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Spring Gowns Quilted Tote Bag with Machine Embroidery
This eye-catching tote bag features designs from the Spring Gown Set.
The finished size of the bag is about 16"W x 15"H x 6"D.


Quilted tote bag with the embroidery of 3 ladies in spring gowns.

You will need :
  • embroidery threads, either polyester or rayon ,
  • 1/2 yard of multi-colored fabric (we used a batik featuring yellow and bright pink)
  • about 1 1/2 yard of black fabric for the bottom and sides, and the lining,
  • light-weight cut-away embroidery stabilizer,
  • batting,
  • quilter's ruler,
  • rotary cutter,
  • a medium sized dinner plate,
  • sewing pins,
  • quilter's pins,
  • iron,
  • #12 and #14-16 universal needle,
  • #12-14 quilting needle,
  • for the handles, you will need:
    • two pieces of 1/2" black cord, 28" long each and
    • a turner hook with latch for fabric tube straps (affiliate link),
  • wide bias tape (black), or fabric to make bias,
  • black Velcro tape - 1" of 1/2" wide tape. We recommend Sticky Back for Fabrics Velcro, but regular velcro will also work.
Cutting:
Out of the colorful fabric for the front and back panels, cut 2 pieces measuring 18" x 18",
Out of black fabric, cut
  • 2 pieces measuring 19" x 19",
  • 2 strips measuring 8" x 46". If the width of the fabric is less than 46", you will need to cut 3 strips and use the 3rd strip to extend the other two strips.
  • 2 strips 2" wide and the length of the width of the fabric,
  • 1 strip 2 1/2" wide and the length of the width of the fabric,
  • 1 piece measuring 14" x 16" for the pocket.
Out of batting, cut
  • 2 pieces measuring 19" x 19" and
  • a strip measuring 8" x 48".
Embroidery:
Mark the position of the embroidery on one of the colored pieces. If you have a printer and embroidery software, print-outs of the designs can be helpful. If you do not, you can cut out rectangles of the same size as the designs and arrange them on the fabric to determine the position of the embroidery.

Stabilize the chosen area. Hoop the fabric tightly and embroider the designs one by one.
Quilting:
Now place the black 19" x 19" piece on a flat surface (table) face down. Cover with the 19" x 19" batting piece. Spread the 18" x 18" colorful fabric square over them.

Pin all layers together.

We quilted in a free-motion style all over the working piece.

Repeat for the back panel of the bag.
Make the "sandwich" with the black 8" x 46" strips and batting strip. Pin the layers together and quilt in a free motion style.
Press all 3 parts with heavy steam.
Trim the front and back panels to 15" H x 16 1/2" W.
Trim the bottom and side strip to 6 1/2" wide and 46" long.
Assembly:
Note: seam allowance is 1/2".
Round the lower corners of the front and back panels. For this measure and mark 2" from the corner along each side
Measure and mark 2" from the corner along each side.

Position a plate to connect the marks on both sides. With a rotary cutter, cut along the plate's curve.
Position a plate to connect the marks on both sides.

With a rotary cutter, cut along the plate's curve.
Repeat for the lower corners of both panels.
Repeat for the lower corners of both panels.

With right sides together, place and pin the bottom-side strip along the side and bottom edges of the front panel. Stitch in place. If one of the short sides of the bottom-side strip protrudes beyond the front panel, trim it.
With right sides together, place and pin the bottom-side strip along the side and bottom edges of the front panel.

In the same way attach the back panel. Please note that the raw edges are on the outside of this bag
The bottom-side strip is attached to both front and back panels of the tote.

Finish the raw edges with the binding.
Front panel with the raw edges finished with the binding.

Back panel with the raw edges finished with the binding.

Pocket:
Using the black piece measuring 14" x 16", fold it in half lengthwise, face inwards. Stitch along the long and one of the short sides. Trim the corners. Through the open short side, turn the piece right side out. Press.

Topstitch along the finished short side. Fold it 4 1/2" up. Press. Topstitch the sides.
Fold it 4 1/2" up. Press. Topstitch the sides.

Position the raw edge of the pocket on the raw edge of the back panel, an equal distance from the sides of the bag. Pin. Stitch in place using 1/4" seam allowance.
Position the raw edge of the pocket on the raw edge of the back panel on equal distance from the sides.

Stitch the pocket in place.

Handles
Fold the 2" wide strips lengthwise and stitch the long sides with seam allowance 1/4". Turn them right side out.
Stitch the 2" strips into long tubes.

Insert the cord pieces into the fabric tubes. Stitch the ends to prevent the cord from running.
Insert the cord into fabric tube.

Pin the handle ends to the upper edge of the front/back panel, about 5" from the sides. The ends of the handle should protrude about 1/2"-1 beyond the upper edge of the panel.

Stitch the handles in place with seam allowance 1/4".
Pin the handles to the upper edges of the front and back panels.

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 one of long edges of the strip 1/2" back and press. Fold one of the short edges 1/2" back and press.
Starting from the middle of the back panel of the bag, with the finished short side of the strip, pin the strip along the upper edge of the bag. The strip and the bag are right side to right side. Overlap the short ends of the strip. If the unfinished end is too long, cut it to avoid bulk.
Pin the black binding along the upper edge of the bag.

Topstitch the strip in place, seam allowance 1/2".
Fold the strip inwards. With it, 1/2" of the upper edge of the bag will also fold. Topstitch the upper edge of the bag in place, seam allowance about 1/4".
Fold the strip inside.

While the lower edge of the upper strip has not been attached, sew on or stick on the Velcro tape to make a closure. Then sew the lower end of the strip. We did it by hand, but you can machine stitch, if you prefer.
Quilted tote bag with the embroidery of 3 ladies in spring gowns

Have fun!

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