Elementary Tote ~ A Tutorial

Elementary Tote : Fresh Lemons Quilts

My son is going to a music camp this year at School of Rock. It’s the same camp my daughter attended a couple years ago – she loved it. Before she went, I made her a little tote bag that she could use to bring her ear plugs, notepad and snacks each day. My son has not forgotten about this, and told me that he cannot wait to see his bag for class.

I whipped up a little bag for him and I thought I’d share the tutorial with you. I think of it as “Elementary” sized – great for 5 to 10 year olds. (If you are looking for a mom-sized bag, check out my Farmer’s Market Tote tutorial.)

I personalized his tote bag with his name using my Cricut Explore Air (affiliate link). After much trial and error, I finally am successfully cutting fusible fabric with it! I plan on sharing a tutorial later this week with my tips. See my tips in this post!


Elementary Tote

Approximate size: 11-1/2″ x 11-1/2″

Elementary Tote Supplies : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Supplies
Cut (12) 3″ x 13″ rectangles for outer tote bag
Cut (2) 13″ x 15-1/2″ rectangles for lining
Cut (2) 13″ x 15-1/2″ rectangles from fusible interfacing, such as Pellon SF101
Cut (2) 20″ strips of cotton webbing, around 1″ wide

1. Lay out your 3” x 13” rectangles in 2 groups – 6 rectangles for the front of the tote and 6 rectangles for the back of the tote.

Note: The bottom rectangle on each side will end up being on bottom/underside of the tote bag, so you probably don’t want to use your favorite fabric in this location.

2. Using a 1/4″ seam allowance, sew each set of the 3″ x 13″ rectangles together along the long sides, resulting in (2) 13″ x 15-1/2″ outer tote panels. Press your seams as desired.

Elementary Tote : Fresh Lemons Quilts

3. Following the manufacturer’s instructions, fuse your Pellon SF101 interfacing to the back of the outer tote panels.

4. Cut 2″ squares out of the bottom left and right corners of your outer tote panels, as well as your (2) 13″ x 15-1/2″ lining pieces. This is for your gusset later.

Elementary Tote : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Elementary Tote : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Elementary Tote : Fresh Lemons Quilts

5. Place your outer tote panels right sides together. Using a 1/2″ seam allowance, sew down the sides and bottom of the fabric. ** Do NOT sew the cut out squares! **

Elementary Tote : Fresh Lemons Quilts

6. Now it’s time to sew the gussets. If you have never done this before, this is probably the trickiest step.

“Open” up your bag in the corner where you cut the squares, and place the fabric back together matching up the side and bottom sewn seam, as shown.

Elementary Tote : Fresh Lemons Quilts

7. Pin as shown.

Elementary Tote : Fresh Lemons Quilts

8. Sew using a 1/2″ seam allowance.

Elementary Tote : Fresh Lemons Quilts

9. Repeat on the other side to make the second gusset.

Elementary Tote : Fresh Lemons Quilts

10. Flip your outer tote shell so the right sides are facing out.

Elementary Tote : Fresh Lemons Quilts

11. Repeat steps 5 – 9 with your lining pieces, with the exception of leaving approximately 5″ open/unsewn along the bottom, for flipping the bag right side out later. Leave the lining wrong sides out.

12. Personalize your bag! (Circuit Explore Air Tutorial will be posted on Thursday ~ Stay tuned!) I posted my tips, just click over to this post!

Elementary Tote : Fresh Lemons Quilts

13. Measure and mark the top center of the outer tote shell. Pin your cotton webbing straps approximately 2” to each side of the center marking. Take care not to twist your straps. Baste in place using a 1/4” seam allowance.

Elementary Tote : Fresh Lemons Quilts

14. Place your outer tote shell right side out, into the lining wrong side out, as shown.

Elementary Tote : Fresh Lemons Quilts

15. Pin along the top of the bag, and sew together along the entire top, using a 1/2″ seam allowance.

Elementary Tote : Fresh Lemons Quilts

16. Flip your bag right side out through the opening in the bottom of the lining. Stitch the bottom of your lining closed.

Elementary Tote : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Push the lining into the outer tote shell.

17. Press your bag and top stitch around the top.

Elementary Tote : Fresh Lemons Quilts

You are finished! Gift your bag to your favorite person. 🙂

Elementary Tote : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Blue Squared

Blue Squared Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

It is now officially that moment of the year where I look at the calendar and freak out that I only have one month to make teacher gifts. Throughout the year I ask my kids to try to get hints as to what color quilt their teacher might like. Yes, I even go so far as to suggest they ask what color their family room is painted. I am always met with a look of horror by my children, so I am left guessing which fabric to use. This year my daughter provided me with “she wears blue, black and white a lot.”

Blue Squared Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

So. I present to you a blue, black and white quilt!

Blue Squared Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I have been wanting to make a quilt of big scrappy squares for quite some time. Although I came up with this on the fly, you could achieve the same look by using my Starfall pattern layout diagram, and simply using large squares of fabric in place of piecing the stars.

Blue Squared Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Bonus ~ I was able to cut and piece this quilt in one day! And most of the time I didn’t even sit down.

Blue Squared Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I am very excited with how this quilt top turned out. My daughter wants to embroider the tag for the back, just like she did with her teacher’s quilt last year. That should give me just enough time to decide on the main fabric for the backing and then I will finish it up!

Cross Stitch with Kids ~ A New Adventure

Cross Stitch with Kids at Fresh Lemons Quilts

Last week, a bit out of the blue, my daughter announced she wanted to learn to cross stitch. In my usual style, as soon as one of my children expresses the slightest interest in a crafty hobby, I go all out. I can’t help myself! We headed straight over to my friend Amanda’s website, The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery. I had a feeling my daughter would love everything in her shop and I was right! She immediately picked the Leaning Tower of Macarons for her first project.

Cross Stitch with Kids at Fresh Lemons Quilts

I decided I needed to make her a little tote to carry around all her project supplies. (I did mention I can’t help myself, right?) I happened to have the Road Trip Case Pattern from Noodlehead and decided it was perfect! I made one easy modification and put a vinyl zipper pouch on both sides rather than just one side. It holds pretty much everything she needs!

Cross Stitch with Kids at Fresh Lemons Quilts

Then for my final splurge, because I couldn’t resist the cuteness, I bought a thread organizer from my friend Holly over at Bijou Lovely and a llama needle minder from A Needle Runs Through It on Etsy. (For those of you who knit, Holly also sells a version of her heart that is a knitting gauge.)

I bought two sizes of Aida cloth for my daughter to try out – 6 count and 11 count. She doesn’t like the idea of 6 count because it’s so big (even after I explained to her that it would be much easier for a beginner). So she is going to try the 11 count first. We will see how it goes! I promise to share progress and any lessons learned along the way. 🙂

Great Big Giveaway Day ~ April

Great Big Giveaway Day

Hello everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! This week I have a couple great giveaways for you. To enter to win, simply leave one comment on this post. I’ll select one winner per shop on Thursday evening, April 14th. Good luck everyone!

Reminder ~ Please check your email (including SPAM folders) or back to this post after I choose the winners on Thursday. I want to make sure everyone gets connected to their prize.

           


1. Fabric Please! is giving away a “Moodier Blues” 5 pc FQ bundle.

Fabrics are from the Moody Blues line by Cloud9 organic cottons. The orange print is from Parson Gray’s Shaman line.


2. LouLou’s Fabric Shop is offering one winner a $25 gift certificate to go shopping! They are also offering a 20% off coupon code, “freshlemons” that runs through 4/14/16.


Once again, just leave one comment at the end of this post, and I will pick the two winners on Thursday evening. Good luck everyone!

+++ Closing comments and will pick the winners shortly! +++

Congratulations to the below winners! I will be in touch to connect you with your prize. And thank you everyone for commenting and supporting my awesome sponsors!

34 – Fabric Please! ~ “Moodier Blues” 5 pc FQ bundle
KathyCummings

180 – LouLou’s Fabric Shop ~ $25 gift certificate
Sarah J