Finished size is approximately 16” w by 14” h by 5.5” d
1 Colorado Bird/Flower block
1/2 yard of lining fabric
3/4 yard of exterior fabric
1 license plate for interior pocket
Optional: 2 1/2 yards of lightweight fusible interfacing. ShapeFlex (SF101) by Pellon is what I recommend and used in the sample
Cutting: Center the design and cut the Bird/Flower block to 9.5” by 9.5” From the lining fabric, cut (2) 18” by 18” squares From the exterior fabric, cut
(2) 4” by WOF (width of fabric) strips for the handles
18” by WOF
subcut into (1) 18” by 18” square, (2) 4.75” by 9.5”; (1) 3.25” by 18” and (1) 6.25” by 18”
From the interfacing, if using, cut (4) 18” squares and (4) 4” by WOI (width of interfacing). Fuse (3) of the 18” squares to the 18” squares of fabric (two lining and one exterior). The other 18” square of interfacing will be fused to the pieced 18” square when completed. Fuse (2) 4” by WOI piecing, butting up the ends, on each 4” by WOF handle. There won’t be quite enough interfacing to cover the entire WOF, but you are going to trim the part off before sewing it to the bag so it isn’t a problem.
Piecing: Using 1/4” seam allowance, sew the 4.75” by 9.5” pieces of exterior fabric to either side of the Bird/Flower block. Sew the 3.25” by 18” piece to the top of this and the 6.25” by 18” piece to the bottom to complete the front exterior side of the bag. If using, fuse the remaining 18” square of interfacing to this pieced block now. The back exterior side is the 18” by 18” square of exterior fabric.
Take one of the 4” by WOF strips, fold it in half lengthwise and press. Open this out and fold one side so that the raw edge lines up the center fold. Press. Repeat for the other side. Topstitch this about 1/8” from the edge on both sides of the strap. This will make a 1” by WOF shoulder strap. Repeat the process for the other 4” by WOF strip. Decide on length you want your shoulder strap and cut to length. I cut mine 30” long.
Find the center of the top edge of each of the exterior bag pieces (the pieced one and the 18” square). Mark the center with a pin. Measure over on either side of the center pin and pin/clip the handle in place aligning the raw edge of the handle to the raw edge of the exterior bag piece. Make sure that the handle is not twisted, then baste each of the ends in place using a 1/4” seam allowance.
Interior Pocket: Trim the license plate fabric to 8” by 4.25” or whatever size you want the pocket to be. Cut a scrap of your exterior fabric the same size. Place these RST and, using a 1/4” seam allowance, sew all the way around the outside leaving a 3” opening in the bottom edge for turning. Clip the corners and turn the pocket right side out. Press it well and topstitch along the top edge. Place the pocket on one of your lining squares, centered side to side and 4.5” down from the top edge. Topstitch the pocket to the lining along the two short sides and the bottom edge. This will close the turning hole you left in the bottom of the pocket too.
Finishing the bag: Cut 3” squares from each of the two bottom corners on the two exterior 18” squares and the two lining 18” squares.
With right sides together (RST) pin the two exterior 18” squares together, with bottom corners cut off. Sew the two side seams and the bottom, backstitching at each end, with a 1/2” seam allowance.
With RST pin the two lining 18” squares together, with bottom corners cut off. Sew the two side seams, backstitching at each end, with a 1/2” seam allowance. Sew the bottom seam as well, but leave a 3”-4” opening in the middle of the bottom seam for turning later.
Press all these seams open.
Now you need to sew the bottom corners. Align the side seam with the bottom seam and pin, then sew the corner shut with a 1/4” seam allowance.
Turn the exterior right side out. Place the exterior inside the lining so that they are RST. Make sure the shoulder straps are completely tucked down in between the layers. Align the side seams and pin/clip the top edges together. Using a 1/2” seam allowance, sew all the way around the top edge of the bag. Turn the bag right side out through the opening you left in the bottom of the lining. Sew the opening closed either by hand or machine. Tuck the lining down inside the bag and topstitch all the way around the top of the bag 1/4” away from the top edge.
Enjoy your new bag!
Alamosa Quilt Company is located in the Villa Mall at 3211 Main St., Suite H, Alamosa, CO 81101 (719) 937-2555