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How to sew on a turn clasp to your quilted bag projects


Yesterday on QUILTsocial I showed you how to use your saved up selvages to make an awesome selvage panel. Today we’re adding the clasp and handles to the panel and I’ll show you a really cool feature of the NQ900 sewing machine – sideways stitching!!


The NQ900 sewing machine from Brother.
The NQ900


We made a selvage panel yesterday measuring 13″ x 26″, cut a piece of fabric for the lining that’s the same size.

I added a rectangular turn clasp to the bag to keep it closed when travelling with it and I had to get a little creative putting that clasp in. See how I did this…


A rectangular turn clasp will be added to the selvage bag made with the NQ900 sewing machine.
The rectangular turn clasp


Since I don’t want the back of the male part of the turn clasp to be visible from the outside of the bag, I’m using a piece of the HeatnBond firm interfacing to reinforce one end of the lining of the bag. The back of the clasp will now be hidden between that interfacing and the interfacing which is backing the selvage strips.

I cut a piece of interfacing 2″ x 4″ and sewed it to the center back of one end of the lining fabric.

And to sew it in, I used the sideways stitching feature of the NQ900!

There are four stitches in the utility stitches grouping that the machine uses for sideways stitching – stitches 92-99. The first four (92-95) are for straight stitches and the second four (96-99) are for zigzag stitches.


The sideways stitching group of stitches on the NQ900 sewing machine from Brother.
Sideways stitching group of stitches


When I select any of the stitches in that grouping the LCD screen shows me that I need to attach the “N” foot.


The LCD screen of the NQ900 showing the settings and required foot for sideways stitching.
Sideways stitching settings


This feature is so cool that I wanted to show it to you in action! I made a little video showing how easy it was to sew the reinforcement square to the back of the lining fabric without turning the fabric under the foot.

Using the sideways stitching feature on the NQ900 sewing machine – YouTube

Christine Baker of Fairfield Road Designs demonstrates the use of the sideways stitching feature on the NQ900 sewing machine from Brother.




Next the male part of the turn clasp is attached to the lining of the bag. Two tiny slits are made in the fabric and interfacing so that the center of the clasp is 6½” from each side of the bag and 1½” from the end. The prongs of the clasp are pushed through the fabric and the interfacing.


The prongs of the turn clasp are pushed through tiny slits on the fabric and interfacing.
Pushing the prongs through the fabric


The metal reinforcement is slid onto the prongs and then bent over top of it.


The prongs are folded to the back of the turn clasp with the reinforcement metal underneath.
The back of the turn clasp


Next, I placed the lining of the bag onto the back of the selvage panel and pinned in place. I sewed around the turn clasp through all of the layers (the interfacing reinforcement, the lining and the outside of the bag making sure that my bobbin thread would match the outside), just to make the clasp more secure.


Another row of stitching is done around the turn clasp to secure it to the outside of the bag.
Stitching around the turn clasp


Then I added the female part of the turn clasp to the other end of the panel. I measured the same way I measured the male piece to make sure that the center of the clasp was 6½” from each side of the bag and 1½” from the end. I placed the back part of the clasp on the front of the bag and used some chalk to mark the part that needed to be cut away.


Chalk is used to marking the fabric that needs to be cut away in order for the turn clasp to work.
Marking the center to be cut away


I used sharp scissors to cut away enough fabric that I could attach the turn clasp without any fabric showing in the hole. I then aligned the front piece of the turn clasp with the back piece and screwed them tightly together.


The turn clasp is attached to the bag and screwed to the backing to secure it.
Turn clasp front


Our project bag is starting to take shape! Join me tomorrow and I’ll show you how I’ll use the NQ900 to attach the handles to the bag, and we’ll make the binding so that Friday we can finish the bag by using the non stick foot to add vinyl pockets on the inside.


This is part 3 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 2: Save your selvages for a colorful sewing project

Go to part 4: 1 easy way to sew handles to a tote bag

I have been designing and publishing quilt patterns for the last 16 years under the business name Fairfield Road Designs. My patterns range from fusible applique and piecing to felted wool applique and punchneedle. You can see all of patterns on my website

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