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!

24 thoughts on “Hack A Quilt Tote

  1. Allison in Alabama says:

    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!!!! 🙂

  2. Joy B says:

    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.

  3. Pam says:

    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!

  4. usairdoll says:

    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.


  5. Terry says:

    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.

  6. Kristine Clay says:

    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!

  7. Claire Ross says:

    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. Patty Murphy says:

      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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