute existing 8.5” square quilt blocks for the front or back of the bag instead. I made my Quilted Tote small enough for my tablet, but you can adjust the basic parts of the pattern to make it larger or smaller. If you’re resizing, cut the lining and batting to the size of your finished squares for the front and back, and cut the bag straps to 2.5” (6.5 cm) wide by about 2.5 to 3 times the length of the front of your bag. It’s always better to make the straps longer than necessary because you can tie a knot or use a decorative pin to shorten them, but if the straps are too short, there’s not much you can do to fix the bag!

This is the eighth pattern in the Little Gifts Sew Along. Are you just hearing about the Little Gifts Sew Along? Get all the details here.

  • You can join in by sewing the projects as you have time.
  • Share your progress and post pictures of your finished projects. Tag your projects and posts #sewlittlegifts and #stockingstuffersal on all social media.
  • If you’d like to chat with other sewists, join the Underground Crafters Facebook group.
  • By the end of the SAL, you’ll have up to 25 handmade gifts.
  • Use the button below on social media. Right click (on desktop) or tap and hold (on mobile) to save.

Quilted Tote

Sewing Pattern by Underground Crafter

Sewing Pattern: Quilted Tote by Underground Crafter

The Quilted Tote is a quick-to-sew project you can gift to your favorite crafter (as a project bag) or to a techie or reader (as a padded carrying case for a tablet or book). You can also use it as gift wrap! This is the eighth of 25 free sewing projects by 12 bloggers in the Little Gifts Sew Along.

Finished Size

  • Tote: 7.75” (19.5 cm) x 7.75” (19.5 cm).

Tools

Materials

  • 100% cotton fabric.
    • I used most of 2 batik fat quarters for my version, and some “ugly fabric” muslin for the backing. You could also use 3 fat quarters.
  • Cotton thread
  • Fairfield Poly-Fil Project Fleece Small or a small piece of batting (see measurements below).

Instructions

Prepare fabric and batting

  • Iron your fabric.
  • Layer 2 fat quarters on top of each other with the right sides facing. Trim the edges so both pieces are the same size.
Sewing Pattern: Quilted Tote by Underground Crafter | cutting fat quarters with Fiskars rotary cutter
  • Cut pieces for the quilt blocks, lining, and straps in the following sizes through both layers. With each cut, you will make 2 pieces, or 1 piece in each fabric.
    • Lining fabric: 8.5” (21.5 cm) square.
    • Strips for quilt blocks: Cut 2 strips to 3” (7.5 cm) x 18” (46 cm). You will have 4 strips since you are cutting through 2 layers of fabric.
    • Bag straps: Cut 2 straps to 2.5” (6.5 cm) x length of fabric (approximately 22”/56 cm). You will have 4 pieces since you are cutting through 2 layers of fabric.
Sewing Pattern: Quilted Tote by Underground Crafter | cut fabric
  • For the backing, cut 2 pieces of 8.5” (21.5 cm) square. This will not be seen so you can use an “ugly” fabric, muslin, or scraps.
  • Cut 2 pieces of 8.5” (21.5 cm) square from the batting.

Make quilt blocks for front and back of bag

  • Note: If you are using existing quilt blocks for your version, skip down to “Quilting the blocks.”
  • With the right sides together, sew the strips for the quilt blocks together along the long edge with a 1/4″ seam allowance.
  • Press the seams flat on the strips.
Sewing Pattern: Quilted Tote by Underground Crafter | fabric strips
  • Trim strips to 8 pieces, each measuring 4.5” (11.5 cm) long.
Sewing Pattern: Quilted Tote by Underground Crafter | cut fabric strips
  • Place a trimmed strip with right sides facing perpendicular to another trimmed strip and sew together with 1/4″ seam allowance. Repeat until you have 4 sets of blocks.
Sewing Pattern: Quilted Tote by Underground Crafter | piecing blocks
  • Trim each block to 4.5” (11.5 cm) square.
  • With a 1/4″ seam allowance and with right sides facing, sew 2 blocks together for the front and 2 blocks together for the back.
Sewing Pattern: Quilted Tote by Underground Crafter | assembling blocks
  • Trim your new blocks to 8.5” (21.5 cm) square (or, to the same size if they are smaller or larger).

Quilting the blocks

  • Make 2 “quilt sandwiches” for the front and the back of the bag.
  • Layer the quilt blocks right side up at the top, put the batting underneath the block, and put the backing fabric underneath the batting.
Sewing Pattern: Quilted Tote by Underground Crafter | quilt sandwich
  • Quilt the blocks. I used the “hand-look quilting stitch” (#17) on my Baby Lock Jubilant and the Stitch Guide Foot from the Quilting Foot Kit and started by working a diagonal line across the center of the blocks.
Sewing Pattern: Quilted Tote by Underground Crafter | quilting
  • I used the Stitch Guide Foot’s ruler to create lines that were the same distance from previous quilt line.
Sewing Pattern: Quilted Tote by Underground Crafter | quilting
  • Trim the quilted blocks if necessary.
Sewing Pattern: Quilted Tote by Underground Crafter | quilted block

Make bag straps

  • Position the strips for the bag straps right sides together and sew closed along each long edge with a 1/4″ seam allowance.
  • Turn right side out.
  • Press flat and trim straps to the same length.

Assemble bag

  • Position the quilted blocks right sides together and sew closed around 3 sides with a 1/4″ seam allowance. Turn right side out.
Sewing Pattern: Quilted Tote by Underground Crafter | bag front
  • Place the lining fabric pieces with the right sides together. Sew closed around 3 sides with a 1/4″ seam allowance, leaving a 4” (10 cm) opening on one of the side seams.
  • Pin the short edges of the straps to the bag as pictured below. With the first strap, pin one short edge to the top of the front and the second short edge to the top of the front of the bag. Repeat with the other strap on the back of the bag, being sure to line up the straps.
Sewing Pattern: Quilted Tote by Underground Crafter | bag front with straps
  • Using your machine’s free arm and with the right side of the bag facing up, sew a 1/4″ seam allowance along the top edge of the bag, sewing the straps in place. Remove pins as you work.
Sewing Pattern: Quilted Tote by Underground Crafter | sewing on straps
  • Place the quilted part of the bag with the right side out inside of the lining. The lining should still have the right sides together/wrong sides out. Pin in place.
Sewing Pattern: Quilted Tote by Underground Crafter | bag liner with bag inside
  • Using your machine’s free arm, sew a 1/4″ seam allowance along the top of the lining, sewing the quilted part of the bag with the straps in place to the lining. Remove pins as you work.
  • Turn the bag right side out, pulling through the 4” (10 cm) opening in the lining.
Sewing Pattern: Quilted Tote by Underground Crafter | open seam in fabric liner
  • Sew the opening in the lining closed.
Sewing Pattern: Quilted Tote by Underground Crafter | sewing up fabric liner
  • Put the lining back in the bag. Leave some of the lining (about 1/4″/0.5 cm) visible at the top.
  • Working on the right side of the bag and using your machine’s free arm, make a seam using a decorative stitch. I used the “hand-look quilt stitch” and the J presser foot on my Baby Lock Jubilant.
  • Trim threads and enjoy your tote.
Sewing Pattern: Quilted Tote by Underground Crafter | finished tote

Sewing Pattern: Simple Stamped Napkins

Simple Stamped Napkins, free sewing pattern with Ann Butler ColorBox Crafter's ink and Unity Stamp Company stamps by Underground Crafter

The Simple Stamped Napkins are a quick gift that you can easily customize by adjusting the size, or using different fabrics, stamps, inks, or thread. This low-sew project is easy enough for a sewing beginner.

This post contains affiliate links. I may receive compensation (at no added cost to you) if you make a purchase using these links. My sewing machine sponsor is Baby Lock. Additional materials for this post were generously provided by Ann Butler Designs and Fiskars.

The Simple Stamped Napkins are the type of gift you can customize easily to make them special for the recipient. These can be made as last-minute host(ess) gifts, or for a housewarming, or for your favorite home chef, or for almost any other occasion where a home-cooked meal will be served! To customize your set…

Pick the size. I made small napkins, just 12” (30.5 cm) square, for this project. If you’d like to make something more substantial (perhaps for Thanksgiving dinner!), 16” (40.5 cm) square, 18” (46 cm) square, 20” (51 cm) square, or 24” (61 cm) square are common larger napkin sizes.

Choose the fabric. You can make a coordinating set, using different fat quarters for each napkin. Or, use cut yardage for a set of napkins in the same fabric, like I did. A solid or mottled fabric would highlight the stamps the most.

Simple Stamped Napkins, free sewing pattern with Ann Butler ColorBox Crafter's ink and Unity Stamp Company stamps by Underground Crafter

Select your stamps. I used the 2” square stamps from three Unity Stamp Company Ann Butler stamp setsChevron, Stripes, and Double Stripes — but you could choose any stamps. If you’re new to fabric stamping, I do recommend using square or rectangle stamps because it’s much easier to line up the next stamp to the previous stamp and create a straight decoration.

Find your fabric ink colors. I used Ann Butler’s ColorBox Crafter’s Ink in Limelight, Aquamarine, and Berry.

Make a bold choice in thread. The thread you use to finish each napkin will be visible, so make an interesting choice! I used a variegated thread in a contrasting color for my version.

Simple Stamped Napkins, free sewing pattern with Ann Butler ColorBox Crafter's ink and Unity Stamp Company stamps by Underground Crafter

This is the fourth pattern in the Little Gifts Sew Along. Are you just hearing about the Little Gifts Sew Along? Get all the details here.

  • You can join in by sewing the projects as you have time.
  • Share your progress and post pictures of your finished projects. Tag your projects and posts #sewlittlegifts and #stockingstuffersal on all social media.
  • If you’d like to chat with other sewists, join the Underground Crafters Facebook group.
  • By the end of the SAL, you’ll have up to 25 handmade gifts.
  • Use the button below on social media. Right click (on desktop) or tap and hold (on mobile) to save.
Little Gifts Sew Along 2019 with Underground Crafter

Simple Stamped Napkins

Sewing Project by Underground Crafter

The Simple Stamped Napkins is an easy-to-customize gift that can be made to delight any host(ess). This is the fourth of 25 free sewing projects by 12 bloggers in the Little Gifts Sew Along.

Simple Stamped Napkins, free sewing pattern with Ann Butler ColorBox Crafter's ink and Unity Stamp Company stamps by Underground Crafter

Tools

Materials

Simple Stamped Napkins, free sewing pattern with Ann Butler ColorBox Crafter's ink and Unity Stamp Company stamps by Underground Crafter

Instructions

Prepare fabric

  • Iron your fabric.
  • Cut fabric into squares in your preferred size. Each square will make one napkin. The ones I made are 12” (30.5 cm) square. Other common napkin sizes are 16” (40.5 cm) square, 18” (46 cm) square, 20” (51 cm) square, or 24” (61 cm) square.

Decorate your napkins

  • Apply ink to your first stamp. Press firmly on fabric. Continue stamping until you create a look that appeals to you. If you’re new to stamping fabric, you may find this demonstration video by Ann Butler helpful.
  • Let the ink dry.
  • Set the ink by pressing with iron.

Finish edges of napkins

  • Using a sewing machine with an overcasting foot and variegated thread, follow the machine’s instructions to enclose the raw edges with an overcast stitch. Alternatively, use a serger.
Simple Stamped Napkins, free sewing pattern with Ann Butler ColorBox Crafter's ink and Unity Stamp Company stamps by Underground Crafter

Announcing the Little Gifts Sew Along!

Little Gifts Sew Along 2019 with Underground Crafter

I’m so (or should I say “sew”) excited to announce the Little Gifts Sew Along! I’ve teamed up with 11 other bloggers to bring you 25 free sewing projects for little gifts. Each project is small enough to be a “stocking stuffer” if you’d like to get a head start on holiday crafting, or you can gift them for birthdays and other events throughout the year. And, because make alongs are more fun with prizes, we’ve teamed up with some of our favorite brands to bring you really great prizes.

This post contains affiliate links. I may receive compensation (at no added cost to you) if you make a purchase using these links.

This is the main post for this sew along. Read on for more details including:

  • How the 2019 Little Gifts Sew Along Works,
  • How To Join the 2019 Little Gifts Sew Along,
  • 2019 Little Gifts Sew Along Schedule,
  • 2019 Little Gifts SAL End-of-SAL Giveaway Prizes, and
  • Enter the 2019 Little Gifts SAL End-of-SAL Giveaway.

How the 2019 Little Gifts Sew Along Works

Little Gifts Sew Along 2019 with Underground Crafter

Every other Tuesday from January 15 through December 3, 2019, we’ll share a free sewing project for a little gift! These gifts are small enough to be “stocking stuffers” if you’d like to get a head start on holiday crafting, or you can gift them for birthdays and other events throughout the year. Each little gift will be made from 1-4 fat quarters of cotton fabric (or a yard or less of fabric, if you don’t have precut fabric on hand).

And, because sew alongs are more fun with prizes, we’ve reached out to some of our favorite companies to get some amazing end-of-SAL prizes. You can find out more about the prizes and enter for your chance to win in this blog post. Don’t forget to share a picture of each of your completed projects in this post (scroll to the end to enter) by 11:59 p.m. on January 7, 2020 to enter for your chance to win!

Like many quilters and other sewists, I already have a fat quarter stash. If you don’t yet, here are some places where you can get precut fat quarters online:

  • In spite of its name, the Fat Quarter Shop sells more than fat quarters, including lots of different sizes of precut fabric, as well as patterns, books, and notions. You find their fat quarter bundles here.
  • Fabric.com sells a wide range of fabric by the yard, precuts, and more. You can find their fat quarters here.
  • If you like to experiment with new fabrics that are not necessarily cotton, check out Darn Good Yarn’s Fabric of the Month Club, which includes 4 pieces of fabric (at least fat quarter sized) in each shipment. You can find my review of this subscription service here.
Fat Quarter Shop Daily Flash Sale

How To Join the 2019 Little Gifts Sew Along

  • You can join in by sewing the projects as you have time.
  • Share your progress and post pictures of your finished projects. Tag your projects and posts #sewlittlegifts and #stockingstuffersal on all social media.
  • By the end of the SAL, you’ll have up to 25 handmade gifts.
  • Use the button below on social media. Right click (on desktop) or tap and hold (on mobile) to save.

Little Gifts Sew Along 2019 with Underground Crafter
2019 Little Gifts Sew Along Schedule

Each participating Little Gifts Sew Along designer will create a free sewing pattern or tutorial for a little gift that can be made with with 1-4 fat quarters of cotton fabric (or a yard or less of fabric, if you don’t have precut fabric on hand). This post will be updated as each little gift project goes live.


2019 Little Gifts Sew Along End-of-SAL Giveaway Prizes

After sewing up all of these little gifts, you’d probably like something for yourself. And, make alongs are more fun with prizes, don’t you think? Some of my favorite companies agreed, and I was able to put together this end-of-SAL giveaway with fourteen amazing prizes! Read on for more details about the prizes and how to enter for your chance to win.

  • Baby Lock is providing one lucky winner with a Zest! The Zest is a portable sewing machine that’s just 13 pounds (just under 6 kilograms). It has 15 built-in stitches and you can use it for a variety of sewing projects on-the-go, or in a small space. Show your support by following Baby Lock on Facebook | Instagram.
Little Gifts Sew Along 2019 with Underground Crafter - Baby Lock Zest sewing machine giveaway prize
  • Buttons Galore and More is providing one lucky winner with an assortment of buttons and embellishments. You can see some pictures of their buttons that I saw in January displayed at their booth at Creativation, the craft industry’s annual trade show. Show your support by following Buttons Galore and More on Facebook | Instagram.
Little Gifts Sew Along 2019 with Underground Crafter | Dritz giveaway prize
Fiskars Folding Ruler and Cutting Mat with Razor Edge via Underground Crafter
Little Gifts Sew Along 2019 with Underground Crafter | Global Backyard Industries giveaway prize
Little Gifts Sew Along 2019 with Underground Crafter | Mountain Street Arts giveaway prize
  • Plaid is providing one lucky winner with an assortment of Fabric Creations Soft Fabric Ink, tools, and stencils valued at $50. You can see some of the Plaid goodies in my collection in the Instagram post below. Show your support by following Plaid on Facebook | Instagram.
Little Gifts Sew Along 2019 with Underground Crafter | Polymer Clay Shed giveaway prize
  • Quilty Box, a subscription box for quilters and sewists, is providing one lucky winner with one Quilty Box. Every month, Quilty Box has a featured artist and includes a 30+ mini magazine with patterns and articles along with the other goodies inside. Show your support by following Quilty Box on Facebook | Instagram.
Little Gifts Sew Along 2019 with Underground Crafter | Quilty Box giveaway prize
Little Gifts Sew Along 2019 with Underground Crafter | Search Press giveaway prize
Little Gifts Sew Along 2019 with Underground Crafter | The Cottage Needle giveaway prize
Little Gifts Sew Along 2019 with Underground Crafter | Always Expect Moore giveaway prize
Little Gifts Sew Along 2019 with Underground Crafter | Hooked for Life giveaway prize

Continue reading to learn how to enter the giveaway for your chance to win!

Enter the 2019 Little Gifts Sew Along End-of-SAL Giveaway

  • This is the end-of-SAL giveaway for the 2019 Little Gifts Sew Along. The sew along and giveaway are hosted and organized by Underground Crafter.
  • To enter the end-of-SAL giveaway for one of the prizes described above, share one picture of each project you completed using a 2019 Little Gifts Sew Along pattern or tutorial by 11:59 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday, January 7, 2020. Each completed project will count as one entry into the giveaway.
  • If you do not wish to share a project picture, you may also enter by mailing a letter with your name, the name of the sew along, and your email address (so we can contact you if you win) to Underground Crafter, Planetarium Station, P.O. Box 340, New York, NY 10024 USA. The letter must be received by Tuesday, January 7, 2020 to be eligible to win this end-of-SAL giveaway.
  • You are not required to use a link to enter, but if you do, please link directly to the project on your blog/Instagram and not to your main profile page. If you are new to InLinkz Link Ups, you can find a tutorial here.
  • Winners will be chosen from the entries at random. Each will win one of the prizes listed above.
  • Winners will be contacted approximately one week after the entries close. Winners will have two weeks to claim their prizes. If winners do not respond within two weeks, prizes will be awarded to alternates.
  • By entering this giveaway, you are agreeing to share your contact information with InLinkz and/or Underground Crafter. You can read the InLinkz Privacy Policy here and the Underground Crafter Privacy Policy here to understand how this information is used.
  • The names of winners will be made available in list form by request from Underground Crafter.
  • This giveaway is open worldwide, except where prohibited by law.
  • Don’t forget to join the fun in the Underground Crafters Facebook group, too! You can share as many pictures as you like in the group, but only pictures submitted here will be entered in the giveaways.