Halloween in August?

The stores are filled with Halloween and autumn decorations, and it is the first day in August…and it’s 100 degrees outside!!
But looking at all of this cute seasonal stuff made me think of the seasonal flags my friends and I made last year. We got together and cut out Halloween fabric flags and strung them with ribbons and scraps.
I made one strand for each of my youngest two grandchildren.
I knew I had some fabric left over, so I dug deep in the boxes in my closet.
I had some green and black spider scraps; orange, green and purple cats;  and ghosts and pumpkins.
There wasn’t quite enough to make a patchwork tote of 32 squares, so I dug out some of the last of the black and white polka  dot fabric I had. I also had enough black to make the straps.
I had a half yard of and orange and black pumpkin and bat fabric, and I was going to use this for the lining. But the fabric would make cute smaller totes for children to use as candy bags, so I bought some orange and black polka dot fabric for the lining.
I think I m going to stock up on all colors of polka dots.
Cut : 5 inch squares
32 squares total:

  • 12 green squares
  • 12 black an white polka dots
  • 4 purple
  • 4 cats
    This just happens to be what I had left in remnants,
    so any combination will do.20160801_000048094_iOSThe orange fabric in the background is what I originally planned to use for the lining.
    Front and back panels:  
  • Piece the squares, using a 1/4 inch seam.
  • Use fusible fleece pellon to back the front and back panels.
  • Quilt the panels ( I stitched in the ditch and also had parallel stitches on each side of the seam.)
  • Cut one 4 inch x 22 inch strip. ( No picture, sorry!)
  • Fold and iron the strap in half.
  • Open the piece and fold over each side section, but do not touch the center crease.
  • Place a strip of 1.5 X22 inch pellon inside along one of the folded edges.
  • Fold over the top edge and press.
  • Sew a 1/8 inch seam along each side
    After I quilted and squared the front and back panels, they both measured to be 18 1/4 x 18 1/4 inch blocks. I then cut the lining to match these measurements.
    I used whatever fabric I had left to make the pockets, so they are two different sizes.
    20160801_190209623_iOS   20160801_190512888_iOS

Iron on interfacing to both pocket pieces.  Place pieces right sides together and stitch around three sides Clip the corners.
Center the pocket onto the lining and draw a line
Place the raw edge side to the center, with the sewed end facing down.
Sew the raw edge to the lining.
Pull up the pocket and pin.
Sew both sides and the bottom of the pocket using either 1/8 seam or 1/4 seam.
Sew the two sides and the bottom of the lining, right sides together.
Boxing the Lining:
Mark and cut a 2 or 3 inch square. I chose 3 inch for the size of this bag.
Cut the 3 inch square on both sides of the lining.
Open the square you just cut and match the seams.
Sew across the bottom with a  1/2 inch seam.
Front and Back Panel:
Sew these two panels together using a 1/2 inch seam.
The repeat the boxing process.

Center and pin the handles.
I choose to sew the handle tops at 1/4 inch seam in order to keep them in place when I assemble the bag.

Insert the quilted exterior inside the lining with RIGHT SIDES together.
Make sure that the handles are placed inside, between the quilted panels and the lining.
Pin the lining and the quilted exterior.
Leave a 4-5 inch gap between the straps on one side of the tote.
Reinforce this gap with a back stitch on  your machine so that it will not rip when you pull the tote through.


Pull the tote through the top gap.
Set the lining inside the tote bag, finger press the top.
The top stitch all around the top, and close the open gap.

Inside view of two pockets
I forgot to mention that I addend pumpkin buttons before I sewed the exterior panels.

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