Hack A Quilt Tote

I was at the beach this week for fall break and wrote a post that was supposed to appear instead of this one. Then I got home last night and decided to make a bag for Mary’s Hack That Tote! blog tour instead of my wimpy little post. Seems reasonable, right? 5 days of travel surely meant I had time to come home and make a bag. Well, in my head it did.

I planned to make a tote for Quilt Market LAST YEAR and failed. I ran out of time and couldn’t get it together. No biggie. I sat on the fabric for a FULL YEAR ready to make something but never really carved out the time for myself to do it. Always wanting to make a bag but couldn’t get it together.


So when Mary asked me to participate in a book tour for Hack That Tote! I KNEW I had to make a tote bag with this fabric. I knew it! Then, once again, I ran out of time. I clearly have time management issues. And small children.


I digress, though.

I LOVE a good tote bag. I mean, seriously LOVE…so picking my favorite pattern was a breeze. My specifications are big and kinda slouchy – sorta like this bag I bought several years ago.


The obvious starting point for me is the pool tote.


Using Mary’s tips about sizing up and down your tote, I grabbed my calculator and increased the size 10%. Not a lot, but enough to hold a good size quilt and supplies for binding.


I lined each piece with a heavyweight non-woven fusible interfacing and added a small pocket to each side of the lining pieces.


I made the interior following the steps for the Basic Tote.


I attached cotton webbing to each side of the exterior tote bag before sewing the pieces together. Because I planned to use this as a bag to tote half finished, in need of binding quilts and other projects, the straps are rather long to accommodate the bulk of quilts.

I sewed the straps across the top, bottoms, sides and made an “X” in the center for stability. I also added an extra piece of interfacing on the back where the straps attached (something like 4″ x 15″).


I placed the lining inside the exterior of the bag, wrong sides together. I pinned the top, attached a bias binding and voila!



fullsizerender-9A quilt tote is born! The bag has a lap quilt AND and full size quilt in it with room to spare. Perfect for carrying around projects! I’m so excited about it!

Aside from showing you how to take a basic pattern and changing it into virtually any kind of bag, Mary also has great information about interfacings, fabrics and accessories for your bag. For a chance to win a copy of your own Hack That Tote! be sure to follow my blog and leave a comment about your favorite tote hack below or a hack you’d like to make.

I’ll pick a number using random.org for the winner (announced on 10/7). Winners in the States will receive a copy of the book, and winners outside the States will receive an e-book.

You can follow along and leave comments on all the blogs below to increase your chances to win this incredible book!

9/27 C&T  http://www.ctpub.com/blog/
9/28 Sue O’Very http://sueoverydesigns.com/blog/
9/29 Gen Q Teri Lucas http://generationqmagazine.com/
9/30 Patty Murphy  http://pattymurphyhandmade.com
10/1 Vanessa Lynch http://punkinpatterns.com/blog
10/2 Lindsay Conner http://lindsaysews.com
10/3 Stephanie Moore http://www.alittlemooreblog.com
10/4 Katy Cameron http://www.the-littlest-thistle.com
10/5 Kim Niedzwiecki http://www.gogokim.com
10/6 Mary Abreu  http://confessionsofacraftaddict.com

Happy Hacking!

Published by Patty Murphy

Designer. Quilter. Fabric Hoarder.

24 thoughts on “Hack A Quilt Tote

  1. Great looking tote and
    I love the inside fabric!
    I need to make a small
    bag to hold my clips for
    Carla from Utah

  2. I need a tote as large as a filing cabinet….no seriously, something large enough to hold a file folder or two or three with a pocket for my phone and one for my ipad….and something that would hold onto my keys and ID badges….one day I will hack a tote to do all that!!!! 🙂

  3. Cute tote! I think I need this book. I am not a member of wordpress and don’t have time to sign up right now but I follow you on instagram and we are facebook friends so I hope that will count. (Meanwhile, I’ll check on how to follow you on wordpress later today.) And my copy of YOUR book is on its way to me, I hope I can get you to autograph it (via your Mom) one of these days.

  4. I just signed up to follow you on Instagram. Thanks for your inspiring blog, and for the tips on bag making! I just bought a big roll of waistband elastic on the recommendation of a vendor at a quilt show. He said that it some bag-makers use it for straps – encase it with fabric, stitch four or five rows of stitching lengthwise along the strap to eliminate the stretch, and you have a bag strap that has firm body. I’m going to try it!

  5. Your bag turned out super! I’m not sure of the name of the bag is like to make. I’d love to make a bag similar to the two on the cover. I need a bag for traveling. A fairly good size one to pack all I need for a weekend.

    Thanks for a chance to win. I’m a follower via BlogLovin.


  6. I’m already a hack. I can’t help myself when I look at a pattern and think about how I would make it more perfect for me, or my mom, or my best friend, or…

  7. My favorite tote hack was one I just finished…I used the market bag pattern by Noodlehead (skipped the tiny zipped pocket) and converted it into a diaper bag for my daughter-in-law by adding a huge zippered pocket on one side and a three-compartment pocket on the opposite side so she’ll have plenty of room for all the ‘stuff’ a new mom needs to carry.

  8. I definitely need more help with interfacing options and how to stabilize without adding too much bulk. Thanks for the awesome tutorial and chance to win!

  9. Love your tote, I am in a fabric basket making craze at present. Making baskets for baby’s nursery, we are expecting our first in december

    1. It’s your lucky day! You won! Email me at patty@tyderia.net with your mailing address so I can get it to Mary. If you are in the states, we’ll send you a copy and you’ll get an e-book if you live outside the U.S. Congratulations! I know you will love the book!

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