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.