patchwork tote - main

Hi, friends! Today I’m here to share with you one of my favorite sews. I’ve made at least a hundred of this style tote. I love patchwork. I love cutting out squares. I love quilting. This tote has it all. Let’s get to sewing. 

Patchwork Fabric Tote with Sew-In Fleece

patchwork tote supplies


**Seam allowance is ¼” unless otherwise stated. 

patchwork tote squares

Take your fabric squares and lay them out on your sewing table 5 across by 5 down, in two separate 5×5 panels (I only had room to photograph one, whoops!). Move them around until you like how they look. Pay attention to the squares on the ends of each panel if you like how they’ll look up against each other when assembling the bag as well. 

patchwork tote rows

Sew the rows together then the columns. 

patchwork tote backing

When both panels are complete grab your sew-in fleece and cut out two squares larger than your panels (I cut mine at 18”x18”) Using the SprayNbond Basting Spray and lightly spray the backside of your first panel and then turn it over onto your first fleece square and carefully press down so the panel lays flat without any lumps or folds. Repeat with the second patchwork panel and fleece.

patchwork tote quilting sides

Take to your sewing machine and quilt both panels. I did so by sewing vertical lines using my walking foot.  

patchwork tote trimming

Trim your panels up eliminating the excess fleece. I use a ruler and line it up on the edge of the second row measuring 3 ¼” and trim to make sure it is straight. 

patchwork tote sides

Grab your lining fabric and cut out two 15.5” squares. 

patchwork tote pinning sides

Pin your panels, right sides together. On your main panels line up the patchwork square as you go pining along both sides and the bottom leaving the top open. On the lining pin the sides and bottom but leave approximately a 5” gap for turning (I place my pins horizontally where my opening will be to help me remember to not sew that part). Take and sew using your ¼” seam allowance. 

patchwork tote lining

Next grab a ruler. We will be squaring up our corners. Trace a 2” square in both bottom corners on the lining and main bag. 

patchwork tote corners

Cut the squares out. Pinch the two seams together and flatten the corners so they lie flat and pin. The squared corners will lie horizontally to the seams along the side of your tote. Sew each corner. 

patchwork tote handles

Turn your main bag right side out. Leaving the lining as is (wrong side out). Next, grab your webbing for the handles. Pin your webbing with the raw edge facing up centered on the second square from the left. Take the other end and pin centered on the second square on the right side. Tack in place. Repeat with the second handle on the back panel. 

patchwork tote lining

Once both handles are tacked in place, slide your main tote into the lining, right sides together. Make sure the handles are facing down staying inside sandwiched between the two sides. Pin all along the top.

patchwork tote sewing lining

Once pinned, take to your sewing machine and sew all along the perimeter of the top of your bag using your ¼” seam allowance. 

turning the tote

Next, turn the tote right side out by pulling the main bag out from your opening in the bottom of the lining. 

patchwork tote attach lining

After turning your tote right side out it’s time to sew the opening closed. Pin the two sides of the lining together with the raw edge sandwiched between and topstitch. 

patchwork tote complete

Push the lining down inside your main tote and press the top edge. You can topstitch it or leave it as is and you are done! They are so fun to make and such a great teacher or friend gift. I hope you love making them as much as I do! 

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