Upcycle a reusable cloth bag into a stylish tote! Piece, quilt, and bind a block to place over the bag’s promotional logo. Fabrics are from the Kaffe Fassett Collective by Kaffe Fassett Studio for FreeSpirit.
Quilt Block Tote
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INSPIRED BY: Schoolhouses from designer Valerie Langue

QUILT TESTER: Diane Tomlinson


Yardages and cutting instructions are based on 42" of usable fabric width.

  • 1/4 yard each pink print and green print (block, binding)
  • 10"-square each purple print, teal print, and orange print (block)
  • Cloth tote (ours is 16" square)
  • 11"-square backing fabric
  • 11"-square batting
  • Lightweight tracing paper or other foundation material of your choice

Cut Fabrics

Cut pieces in the following order.

From pink print, cut:

  • 1—3-1/4×5" rectangle
  • 1—3×4-1/4" rectangle
  • 1—2×4-1/4" rectangle
  • 1—2×2-1/2" rectangle
  • 1—2×2-1/4" rectangle
  • 1—1-3/4×7-1/4" rectangle
  • 3—1-3/4×2-3/4" rectangles
  • 2—1-1/2×5-1/4" rectangles

From purple print, cut:

  • 1—4×8-1/2" rectangle
  • 2—2" squares

From teal print, cut:

  • 1—4×5" rectangle
  • 1—3×4-1/4" rectangle
  • 1—1-3/4×4-1/4" rectangle
  • 2—1-3/4×2-3/4" rectangles

From orange print, cut:

  • 1—2×2-3/4" rectangle
  • 2—1-3/4×6-1/4" rectangles
  • 1—1-1/2×2-3/4" rectangle
  • 1—1-1/4×2-3/4" rectangle

From green print, cut:

  • 2—2-1/4×42" binding strips

Prepare Foundation Papers

Click on "Download this Project" above for the Roof Foundation Pattern.

1. Use a pencil to trace Roof Foundation Pattern onto lightweight tracing paper (or other foundation material of your choice) one time, tracing all lines and numbers.

2. Cut out traced foundation pattern roughly 1/4" outside dashed lines to make roof foundation paper.

Assemble Block

These measurements include 1/4" seam allowances. Sew with right sides together unless otherwise stated.

Press seams in directions indicated by arrows on diagrams. If no direction is specified, press seam toward darker fabric.

To foundation-piece roof unit, stitch fabric pieces to foundation paper with the marked side of the paper facing up and the fabric pieces layered underneath. The resulting pieced unit will be a mirror image of the foundation paper.

1. Referring to Diagram 1, lay out pink print 2×2-1/2", 2×4-1/4", and 2×2-1/4" rectangles and purple print 2" squares in a row. Sew together pieces to make chimney unit. The unit should be 2×11" including seam allowances.

Quilt Block Tote diagram 1

2. Using roof foundation paper and purple print 4×8-1/2" rectangle (position 1), pink print 3×4-1/4" rectangle (position 2), one pink print 1-1/2×5-1/4" rectangle (position 3), teal print 4×5" rectangle (position 4), and pink print 3-1/4×5" rectangle (position 5), work in numerical order to foundation-piece roof unit (Diagram 2). The unit should be 3-1/2×11" including seam allowances.

Quilt Block Tote diagram 2

3. Sew together teal print 1-3/4×2-3/4" rectangles and one pink print 1-3/4×2-3/4" rectangle in a row (Diagram 3). Join teal print 3×4-1/4" and 1-3/4×4-1/4" rectangles to top and bottom edges of row to make door unit. The unit should be 4-1/4×6-1/2" including seam allowances.

Quilt Block Tote diagram 3

4. Referring to Diagram 4, sew together orange print 1-1/4×2-3/4", 2×2-3/4", and 1-1/2×2-3/4" rectangles and remaining pink print 1-3/4×2-3/4" rectangles in a row. Sew orange print 1-3/4×6-1/4" rectangles to top and bottom edges. Sew remaining pink print 1-1/2×5-1/4" rectangle to left-hand edge (Diagram 5). Add pink print 1-3/4×7-1/4" rectangle to top edge to make window unit. The unit should be 7-1/4×1/2" including seam allowances.

Quilt Block Tote diagram 5

5. Referring to Diagram 6, lay out chimney, roof, door, and window units. Sew together chimney and roof units to make top section. Join door and window units to make bottom section. Join top and bottom sections to make a house block. The block should be 11" square including seam allowances.

Quilt Block Tote diagram 6

Finish Block

1. Layer block, batting, and backing; baste.

2. Quilt as desired. Quilt tester Diane Tomlinson stitched in the ditch around the roof, window, and door units.

3. Bind with green print binding strips to complete block.

Finish Tote

1. Center block on front of tote; pin in place.

2. To attach the block to the tote and create a pocket, stitch in the ditch between the binding and the block along side and bottom edges; leave the top edge open.