Triangle-squares and four-patches team up to make up this fun tote.
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Designer: Cindy Taylor Oates

Photographer: Greg Schneidemann


  • 18x22-inch piece (fat quarter) pink print (triangle-squares, band, bag base)
  • 1/2 yard dark pink print (triangle-squares, lining)
  • 1/4 yard light green print (four-patch units)
  • 1/4 yard green print (four-patch units, bag handle)
  • 1/8 yard green polka dot (four-patch units)
  • 1/3 yard muslin (backing)
  • 16x26-inch thin batting

Finished Bag: 9x9x3 inches

Quantities are for 44/45-inch-wide, 100% cotton fabrics. All measurements include a 1/4-inch seam allowance. Sew with right sides together unless otherwise stated.

Cut Fabrics

To make the best use of your fabrics, cut pieces in the order that follows.

From pink print, cut:

  • 1--3-1/2x9-1/2-inch rectangle
  • 2--2x12-1/2-inch rectangles
  • 20--2-3/8-inch squares

From dark pink print, cut:

  • 2--9-1/2x12-1/2-inch rectangles
  • 1--3-1/2x9-1/2-inch rectangle
  • 20--2-3/8-inch squares

From light green print, cut:

  • 4--1-1/4x42-inch strips

From green print, cut:

  • 2--1-1/4x42-inch strips
  • 2--2x18-1/2-inch strips for handles

From green polka dot, cut:

  • 2--1-1/4x42-inch strips

From muslin, cut:

  • 2--9-1/2x12-1/2-inch rectangles
  • 1--3-1/2x9-1/2-inch rectangle

From thin quilt batting, cut:

  • 2--9-1/2x12-1/2-inch rectangles
  • 1--3-1/2x9-1/2-inch rectangle

Assemble Triangle-Squares

1. Use a quilter's pencil to mark a diagonal line on wrong side of each pink print 2-3/8-inch square. (To prevent fabric from stretching as you draw lines, place 220-grit sandpaper under the squares.)

2. Layer a marked pink print 2-3/8-inch square atop each dark pink print 2-3/8-inch square. Sew each pair together with two seams, stitching 1/4 inch on each side of drawn line (Diagram 1).


3. Cut each pair apart on drawn line to make two triangle units (Diagram 2). Press each triangle unit open, pressing seam toward dark pink triangle, to make 40 triangle-squares total (Diagram 3). Each triangle-square should be 2 inches square including seam allowances.


Assemble Four-Patch Units

1. Join a light green print 1-1/4x42-inch strip and a green print 1-1/4x42-inch strip to make a strip set (Diagram 4). Press seam toward darker print. Repeat to make a second strip set; cut strip sets into forty 1-1/4-inch-wide segments total.


2. Sew together two 1-1/4-inch-wide segments to make a four-patch unit A (Diagram 5). Press seam in one direction. The unit should be 2 inches square including seam allowances. Repeat to make 20 four-patch A units total.


3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 using two green polka dot 1-1/4x42-inch strips and remaining light green print 1-1/4x42-inch strips to make 20 four-patch B units total.

Assemble Bag Front and Back

1. Referring to Diagram 6, lay out a pink print 2x12-1/2-inch rectangle, 20 triangle-squares, 10 four-patch A units, and 10 four-patch B units in six horizontal rows. Pay attention to how four-patch units A and B are placed to create diagonal rows of the same units.


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

Repeat steps 1 and 2 to make bag back.

Assemble Outer Bag

1. Layer bag front with batting and muslin 9-1/2x12-1/2-inch rectangles. Baste layers a scant 1/4 inch from all edges. Quilt as desired. (Cindy machine-quilted her bag with an allover stipple.) Repeat with bag back.

2. Layer pink print 3-1/2x9-1/2-inch rectangle with batting and muslin 3-1/2x9-1/2-inch rectangles. Baste layers a scant 1/4 inch 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 7).


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


5. Fold both green print 2x18-1/2-inch strips in half lengthwise with right sides inside; stitch along long edges. Trim seams to 1/8 inch and turn right sides out. Press flat and topstitch 1/8 inch from long edges to make two handles.

6. Pin handles to top of bag front and back with ends about 2-1/4 inches from side edges; baste (Diagram 9).


7. Sew bag front to bag back along sides; press seams open. Mark center of each short edge of the bag base with a pin. Fold bag so one pin matches the corresponding side seam (Diagram 10). Stitch across the end of the bag. Repeat with other side of the bag to complete the outer bag.


Assemble Lining

1. Mark center bottom of dark pink print 9-1/2x12-1/2-inch rectangles. Mark center of each long edge of the dark pink print 3-1/2x9-1/2-inch rectangle. Matching centers, sew large rectangles to small rectangle to make lining; press seams toward small rectangle. Topstitch small rectangle through all layers about 1/8 inch from the seams.

2. Sew together sides of bag lining, leaving a 5-inch 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 10, fold lining so one pin matches the corresponding side seam. Stitch across the end of the lining. Repeat with other side of the lining.

Finish Bag

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 the bag. Press bag's upper edge and topstitch 1/8 inch from edge.

For a sturdier bag, place cardboard 3x9-inch rectangle in bottom of bag.