I absolutely LOVE the fall season. Cool, crisp mornings, hot cocoa, pumpkins, the crunch of the leaves under your feet, apples, and of course all the holidays. So naturally, I like to be festive. How else than with a super fun bag?? Follow along and make your own!
- Rotary cutter, ruler, and mat
- Heat Erasable gel pens
- Walking foot with guide bar
- ¼” quilting foot with guide (presser foot #17)
- Edge joining foot (presser foot #27)
- Coordinating Thread
- Pinking Shears
- Main bag and handles fabric
- Lining fabric
- Iron on medium weight interfacing
Cut your main fabric, lining fabric, and batting 15” wide and 17” long. Cut 4 strips of your handles and interfacing measuring 4” wide and 30 inches long. Since I had a lot of yardage for the handles, I measured the strips 30 inches long and then marked it 8 inches wide using my heat erasable gel pens. Then I cut my 8 inch strips in half to make 4 inch wide strips.
Iron the interfacing onto your handle strips. Take 2 and put them right sides together. If your handle fabric has a directional print, make sure the print is going up and down on both strips.
Attach the ¼” quilting foot with guide and sew the strips together at one end. Now you should have two 4” wide strips.
Switch to the edge joining presser foot and stitch in the ditch on the seam you just created on the handle strips.
Fold the strips in half, right sides together and matching the seams. Use the clips to hold it in place. Attach the ¼” quilting foot and sew down the long side of the strip, leaving the ends open for turning. Once both strips are sewn, turn them right side out. Press the handles so the seam is either to one side or down the center.
Lay out your main bag fabric and the handles you just made. For this bag, the handles go all the way down to the bottom. Place your handle 2 ½” from the edge of your bag, making sure the raw edges on the bottom line up together. Pin it down. Do this for the front and back side of the bag. Baste the top and bottom of the handles to the bag.
Now take your lining, batting, and the bag front and back and make your quilt sandwich with the lining on the bottom. Use the clips to secure it, making sure the fabric is as tight as you can get it. This will decrease the chances of your fabric bubbling up while you quilt it.
Attach your walking foot. Before you quilt the bag, secure the handles by topstitching them. I used the markings on my walking foot as the seam guide.
Once the handles are secured, you’re ready to start quilting. Take the guide bar and slide it through the hole in the back of the walking foot. Measure how wide you want your lines. Since this is a bigger bag, I decided to make the distance 2 ½” wide.
Take one side of your bag, your marking tool, and your straight ruler. Make a diagonal line from the upper corner to the lower corner. Depending on how confident you are, you can either make one diagonal line or make a giant “X” on your bag.
Now with your walking foot and guide bar, sew along one of your markings. This makes your reference line.
Once that reference line is sewn, move your fabric down to where the walking foot is at the edge of it and the guide bar is lined up with the previous stitch. Keep doing this until you run out of space. Your bag should now have lines going diagonally in one direction. Repeat this process, this time going the opposite direction. By the time you’re done, the front and back of the bag will be completely quilted with a lovely diamond pattern.
Now that the front and back are quilted, it’s time to put the bag together. Put front and back right sides together, matching the handles and clipping them together. If your fabric shifted at all during the quilting process, make sure to trim up the edges so they’re even.
Using your walking foot, sew a ½” side seam down the sides and across the bottom. When you get to the corners, stop when the ends of your presser feet match the end of the fabric. I found this helped me achieve a perfect ½” seam when I turned to go across the bottom. Finish your edges by serging, pinking, or using an overcast foot on your sewing machine.
For finishing the top edge, I decided to use pinking shears. I feel this gives the bag a little fun personality. However you decided to finish the top edge of your bag, be sure to avoid cutting into the stitching at the top of your handles.
And just like that your bag is done! Now you can use it for a trip to the library/out with friends, give it to your kids for trick or treating or even use it as a reusable grocery bag!