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Monday, November 14, 2011

the Ruby market tote: Patchwork Bag Body

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While you're working on your embroidered pocket, I'd like to bring you the next portion of the Stitch & Quilt Along: the patchwork bag body.  I find that different times of the day work better for different kinds of projects, and often sew and quilt during the day and embroider in the evening.  So I assembled most of my bag while I was finishing up the embroidery.

The patchwork portion will be cut out of five of the six print fat quarters {choose one print fat quarter for binding/handles and set it aside}.  Cut the following five fat quarters into a total of 69 - 4" squares {about 14 of each print}.  Here is my cutting method.

Fold each fat quarter in half with the selvage and cut edge together, then fold in half again, with the fold to the selvage.

Cut three 4" strips from the fat quarter.  There will be a scrap about 7" x 20" remaining.

From the three strips cut 14 - 4" squares.

Arrange 30 of the squares {6 of each print} into the front of the bag {set aside the remaining 10 squares, we will use those for the pocket}.  Here is my layout {you're welcome to arrange your own or use my ABC pattern}:


If desired, repeat the same layout for the back of the bag.  I prefer to chain sew all my rows together:

Press the seams in each row one direction, alternating directions between rows, as shown:

Match the row seams together so they nest in place and pin on the diagonal.

Sew the rows together and press the seams open.

Continue sewing the rows together.  I like to sew my bag pieces as a front and a back, to make sure I sew them identically.  Then sew the bottoms together to create one long bag body piece.  Following the manufacturer's directions, fuse an 19" x  43" piece of fusible fleece to the wrong side of the pieced bag {note: as cutting and seam allowances may vary, measure your finished piece before cutting the fusible fleece}:

Quilt as desired {I quilted mine 1/4" from the seams in both directions} - ETA: There is not a backing on the quilted portion, the bag will have a lining, but at this point the fusible fleece is exposed on the back:

And there you have the quilted outside of the bag.

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  1. Looks great...such clear instructions. I love how it's coming together.

  2. So...there is no backing to quilt besides the fleece; am I right?

    Thank you in advance for your answer. I am going to make a library bag for my little boy and am considering using one piece of fabric instead of piecing one. Not sure yet ;)


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