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Sunset Tree Quilted Tote Bag

For this elegant tote bag, we used the design Sunset Tree for the mega size hoop (6" x 10").'

The finished size of the tote is about 17" wide x 11" high x 5" deep.

You will need :

  • embroidery threads according to the JPG color card of the design (for this particular design, you may also choose your own colors),
  • light-weight cut-away stabilizer,
  • a fat quarter of light cream, pale pink or similar color quilting cotton fabric (for embroidery),
  • about 1/2 yard of salmon pink fabric for the outer bag,
  • scraps of fabric from your stash in shades of pink, violet, salmon and orange,
  • 1/2 yard of fabric for the lining, (ideally we recommend to use salmon pink for the lining, the same as the outer bag)
  • batting,
  • #14 quilting and sewing needles,
  • quilting threads of matching colors,
  • #4 sew-on snap,
  • sewing iron-on interfacing,
  • rotary cutter,
  • quilter's ruler,
  • scissors,
  • iron.


Stabilize the center of the light-colored piece of fabric with light-weight iron-on cut-away stabilizer. Hoop it tightly.

Print out the color card, select threads by the color card, (not by the screen of your machine!)

Upload the embroidery file for Sunset Tree into the machine and embroider it.

After the embroidery is done, press the stitch-out and the fabric around it.

Trim the stitch-out to 12" wide x 16" high.

Making the Tote Panels:

Out of your stash, select fabrics of pink to orange shades. Cut them into strips 8" long and 1 1/2" - 2 1/2" wide (the exact width isn't important; you want it to vary slightly).

Sew the strips together to get a piece 8" wide and 16" high. Seam allowance is 1/4".

Sunset Tree Tote Bag

Sew the new strip to the piece with the stitch-out. Seam allowance is 1/4".

Sunset Tree Tote Bag

Out of the fabric for the back panel, cut a piece measuring 20" x 16".

Out of fabric for the lining, cut 2 pieces about 21" x 17".
Out of batting, cut 2 pieces about 21" x 17".

Now working with one panel at a time, place a piece of lining on a flat surface (table) face down. Cover with batting. Spread one of the panels over it. Pin all layers together with 1" pins and start quilting. We quilted all over the pieces in a free motion style.

After the quilting is finished, press the panels with heavy steam and trim them to 19" wide and 15" high.

In the lower corners of both panels draw 2 1/2" squares and cut them out.


To make an inside pocket, out of the fabric for the lining, cut a piece measuring 7 1/2" x 12 1/2". Fold the piece widthwise, face inside.

Stitch along the long sides, seam allowance 1/4", leaving one side open.

Turn right side out. Press. Tuck the raw edges 1/2" inside, press and topstitch.

Position the pocket on the lining side of the back panel, 3" from the upper edge and equal distance from the sides. Pin.

Topstitch the pocket in place. Please note that thread in the bobbin should match the color of the top fabric, and thread in the needle should match the color of the lining.

Assembly of the Bag:

Position the panels face to face, align all edges. Sew the bottom, seam allowance 1/2". Open and press the seam.

From the fabric for the lining, cut a strip 1 3/4" wide and the length of the width of the fabric, fold the long sides of the strip 1/4" back and press.

Cut a piece (about 11") to cover the bottom seam. Keep the remaining strip for finishing the side seams.

Position the strip over the bottom seam, pin, topstitch in place.

Fold the working piece, face inside, align all edges. Pin.
Sew one of the sides, seam allowance 1/2". Open and press the seam.

Finish the seam with the fabric strip as the bottom seam.
Repeat for the other side.

To shape the bottom, align and pin the side and the bottom seams. Stitch 1/2" from the raw edges.

Finish the raw edges either with zig-zag stitch or with binding.

Measure the circumference of the upper edge. Out of salmon pink fabric, cut a strip 4" wide and the length of the circumference, plus 1/2" for the seam.

Sew the short edges of the strip, seam allowance 1/4". Open and press the seam.
Fold the strip in half, wrong side inside, press.

Aligning the raw edges of the strip and the bag, pin the strip to the bag.

Stitch in place, seam allowance 1/4". Unfold the strip and press.

Turn the bag right side out. Fold the upper strip back and press. Pin. Topstitch in place.


Out of the light fabric used for the embroidery, cut 2 strips measuring 2 1/2" x 26 1/2".

Out of salmon pink fabric used for the back panel, cut 2 strips measuring 2" x 26 1/2".

Out of iron-on interfacing cut 2 strips measuring 1" x 26".

Fold the fabric strips in half lengthwise, wrong side inside, and lightly press to form a light crease line. Unfold.

With wrong sides facing, fold the short edges of the strips 1/4" back and press firmly.

Fold the long sides of the strips so that they meet on the crease line. Press firmly.
Insert the interfacing strips inside the light fabric handles. Press to adhere to the intefacing.

You will have 4 strips like this:

Position the strips in pairs, with raw edges facing each other.

Topstitch the strips together.

Pin the handles to the upper strip on the inside of the bag, 4 1/2"-5" from the side seams. Topstitch in place.

Handstitch the sew-on snap.

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