Thursday, July 30, 2015

Quilt Transport Tote

Quilt Transport Zippered Tote
No more trekking to the quilt guild with project wrapped up in a pillow case, or worse yet, a Hefty bag! You, too, can sashay in style with an over-sized tote bag. This tote is constructed with upholstery fabric I spied on sale at my local big box store, thus adding some body at the get-go, and wearing like iron.

Center front pocket, 10" x 10"
Tote is approximately 26" x 20", with a center front pocket about 10" x 10", tucked neatly under the construction of the straps. Cut the lining for the pocket 1/2" longer for the height, stitch right sides together at the top edge, turn right side out and flip the lining over and to the back. This creates the 1/4" strip of decorative color band at the top of the pocket--easy way to introduce accent!

Straps (2) are about 80" long, top-stitched to the body (pocket side edges tucked under strap edges). Don't fret about needing one continuous length for straps. Notice the horizontal bands of color accents on the straps? These are joins for lengths of strap fabric. Ta-da, just like I meant to do that!
Add a zippered flap for secure closing

Zipper installation--who is a fan of that? Nobody? Me either. To make the task simpler, I installed zipper legs on two long bands of fabric, then when it was time to put in the lining, simply tucked the fabric bands in between the body and lining pieces. No wrestling with the whole bulk of the tote to install the zipper.

You can make your tote wider in depth by varying the corner detail. To construct the corner tuck, sew each corner separately. After side seams and bottom seams are stitched on both the body and lining, with right sides together, place bottom seam line atop side seam line, pin to hold in place, then mark a perpendicular line across the corner--mine is about 2 1/2" total length (1 1/4" each side of seam lines).  Stitch on the marked line. Repeat for 3 more corners. Trimming off the triangle of fabric created from this process is not necessary--leaving it provides a bit more stability at the corner. To increase the depth of your bag, mark the perpendicular line longer, (for example, a 4" marked line would be farther from the corner of intersecting side and bottom seam line).

Corner detail
I simply quilted the layers to add more body. The major drawback to this Quilt Transport Tote is that I finished my project before I discovered the wonderful foam batting products now available. This would have been an ideal filler for this project.

Happy sewing/quilting!