Finishing up the quilted retreat tote

Now that the individual parts of the quilted tote are ready, it’s time to put them together. I’m loving how everything looks so far and I’m excited to get the bag done. How about you? Are you ready for finishing up the quilted retreat tote?

Laying out the pockets on the lining

  • Fold the 38½” x 25½” rectangle of teal fabric in half.
  • Press along this fold to mark the center (bottom) of the bag. Lay all of the pockets on top of the lining until you like their placement and pin in place. Keep in mind that the top of the pockets should all be pointed towards the far ends of the lining.
  • Topstitch along all four edges of the zippered vinyl pocket.
  • Topstitch along the folded bottom edge of the large fabric pocket through all of the layers (folded fabric, vinyl pocket and lining).
  • Topstitch the sides and bottoms of the small folded fabric pockets.

Lay the pockets out on the lining of the bag and pin

Making the strap tabs

Step #1 – Cut four pieces of strapping that are each 4″ long.

Step #2 – Slide one rectangular ring onto each piece of strapping and fold the strapping in half.

Step #3 – Topstitch through the strapping 1/4″ away from the ring.

Step #4  Repeat to make four strap tabs

Making the strap tabs

Pin the strap tabs

Measure in 7″ from the side of the bag along the two top edges and pin the strap tabs in place.

Measure in 7″ from each side and pin the strap tabs

Sewing in the lining and making the binding

  • Place the front of the bag right side up on the table.
  • Place the lining on top, right side down and pin along the two short edges.
  • Sew in 1/2″ from the ends, securing the strap tabs.
  • Turn right side out and press. Topstitch along both of the pressed seams. Pin the unsewn edges of the bag.
  • Measure the length of the edge of the bag, add 2″ to this measurement and cut the two 3″ strips of black fabric this exact length. Press the binding strips in half lengthwise and press in 1″ on the ends of the binding.

Fold in the raw ends of the binding to make it the exact length of the side of the bag

  • Pin the binding strips to the two long edges of the tote bag, aligning all of the raw edges.
  • Sew them together using a scant 1/2″ seam.

Pin the binding to the edge of the bag, aligning all of the raw edges

  • Fold the binding to the front of the bag and topstitch along it along the length.

Fold the binding over to the front of the bag and topstitch

  • Decide how long you want your straps to be and then add about 3″ to this length.
  • Slide the ends of the strap into the rectangular rings and then fold the end over twice and topstitch.

Adding the straps

The finished bag

Now that we have straps, the bag is basically finished.

I added some strips of hook and loop tape to the inside edges of my bag to help keep it closed when I’m carrying it. You could also put magnetic closures or ties on the sides if you want.

Here’s my finished retreat bag with all of my supplies packed inside. Everything is organized and easy to see. I love it!!

Inside of the bag showing all of the pockets

The finished bag

Thanks for spending this week with me. I really enjoyed experimenting with Northcott’s ColorWorks Concepts fabrics and I really love my new quilted tote bag! I wonder if I have time to make another one for a Christmas present for one of my quilting buddies! Check out your local quilt shop to find more of Northcott’s great fabrics. I hope you found my instructions for finishing up the quilted retreat tote helpful.

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Barbara Roberts February 13, 2021 - 9:36 pm
Where can I find the other parts of the quilted retreat tote. I see the finishing steps here December 11, 2015, but can't find the rest
Carla A. Canonico February 16, 2021 - 11:09 am
Hi Barabara! Thank you for asking. You'll find the link to the previous parts to this awesome tote at the end of the post, just below Christine Baker's Bio. There's a link to the giveaway post first, then at the bottom of that one, you'll find the previous post and so on for the rest of the posts.
Meg January 8, 2016 - 11:50 am
Really cute! I need a bag that'll hold a small mat and some rulers, and this one is really practical!
usairdoll December 23, 2015 - 11:47 pm
WoW! Amazing! Your tote is beautiful and this project is going on my to-do list. Great job! usairdoll(at)gmail(dot)com
Carla A. Canonico December 24, 2015 - 10:35 am
It's a very handy tote!
Peggy Pirillo December 16, 2015 - 2:02 pm
That tote looks pretty awesome Christine!
Tina McGuffin December 12, 2015 - 11:26 pm
I love this! This would make a great retreat prize
Christine Baker December 13, 2015 - 10:09 pm
Thank you! That's a great idea!
Elaine Mortoon December 12, 2015 - 3:07 pm
Impressive. Love the fabrics and sooo organized
Pauline December 11, 2015 - 2:32 pm
Wow! This quilting bag is awesome and I am definitely going to make one following your instructions. The fabric is so Happy!!! Thanks for the tutorial Pauline
Christine Baker December 13, 2015 - 10:15 pm
Thanks Pauline! I love this fabric too!
Pam B December 11, 2015 - 1:38 pm
Hiya!!! LOVE LOVE LOVE this bag. It's just the right thing for taking supplies to a workshop at our guild's therapy days. Thanks so much for the instructions. Blessed be, hugs!!!
Allison CB December 11, 2015 - 12:26 pm
Nice tote!!! Great design!
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