Reinforcing a quilted bag to hold books

We’re into our last series of steps using the PFAFF creative 3.0 to create the quilted book bag. In yesterday’s post, I highlighted 4 of PFAFF’s presser feet for every task: topstitch, embroidery, 0A and 1A.

In today’s post we’ll be using several and to start, let’s click into place the basic 0A foot.

PFAFF creative 3.0

Sew the bag panels

To start let’s sew together the bag panels. With right sides together, sew using a ¼” seam allowance around the two sides and bottom of the outer panels, backstitching at the top of both sides.

It’s at this point in the process that I had to finally make a decision on what fabric to use for the lining. I thought it would be fun to make it a reversible bag and found a fabric in my stash in similar colors with stripes going the opposite way! This is going to be fun!

I cut two lining panels 12½ x 14″ and added a quick pocket to one using my turquoise fabric – which required a quick presser foot and thread change too!

Now we’re ready to sew our lining panels right sides together.

Bag panels pinned right sides together

Box the bag corners

I box the corners of my bags differently than I see most tutorials explain after having used this simple method I discovered when making Green Bag Lady bags.

I keep my sewn panels flat and use a ruler to measure my cutting distance from the corner. In this case, I’m cutting 1½” away in both directions; I want the bag to have a bit of a bottom to carry books.

Then I cut the two sides off and repeat on the next corner. Use the same cutting measurement on all four corners – two on the outer panels and two on the lining.

Pull the two parts of the outer panels apart at the inner point and finger press the two sides into a straight edge. Sew a ¼” seam here to make the corner. Repeat to make the remaining corners.

Pull corner out and press flat to sew a seam.

Boxed corners sewn on both parts of bag

Assemble the bag

I always get a little confused when assembling a bag and checked out this tutorial to remind me of the correct orientation to assemble all the pieces.

I left my outer bag panel with the right sides still facing. I turned my lining panels right side out.
Then I put my lining panel inside the outer bag. If you want your inner and outer pockets to be opposite each other on the final bag, line them up together now.

Remember the handles? It’s time to cut your strip in two at your desired length and to pin them in place between the outer bag and the lining with the handles tucked inside and not twisted! I lined up my one handle with the pocket topstitching I could see on my outer bag; then I lined up the opposite handle to this one.

Take your time here making sure you’re happy with the distance in the middle of the handles as well as the distance from the end of your bag.

Handles pinned between layers of bag

Pin all the way around to keep your lining and outer bag lined up at the seams while you’re sewing. Leave a turning gap too!

To stitch around the bag you’ll need to remove the accessory tray from the creative 3.0. Stitch around the bag using the reverse button to backstitch at the beginning and end of your stitching.

Accessory tray removed

Turn the bag out through the gap and check that seams are all stitched and push out the corners on the outer bag. Put the lining into the outer bag and press the top edge of the bag. If anything doesn’t look right (twisted handle, seam open) now is the time to fix it. Just push the parts back in and make any adjustments needed.

Bag parts and handles pulled out through turning gap

With the lining out, finger press then pin the turning gap closed. You can switch to the topstitching foot now and use it to sew a small seam allowance to stitch the gap closed.

Use the topstitch presser foot and topstitch around the top of the bag with thread that matches one of your bag panel fabrics.

Embroidered side of bag

At this point, I tested the bag by putting the books my son had bought inside. Perfect!

Pineapple pocket side of quilted book bag

Reverse side of bag with pocket

It was fun creating this quilted book bag from start to finish using the features of PFAFF’s creative 3.0. I think I might make a few more gifts while I’m in a creative mood! Thanks for joining me this week.

This is part 4 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 3: How and when to use 4 PFAFF presser feet: topstitch, embroidery, 0A and 1A

Go to part 5: PFAFF creative 3.0 embroidery feature makes your quilting dreams come true

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PFAFF makes fun work of decorating cookies

How the selvage and the creative 3.0 save time in finishing a cushion cover


Surinder gurm May 7, 2019 - 10:23 pm
Would this be a good project for beginners
Carla A. Canonico May 9, 2019 - 10:55 am
Dorothy L Sand August 24, 2017 - 10:24 am
Can you more fully explain the 1.5" cutting distance for the boxed corners on the botton...from where to where is this 1.5". Thank you for any clarification. I love the bag.
Sarah Vanderburgh August 24, 2017 - 1:45 pm
Hi Dorothy, I'm glad you like the bag! To cut the box corner I place the corner of my 6 1/2" ruler on top of the fabric to created a 1 1/2" square under the ruler. Then I cut along the two edges of the ruler on top of the fabric to cut away the fabric square. Then continue with the instructions in the post. I hope this helps! S. Vanderburgh
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