Ready,Set,Go! ~ Sun + Sea Patchwork Messenger Bag

on June 19 | in Sewing Tutorials + Patterns | by | with 84 Comments

Rachael from Imagine Gnats recently showed us how to make the Quilt Blocks Tangram Book featuring the pretty Quilt Blocks fabric collection from Ellen Luckett Baker. Today she has the Sun + Sea Patchwork Messenger Bag for you, perfect for all of your on-the-go summer plans. Visit Imagine Gnats and Rachael’s introduction to learn more about Rachael and her work, and don’t forget to comment to win a new magazine or book!

Making your Patchwork (Version One)

  • Cut sixteen light blue scraps with the following measurements: three 2×4″, two 3×4″, one 4×4″, three 2×3″, one 3×3″, two 2×2″, two 2×5″, one 3×5″, one 4×5″.
  • Cut four dark blue scraps with the following measurements: one 4×4″, one 3×4″, one 2×4″, one 4×5″.
  • Cut one piece of fusible Quilter’s Grid, 11×14″.

Lay out light blue scraps on Quilter’s Grid, according to graphic. Do not fuse to grid yet.

Line up dark blue scraps in the order they will appear on grid. Cut each piece horizontally at alternating angles to form the “wave” shapes.

Place first dark blue piece on its corresponding light blue piece. Move dark blue piece so that it overlaps the bottom of the light blue piece by 3/4″. Using a straight edge and water soluble marker, draw a line on light blue piece where the top of the dark blue piece ends.

Flip the dark blue piece so the right sides are together, aligning angled edge of dark blue piece with the line on the light blue piece. Adjust so that edges of pieces meet approximately 1/4″ above the drawn line (so that the sides line up after pieces are sewn and pressed).

Stitch pieces together and press. Trim excess dark blue from bottom edge so that it aligns with light blue.

Repeat with other three light/dark blue pieces.

Line up the light/dark blue pieces and all light blue pieces on Quilter’s Grid. Fuse per manufacturer’s instructions.

Fold entire grid right sides together along the first vertical line where a seam will be. Take care to fold exactly on marked line of grid. Stitch through all thicknesses 1/4″ from folded edge.

Repeat for other vertical seams.

Using a rotary cutter, trim a scant amount from each of the folds. Press seams open.

Repeat folding, sewing, trimming, and pressing for horizontal seams.

Cut a circle from a scrap of yellow. (Tip: to create your circle, trace the rim of a drinking glass with a water soluble marker.)

Place circle where desired on patchwork piece and pin. (Tip: adhering the circle to patchwork with Wonder Under before stitching will help to keep fabric from stretching and give a smoother look.)

Begin stitching circles around edge of circle. Make sure that the edges are secured, and stitch additional circles outside or inside of the edge for visual interest. Use multiple colors of thread for this step if desired.

With blue thread, stitch across the bottom row of pieces with repeated wavy lines, using multiple colors of thread if desired.

Your patchwork piece is complete!

Constructing the Bag

  • Exterior pieces: cut two fabric, 13×15″ each
  • Exterior pocket piece: cut one fabric, 16×15″
  • Interior pieces: cut two fabric, 13×15″
  • Strap: cut one fabric, 5×28″ cut one fusible interfacing 4×28″
  • Flap: one patchwork piece, 9.5×12.5″, from previous instructions
  • Flap lining: cut one fabric, 9.5×12.5″

Place interior pieces right sides together. Stitch pieces together with a 1/4″ seam allowance along sides (13″ edges) and bottom, but leave a 3″ opening in bottom for turning.

To form a gusset on the interior bottom corners, grab the sewn corners by the point and flatten so that your fabric forms a triangle shape. Pin in the seam line to make sure the bottom and side seam are matched. Measure in 1″ from stitched corner and draw a line perpendicular to the stitch line. (This line should measure 2″ long.)

Stitch along drawn long, backstitching at beginning and end. Trim off corner, leaving a 1/4″ seam allowance.

Fold exterior pocket piece wrong sides together (along 16″ side) so that it is 8×15″. Press, fold and topstitch along pressed edge.

Fold one of the exterior pieces in half (along 15″ side) so that it is 13×7.5″ and press folded edge. Unfold and place this exterior piece right side up on your work surface. Line up the pocket piece along bottom edge and sides of exterior piece. Pin pocket to the exterior along raw edges. Also pin in center of pocket, close to top edge. Turn over so the exterior piece is wrong side up. Stitch along crease mark on exterior piece to form two pockets.

Leaving pins in exterior pocket piece in place, put it together with other exterior piece, right sides together. Stitch together along sides and bottom with a 1/4″ seam allowance.

Form gusset on exterior corners by using same method and measurements as interior gusset.

Center interfacing on strap and fuse per manufacturer’s instructions. This should leave 1/2″ overlap of fabric on each side.

Fold in this overlap of fabric and press well along both long edges. Matching folded edges, fold strap in half (wrong sides together), pressing well and pinning. Stitch close to pressed edges along both long sides of strap to finish.

Place your patchwork and flap lining pieces right sides together. Stitch along sides and bottom with a 1/4″ seam allowance. clip corners, turn, and press. Topstitch 1/4″ from sewn edges.

Turn exterior bag piece so that right sides are on the outside. Pin strap to exterior, right sides together, centering strap along seam on each side. Pin raw edge of flap to raw edge of (non-pocket) exterior piece, right sides together.

Turn lining so that right sides are on the inside. Place exterior piece inside the lining piece. Line up at side seams and pin. Once seams are aligned, pin interior to exterior along all raw edges.

Stitch around entire raw edge with a 1/2″ seam allowance.

Zigzag within seam allowance across side seams and straps to secure.

Using opening in interior, turn bag right side out.

Press around top edge of bag, making sure that both interior and exterior fabrics are pressed away from flap and will not get caught in topstitching. Topstitch 1/4″ in from pressed edge.

To finish bag, stitch closed opening in interior (either slipstitch by hand or stitch close to folded edges by machine).

Your bag is complete!

Optional: Patchwork (Version Two)

  • Light blue: three 4″ squares, five pieces 2×4″, nine 2″ squares, four 2.5″ squares
  • Medium blue: eight 2.5″ squares
  • Dark blue: four 2.5″ squares
  • Yellow: five 2″ squares
  • Quilters’ fusible grid: cut one piece, 12×16″
  • With four of the dark blue squares and four of the medium blue squares, make half-square triangles and trim each block to 2″. Repeat with four of the light blue squares and four of the medium blue squares.

    Cut four of the yellow squares in half to form triangles.

    Stitch two of the yellow triangles to each of four 2″ square light blue pieces to create the wonky star points. (Tutorial here.)

    Arrange your blocks on the fusible Quilter’s Grid according to graphic and fuse.

    Stitch vertical seams every 2″ as explained in Patchwork Version One instructions. (Note: You will be folding and stitching in the middle of some squares.)

    Trim and press seams open.

    Stitch horizontal seams every 2″, trim, and press open.

    Follow instructions for constructing the bag to complete project.

    This week you can win a copy of Where Women Create: Inspiring Work Spaces of Extraordinary Women (May/June/July Volume 4 Issue 3), With Fabric & Thread by Joanna Figueroa or We Love Color: 16 Iconic Quilt Designers Create with Kona Solids Compiled by Susanne Woods.

    Comment on any post this week to win, and learn more about the books in our June Book Giveaways post.

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84 Responses to Ready,Set,Go! ~ Sun + Sea Patchwork Messenger Bag

  1. Lynn says:

    Love this!

  2. Christie S. says:

    Very cute messenger bag.

  3. Jacklynn Grimm says:

    Thanks for the awesome tutorial! I love version two, as I am totally crazy about wonky stars. Love the colors too!

  4. bekah Bills says:

    Brilliant bag. Great tutorial. Thanks!

  5. Jennie P. says:

    I’ve been needing a bag like this. I need to have something that I can put over my shoulder. Purses and bags always seem to slip off my shoulders.

  6. Jennyroo says:

    Love the scrappy look!

  7. Paula says:

    This is a great pattern/tutorial! I love both options! Thank you!

  8. Katie says:

    I’ve already been eyeing the ‘WE LOVE COLOR’ book online so I was thrilled to see it included in this giveaway! I am also a big fan of messenger bags and have that on my To Do list omg a zillion other ideas of course. :-). Your post and giveaway have perfect timing …

  9. Christina G. says:

    Beautiful! What’s not to like about a great messenger bag?!

  10. Eleanor says:

    So pretty!

  11. Alyssa says:

    This is so cute Rachael! Just pinned it to my Pinterest for my someday projects. Great tutorial too.

  12. Lori Smanski says:

    Oh this is so cute. Thanks for the tutorial. I see so many possiblities

  13. Veronica says:

    What a cute idea and the tutorial looks great, too.

  14. ainsley says:

    can’t wait to make one! wonderful tutorial, thank you!

  15. Tish says:

    Been wanting to try making a bag. Thanks for the clear tutorial.

  16. susana says:

    Me encanta la gama de colores ,creo que podría hacer una para mi hija.

  17. Nancy B says:

    Thanks for this great tutorial and the give a way. I love these messenger bags.

  18. Cynthia Myers says:

    A fun bag that looks unique.

  19. Kristy says:

    Great tutorial, my 10 yr old daughter would love this for the beach or a day of shopping. i think with the right color combo my 12 yr old son could use this,too.

  20. bookboxer says:

    Wow, another great project! Thanks so much for sharing with us!

  21. Hueisei says:

    Thanks for the awesome tutorial!

  22. Mary says:

    Great bag, I might just have to upgrade my carry all bag to one of these, fun and roomy!

  23. Beth T says:

    Another great tutorial–I loved the tanagram book tute also. Thanks so much for the effort that went into making this so clear.

  24. Kim says:

    Great bag! Thanks for all the great pictures with this tutorial.

  25. Ali M says:

    Oh I like that! I’m in the process of turning out a wonky star quilt and I’d love using them in other projects. I’m also finally getting enough scraps that I should be starting some scrappy projects!

  26. usairdoll says:

    Oh gosh! What a great tutorial. Both versions are super and this looks like a fun bag to make. Thanks!

    Thank you for a great giveaway as well and a chance to win.


  27. Rebecca Bird says:

    I love both of these bags! Looks easy enough for me to try?

  28. SewLindaAnn says:

    Love the colors used in this. After I saw the post I immediately went looking for my dark blue Joel Dewberry fabric. Great tutorial, thanks for the work involved.

  29. Gill says:

    Congratulations to Rachel on a great bag!! I love them!

  30. Jennifer says:

    Super cute!

  31. Ellen M. says:

    Great tutorial! It’s a terrific way to combing piecing and bag-making. I’m a new quilter and I think I could do this!

  32. Allegory says:

    I love this so much. I’m in desperate need of a new bag and I think I just found one to make!

  33. Kelie says:

    Thanks for the tutorial! I’m always looking to learn new ways to make an awesome bag!

  34. Katie says:

    Oh! I love the colors in this bag!!

  35. Jill says:

    These are awesome! Such a great design and color story.

  36. kemsha says:

    thanks, this gives me some great ideas for messenger bags 🙂

  37. johanna says:

    So much fun!

  38. carriem says:

    I’m really inspired!

  39. Melissa W. says:

    I love version one and might just have to make one of those for my niece who’s starting school next year!

  40. Page says:

    I love, love, love how you did the star. It’s beguiling. (:

  41. Mahoo says:

    Love, love, love this bag!Great tutorial.

  42. Pippa says:

    Great bag tutorial, think it’s going to be a big hit

  43. diya says:

    great tutorial.The bag looks too good and useful. want to make one for myself!

  44. amorette says:

    i love the wonky star for the sun! this would make a fun pillow or quilt too.

  45. Jenelle says:

    I love the colors and fabrics you chose! Great tutorial too. 🙂

  46. hafza says:

    Thanks for sharing the bag tutorial. I love the flap…very creative!!

  47. Anita says:

    Love both versions, thanks for the great tutorial!

  48. Sallie says:

    Love the patchwork variation! Thanks for the tutorial!

  49. Laura says:

    Adorable bag 🙂

  50. Julianne Ross says:

    The patchwork on a bag is a really fun way to use some scrap material!

  51. What a great design and tutorial!! Rachel is so very talented!!

  52. Courtney says:

    So excited to see how well Rachael’s tutorial turned out! Both versions are awesome!

  53. rachael says:

    thanks, everyone!! let me know if you make one. i’d love to see it 🙂

  54. Gina says:

    Thank you for the well written tute. My daughter’s would put this bag to good use.

  55. Sonja Perteet says:

    I love the eight pointed star design! And, yay, a quilt I could tackle and actually finish! Very lovely!

  56. Chris says:

    What a wonderful bag – I am for sure making this one. thanks!

  57. Theresa says:

    I love this bag.

  58. Lee says:

    Thanks for the tutorial! I love the bag and they fabric used is great!

  59. Joelle says:

    This is such a fun pattern! I can’t wait to make it….it will be perfect for school.

  60. Karen Pior says:

    Wonderful use of colour and great piecing. I can see many uses for a bag like this. Cheers, Karen

  61. Carolyn says:

    Love the color combos.

  62. Jessica E says:

    Rachael this tote is too stinkin cute!! Great tutorial

  63. Erin says:

    Love these bags, they are so cute!

  64. MarciaW says:

    This is a cute bag. I like the use of Modern Meadow herringbone fabric in the flap. It looks like sun over the sea.

  65. Fenna says:

    I love the patchwork!!!

  66. Aristi says:

    I am just craving to make both of these for my nieces!

  67. Miranda says:

    Super cute!

  68. Kristin H says:

    What a great tutorial!

  69. LOVE this! A great way to use up scraps too!

  70. sharmie says:

    i love this bag! i think it will be a great way to practice my piecing skills, if i can find some of that fusible grid! 🙂

  71. Shayla says:

    what a cute bag!! Thanks for the tutorial!

  72. Tamie says:

    I can’t wait to see the We Love Color book in person.

  73. Annette Deardurff says:

    Love the Sun and Sea Messenger bag! I have loads of vintage cutter quilts that would lend themselves well to this project! Would love to win the giveaway! Thanks – Annette

  74. Super cute bags!!

  75. Jess says:

    Ooh, this is super cute, I love it!!!!

  76. Margaret says:

    I love this bag–very simple but the patchwork flap just makes it so much better than a simple tote.

  77. Serena says:

    Both versions are just beautiful. Such a great way to use scraps!

  78. kathyh says:

    like the waves and summer colors

  79. Ramona says:

    Love this messenger bag. Wonderful tutorial.

  80. Donna says:

    I love these two messenger bags, especially the one with the gold star. I might have to make one!

  81. Laura says:

    This is such a pretty bag! I think I need to make one now!

  82. Kay says:

    This is a must make for me this summer, thank you for the tutorial.

  83. nicke says:

    love it soo much! love rachael so much too! xo

  84. mjb says:

    That patchwork would make a great mini quilt design!

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