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Character stitches take the holiday gift bag from simple to outstanding

by Jean Boyd

In yesterday’s post, I showed how to use the features of the Brother Innov-ís BQ3050 to make a simple, basic gift bag look professionally made.

Gift bag made on the Brother Innov-ís BQ3050 machine

We often don’t use all the features on our machines, so making these little gift bags is a good chance to use some different features and create a small, useful item at the same time. In last month’s QUILTsocial post, I made a holiday table runner, and used several decorative stitches.

Table runner from QUILTsocial October 2019

Now let’s start using the character stitches on the Brother Innov-ís BQ3050 to create another one-of-a-kind gift bag for someone special.

The character stitches are in their own little section on the LCD screen. Just touch the button with the letters A, B, C and all the letters will show up.

Character stitch screen on the Brother Innov-ís BQ3050

I’m stitching Merry Christmas on my fabric. Using the stylus that comes with the machine, choose one of the available fonts (there’s even a Japanese font!) and select the letters one at a time. I can see the letters on the screen as I select them.

Touch letters one at a time to write desired words.

Press the save button (it looks like a pocket) to save this stitch pattern, so I’ll be able to easily access it for this and other projects. I can choose to stitch the words just once or continuously. I’m stitching just once, so I select the single key.

When I touch this button, I will stitch the chosen design just once.

Highlight the single star to stitch the pattern just one time.

I’ve saved the words Merry Christmas and Enjoy in 3 different fonts, so now it’s time to start stitching. As always when using decorative stitches, I like to sew some sample pieces first to test different threads and make sure everything looks the way I want it to.

Practice samples for character stitches


  • (2) 8″ x 10″ for the outside of the bag
  • (2) 8″ x 10″ lightweight, tear-away stabilizer
  • (2) 7″ x 9¾” for the lining
  • 2 pieces of ribbon or cording about 16″ long for the ties

Let’s start sewing!

  • Place a piece of lightweight, tear-away stabilizer behind the outside bag pieces.
  • Stitch the saved words, arranging them as desired.
  • Cut (2) 7″ x 9″ rectangles from the stitched fabric.
  • Cut out a 1″ square from the bottom of each piece and from the lining.

Cut a 1″ square from the bottom of lining and bag front.

  • With right sides together sew the 2 side seams on both the outside and lining pieces.
  • Sew across the bottom of the outside pieces.
  • Sew about 1½” in from each side across the bottom of the lining pieces, leaving an opening for turning the bag.
  • Fold the bag right sides together, matching the side and bottom seams. Stitch across the opening at the bottom corners. This will give a nice square bottom on the bag.
  • Make the corners in the same way on the bag lining.
  • Place the bag inside the lining with right sides together.
  • Stitch around the top to join the bag to the lining.
  • Turn bag right side out through the opening in the bottom of the lining.
  • Fold in the raw edges at the bottom of the lining and top-stitch the opening closed.
  • Because the lining is longer than the bag, it will fold over to the front to form a narrow band around the top. Stitch along the seam line through both layers to finish the top.
  • For the ties on this gift bag, I used some narrow flat cord (found at the Dollar Store!) and sewed 1 piece to each side seam

Sew ties to the side seams.

I hope you enjoyed using the character stitches on the Brother Innov-ís BQ3050 to create this little gift bag.

Another finished gift bag!

Be sure to come back tomorrow to find out how to use cording, perle cotton or light-weight yarn with the cording bobbin cover on the Brother Innov-ís BQ3050 and make another easy gift bag.

This is part 2 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 1: Sewing holiday gift bags like a pro using the Brother Innov-is BQ3050

Go to part 3: The BQ3050 bobbin cover makes it easy to add decorative cording


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