If you’ve ever wanted to turn a mini quilt into a tote bag, this easy & free quilted tote bag tutorial is for you! I recently made 2 Pillow-size Paradigm mini quilts and stitched them together into this cute & functional bag. A tote bag like the one in this tutorial is perfect for summer trips to the pool or beach. Or, you can use it as a cute way to bring your groceries home from the store!
This free Quilted Tote Bag Tutorial is perfect for sewists of any skill level, and particularly great for a beginner quilter who wants to start off with a smaller project to learn new techniques! I particularly enjoy how great it is as a way to use up scraps for the piecing of the quilt block too!
Free Quilted Tote Bag Tutorial
Watch this free quilted tote bag video tutorial, or scroll down below to see the instructions written out!
In this tutorial I will use the Triangular quilt pattern to show you how to turn a mini quilt into a zipper pouch!
Quilted zipper pouches are great for a variety of things, and this is the perfect size to store sewing tools such as rotary cutters, extra blades, or small quilting rulers. Take your quilting on the go with a homemade pouch to carry it in!
If you want to see the video tutorial for turning a mini quilt into a pouch, check it out here:
One of the essential steps to do as you learn to quilt is learning how to baste a quilt. I personally prefer a method of quilt basting known as “spray basting” where you use a spray adhesive to adhere the layers of a quilt, but you should know there are other methods involved in making the quilt sandwich that can work for you too! This quilting tutorial will teach you exactly how I spray baste a quilt!
If videos are more your speed, check out this quilt basting tutorial video here:
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Supplies Needed to Baste a Quilt
Before we can get started basting the quilt, you need to gather the supplies. In addition to having your pieced quilt top, quilt batting, and quilt backing, you’ll need these tools:
If you’re not sure what type of quilt batting to use, check out this tutorial that will help you learn the differences and decide which one to pick for your quilting project!
Step 1: Get your Batting Wrinkle-Free
If your batting came folded up in a package, you’ll want to freshen it up and get the wrinkles out. The easiest way for me to prepare my batting is to toss it in the dryer for about 15-20 minutes with a damp washcloth. You could also use your iron and press the batting, but certain types of batting don’t do well with high heat. I only recommend pressing with an iron if you are not using wool or anything synthetic such as polyester.
Step 2: Tape Your Backing to the Floor
While my batting is in the dryer, I’ll get my backing ready. If your quilt backing has wrinkles, iron them out before taping it down.
I like to use masking tape or painters tape to adhere the quilt backing to my hard wood floors for basting. The right side of the backing fabric faces the floor, with the wrong side facing up. I’ll typically begin by taping all 4 corners, and then go around the sides to make sure it is flat, but not stretched out. See the video above for more visuals!
If you don’t have hard floors, you could also consider doing a similar process but instead of taping to the floor you’d hang the pieces on a wall.
Step 3: Lay the Batting & Quilt Top on the Quilt Backing
Next, grab the quilt batting from the dryer and smooth it out over your backing, aligning one edge of your backing to one edge of the batting. Once the batting is nice & smooth, do the same with your quilt top. I personally like to trim off any extra batting with a pair of fabric sheers after laying out the quilt top. I save the batting scraps for smaller projects, and often zig-zag stitch them together so they can be reused in my next quilt.
Step 4: Spray the Backing to the Batting
Once your quilt sandwich is assembled, it’s time to spray the layer together so they’ll stay put for quilting. Begin by rolling the batting and quilt top up about half way, and spray a light layer of spray adhesive on the wrong side of the quilt backing. I like to do it in sections of up to about 10-20″ at a time, starting in the middle of the quilt.
Spray the adhesive in a section, then unroll the batting. Next, press down to get the batting & backing to stick together. Repeat this process until the entire batting piece is adhered to the quilt back fabric.
Step 5: Spray the Batting to the Quilt Top
Repeat the process we did in step 4 to adhere the batting to the quilt top. Press it out smooth and flat and check to make sure the corners and nice & secure!
Step 6: Add pins for extra Security
I’ll be honest and say I really don’t think this step is essential, BUT I still do it every time! I just can’t help myself! Grab your curved safety pins and pin your quilt layers together. I typically pin about every 10 inches or so, with extra attention around the edges and corners. The pins aren’t entirely necessary, but if it may take you a while to finish the quilting they can help ensure the sandwich stays in place!
Now it’s time to QUILT
Once your quilt sandwich is basted, you’re ready to quilt it on your home sewing machine. You can try Free Motion Quilting or Straight Line quilting, or do a fun design using a walking foot. Learn more about straight line quilting over at this article 3 Hacks for Quilting Straight Lines.
The most precise way to make an Economy Quilt Block is to use a fabric cutting machine like AccuQuilt to cut out the pieces for you! I’ve been a huge fan of AccuQuilt for a while now, and this Economy Quilt block tutorial will show you exactly why I love it so much! Making an Economy Quilt block using AccuQuilt is super easy and there’s a good chance you already have the dies you’ll need! Follow the tutorial below to get started and learn all my secrets for making a perfect and precise quilt block.
If you don’t have an AccuQuilt fabric cutting machine, you can still make an Economy Quilt Block using a rotary cutter by following this Economy quilt block tutorial.
Have you ever struggled to sew curves while making a quilt design? Me too! But I’ve learned some secrets to sewing curves that I am just so excited to share with quilters like you! This article shares the easy way to sew curves for making a patchwork quilt!
Learn my tips for cutting & sewing curves perfectly every time, and gain confidence in the quilting technique of sewing curves. Of course, sewing larger curves is a bit easier than tighter curves, but by the end of this quilting tutorial you’ll be ready to take on any kind of curve!
If you prefer to learn how to sew curves from a video, check out all my curve sewing tips here:
The Economy quilt block was popular in the 1930’s and is still a beloved quilt block to make today! This step-by-step patchwork tutorial will show you how I make an Economy quilt block, and hopefully give you the confidence to successfully make your own as well!
While of course Economy Quilt Blocks can be found in tons of traditional quilts throughout time, I like to give them a modern twist in my own patterns. Once example of a modern way to use the Economy block is in the Paradigm quilt pattern, which will be released on January 14th in my pattern shop.