How to Turn Your Quilt Blocks into Tote Bags

Today on the blog I have Kate Strader here to share all her tips and tricks for turning your favorite modern quilt blocks into a tote bag. I hope you enjoy this free tutorial! Please share your totes on Instagram so we can all see your makes! I'll hand it over to Kate now... enjoy! 

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Hi! I’m Kate from Kate Shea Quilts… lover of sewing and squishy fabric. I’ve been thoroughly enjoying making mini quilts, the perfect way to test your creativity and experiment with bold ideas. But what do you do with all those single block gems? Turn them into totes! In this tutorial I’ll be sharing my method of making fun tote bags that you can keep for yourself, or gift to friends and family. 

Step 1: 

Grab your favourite quilt pattern… I’ve chosen the Natural Harmony Quilt Pattern from Sewn.


Purchase the Natural Harmony Quilt Pattern here!

Step 2:

Gather supplies – fabric for your quilt block (2-3 fat quarters), backing fabric, lining fabric, cotton webbing for straps (24 inches each), batting, interfacing, thread, scissors, clips, pins, hera marker.


Step 3: 

Sew your block per the pattern instructions. I added extra strips to the top and bottom of my block at 1 inch each to keep the overall feeling of the quilt pattern using a third complementary fabric. To keep the block square, I added 2-inch borders on each side in the background fabric. 


Step 4:

Iron the interfacing onto the back of your block and trim the excess. Pin or spray baste the batting onto your block and quilt as desired. 

Step 5:

Measure the finished block (mine came out to 15 ¾ squared) and cut you back/lining fabric to the same size.  

Step 6:

Right sides together sew the quilted block and backing together. Repeat with the lining pieces except leave a 3-inch hole at the bottom of the lining to turn your project. I added a zig zag stitch along the edges to decrease fraying, especially because I used linen which has a looser weave. You will have 2 sets of tote pieces. 

Step 7:

Turn the quilted block set so you can see the front. Place this set into your lining (which is still inside out). Clip the tops together so they match up.



Step 8:

At the top of your bag mark 3 inches from the outside of the tote on each side. Insert the handles (cotton webbing) in between layers and line up to the marks, clip in place. The layers should be:

    Lining fabric – handle – backing 

    Quilted block – handle – lining 



    Step 9:

    Sew around the top edge.



    Final Step:

    Turn the project using the hole left in the lining. Close the hole with machine or hand stitching as you prefer. Place the lining inside your tote. Stitch along the top of the tote bag to secure the lining to the outside of the bag. 


    Ta Da!! You have a tote bag!!



    Thank you Katelyn for that wonderfully easy tutorial! I hope you'll try to make one of these tote bags and share it on social so we can see what you make! @sewnhandmade and @kate.shea.quilts on IG


    You might also enjoy reading:

    Free Playroom Quilted Pillow Tutorial

    Free Sunroom Wall Hanging Tutorial

    Free Mudroom Planter Basket Tutorial




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