Category Archives: quilting

Charm pack tote bag with inside pocket tutorial

This tote bag is based on Mill House Inn Tote Bag. I used charm squares instead, adjusted measurements and added a pocket.

If you have made a tote bag using this tutorial, why don’t you share your pictures on this Flickr group? Or upload them to Instagram and tag me with @teresadownunder

16 charms – I used Verna by Kate Spain
1/3 yard matching fabric for the bottom of the bag and the handles
1/4 yard of matching fabric for the bow and the loop closure
1/2 yard of matching fabric for the lining
Scrap matching fabric for the inside pocket
1 self covered button with the bottom fabric
2 pieces of batting

Verna by Kate Spain for Moda

Stitch the charm squares in two rows and then the rows together.

You will end up with 2 rectangles measuring measuring 18.5in x 9.5in. Measure the width of the rectangle now before you cut the next rectangles for precision sake.

From the matching fabric cut 2 more 8in x 18.5in rectangles from the matching fabric to form the bottom of the bag and 2 pieces of 21in x 4in for the handles.

Stitch both the charms rectangle and the bottom of the bag rectangle together to make the sides of the bag.

Iron the handles in half all along and then fold each side inside and iron again. Stitch close to the edge of each handle.

Place the side of the bag on a piece of batting and quilt. I used stipple quilting. When finished trim batting off both pieces.

Place both sides of the bag right sides together and stitch around the sides and bottom. Make sure the charm packs corner are in line.

To make the bow, cut a 3in  x 42in piece of fabric from the bow fabric. Fold in half  with right sides together and iron.  Cut both ends off at a 45 degree angle and sew the sides and bottom leaving one of the angle cuts open to turn. Turn inside out and stitch the open side. Iron flat

This is what the strip looks like.

Attach to the bag placing the stripe in alignment with the bottom fabric but overlapping 1/4in with the charms side.

Find the middle of the stripe by folding the stripe in half length wise to find the middle and mark. Also mark the middle of the back of the bag where the second and third charm squares meet. Now fold the fabric in half length wise, this just helps with making sure it’s centered on the bag when you pin it.  Pin the stripe to the bag lining it up to the bottom fabric and overlapping the charm squares part by 1/4in.  When you get to the middle in the other side of the bag, tie a knot.

Sew the stripe on to the bag using a 1/8in seam allowance and sewing down the top and bottom of the stripe. Sew up to one inch before the knot.

Turn bag inside out and make a mark 2 1/4in on each side from the corner. Then fold the bag making both marks match. Cut across and stitch leaving a 1/4in seam allowance.

Pin at cut at the mark so it looks like this…………sew closed using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Do this on both right and left sides of bag.

Making the lining, pocket and loop closure

To make the pocket see How to sew a pocket tutorial.

Cut 2 17.5in x 17.5in squares.

Place both pieces right side together and sew around the sides and bottom. Leave 4in opening on one of the sides to turn bag inside out.

Cut a rectangle measuring 6.5in x 4in for the loop closure. Make as per handles instructions. Fold and stitch as per picture.

Attach the handles and loop closure

Pin handles on the middle of charm squares 2 and 3. Pin loop closure in the middle of the handles on the back of the bag.

Attach lining to bag

Put the entire tote bag inside the lining so that the right side of bag and right side of lining is together. Line up the tops of fabric and pin a few times. Now sew along the top all the way around using 1/4″ seam allowance.

Pull the outside of bag through the 4in opening in the lining.
Stitch the 4in opening in the lining. Neatly push the lining in the bag.
Now stitch all around the top edge of the bag leaving a 1/8in seam allowance.
Sew the button onto the front.
Knot detail
Back of the bag
Inside of the bag

See my new tutorial for a similar tote bag with charm squares.

Tote bag tutorial

Expandable tote bag

My top 5 sewing tutorials

  1. Take-along placemat
  2. Stipple quilted hot water bottle cover
  3. Notebook cover tutorial
  4. Tooth Fairy pillow
  5. Rainbow pencil roll tutorial

Disappearing 9 patch for charm quilt


  • 3 Moda Hunky Dory charm packs
  • Homespun fabric to match cut into 5 in x 5 in squares. I used a cream colour.

With 3 charm packs you will be making 25 blocks.

Final size without border: 67.5 in x 67.5 in.

Hunky Dory collection fabrics

Disappearing 9 patch block construction

Make a 9 patch block combining 5 colour charm squares with 4 white ones. Use darker tones for the centre square for contrast.

Iron the 9 patch block and cut it in half and then in half again.

Change the resulting smaller blocks around to form a disappearing 9 patch block like below.

Stitch together and iron flat.

Hot water bottle slipcover – quilted and embroidered

I made this hot water bottle cover using my own tutorial for a stipple quilted hot water bottle slipcover.

The embroidered letter E is from an alphabet colouring page.




Sampler quilt tutorial

This was a quilt made without planning or direction. I used fabrics from my stash as needed.

The only criteria was for predominately blue tone fabric in combination with white on white fabric.

The instructions to make the blocks are from crazy mom’s quilt-a-long.

Flying geese border
I used the No Waste Flying Geese method to make the border. As explained in Blocks & Swaps & Patterns & Tips.

Piano Keys sides border
The border is 8inches wide. The strips that make the border are 2.5 inches when finished.

The back is made of 8inch blue tone squares and 8 inch wide strips of plain white fabric.

The finished quilt

Block closeups

Block 1

Block 2

Block 3

Block 4

Block 5

Block 6

Block 7

Block 8

Block 9

Block 10

Block 11

Block 12

Detail of the first border corner

Opposite corner

Back of the finished quilt