Make this roomy tote bag by combining multicolor stripe and whimsical coordinates from the Kite collection by Felicity Miller for Free Spirit.
Stepping Out Color Option
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Inspired by "Stepping Out" from designer Christine Lockhart of All My Bags and Quilts Too


  • 18x22" piece (fat quarter) green floral (bag)
  • 18x22" piece (fat quarter) blue print (bag)
  • 3/4 yard light blue floral (bag, pockets, handles, binding)
  • 1/2 yard multicolor stripe (bag)
  • 1/2 yard yellow print (bag lining)
  • 2--26"-long pieces white nylon webbing (handles)
  • 1-1/8 yard red jumbo rickrack
  • 1 yard heavyweight interfacing, such as Timtex
  • 3/4 yard heavyweight fusible interfacing, such as Décor bond

Finished Bag: 13-3/4x12x4"

Quantities are for 44/45"-wide, 100% cotton fabrics. Measurements include 1/4" seam allowances. Sew with right sides together unless otherwise stated.

Cut Fabrics

Cut pieces in the following order. When cutting stripe fabric, position stripes along the short sides of rectangles.

From green floral, cut:

  • 2--8-1/2x4-1/2" rectangles
  • 2--1x8-1/2" strips

From blue print, cut:

  • 2--8-1/2x4-1/2" rectangles

From light blue floral, cut:

  • 2--14x16-1/2" pocket rectangles
  • 2--2-3/4x26" handle strips
  • 2--2-1/4x16-1/2" binding strips
  • 2--1x8-1/2" strips

From multicolor stripe, cut:

  • 4--16-1/2x6" rectangles

From yellow print fabric, cut:

  • 2--16-1/2x16" lining rectangles

From heavyweight interfacing, cut:

  • 2--16-1/2x16" rectangles

From heavyweight fusible interfacing, cut:

  • 2--16-1/2x16" rectangles
  • 2--7x16-1/2" rectangles

Assemble Outer Bag

1. Sew together short ends of one green floral and one blue print 8-1/2x4-1/2" rectangle to make an A unit. Press seam in one direction. The A unit should be 16-1/2x4-1/2" including seam allowances. Repeat to make a second A unit.

2. Sew together short ends of one light blue floral and one green floral 1x8-1/2" strip to make a B unit. Press seam in one direction. The B unit should be 16-1/2x1" including seam allowances. Repeat to make a second B unit.

3. Referring to Diagram 1, sew together two 16x16-1/2" multicolor stripe rectangles, one A unit and one B unit to make a bag panel. Press seams in one direction. Bag panel should be 16-1/2x6" including seam allowances. Repeat to make a second bag panel.


4. Center one bag panel right side up on a 16-1/2x6" heavyweight interfacing rectangle; pin layers together.

5. Machine-quilt at 3-4" intervals across one bag panel top through both layers with multistep zigzag or other decorative stitch (Diagram 2).


6. Referring to photo, center and sew rickrack over seam between top stripe and A unit.

7. Repeat steps 4-6 with second bag panel.

Assemble Pockets

1. With wrong side inside, fold and press a light blue floral 14x16-1/2" pocket rectangle in half lengthwise.

2. Insert fusible interfacing 7x16-1/2" rectangle along fold. Following manufacturer's instructions, fuse; let cool.

3. With wrong side inside, fold and press a light blue floral 2-1/4x16-1/2" binding strip in half lengthwise. Align long raw edge of binding strip with raw edge of fused pocket rectangle; sew together. Fold binding over raw edge, aligning folded edge with stitched line on reverse side of pocket rectangle. Secure binding by stitching through all layers with a 1/4" seam to make a pocket (Diagram 3).


4. Repeat steps 1–3 with remaining pocket rectangle, fusible interfacing 7x16-1/2" rectangle, and binding strip to make a second pocket.

Assemble Lining with Pockets

1. Following manufacturer's instructions, fuse a 16-1/2x16" interfacing rectangle to wrong side of yellow print 16-1/2x16" lining rectangle.

2. Referring to Diagram 4, pin pocket to lining rectangle 2-1/4" from bottom edge.


3. Draw a line down center of pocket 8" from side edges. Topstitch on marked line and 1/8" from pocket side and bottom edges to make a lining unit with a divided pocket (Diagram 4).

4. Repeat steps 1–3 to make a second lining unit with a divided pocket.

Assemble Handles

With right side inside, fold and press a light blue floral 2-3/4x26" handle strip in half lengthwise. Sew together along long edges. Turn to right side and press with seam along one long edge to make a fabric tube. Using a safety pin as a guide, feed nylon webbing through fabric tube to make a bag handle. Topstitch handle 1/4" from both side edges. Repeat to make a second bag handle.

Finish Bag

1. Cut a 2" square from bottom corners of each bag panel (Diagram 5).


2. Center ends of handles along top edge of bag panels, 3" from outer edges; baste in place (Diagram 6). Press seams open.


3. Join bag panels along side and bottom edges to make bag body. Press seams open.

4. To box bottom corners, match each side seam of bag body with bottom seam; stitch across straight edge (Diagram 7). Turn bag body right side out and press.


5. Using lining units, repeat Step 1, cutting squares from bottom corners, and Step 3, leaving a 6" opening along one bottom seam to make lining.

6. Repeat Step 4 to box bottom corners of lining. Do not turn lining right side out.

7. Insert bag body into lining (they'll be right sides together). Sew together around top edge with 1/4" seam.

8. Turn bag body and lining to right side through opening in lining bottom seam. Hand-stitch opening closed. Push lining down into bag body and press upper edge of bag. Topstitch 1/4" from bag upper edge through all layers to complete bag.