Apparently I have a new addiction quilting friends, because I’m back today with another fun tote bag starring those darling Sweet Fruit Handles (Atsuko Originals by Lecien). I’m also happy to feature a terrific single-block pattern by a talented pattern designer, Gracey of Burlap and Blossom Patterns.
Here she is, Little Red Riding Hood all decked out in polka dots and heading off to her grandmother's house. This might look like paper pieceing, but it's actually a traditional pieced block that is easy to make following Gracey's clear instructions. I made the 6 1/2" block, but a 12 1/2" block is also available in the pattern! There are a lot of bitsy pieces with the smaller block, but you just need to take your time and be careful with your 1/4" seam allowance. Burlap and Blossom Patterns offers many other creative single-block designs. I made Gracey's Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer block into a pillow this past winter.
Since I was so smitten with those cute handles from another recent project (Happy Flower Quilts: Big Sister Tote), I was itching for an excuse to use them again. Thanks to my friend Allison, shop owner of My Timeless Day, I was able to obtain a set of apple green handles this time. They are just perfect for this "Little Red" tote bag. Zip on over to My Timeless Day and check out these handles and all of Allison's terrific offerings.
To give my bag a bit of dimension, I did some simple cross-hatch quilting, using Little Red's hood as my guide. I quilted the back of the tote in the same fashion. My bag is pieced and quilted with Aurifil 2000 (light sand) 50wt. This is one of my go-to threads. It seems to blend nicely with all of my favorite fabrics!
I am probably too old to carry this sweet tote on my arm, so I will save it to give as a gift to someone much younger. But at least for a little while, my "Little Red" tote might rest on a chair and bring me some smiles!
Thanks so much for stopping by the blog today. I’ve included some tips and details below in case you’d like to make a similar tote. My best to you! Now get carried away quilting!
Tips & Details
- I made the 6 1/2" x 6 1/2" block per the pattern, but when the block was completed, I trimmed the sides so that my finished block was 6 1/2" tall and 6" wide.
- I added 3 1/2" x 6 1/2" borders to the left and right sides of the block.
- I added 3 1/2" x 12" borders to the top and bottom.
- The bag front measured 12 1/2" tall by 12" wide.
- I cut two lining pieces 12 1/2" tall by 12" wide. (tan zig zag)
- I cut one backing piece 12 1/2" tall by 12" wide. (green print)
- I cut two batting pieces 12" tall by 11 1/2" wide.
- I spray basted the batting pieces to the wrong sides of the front and back pieces. Then I added simple cross-hatch machine quilting on a 1" grid which I first marked with my Frixion pen.
- To construct my bag, I used the basic lining-turn method described in my free tutorial Easy Fat Quarter Shoulder Bag. (minus the fabric handle)
- To add the Sweet Fruit Handles, I secured them to my bag with Wonder Clips, eased them into my machine, and stitched them down. I used the zipper foot (#4) on my Bernina, as it's the smallest and allowed me to get into this area to stitch. (See how the green leather cherries bend back easily.) Be generous with your back stitching when starting and stopping. Secure the strap with two stitching lines.
- Have fun!