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Quilted Bag with Celtic Motifs
This large and roomy tote bag features the designs from the Celtic Border Set. The finished size of the bag is about 18" W x 15" H x 4" D.


You will need :
  • embroidery threads, either polyester or rayon; the choice of colors is completely up to you; we used turquoise, green and purple,
  • medium-weight iron-on cut-away stabilizer, preferably black,
  • 1 1/2 yard of black cotton fabric for the outer bag and backing/lining,
  • 1 1/2 yard of 1" wide black webbing,
  • black polyester batting (low or medium loft),
  • a piece of black Velcro tape,
  • iron,
  • quilter's ruler,
  • rotary cutter,
  • chalk pencil.
Embroidery:
Out of black fabric, cut 4 pieces about 14" wide x 21" long each. The pieces should be big enough to be hooped. Stabilize the pieces with medium-weight iron-on cut-away stabilizer. Choose threads for the embroidery.
Tightly hoop the stabilized fabric. Upload the files into the machine. Open all 3 files on the screen. Using the editing function on the machine, position the files about 1" from each other. All 3 files should fit the 8" x 12" embroidery field.
Embroider the 3 designs on each of the 14" x 21" pieces.
Assembly of the Panels and Quilting:
Position 2 embroidered pieces face to face, align the embroidery, pin the pieces together. Trim one of the side margins to 3/4". Stitch the parts together along this edge, seam allowance 1/4". Press the seam open. Repeat with the remaining 2 pieces.

Do not trim the other sides for now.
Out of black fabric cut 2 pieces for the backing/lining. They should be the same size as the embroidered panels.

Out of batting cut 2 pieces of the same size.

Make 2 sandwiches: backing (right side down) - batting - top (embroidery side up). Pin.
Quilt both panels. We quilted in a free-motion style all over the panels.
After quilting, press both panels with heavy steam and trim them to 19 1/2" high and 21" wide.
Assembly of the Bag:
Fold the upper edge of each panel 1" back and press with heavy steam.

Cut out 2 1/2" squares in the corners on the bottom edge.

Cut the webbing in half for 2 handles. Position them on the upper edge 6 1/2" from the side edges.

Top stitch in place.

Position both panels face to face, align the edges. Pin. Sew the bottom, seam allowance 1/2". Press the seam open.

Topstitch 1/4" on each side of the seam.

Out of black fabric, cut a strip 1 3/4" wide and 17" long. Fold the long edges 1/4" back and press. Position the strip over the bottom seam to close it, pin. Topstitch in place. Trim the ends of the strip.

Fold the bag, face inside, align the side edges. Work with one side at a time. Pin.
Stitch one side, seam allowance 1/2". Press the seam open and top stitch 1/4" on each side of the seam.
Out of black fabric, cut a strip 1 3/4" wide and 15" long. Fold the long edges 1/4" back and press. Position the strip over the side seam to close it, pin. Topstitch in place. Trim the ends of the strip.

Repeat for the other side. Finishing the raw edges of the second side is a little bit tricky, but doable.
To finish the bottom, fold the bag and align the side and bottom seams. Pin. Stitch together, seam allowance 1/2".

Finish these seams with binding.

Pocket
Out of black fabric, cut a piece measuring 18" x 14". Fold it in half lengthwise, face inside. Stitch along one of the short sides. Through the open short side, turn the piece right side out. Press.
Fold the finished short side 5" up. Press. Topstitch the sides.

Position the raw edge of the pocket between the handles. Pin. Stitch in place.


Finishing the Bag
Turn the bag right side out.
Measure the length of the upper edge of the bag.
Out of black fabric, cut a strip 2 1/2" wide and the length of the upper edge + 2".
Fold the long edges of the strip 1/2" back and press. Cover the folded upper edge of the bag from the inside with the strip, pinning it in place about 1/2" from the upper edge, so that it covers the raw edge of the bag, pocket and handles.

Topstitch the strip in place along both sides.

Cut a piece of Velcro tape and sew over the strip from the inside.

Have fun!


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