Stitch up a knockout tote that's sturdy, roomy, and just plain adorable.

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Designer: Bonnie Mitchell

Materials

• Scraps of assorted novelty prints (blocks)

• 1⁄2 yard black print (blocks, bag bottom)

• 1-3⁄4 yards blue tone-on-tone (blocks, lining)

• 1⁄4 yard each green and pink tone-on-tones (blocks)

• 3⁄8 yard yellow tone-on-tone (sashing, inner border)

• 1⁄4 yard each turquoise and yellow prints (bag sides)

• 5⁄8 yard multicolor stripe No. 1 (top and bottom borders)

• 3⁄8 yard multicolor stripe No. 2 (handles*)

• 1-7⁄8 yards muslin (backing)

• 2-28×32-1⁄2" batting rectangles

• 2-28×32-1⁄2" stiff interfacing rectangles (optiona)

Finished tote bag: 24×20-3⁄4×8"

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

*Note: The designer cut the handles parallel to the selvage of the fabric. To duplicate the lengthwise-stripe handles, you will need 1-1⁄4 yards of multicolor stripe No. 2.

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Cut Fabrics

Cut pieces in the following order. Isolating and cutting a specific print motif is called fussy cutting.

From assorted novelty prints, fussy-cut:

• 2-4×5-1⁄4" rectangles

• 2-4-1⁄2×3-1⁄2" rectangles

• 2-3-1⁄2×4-1⁄2" rectangles

From black print, cut:

• 2-4-1⁄2×32-1⁄2" bag bottom strips

• 4-1-1⁄2×6" rectangles for position 12

• 8-1-1⁄2×5-1⁄2" rectangles for positions 2 and 7

• 4-1-1⁄2×5-1⁄4" rectangles for position 11

• 8-1-1⁄2×4-1⁄2" rectangles for positions 1 and 6

From blue tone-on-tone, cut:

• 2-24-1⁄2×32-1⁄2" lining rectangles

• 2-4-1⁄4×9" rectangles for position 9

• 2-4×8" rectangles for position 15

• 4-1-1⁄2×6-1⁄2" rectangles for position 3

From green tone-on-tone, cut:

• 2-4-1⁄2×9" rectangles for position 10

• 2-3-1⁄2×7-1⁄2" rectangles for position 4

• 4-1-1⁄2×7-1⁄4" rectangles for position 13

From pink tone-on-tone, cut:

• 2-3×8" rectangles for position 14

• 2-4-1⁄4×7-1⁄2" rectangles for position 5

• 4-1-3⁄4×5-1⁄2" rectangles for position 8

From yellow tone-on-tone, cut:

• 4-1-1⁄2×32-1⁄2" inner border strips

• 4-1×13-1⁄4" sashing strips

From turquoise print, cut:

• 2-4-1⁄2×13-1⁄4" rectangles

From yellow print, cut:

• 2-4-1⁄2×13-1⁄4" rectangles

From multicolor stripe No. 1, cut:

• 2-7-1⁄4×32-1⁄2" top border strips

• 2-2-1⁄2×32-1⁄2" bottom border strips

From multicolor stripe No. 2, cut:

• 2-2-1⁄2×40" strips

From muslin, cut:

• 2-28×32-1⁄2" rectangles

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Assemble A Blocks

1. Referring to Diagram 1, sew black print position 1 rectangles to side edges of novelty print 3-1⁄2×4-1⁄2" rectangle. Press seams toward black print rectangles.

2. Add black print position 2 rectangles to remaining edges of Step 1 unit (Diagram 2); press seams as before.

3. Join blue tone-on-tone position 3 rectangles to side edges of Step 2 unit (Diagram 3); press seams toward added rectangles.

4. Referring to Block A Assembly Diagram, sew green tone-on-tone position 4 rectangle to top edge and pink tone-on-tone position 5 rectangle to bottom edge of Step 3 unit to make Block A. Press as before. Block A should be 7-1⁄2×13-1⁄4" including seam allowances.

5. Repeat steps 1 through 4 to make two A blocks total.

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Assemble B Blocks

1. Referring to Block B Assembly Diagram, sew black print position 6 rectangles to top and bottom edges of novelty print 4-1⁄2×3-1⁄2" rectangle. Press seams toward black print rectangles.

2. Add black print position 7 rectangles to remaining edges of Step 1 unit; press as before.

3. Join pink tone-on-tone position 8 rectangles to side edges of Step 2 unit; press seams toward added rectangles.

4. Sew blue tone-on-tone position 9 rectangle to top edge and green tone-on-tone position 10 rectangle to bottom edge of Step 3 unit to make Block B. Press as before. Block B should be 9×13-1⁄4" including seam allowances.

5. Repeat steps 1 through 4 to make two B blocks total.

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Assemble C Blocks

1. Referring to Block C Assembly Diagram, sew black print position 11 rectangles to side edges of novelty print 4×5-1⁄4" rectangle. Press seams toward black print rectangles.

2. Add black print position 12 rectangles to remaining edges of Step 1 unit; press as before.

3. Join green tone-on-tone position 13 rectangles to side edges of Step 2 unit; press seams toward added rectangles.

4. Sew pink tone-on-tone position 14 rectangle to top edge and blue tone-on-tone position 15 rectangle to bottom edge of Step 3 unit to make Block C. Press as before. Block C should be 8×13-1⁄4" including seam allowances.

5. Repeat steps 1 through 4 to make two C blocks total.

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Assemble and Quilt Bag Sides

1. Referring to Bag Side Assembly Diagram, lay out one A, B, and C block, one turquoise print 4-1⁄2×13-1⁄4" rectangle, two yellow tone-on-tone 1×13-1⁄4" sashing strips, one yellow print 4-1⁄2×13-1⁄4" rectangle, two yellow tone-on-tone 1-1⁄2×32-1⁄2" inner border strips, one multicolor stripe No. 1-7-1⁄4×32-1⁄2" top border strip, one multicolor stripe No. 1-2-1⁄2×32-1⁄2" bottom border strip, and one black print 4-1⁄2×32-1⁄2" bag bottom strip.

2. Sew together pieces in the block row. Press seams toward sashing and print rectangles.

3. Join block row and border strips to make bag side. Press seams in one direction. The bag side should be 28×32-1⁄2" including seam allowances.

4. Repeat steps 1 through 3 to make two bag sides total.

5. Layer bag side, batting, and muslin 28×32-1⁄2" rectangle; baste. Repeat with remaining bag side.

6. Quilt as desired; stop stitching 1⁄4" from side and bottom edges, and 3" from top edge. Trim away batting from unstitched edges. Machine-quilter Nancy Sharr stitched an allover feather design across the bag sides.

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Assemble Outer Bag

1. Referring to Diagram 4, sew together bottom edges of bag sides to make 32-1⁄2×55-1⁄2" bag rectangle. Press seam open.

2. Fold bag rectangle in half on seam line; sew together side edges (Diagram 5). Finger-press seams open.

3. To shape flat bottom for bag, at one corner match bottom seam line to side seam line, creating a flattened triangle (Diagram 6). Measuring 4" from point of triangle, draw an 8"-long line across triangle. Sew on drawn line. Trim excess fabric. Repeat with remaining bottom corner to make outer bag. Turn bag right side out.

Assemble and Add Lining

1. Sew together one long edge of each blue tone-on-tone 24-1⁄2×32-1⁄2" rectangle to make 32-1⁄2×48-1⁄2" lining rectangle. Press seam open.

2. Fold lining rectangle in half on seam line; sew together side edges. Finger-press seams open.

3. To shape flat bottom for lining, repeat Assemble Outer Bag, Step 3.

4. Insert bag lining into outer bag, wrong sides together. (Lining will be shorter than outer bag.) Turn top edge of outer bag under 1⁄4"; press. Turn under again 2-3⁄4" and fold over lining. Hand-stitch folded edge to lining.

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Finish Bag

1. Fold all edges of one multicolor stripe No. 2-2-1⁄2×40" strip under 1⁄4"; press. Fold strip in half lengthwise with wrong side inside; press. Topstitch 1⁄8" from outer edges to make one strap. Repeat to make two straps total.

2. Pin ends of one strap to one side of bag body, placing each end 4" from top edge and centering with 14-1⁄2" between ends (Diagram 7). Topstitch strap to bag in a rectangle shape, securing areas that overlap the bag sides. Repeat, stitching second strap to other side to complete bag.

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