Create a Stunning Quilted Tote Bag with Easy Techniques!
Table of Contents
- What You'll Need
- Quilt-As-You-Go Technique
- Choosing Fabrics for the Bag
- Using Inner Form Plus
- Benefits of Inner Form Plus
- Step-by-Step Instructions
- Cutting and Starting the Quilt-As-You-Go Process
- Sewing the Strips Together
- Adding the Inner Form Plus
- Quilting and Adding Texture
- Trim and Box the Corners
- Sewing the Lining Pieces
- Assembling the Bag
- Making the Shoulder Straps
- Attaching the Straps to the Bag
- Optional Modifications and Ideas
Quilt-As-You-Go Tote: A Fun and Easy Project
Are you looking for a new quilting project that is both fun and easy? Look no further than the Quilt-As-You-Go Tote! In this article, we will guide you through the process of creating a beautiful tote bag using the quilt-as-you-go technique. This technique allows you to piece together Fabric strips and quilt them at the same time, making it a fast and efficient way to Create a bag. With the help of a special product called Inner Form Plus, your bag will hold its Shape perfectly, giving it a professional and finished look. So, Gather your supplies and let's get started on this exciting quilting adventure!
The Quilt-As-You-Go Tote is a project that combines quilting and bag-making techniques to create a unique and functional bag. This project is perfect for quilters of all skill levels, from beginners to advanced. By using the quilt-as-you-go technique, you can easily piece together fabric strips while quilting them, saving time and effort. The addition of Inner Form Plus, a lightweight foam with double-sided fusible properties, adds structure and stability to the bag, making it stand upright without any additional support.
2. What You'll Need
Before we begin, let's gather all the necessary supplies for this project. You will need:
- One pack of 2.5-inch fabric strips for the bag exterior (e.g., Windham Fabrics' Mimosa collection)
- Yardage of fabric for the lining (approximately 2/3 yard)
- Inner Form Plus, a lightweight foam with double-sided fusible properties
- Sewing machine, thread, and other basic sewing supplies
- Scissors or rotary cutter (optional)
- Iron and ironing board
- Ruler or measuring tape
- Fabric marking tool
3. Quilt-As-You-Go Technique
The quilt-as-you-go technique is a popular quilting method that allows you to piece together fabric strips and quilt them simultaneously. It is a great way to create interesting Patterns and textures while saving time and effort. In this project, we will be using the quilt-as-you-go technique to assemble the exterior of the tote bag. By sewing the fabric strips together and quilting them as we go, we will create a beautifully pieced and quilted bag.
4. Choosing Fabrics for the Bag
When choosing fabrics for your quilt-as-you-go tote, the possibilities are endless. You can opt for a coordinated look by using a pre-cut fabric pack like Windham Fabrics' Mimosa collection, or you can mix and match fabrics from your stash for a more unique and scrappy look. The key is to select fabrics that complement each other and create a Cohesive design. Don't be afraid to experiment with different colors, patterns, and textures to make your bag truly one-of-a-kind.
5. Using Inner Form Plus
One of the secrets to the Quilt-As-You-Go Tote's unique structure is the use of Inner Form Plus. This lightweight foam with double-sided fusible properties adds stability and shape to the bag without weighing it down. Inner Form Plus is available in pre-cut sizes or by the yard, making it easy to customize the bag to your desired Dimensions. It is simple to work with and stitches like butter, making it a favorite among quilters and bag-makers alike.
6. Benefits of Inner Form Plus
Using Inner Form Plus in your Quilt-As-You-Go Tote project offers several benefits. Firstly, it provides the bag with a lightweight structure that allows it to stand upright on its own, even when empty. This eliminates the need for additional support or reinforcement. Secondly, the foam's double-sided fusible properties make it easy to attach to the fabric strips, ensuring a secure and long-lasting bond. Finally, Inner Form Plus maintains its shape and does not flatten or lose its structure over time, making your bag look professional and well-made.
7. Step-by-Step Instructions
Now it's time to dive into the step-by-step process of creating your Quilt-As-You-Go Tote. Follow these instructions carefully to ensure a successful and enjoyable sewing experience.
Cutting and Starting the Quilt-As-You-Go Process
Start by cutting a piece of Inner Form Plus measuring 15 inches by 30 inches. This will be the base of your bag. You can customize the size of the bag by adjusting the dimensions of the Inner Form Plus. Next, choose a fabric strip from your pack or stash and place it right side up on the Inner Form Plus, aligning one edge of the strip with the top edge of the foam. Stitch the strip to the foam using a quarter-inch seam allowance. Continue adding fabric strips in the desired pattern, quilting as you go, until the foam is covered.
Sewing the Strips Together
To sew the fabric strips together, place the next strip right sides together with the strip already attached to the foam. Sew along one side of the fabric using a quarter-inch seam allowance, securing the strips together. Repeat this process for each additional strip, alternating the fabrics and creating a pleasing design. Press the seams open or to one side as desired.
Adding the Inner Form Plus
To add the Inner Form Plus to the quilted fabric strips, place it on top of the pieced front, aligning the edges. The foam's double-sided fusible properties will adhere to the fabric strips, creating a firm bond. Carefully press the foam onto the fabric using an iron, being sure not to touch the foam directly with the iron. Use a pressing cloth or parchment paper to protect the foam from direct heat.
Quilting and Adding Texture
To enhance the texture and stability of the bag, you can add additional quilting lines to the quilted front. This step is optional but can add extra visual interest to the bag. Use a coordinating thread color and stitch straight or decorative lines across the fabric strips as desired. Quilting lines can be placed at random or follow the lines of the fabric strips for a more uniform look.
Trim and Box the Corners
Once the front of the bag is quilted and the quilting lines are added, it's time to trim and box the corners. Pinch each corner of the bag, creating a triangle shape with the center seam running down the middle. Measure and mark 2.5 inches from the tip of the triangle on each side. Connect the marks to create a diagonal line. Sew along this line, securing the boxed corner. Repeat for all four corners of the bag.
Sewing the Lining Pieces
Prepare the lining pieces by sewing the side seams together, right sides facing. Leave a 3-4 inch opening for turning the bag right side out later. Press the seams open or to one side. Box the corners of the lining pieces in the same way as the front of the bag, sewing along the marked diagonal lines.
Assembling the Bag
With both the front and lining pieces complete, it's time to assemble the bag. Place the lining piece inside the front piece, right sides together. Align the top edges and sides, matching the corners. Pin in place, making sure to align the boxed corners. Sew along the top edge of the bag, leaving a small opening for turning. Clip the corners and turn the bag right side out through the opening. Press the top edge, tucking in the raw edges of the opening. Topstitch around the top edge of the bag, closing the opening and adding a finished look.
Making the Shoulder Straps
To make the shoulder straps, cut two long strips of fabric measuring approximately 4 inches wide by your desired length. Fold each strip in half lengthwise and press to create a center crease. Open up the strips, then fold each long edge towards the center crease and press. Refold the strip along the center crease and topstitch along both long edges, securing the folds. Attach the shoulder straps to the sides of the bag, sewing them securely in place.
Optional Modifications and Ideas
The Quilt-As-You-Go Tote is a versatile project that can be customized in many ways. Here are a few ideas for modifications and variations:
- Add pockets to the lining for extra organization.
- Embellish the bag with applique, embroidery, or fabric trims.
- Use contrasting thread for topstitching to add visual interest.
- Experiment with different quilting patterns and designs.
- Adjust the dimensions of the bag to your desired size.
Get creative and make the Quilt-As-You-Go Tote your own!
Congratulations on completing your Quilt-As-You-Go Tote! This project offers a fun and easy way to combine quilting and bag-making techniques. With the quilt-as-you-go method and the addition of Inner Form Plus, your tote will hold its shape perfectly while showcasing your unique fabric choices. Whether you use it as a chic everyday bag or a stylish gift for a loved one, your Quilt-As-You-Go Tote is sure to impress. Enjoy your new bag and happy quilting!
- The Quilt-As-You-Go Tote combines quilting and bag-making techniques for a fun and functional project.
- The quilt-as-you-go technique allows for piecing and quilting fabric strips simultaneously, saving time and effort.
- Inner Form Plus, a lightweight foam with double-sided fusible properties, adds structure and stability to the bag.
- The Quilt-As-You-Go Tote is customizable and can be modified with various fabrics, colors, and quilt designs.
- The tote can be used as a chic everyday bag or a thoughtful handmade gift.
Q: Can I use different fabric strips for the bag exterior? A: Absolutely! You can use any fabric strips you like, whether from a pre-cut pack or your fabric stash. Just make sure the strips are the same width for consistent piecing.
Q: Can I use batting instead of Inner Form Plus? A: While batting can be used, Inner Form Plus provides better structure and shape to the bag. It is lightweight, double-sided fusible, and maintains its shape over time.
Q: Can I make the Quilt-As-You-Go Tote larger or smaller? A: Yes! You can customize the size of the tote by adjusting the dimensions of the Inner Form Plus and fabric strips. Just ensure that the proportions and measurements remain consistent.
Q: Can I add additional pockets to the bag? A: Absolutely! You can easily add pockets to the lining or even the exterior of the bag. Customize it to suit your organizational needs.
Q: Can I quilt different patterns on the fabric strips? A: Yes! Feel free to experiment with different quilting patterns and designs. You can create unique textures and visual interest within the quilt-as-you-go method.
Q: Can I embellish the bag with embroidery or applique? A: Definitely! Adding embroidery or applique designs is a great way to personalize and enhance the look of the bag. Get creative and make it your own!
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