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Adding professional touches on quilted tote using the quilt expression 720

Adding professional touches on quilted tote using the quilt expression 720

by Sarah Vanderburgh

It’s time to turn the quilted panels into a tote bag! In yesterday’s post, I finished quilting the front and back panels for the bag using the stippling stitches on the PFAFF quilt expression 720. I’m continuing to rely on the features of the quilt expression 720 to help me complete the bag with professional looking results. Let’s start finishing!

Quilted tote bag with PFAFF quilt expression 720

Make bag handles

Two strips of the blue fabric were cut earlier this week for the bag handles; they should measure 3 x 20.

  1. Press ¼″ to the wrong side of handle on each long side, then fold in half and press again.
  2. Repeat with second handle.
  3. Sew ¼″ hem down each side of both handles.

Make pocket to add to bag lining

The bag lining is made up of two 17 x 22 pieces of fabric – I used the dark purple batik fat quarter and cut the second side from my gray yardage. I added a pocket to the gray side using a piece of the blue fabric cut 7 x 20.

  1. Fold the blue rectangle in half, right sides facing, to make it 7 x 10 and sew around open sides leaving a 2 turning gap on one long edge.
  2. Turn pocket out through the gap and tuck in the gap seam allowance.
  3. Position the pocket on one of the lining sides with the turning gap edge as the bottom of the pocket. I put my pocket about 5″ down from the top edge of the lining and 6″ in from both sides.

Attach pocket to lining

To secure the pocket in place I used decorative stitch 3.3.12 which has an obvious direction to it. I wanted to keep the points going in the same direction so I went down the right side with the stitch then changed to a regular straight stitch to go across the bottom edge of the pocket. This is how I did it using the icons on the Color Touch Screen:

With the needle down button activated, I swiveled the fabric to line up the opposite side edge of the pocket under the needle.

I switched the stitch by selecting the stitch menu and then doing a long press on the list to get to the first set of stitches in the category 1: utility stitches. Then I pressed the needle up/down icon to lift it out of the fabric and adjusted the fabric to be under the needle. Then I stitched across the bottom of the pocket with the regular stitch and switched back to the decorative stitch.

To keep it going in the same direction I pressed the mirror vertically icon. Then I sewed with the stitch until I was at the top corner of the pocket again. I pressed the thread snips icon to have both threads tied and cut.

And then I smiled at my happy pocket!

Decorative stitch on pocket

  1. Sew lining sides together with right sides facing – being sure pocket is oriented open side up! – and stitch along the two sides and bottom, leaving a 3 turning gap along the bottom.
  2. Box the corners by cutting 1¾″ square away from each bottom corner. Open the edge and put the opposite seamed corners together to make a new long edge. I also boxed corners on the orphan block book bag – and took photos! See my post, Reinforcing a quilted bag to hold books.

Sew bag panels together

  1. Sew front and back bag panels together with a ¼″ seam – go around sides and bottom with no turning gap.
  2. Box the corners the same size as the lining, by cutting away a 1¾″ square from each bottom corner, then opening and realigning inner cut corner as new midpoint of straight edge of new corner.
  3. Sew closed with ¼″ seam.

Sew bag and lining together

  1. Put bag with right side out into the lining with its right side in. Start pinning the two together then pin the handles in between the layers. I lined up the handles with the purple batik seam on the back panel, then lined up the handle on the front panel with the ones of the back panel. Be sure the handles are tucked in between the layers for stitching.
  2. Pin all the way around the bag top edge.
  3. Remove the accessory tray on the quilt expression 720 and sew all the way around the edge of the bag.

Bag panels pinned inside lining, right sides together.

Pull the quilted bag through the gap in the lining. Push out the bottom corners of the quilted bag.

Bag pulled through lining gap

  • Sew the gap in the lining closed with a ⅛″ seam. Then push the lining into the bag and finger press around the top edge.
  • Lay the handles out across the bed of the sewing machine so they do not get tangled or sewn through while topstitching.
  • With the blue thread, topstitch ⅛″ around the bag opening, finger pressing to keep the lining fabric pressed to the inside.

Topstitching with handles out of the way.

Quilted tote bag

The PFAFF quilt expression 720 made quick work of the essential last steps to complete the quilted tote bag. Adding a lining and topstitching makes the bag worthy of a trip to be seen! I’ve started to fill mine and can’t wait to use it this summer.

This is part 5 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 4: Stippling options built-in the quilt expression 720 make creativity soar

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1 comment

Kathy Eyre June 28, 2019 - 12:31 pm

I love this bag, but the great part is that cool decorative stitch you put on the pockets!


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