Stitch up a take-along bag that's the perfect size for a day full of fun.
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Designer: Cindy Taylor Oates


  • 9×22" piece (fat eighth) orange plaid (triangle-squares)
  • 9×22" piece (fat eighth) orange print (triangle-squares)
  • 18×22" piece (fat quarter) multicolor dot (band, bag base)
  • 5⁄8 yard blue floral (squares, handles, lining)
  • 1⁄2 yard muslin (backing)
  • 16×26" thin batting
  • 3×9" rectangle heavyweight cardboard

Finished bag: 9×9×3"

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.

From orange plaid, cut:

  • 20--2-3⁄8" squares

From orange print, cut:

  • 20--2-3⁄8" squares

From multicolor dot, cut: 

  • 1--3-1⁄2×9-1⁄2" rectangle
  • 2--2×12-1⁄2" rectangles

From blue floral, cut:

  • 2--2×18-1⁄2" strips for handles
  • 2--9-1⁄2×12-1⁄2" rectangles
  • 1--3-1⁄2×9-1⁄2" rectangle
  • 40--2" squares

From muslin, cut:

  • 2--9-1⁄2×12-1⁄2" rectangles
  • 1--3-1⁄2×9-1⁄2" rectangle

From thin batting, cut:

  • 2--9-1⁄2×12-1⁄2" rectangles
  • 1--3-1⁄2×9-1⁄2" rectangle

Assemble Triangle-Squares

1.    Use a pencil to mark a diagonal line on wrong side of each orange plaid 2-3⁄8" square. (To prevent fabric from stretching as you draw lines, place 220-grit sandpaper under the squares.)

2.    Layer a marked orange plaid 2-3⁄8" square atop an orange print 2-3⁄8" square. Sew pair together with two seams, stitching 1⁄4" on each side of drawn line (Diagram 1).


3.    Cut apart pair on drawn line to make two triangle units (Diagram 2). Press open each triangle unit, pressing seam toward orange plaid triangle, to make two triangle-squares (Diagram 3). Each triangle-square should be 2" square including seam allowances.


4.    Repeat steps 2 and 3 to make 40 triangle-squares total.

Assemble Bag Front and Back

1.    Referring to Diagram 4, lay out a multicolor dot 2×12-1⁄2" rectangle, 20 triangle-squares, and 20 blue floral 2" squares in six horizontal rows.


2.    Sew together pieces in each row. Press seams toward triangle-squares. Join rows to make bag front; press seams in one direction.

3.    Repeat steps 1 and 2 to make bag back.

Assemble Outer Bag

1.    Layer bag front with batting and muslin 9-1⁄2×12-1⁄2" rectangles.Baste layers a scant 1⁄4" from all edges. Quilt as desired. (The featured bag is machine-quilted with an allover stipple.) Repeat with bag back.

2.    Layer multicolor dot 3-1⁄2×9-1⁄2" rectangle with batting and muslin 3-1⁄2×9-1⁄2" rectangles. Baste layers a scant 1⁄4" from all edges to make the bag base. Quilt as desired.

3.    Mark center bottom of bag front and back. Mark center of each long edge of the bag base (Diagram 5).


4.    Matching centers, sew bag base to bag front and back (Diagram 6). Press seams toward bag base. Topstitch bag base through all layers, about 1⁄8" from seams.


5.    Fold a blue floral 2×18-1⁄2" strip in half lengthwise with right side inside; stitch along long edges. Trim seam to 1⁄8" and turn right side out. Press flat and topstitch 1⁄8" from long edges to make a handle. Repeat to make a second handle.

6.    Pin handles to top of bag front and back with ends about 2-1⁄4" from side edges; baste (Diagram 7).


7.    Sew bag front to bag back along sides; press seams open. Mark center of each short edge of bag base with a pin. Fold bag so one pin matches corresponding side seam (Diagram 8). Stitch across end of bag. Repeat with other side of bag to complete outer bag.


Assemble Lining

1.    Mark center bottom of blue floral 9-1⁄2×12-1⁄2" rectangles. Mark center of each long edge of blue floral 3-1⁄2×9-1⁄2" rectangle. Matching centers, sew large rectangles to small rectangle to make lining; press seams toward small rectangle. Topstitch small rectangle about 1⁄8" from the seams.

2.    Sew together sides of bag lining, leaving a 5" opening for turning on one side. Press seams open. Mark center of each short edge of the lining base with a pin. Referring to Diagram 8, fold lining so one pin matches the corresponding side seam. Stitch across end of lining. Repeat with other side of lining.

Finish Bag

1.    Place lining inside outer bag with right sides together and side seams matching. Stitch along top edges. Turn bag right side out through opening in the lining. Slip-stitch opening closed. Smooth lining inside bag. Press bag's upper edge and topstitch 1⁄8" from edge.

2.    For a sturdier bag, place cardboard 3×9" rectangle in bottom of bag.