Make A Beautiful Tote Bag With Blocks From A Favorite Quilt

Lazies, Why keep your quilt blocks confined to a quilt? Lazy Girl Jen Buettner shares a simple way to get your blocks off the bed and onto your next quilted tote bag.

Jen is one of the most prolific quilters I know, and I keep up with her quilting adventures at her blog Cre8tive Quilter, which is where I discovered her beautiful Miranda Day Bag (Lazy Girl #123) shown below.

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Jen’s yummy pink and brown batik Miranda.

Here’s Jen
I found my inspiration for this Miranda Day Bag from the quilt pattern ‘A Bit Askew’ by Blue Underground Studios, which I recently finished to hang above my Aunt Karen’s fireplace.

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Jen and Aunt Karen with ‘A Bit Askew’ quilt.

I began to think the block design from the quilt would be really cool as a Miranda, and I began to dream of pink and brown batiks.

I stitched the fabric strips directly to pieces of batting to build each block component needed for the outside of the bag. I really wanted to keep the design looking fresh and ultra modern.

piecing.jpg back-of-piecing-1.jpg
Strips are sewn directly to the batting, then re-cut for blocks.

I cut 4 pieces of batting. I pieced horizontal fabric strips on two blocks and vertical strips on two blocks. When finished, I re-cut the pieced blocks of strips to the size needed for the project.

Piecing the fabric strips and batting at the same time gives the bag a more artsy appeal while keeping the fabrics crisp and in place.

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Pieced blocks for the Miranda Day Bag.

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Jen’s Miranda Day Bag.

While there’s nothing wrong with a quilted bag; because I do love them myself, I am in my early 30’s and I sometimes get the ‘raised eyebrow’ look from some of my friends who still view quilting as something for people of their mother’s age. I hope to suck them into the quilting world one at a time!
– Jen B, Cre8tive Quilter

Notes and Tips
Thanks Jen! Lazies, this is a simple technique you can use with your favorite quilt patterns (or blocks), tote bag patterns, purse patterns or any bag pattern.

In the Miranda pattern, the blocks are simply rectangular cuts of fabric. You can use any technique you like to build, or piece, the rectangles needed. Consider paper piecing, crazy quilting, applique, etc.

If you have left over blocks waiting for a purpose, make a bag. For Miranda: to use large square blocks, simply cut a rectangle out of a block. To use smaller blocks, add fabric strips to the sides to make a rectangle.

Is your favorite quilt design destined to be a bag?

Enjoy!
Joan

[tags]quilted tote, quilt block, stitch and flip[/tags]

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16 Responses to “Make A Beautiful Tote Bag With Blocks From A Favorite Quilt”

  1. Lesley — March 24, 2008 @ 7:36 am

    This is a great idea. As soon as I read it, I thought that I need to go through all those quilt blocks I’ve done in swaps and have never done anything with.

    Lesley
    http://www.pillowcasegram.com

  2. Marlene — March 24, 2008 @ 9:33 am

    I love this idea . Just last week I made a tote bag for my neice to carry her rug hooking supplies in & I used two orphan Star blocks that I had , I quilted the blocks & went from there & made the bag . It turned out well I think & she loves it .
    Then this morning I see this email . It gives me the incentive to use some more of the different blocks I have .
    Thanks so much for this great idea
    Marlene

  3. Penny — March 24, 2008 @ 9:56 am

    Jen that bag is to die for! I am a pink & brown lover and that just works great with the Miranda. Joan I really think you have invented the greatest bag, it has given everyone such diverse ideas. I am constantly thinking when I have fabric delivered “is that Miranda worthy?”. Jen you just keep sucking in those 30 somethings, someone has got to inherit this stash of mine! Thanks for sharing that lovely little bag!

    Penny D in Chesapeake

  4. Mary — March 24, 2008 @ 10:10 am

    I have a huge stack of “left overs”, some from quilts I did years ago. You know we hate to throw anything away. So now we have a purpose for them. Depending on the size they could work well with just about any of Joan’s great lazy patterns.

  5. Kim — March 24, 2008 @ 10:15 am

    Well………..looks like I have ANOTHER Miranda bag to make – GREAT idea, just got to do it!! Thank you for the great blog!!

  6. Jane B. — March 24, 2008 @ 10:48 am

    Awesome work! Love the idea..

  7. Cindy — March 24, 2008 @ 10:53 am

    I just love this bag. I want to make my next Miranda using charm squares, and piece them together to make a patchwork cover, I just need to figure out the arrangement and all that. LOL Well done Jen and congrats on being featured!

  8. Nancy — March 24, 2008 @ 3:45 pm

    So cool, and yet so easy (or should I say “lazy”?)!

    Thanks for sharing. The idea and the bag are great!

  9. Susan Arabia — March 24, 2008 @ 9:00 pm

    Thank you for the lovely inspiration! I’m a new “Lazy Girl” and I’m loving the beautiful bags I’m seeing. This is a great site.

  10. Maria Peagler — March 25, 2008 @ 11:46 am

    Gorgeous colors and a contemporary feel. Absolutely lovely. Makes me want to make another Miranda. But I’m not willing to let go of the one I’m using now. So many Mirandas, so little time.

  11. Regina — March 25, 2008 @ 1:09 pm

    This Miranda is truly inspired -and truly LAZY!! Can’t wait to make another and think “outside the box” like you did!

    Great colors, too!!!

  12. Marlene — March 25, 2008 @ 10:12 pm

    Oh that is sooo beautiful. I wish I could make one like it but I am not good with sewing.
    I really enjoy to visit here and see all the creatives quilt and anything. Thank you for sharing this with me.

  13. Mama Stone — March 26, 2008 @ 12:50 pm

    Ooh, I love the bag!! I want one ;P

  14. Doris — March 28, 2008 @ 11:24 am

    I LOVE this and since I have the Miranda bag pattern, I may have to copy this…

  15. Cathy — October 16, 2009 @ 3:48 pm

    Of course I love this, who wouldn’t!! I love all miranda bags but what’s different on top, how did she make it so small by the handles???? I love a little change!!

  16. vcooky — August 8, 2011 @ 7:33 pm

    There is nothing lazy about these bags they are great.I would be tickled to death to carry any of them. Beautiful job girls.