Fat Quarter Drawstring Bag


Fat Quarter Drawstring Bag

Fat Quarter Drawstring Bag

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 pretty patchwork quilt tote bag is extra roomy, and has an elastic opening that will keep all your belongings inside. This tote is so roomy that it works perfectly as an overnight bag, as well. It's one of the most popular free quilted bag patterns because it's extremely spacious, 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.

Project TypeMake a Project

Time to CompleteIn an evening

Primary TechniquePieced



  • 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



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.


  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

14 Fabulous Fat Quarter Quilt PatternsBe sure to check out our other 14 Fabulous Fat Quarter Patterns for more great fat quarter patterns that we know you'll love!





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It looks really cool. My grandaughters will love them. I have time to make for christmas

After inserting handles into their channels, is there more to making it? Such as sewing up the sides between handle channels on each side? Or something?

Have been wanting to make one of these for a while. It's nearly impossible to feed the elastic through according to the instructions. As one other person stated here, you have to cut a slit at one end of the lining at the end of the casing and feed it through with a safety pin. Otherwise it's a great bag. Yes very big but I intend to give it to my daughter to use when she goes to the beach and it'll hold a lot of stuff.

way tooo big, plus the instructions for the placement of the elastic was omitted. I cut a slit into the lining and slipped the elastic into that spot. I will make much smaller next time, if I put anything into the originial size, it will be tooooo heavy to carry

Very easy bag to make but MUCH bigger than I expected. I added pockets to the lining. Will downsize and use layer cakes to make others.

I have made 4 of these and my daughter and nieces just LOVE it. It's perfect for laundry, clearing stuff off the floor when company is coming, using as a tote when shopping. I planned to make one for myself to use for taking quilts to show and tell, but as fast as I can make them, I give them away!

Just finished mine. Thanks a million for the pattern, love it! ( I changed things a bit, due to working with Leftovers and limited options, but it worked nonetheless :-) )

I hate to be rude, but this is just about the most unattractive bag pattern I have ever seen! I cannot believe someone would actually want to make this. sorry, I just had to speak my mind. Karen

This is a great pattern! I have made three thus far, and they are fabulous. Thanks so very much for sharing. The best, Gail

I have made this project and plan to make several more!

Can't wait to try this. Thanks.

Hi there, Just finished this bag and it turned out really well. I am using it for a travel bag for short weekend flights. Thank!

I made one and used half (10 x 18) of the six fat quarters came out a perfect puse size.

This seems simple. I am doing a class project,as teacher helper.

Wow! I want to make one for my daughter and I. We would love it's size. :)

Love this bag

I'm always on the lookout for simple bags I can use for shopping bags. I like this for that.

I made this delightful bag out of a quilting publication that slips my mind. I like it but it is so big that when it is filled it is too heavy to carry easily. I would like to have directions for making it about one third to half the size, then it would work for children to use as an overnighter as suggested by the designer who I think is from Washinton state.

I think if you cut the rectangles 9x10 inches and the lining accordingly then this would effectively half the size of the bag. Thanks for your helpful comment!


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