Making a Quilted Patchwork Tote Bag


A while back, I picked up a mini charm pack of Vanessa Christenson’s Color Me Happy line for Moda. The prints are absolutely adorable – all sorts of shades of blue, green, pink, gray, and yellow.Moore Approved Tote Bag Quilted Exterior Color Me Happy Robert Kaufman Essex Linen Denim Close Up

After cutting out a few 1.5″ strips of Robert Kaufman Essex Linen in denim, I started chain piecing each 2.5″ square from the mini charm pack directly to the strips. Then I pressed the seams to the denim side, and it was quicker to do the entire strips rather than trim each piece first.

Admittedly, I really did not have a plan for this – just made several rows and added 1.5″ strips of sashing. The Essex Linen in denim really works well with many fabric lines – Color Me Happy included.

I considered turning the patchwork into a table runner, but settled on a bag for myself instead using my own tutorial for making a tote bag.

Moore Approved Tote Bag Quilted Exterior Color Me Happy Cotton and Steel Canvas Robert Kaufman Essex Linen Denim Wide ShotWhen I made my Aeroplane Bag, I noticed that the quilting cotton I used showed signs of wear very quickly. After a couple months of regular use, the bottom corners developed holes. For this one, I used Cotton + Steel’s All The States canvas in navy in hopes that this material will be able to withstand more wear and tear.

The handles on the tote are attached about two inches from the top instead of right at the top. It can be difficult to sew handles at the top when you have to turn the bag and topstitch it. With the handles placed further down, it was easier for me during the final steps of construction. The topstitching was better, since I did not have to sew through as many layers.

Moore Approved Tote Bag Lining Carolyn Friedlander Doe Sage Ladder Print Robert KaufmanHere’s a look at the inside of the bag. I used Carolyn Friedlander’s Doe Ladder Lines in Sage for Robert Kaufman for the lining, slip pockets, and zipper pocket.

Moore Approved Tote Bag Quilted Zipper Lining Carolyn Friedlander Doe Sage Ladder Robert Kaufman Color Me Happy Cotton and Steel Canvas Robert Kaufman Essex Linen DenimThese added details make the bag much more functional. I can put my cell phone and earbuds in the pockets, plus important papers or items in the zipper pocket for security.

Of course, I had to sew a Moore Approved label onto the lining also!

Moore Approved Tote Bag Quilted Lining Label Carolyn Friedlander Doe Sage Ladder Robert Kaufman Color Me Happy Cotton and Steel Canvas Robert Kaufman

On the quilted exterior of the bag, I used Pellon TP971F Fusible Thermolam Plus, which worked well. I do like using Annie’s Soft and Stable, but not for every project. Sometimes you don’t need that much loft and shape.

For the lining, I fused Pellon SF101 Shape-Flex to the fabric. It’s my favorite interfacing to use for bags, because I feel it gives the fabric more stability while also maintaining a nice drape. Other types I’ve used in the past were sort of crinkly and the wrinkles would not iron out after turning.

(Moore Approved is a participant in Amazon’s affiliate program, so I earn a small commission if you purchase anything I link on this blog. I only promote products I love and truly would recommend to others.)

Moore Approved Tote Bag Quilted Exterior Color Me Happy Cotton and Steel Canvas Robert Kaufman Essex Linen Medium Shot

It’s about 16 x 12 inches finished.

I’m excited to take this fun new bag out on the town and show it off!

See you next time!

– Jennifer





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