This quilt block tote bag tutorial is a great way to use up a few leftover quilt blocks. It also makes a great project if you’re not in the mood to take on making an entire quilt, but would like to make a few blocks! Today I’m showing you a Halloween version but you can easily adapt it for any occasion or holiday!
Before I released the Foundation Paper Pieced version of my Witch’s Hat Quilt block I needed to test the pattern a bunch of times. Since I already had a quilt made for myself, I didn’t want to make another quilt and ended up with a bunch of random quilt blocks.
My first idea was to turn them into another pillow. Then I got the idea to turn them into a fun tote bag instead!
This tote bag is made from 4 quilt blocks that are 8″ x 8″ BEFORE finishing. If you’re using a different size quilt block you can adapt the bag size as needed. I’ll tell you how to do that below.
I do think this tutorial will be simpler if all 4 quilt blocks are the same size and you start out with a square as the feature point of your bag. You could also just use one JUMBO quilt block for the center.
To make my tote bag I used one Ghost Quilt block and 3 Witch Hat Quilt Blocks.
If you want to make the Witch Hat blocks then you need to purchase the block pattern in the shop. There is an FPP version here and a traditionally pieced version HERE.
Okay, are you ready to start?
Quilt Block Tote Bag Pattern:
You’ll need – these supplies may change depending on the size of your blocks.
Supplies for Tote Bag:
4 quilt completed quilt blocks- mine are 8″ x 8″ before finishing.
1/2 yard of fabric for the back of the bag.
1/4 yard of fabric for the sides of the bag.
1/2 yard of fabric for bag lining.
1/2- 1 yard of Fusible Fleece
2 yards of 1″ wide Cotton Webbing
Optional: 1/2″ wide grosgrain ribbon
Step One: Create the Bag Front
Stitch your 4 quilt blocks together with 1/4″ seam allowances. Measure the width of your sewn complete piece. Mine was 15 1/2″ x 15 1/2″. If yours is different, note that below (replace my 15 1/2″ with your measurement).
Cut 2 pieces of fabric 2″ x 15 1/2″
Cut 1 piece of fabric 2″ x 15″ (or 1/2″ less than your sewn block size).
Stitch the two 2″ x 15 1/2″ pieces of fabric to the two sides of your quilt blocks. Stitch with a 1/4″ seam allowance.
Press seams to one side.
Stitch the 15″ wide piece to the bottom of the bag. You want to center this piece in the bag exactly. You’ll end up with funny corners at the bottom of the bag piece. That’s OK!
Step Two Create your Pattern Pieces:
Using the sewn bag front piece as a guide cut:
2 pieces from Bag Lining Fabric
2 pieces from Fusible Fleece (4 pieces if you want your bag more sturdy)
1 piece from Bag Back Fabric
The rest of the bag construction process is a basic box tote. If you’ve made one before then this will be a breeze. If you want more photos of this process, just CLICK here for this tutorial.
Step Three Construct the Bag Outside:
Apply the fusible fleece to the wrong side of your quilt block piece and your bag back piece. If desired, quilt.
If you want your back more sturdy also apply fusible fleece to your two bag lining pieces.
Stitch your bag front piece and bag back pieces together along the two sides and bottom. Do NOT stitch in the square in the bottom of the bag.
Use a 1/4″ seam allowance.
Press the seam allowances open.
Pinch the bottom corner of the bag, so that the seams are on top of each other. Here you can see a photo of this technique from another project.
Stitch (again with a 1/4″ seam allowance). Be sure to lock your seams.
Repeat for the other bag bottom corner.
Repeat this entire process for the bag lining pieces.
Step Four: Attach the Handles.
Cut two pieces of webbing to 20″ long. Finish the ends of the webbing with fray check.
If desired apply a piece of grosgrain ribbon to the center of the bag strap. To do this, just glue the ribbon to the bag strap and stitch down each side of the ribbon.
Place the bag strap on top of the bag front piece so that the ends of the bag straps are flush with the top of the tote bag and each strap is 3″ in from the side seam of the bag.
Stitch in place with a 1/4″ seam allowance.
Repeat with the other bag strap on the bag back piece.
Step Five: Finishing
With the tote bag wrong side out and the tote bag lining right side out. Slip the bag lining into the bag. Line up the bag centers and bag side seams. Pin in place.
Stitch around the top of the bag with a 1/2″ seam allowance. Leave a 6″ opening in the back of the bag to turn the bag right side out.
Turn the bag right side out. Press the top seam well. Top stitch along the top of the bag making sure to catch the opening of the bag as you sew.
Other Fun Quilt Tutorials: