Take your essentials on the go with a simple tote featuring a roomy exterior pocket. Fabrics are from the Velvet collection by Amy Sinibaldi for Art Gallery Fabrics.
Split Decisions Tote
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Inspired by: Split Decisions from designer Wendy Sheppard

Project tester: Sarah Huechteman

Finished size: 12×15"

Finished block: 12" square


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

  • 18×21 piece (fat quarter) coral print (pocket)
  • 10" square white print (pocket)
  • 9×21 piece (fat eighth) pink print (pocket)
  • 1-1/8 yards yellow print (pocket and bag lining, bag front and back)
  • 1/2 yard aqua print (binding, handles)
  • 30×32" batting

Cut Fabrics

Cut pieces in the following order.

If you prefer to make triangle-squares larger than needed and then trim them to size, cut 4" squares, instead of the 3-7/8" squares specified here.

From coral print, cut:

  • 5—3-7/8" squares
  • 1—3-1/2 ×12-1/2" rectangle

From white print, cut:

  • 4—3-7/8" squares

From pink print, cut:

  • 1—3-7/8" square
  • 1—3-1/2 ×12-1/2" rectangle

From yellow print, cut:

  • 4—12-1/2 ×15-1/2" rectangles
  • 1—12-1/2" square

From aqua print, cut:

  • 2—4 × 30" strips
  • 1—2-1/2 ×12-1/2 " binding strip

From batting, cut:

  • 2—12-1/2 ×15-1/2" rectangles
  • 1—12-1/2" square

Assemble and Quilt Pocket

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.

1) Use a pencil to mark a diagonal line on wrong side of each coral print 3-7/8" square. (To prevent fabric from stretching as you draw lines, place 220-grit sandpaper under each square.)

2) Layer a marked coral print square atop a white print 3-7/8" square. Sew together with two seams, stitching 1/4" on each side of drawn line (Diagram 1). Cut pair apart on drawn line. Press open to make two white triangle-squares. Each triangle-square should be 3-1/2" square including seam allowances. Repeat to make eight white triangle-squares total (you will use seven).

Split Decisions Tote

3) Repeat Step 2 using remaining marked coral print square and pink print 3-7/8" square to make two pink triangle-squares (you will use one).

4) Referring to Diagram 2, sew together two white triangle-squares to make a white triangle unit. The unit should be 3-1/2 ×6-1/2" including seam allowances. Repeat to make three white triangle units total.

Split Decisions Tote

5) Repeat Step 4 with a pink triangle-square and a remaining white triangle-square to make a pink triangle unit (Diagram 3).

Split Decisions Tote

6) Referring to Diagram 4, lay out triangle units in a vertical row. Sew together units to make block center. The block center should be 6-1/2 ×12-1/2" including seam allowances.

Split Decisions Tote

7) Referring to Diagram 5, sew together coral print 3-1/2 ×12-1/2" rectangle, block center, and pink print 3-1/2  ×12-1/2 " rectangle to make a block. The block should be 12-1/2 " square including seam allowances.

Split Decisions Tote

8) Layer block, batting 12-1/2 " square, and yellow print 12-1/2 " square; baste.

9) Quilt as desired. Project tester Sarah Huechteman machine-quilted parallel lines 1/2" apart following the angles of the patchwork design.

10) Bind top edge of Step 9 unit with aqua print 2-1/2 ×12-1/2 " binding strip to make quilted pocket.

Assemble and Quilt Bag

1) Layer a yellow print 12-1/2  ×15-1/2 " rectangle atop a batting 12-1/2 ×15-1/2 " rectangle; baste.

2) Quilt as desired to make bag front. Sarah machine-quilted parallel lines 1/2" apart.

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

4) With right sides up, layer quilted pocket atop bag front; align bottom edges (Diagram 6). Baste pocket side and bottom edges.

Split Decisions Tote

5) Fold an aqua print 4 ×30" strip in half lengthwise; finger-press fold to crease and unfold. Fold long edges to meet at center crease (Diagram 7); fold in half again and press. Topstitch 1/4" from long edges to make a handle. The handle should be 1×30" including seam allowances. Repeat to make a second handle.

Split Decisions Tote

6) Referring to Diagram 8, align ends of one handle with bag front top edge, each end 3" from a side edge; baste. Repeat with second handle and bag back, making sure front and back handles align.

Split Decisions Tote

7) Layer a yellow print 12-1/2 ×15-1/2 " rectangle atop bag front. Sew together top edges using a 1/2" seam allowance to make a bag unit. Press seam open. Repeat with remaining yellow print 12-1/2 ×15-1/2 " rectangle and bag back to make a second bag unit.

8) With right sides together, layer bag units so bag front and back are facing and lining units are facing; pin. Sew together edges using a 1/4" seam allowance; leave a 6" opening in lining edge for turning (Diagram 9).

Split Decisions Tote

9) Turn Step 8 unit right side out through opening in lining; push out corners and finger-press seams. Slip-stitch lining opening closed. Insert lining into bag body.

10) Topstitch 1/4" from bag top edge to complete bag (Diagram 10), being careful not to catch handles in stitching.

Split Decisions Tote