Back in July I was inspired to create a quilting design after purchasing some cool fabric.
My original idea of a four-patch design was discarded as I really like this fabric and, in the end, I just didn’t want to cut it up too much.
Added Ric-Rac and stitched handles to top fabric panel
The initial hand quilted motif has been augmented with some machine quilting using Aurifil Variegated 50wt (orange spool).
Hand quilted and Machine quilted with button embellishments
When the quilting is finished I then straighten the edges of the block and begin building a panel by sewing additional, coordinating fabrics until I have a rectangle that measures 32 inches by 20 inches.
- “building” materials for my market bag
I have also decided to add an outer piece of tablecloth plastic to keep my bag waterproof and clean. The plastic is lightweight and easily sewn as part of the bag construction. I cut the plastic slightly larger than my cut bag rectangle.
- Outer plastic layer adds protection from dirt and water
Fold your rectangle in half with right sides together. Using a walking foot (this keeps all layer moving through your machine at the same pace) stitch side and bottom seams, leaving top open.
While bag is inside out, grab one of the bottom corners and match the bottom seam line with the side seam line. Flatten the bag corner forming a triangle. Mark 2″ from the triangle tip and mark a sewing line across the width of the triangle. Stitch along this line making sure to secure your stitches at both ends.
Creating a flat bottom gives the bag some stability
Make straps using two different fabrics. Cut 2 lengths of each fabric 2 inches by 20 inches. Creating two straps, sew two fabrics , right sides together , leaving one small end open for turning. After trimming corners and turning right sides out, press and edge stitch.
- Two fabric Straps
Place your handles with unfinished edge along bag top in your desired position. Stitch these in place. Make your bag lining just as you made your bag ADDING at least an inch to height measurement AND leaving a large enough gap in the bottom for turning out. I have added several inches as I wanted a wider header at the top of the bag.
Place your bag, with right sides out, into the bag lining with wrong side out. Stitch all round the top edge making sure your handles are in the ‘down position’ so they are not caught in this seam. Carefully pull the exterior bag out through the gap in the lining. Stitch the gap closed in the lining. Top stitch around the bag top. I have added the green ric-rac and you may want to add some trims or embellishments as well.
Top stitch bag and add embellishments
If you are looking for more clever, quick, ideas for making bags visit master bag maker Lisa Lam’s blog
There is still plenty of time before the holiday season to make a variety of bags for your friends and family You can never have too many bags!