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How to Quilt a Bag With Style: 7 Free Bag Patterns and Purse Patterns

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Fat Quarter Drawstring Bag

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The Fat Quarter Drawstring Bag is the perfect project to make if you only have a few fat quarters left over from other fat quarter quilt patterns. This patchwork quilt tote bag is extra roomy, and it has an elastic opening that will keep all your belongings inside. We also suggest using this tote as an overnight bag. It's one of the most popular free quilted bag patterns because it's got plenty of room, and the design is just the right size for constant carry. You'll have the most stylish bag around if you make this one-of-a-kind free patchwork quilt pattern.

Fat Quarter Drawstring Bag
Fat Quarter Drawstring Bag
This image courtesy of shopmartingale.com

Project Type: Make a Project

Time to complete: In an evening

Primary Technique: Pieced

Difficulty Level: Intermediate

This is one our list of the top 10 Fantastic Fat Quarter Quilt Patterns!

MATERIALS:

  • 6 fat quarters
  • 2-1/8 yds. 42" wide fabric for lining and handles
  • 1/4 yd. 42" wide flannel for handles
  • 22" of 1" wide non-roll elastic

INSTRUCTIONS:

Cutting:

From each of the six fat quarters, cut:

  • 1 rectangle, 17-1/2" x 19-1/2" (6 total)

From the lining fabric, cut:

  • 1 rectangle, 38-1/2" x 51-1/2", for lining
  • 4 strips, each 2-1/2" x 40", for handles. For longer handles, cut 8 strips.

From the flannel, cut:

  • 2 strips, each 2-1/2" x 40". For longer handles, cut 4 strips.


Directions:

  1. Arrange the 6 fat quarter pieces as shown. Stitch or serge the pieces together. Press the seams to one side.

    Fat Quarter Gypsy Bag
     
  2. Pin the lining and the joined fat quarters right sides together. Using a 1/4" seam allowance, stitch or serge around the edges. Leave an 8" opening near the center at one short end. Turn the bag right side out.

    Fat Quarter Gypsy Bag
     
  3. To make the handles, place 2 lining strips right sides together and place a strip of flannel on top. Stitch or serge around 3 sides, leaving 1 short end open for turning. Turn the handles right sides out. Slipstitch the end of the handle closed. Topstitch 1/4"  from the edge all around both handles.

    Fat Quarter Gypsy Bag

    Note: To make longer handles, join 2 strips of fabric end to end to make 1 long strip. Make 4 long strips. Repeat with pairs of flannel strips. Follow the directions in step 3 to make the handles.
     
  4. Press around the edge of the bag. Topstitch along the edge, beginning at the opening and ending at the other side of the opening. Do not stitch across the opening.

    Tip: It helps to pin the pressed edges before you topstitch. The pins hold the layers firmly in place as you sew.
     
  5. To make casings for the elastic, measure 7" from the short ends of the bag on both long edges and mark. Stitch from point to point, 1-1/4" from the topstitching.

    Fat Quarter Gypsy Bag
     
  6. Cut the elastic in half to yield 2 pieces, each 11" long. Working through the 8" opening, insert the elastic into both casings. Pin securely at both ends. Secure the ends of the elastic by stitching an X in a 1" square.

    Fat Quarter Gypsy Bag
     
  7. Slipstitch the open end of the bag closed. Continue topstitching across the 8" span.
     
  8. To make the casing for the handles, fold 2" of both short ends toward the lining. Topstitch along the existing topstitching and 1/4" from the fold.

    Fat Quarter Gypsy Bag
     
  9. Insert a handle into each casing. Holding handle pairs together, tie the ends in a knot.

    Fat Quarter Gypsy Bag
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