Thursday, July 27, 2017

Summer of Sewing: Walkabout Tote

During our Summer of Sewing series, we'll be featuring weekly tutorials using our new fabric collections (and giveaways, too!). Join us each week, sit back, relax, and then start sewing! 

This week's tutorial is for a fun summer tote bag. We'll be using improv sewing and quilt-as-you-go techniques, so it sews up quickly! We chose the purple colorway of the mouth-watering Walkabout 2 fabric collection, paired with a few Painter's Palette Solids accents. 

Let's get started!
You'll Need:

Fat quarter each of 4 prints (one for tote back
1/2 yard of print #2 (includes handles)
1/2 yard of purple circles for lining
1/8 yard each of four solids: Clementine, Pale Aqua, Apple Green and Violet

Note: We'll provide you with the actual width strips needed for our tote, but feel free to experiment on your own with different widths and color combos.
From print #1:
(1) 6" x 21" strip
(1) 5" x 21" strip

From print #2:
(2) 6" x 42" strips
(1) 4" x 21" strip

From print #3:
(1) 3-1/2" x 21" strip
(1) 6-1/2" x 12-1/2" piece for pocket

From print #4:
(1) 4" x 21" strip

From each of the solids:
(1) 2" x 21" strip

From the purple circle print: 
(2) 18" x 21" pieces for lining

From the floral print:
(1) 18" x 21" piece

From the batting:
(2) 18" x 21" pieces
(2) 1-1/2" x 30" strips

Making the Tote
Step 1: Lay out strip #1 and the Clemtine solid strip as shown on the batting. Note that the solid strip is angled slightly (you choose the amount of angle). 

Step 2: Stitch along the edge of the two strips using a 1/4" seam allowance. Press the solid strip up. Machine quilt straight lines through both strips. (Note: We used a neutral thread for the prints and coordinating color thread for each solid strip).

Step 3: In the same manner, add strip #2, again angling slightly. 

Step 4: Machine quilt straight lines through the new strip. 

Step 5: Add the Pale Aqua strip in the same manner.

Step 6: Continue adding strips as shown until your batting is completely covered and all strips have been quilted in place. 

Step 7: Lay the 18" x 21" backing piece on a second piece of batting and quilt as desired. 

Step 8: Trim both quilted pieces to measure 17" x 19".

Step 9: Layer the two quilted pieces right sides together and stitch around the sides and bottom. Cut 3" squares out from the bottom corners. 

Step 10: Fold the 6-1/2" x 12-1/2" pocket piece in half, wrong sides together. Sew around three sides, leaving an opening for turning along the bottom. Clip corners and turn right side out. Press. Topstitch along the stop (folded) edge.

Step 11: Pin pocket in place on a lining piece, positioning bottom edge approximately 9-1/2" from top and centering from left to right. Stitch along sides and bottom, securing pocket in place and closing the opening at the same time. 

Step 12: Sew the two lining pieces right sides together in the same manner, leaving a 5" opening for turning along the bottom. Cut corners as with the outer tote. 

Step 13: Box the corners of both the inner tote and the lining, matching side and bottom seams and sewing across as shown. 

Step 14: Fold a 6" x 30" handle strip in half lengthwise, wrong sides together and press. Unfold and fold long edges in to center fold. Position a 1-1/2" x 30" piece of batting inside and refold. 

Step 15: Pin and machine quilt the handle (we did 5 rows of stitching). 

Step 16: Make 2 handles. 

Step 17: Position one handle on the outer bag, approximately 3-1/2" from each side seam. Pin to secure. Repeat on the opposite side with the second handle.

Step 18: Tuck outer bag (right side out) inside lining (wrong side out) and pin along top edge, matching seams. Stitch around the top edge. 

Step 19: Turn bag right side out, tuck lining inside, and topstitch to secure top edge. 

Step 20: Pull the lining back out slightly and sew the opening in the lining closed. Enjoy!

Would you like to win a bundle of Walkabout 2 fabrics? Leave a comment below (or on IG) telling us whether you like the purple Walkabout 2 colorway (shown in the tutorial) or the blue Walkabout 2 colorway better. Giveaway is open through Sunday, July 30th at 11:59 PM CDT. 

Follow along with our Summer of Sewing Series! 
Click here to see all the tutorials.

Lost World bundle winner:
Mom C


  1. Purple of course....circles and purple perfect mix

  2. Improv and purple in one project?? You've got me as a fan! This tote is just my style...all I need is the purple Walkabout fabrics!

  3. Love the purple and the tote as well!

  4. Love the technique shown in the tutorial! Purple is my color choice. The sparks of color in the solids add a lot of interest to the tote. Thanks for a chance in the giveaway.

  5. I like blue better, but both are lovely!

  6. I love the beautiful texture in this fabric line. My first pick is always blue.

  7. The blue would be perfect for the Millefiori quilt I want to make! Thank you for showing this collection to us. Very nice prints and colors.

  8. My favourite is the purple colourway.

    lin.web.28 at gmail dot com

  9. I like them both, but I think I lean a little more towards the blue in this collection.

  10. I think that's like asking which is your favorite child. I love the both. I think it would depend on what I was wearing as to which bag I would use.

  11. I would have to choose the Purple. But only because it is my favorite color, all of the fabrics in this line are fabulous and will make terrific projects! Thank you for sharing this great tutorial, I will be making this today! But would love to win the fabrics and make another one!

  12. Blue is my favorite color, thanks for tutorial and giveaway

  13. Great project. I love purple. Thanks!

  14. Wow! Love the tote. It turned out great. Thanks for the detailed tutorial too. I like the blue colorway myself. Thanks for the great giveaway!

  15. It's all very pretty but the blue took my breath away, so blue for me, please!

    And a big thanks for the detailed tutorial. :)

  16. That's tricky--because they're both cool. I do like the blue the best though.

  17. I too, love both..but the Blues are my fave! :) Thank you for chance to win some! :D

  18. I love both but I collect blues for my blue dear Jane blocks.Thanks for the chance.

  19. Love the please....where can I buy it?

  20. Both are gorgeous but blue is always my favorite!

  21. Both are gorgeous,but purple is my color.

  22. I'm a purple kinda gal! lutzcats (at) yahoo (dot) com

  23. While I find this fabric range quite interesting, I am a little offended to know it is designed by an non-Aboriginal person. Isn't this cultural appropriation?
    Tula Pink was shamed into withdrawing one design from her recent range yet nothing has been said about this. As an Australian, I thought it was important to bring this issue up.

  24. Blue would be my choice and the bag is lovely.

  25. Love the bag and the fabrics! The blue colorway is my favorite.

  26. What a great project! I always seem to lean towards the blue colorway, but both are pretty. jarvenpa1ne at gmail dot com

  27. Love the tote and the purple. I tend to use more blues.

  28. Please put me down for the purple (although I usually choose blues) . . . they're lovely!

  29. The purple is definitely my favorite. The bag looks great!

  30. Blue is my color!

  31. I like the blue! And this wonderful bag!

  32. I love any hue of purple. Thank you for the tutorial.

  33. Blue, please, if I have to choose. But both are refreshing and beautiful. I especially like the mix of solids and patterns in the tote. Lovely.

  34. I got so excited when I saw the pattern of the tote. I have more fabrics in the purple range, but really like the blues better. Hope I can send you a completed tote soon!

  35. Purples and blues are my 2 favorite colors but I think I would choose the blue one.

  36. I like both but purple would be fun.

  37. Purples are my bag!! Nice tutorial!

  38. Tough choice. I love purple and blue but I think the purple wins.

  39. Both colorways are awesome - but I prefer the purple one. Thanks!

    Please click on the delaineelliott above for my email link.

  40. I like the blues better....thank you for the tutorial and the giveaway.

  41. they are both gorgeous, but i'm partial to the blue colorway. thanks for the chance to win.

  42. Blue Walkabout. My new favorite color is blue, and still orange, it's complimentary color. THank you for the tutorial as well, it's a cool bag!


  43. Blue would be my favorite! But the purple is beautiful.