How to Make Rag Quilt Purse Tote

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Instructions

    • From fabric “A”, cut 10 5 x 5 inch squares, 1 4 x 8 inch strip and 2 2 ½ x 30 inch strips for handles. From fabric “B”, the lining, cut 30 5 x 5 inch squares and 2 2 ½ x 30 inch strips for handles. (By using the fabric I chose, I carefully cut the squares so that the logo was visible on at least 8 of the squares. If you choose a fabric without logos, that is one less step!) Lay aside 2 squares (with logos) for the outside pockets. From batting, cut 19 3 ½ x 3 ½ inch squares. (If you want to ad the handles, also cut 2 2 ½ inch by 29 inch strips)

      Sew the square together as follows. Lay a square of the lining face down, place a square of batting in the center of lining. Place a square of the outside material on top of the batting face up. You should have a total of 19 squares. Sew an “X” thru each square. I like to use the waddle stitch. If your machine does not have this stitch, a straight “X” is just fine! If you wish to add inside pockets, cut up to six 5 x 6 inch squares. In this purse I am adding 3 inside pockets. Sew a scant ¼ inch seam across the top of all pockets. Lay aside. Sew shoulder straps together with the outside of both fabrics facing in. If you are padding the handles, lay the batting on top and sew a ½ seam leaving one end open. Turn each handle inside out. I have found this to be easiest with a long pencil. Sew a seam straight down the middle of
      each handle.


      Assemble your Rag Bag: Lay out 3 of the squares in desired position and sew a ½ inch seam with selvedge facing out. Lay out 3 more squares and sew in an alternating pattern. Sew the 2 rows of 3 together with a ½ inch seam. If you are going to add inside pockets you will need to pin your pockets in place before assembly of the bag. You will want to assemble the other side of the bag in an alternating pattern attaching pockets just as you did the first side of the bag. Assemble the sides of the bag. Take one square each of fabric “A” and fabric “B” sew them
      together with ½ inch seam. Assemble the bottom of the bag: Take 2 squares of fabric “A” and 1 square of fabric “B” and sew them together with a ½ inch seam in an alternating pattern. You also want to pin your outside pockets in place at this point.


      Sew shoulder straps together with the outside of both fabrics facing in. If you are padding the handles, lay the batting on top and sew a ½ seam leaving one end open. Turn each handle inside out. I have found this to be easiest with a long pencil. Sew a seam straight down the middle of each handle. Assemble your Rag Bag: Lay out 3 of the squares in desired position and sew a ½ inch seam with selvedge facing out. Lay out 3 more squares and sew in an alternating pattern. Sew the 2 rows of 3 together with a ½ inch seam. If you are going to add inside pockets you will need to pin your pockets in place before assembly of the bag. You will want to assemble the other side of the bag in an alternating pattern attaching pockets just as you did the first side of the bag. Assemble the sides of the bag: Take one square each of fabric “A” and fabric “B” sew them together with ½ inch seam.
      Assemble the bottom of the bag: Take 2 squares of fabric “A” and 1 square of fabric “B” and sew them together with a ½ inch seam in an alternating pattern. You also want to pin your outside pockets in place at this point. Assemble your bag: Sew one side to the front of the bag with ½ inch seam. I like to start at the bottom by getting all my corners lined up. Start sewing ½ inch from bottom of bag (be sure to reinforce your stitches). Now sew the other side to the front of the bag in the same manner. Sew the back of the bag to one of the sides leaving ½ inch at the bottom, remembering your pattern. Remember to always use a ½ inch seam and sew your seams outward. Now sew the front of the bag to the other side. Now sew the bottom onto the bag starting with the long sides first, using ½ seam. Now sew each end together, again using ½ inch seam. Your finished corners should look like this:


      Now make your button holder: Take the 4 x 8 inch strip that you cut from fabric “A” and fold in half with right sides together sew with a ½ seam: Turn right side out and press with an iron. Topstitch all the
      way around using ½ inch seam. Find the center and pull the ends. Top stitch the triangle. Pin the straps and the button holder in place and stitch all the way around the top of the bag (making sure to reinforce the handles!): Sew your button on using heavy duty quilters thread.


      Now that you have finished sewing you bag, you need to rag it. Just cut small slits into all exposed seams: Once you have finished “ragging” your bag it should look somewhat like the following picture. Wash your new purse in the machine on gentle and dry on low. Just a note: Always reinforce all your seams!