Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Reversible Vintage Market Tote - A Tutorial

It's my day to share my Riley Blake Project Design Team project, and I am super excited to share another fun filled tutorial with you.  When I saw Tasha Noel's new Vintage Market line I just knew I had to make a cute little tote with it.  It is so incredibly adorable!!!   I was inspired from these totes I made last year but I changed it up a bit and then took it a step farther and make the tote completely reversible!!   And here it is, a Reversible Vintage Market Tote!!

One side uses 5" stackers in a basic patchwork layout.   Such a fun way to show off all of the adorable prints in this line!!

Then the other side uses the Farmers Market Panel from the line with some added piecing for an Adorable reversible side of the tote.   Using Fusible Batting makes it so there is no lining, just an adorable reversible tote that measures 15" high, 18" wide, and 5" depth.

To make a Reversible Vintage Market Tote you will need:

2 Vintage Market 5" Stackers
1 1/6 Yard of the Panel Print from Vintage Market
1/6 Yard of whichever fabric you want to be the top border on your panel tote side
2/3 Yard of Fusible Batting.  I used Fusible Thermolam Plus


We will start with our Panel Piece.  Lay your fabric out on your cutting mat, do not fold it at all.  Using your ruler, cut along the line between the stripes and panel piece.  You will have to cut about half, reposition your fabric, and cut the other half.   Then, using your ruler again, measure down 1/2" from the tips of the strawberries in the bottom lattice row.  Trim along the edge.  Continue to use the tips of the strawberries as a guide.

Now cut the following for each of your yardage pieces.
    From the Panel piece cut (2) 8 1/2" x 18 1/2" pieces.  You should have enough to fussy cut the Farmers Market Logo in the center.
     From the Stripes leftover from your panel piece cut (2) 7 1/2" x 18 1/2" rectangles and (2) 4 1/2" x 20" rectangles.  Take note of which way the stripes are running in each of these cuts.
     From the top border fabric cut (2) 3 1/2" x 18 1/2" rectangles.


And now with the cutting done, you are ready to piece the Panel Sides.  Place a 3 1/2" x 18 1/2" top border rectangle onto the top of the  8 1/2"x 18 1/2  panel rectangle with right sides together.  Align and stitch a 1/4" seam along the edge.  Now place the 7 1/2" x 18 1/2" stripe rectangle along the bottom of the panel with right sides together and align and stitch a 1/4" seam along the edge.  Press the seams outwards, away from the panel.

Now repeat the process to make a total of 2 Panel Sides.  You can set these aside for the moment.


Select 16 squares from your Stacker and lay them out in a 4 x 4 grid, playing with the placement until it is pleasing to the eye.

Now, you can sew the squares into rows.  To do this, I like to place the second square onto the first with right sides together, and aligning as I go, stitch a 1/4" seam along the edge.  (I chain stitch all 4 rows at a time.)  Then, place the third square onto the now sewn together first and second square, with right sides together, and once again, aligning and chain stitching as I go, stitch a 1/4" seam along the edge.  And then repeat for the last square, sewing 4 rows of 4 squares.

Now, press the seams in opposite directions.  So row 1 and 3 to the left, and row 2 and 4 the the right.  This will allow your seams to nest in the next step.

Now, you can sew the rows together.  This is just like making the rows, only on a bigger scale.  Place row 2 onto row 1 with right sides together.  Align and pin each of the seams.  Sew a 1/4" seam along the pinned edge.

Now repeat this process adding row 3 to row 1/2 and then row 4 to row 1/2/3 ;)  When you are finished sewing all 4 rows together, press the seams open.

Now repeat the process to make a total of 2 Patchwork Sides.


And now, it is time to quilt them ;)   Place your patchwork side onto a 20" square of your fusible batting.  Be sure that the wrong side of your patchwork is on the soft batting side of your batting.  The rough fusible side should be face down on your work surface.

Stitch the patchwork to the batting any way you like.  Where this is such a small piece, you don't need to baste a whole lot, I just put a few pins in the corners.   You can then do Free Motion Quilting (see tutorials here if this is new to you) or some straight line quilting.  I decided on some simple straight lines 1/4" from the seams.  Repeat for your second side and then using a ruler and the edge of your patchwork as a guide, trim the excess batting away from the edges of your patchwork.   They should measure 18 1/2" square.


Take your (2) 18 1/2" patchwork sides and place them with right sides together.  Take care to align each of the seam sets and pin them together.  Sew 1/4" seam along the three sides of the bag.  You don't have to pivot at the corners, just simply sew from one end to the other on all 3 sides.

Now, using a small quilting ruler and pen, draw a 2 1/2" square in the bottom 2 corners of your bag.  Cut the squares out.

And now the fun part.  Open the holes you just created and pinch them together, aligning the center seams and creating a straight line.  I like to pin my seams open, with a pin on either side of the seam to help with the bulk.

Once it is pinned nice and flat, sew a 1/4" seam along the pinned edge, taking care to backstitch at the beginning and end of the seam.  I don't take the pins out as I sew along this as I don't want my seams to slide with all that batting, so when you stitch over the center seam, slow down and go gently.  And if you have a walking foot, you will want to use it for this step ;)

 Now repeat the pinning and stitching on the other corner.  Now turn the tote right side out and push out your corners.  You can now set this half of your tote aside.

And now we are going to repeat the process with the Panel sides, with just a few slight changes.  Once again, place the 2 panel sides with right sides together, aligning the seams, and stitch a 1/4" seam along the 2 sides.   When you get to the bottom, do not stitch straight across.  Leave a 6" - 7" opening to turn the bag right side out later.   Be sure to backstitch at the start end end of the stitching along the bottom.


And now, you can repeat the same process, cutting  a 2 1/2" square out of each corner and pinching and pinning your hole into a straight line, and then sewing a 1/4" seam along the edge.

And just like that, you have the 2 reversible sides of your tote ready to go.  You can set them aside for just a moment as we turn to the handles ;)


Grab the 2 4" x 20" stripe rectangles.  Fold and press the rectangles in half longways.  Now open them up, and fold the top half in to meet the fold line your just created.   And then repeat for the bottom half on both rectangles.

Now simply fold the rectangle in half again, hiding all the raw edges on the inside and press it flat.  Then go to your machine and stitch an 1/8" seam along the edge of either side your handle on both handles.  This will close up the handle on one side, and make a fun matching decorative stitch on the other side.


And now you have all the pieces made and are ready to put your tote together.   Place the handles 1" away from your patchwork seams as shown below.  Pin them in place.  Take care that your handle is not twisted.   Repeat on the other side of the bag with the other handle.

Now, slide your Patchwork tote into your Panel tote with right sides together as shown below.  Keep shimming it down until the edges are aligned.

Now, starting at the 2 side seams, align and pin the Patchwork and Panel pieces together.  Now, pull the pieces tight and pin the two centers together as shown.  Then, proceed to fill in all of the gabs with plenty of pins.  I like to put a pin on either side of the handles so I know they won't shift anywhere.

Once you are all pinned, Stitch a 1/4" seam along the top edge of the tote.  This is easiest if you put the tote onto the arm of your sewing machine.  And a walking foot will really help with all of those layers ;)

Now, simply pull the Patchwork side of the tote out through hole in the bottom.   Press the raw edges of the hole inward and pin the hole shut.  Then hand stitch using a whipstitch or machine stitch using a small 1/8" seam the hole shut.   Push the Panel side of the tote back into the Patchwork side of the tote with wrong sides together.

Move over to the rounded edge of your ironing board and place the tote around the edge.  Press the top seam flat so that the Panel side isn't sticking out of the Patchwork side.

Once it is pressed nice and flat, go back to your machine and stitch a 1/8" seam along the edge holding the 2 pieces in place.

And now all that is left to do is . . .  to fuse the Panel and Patchwork side together so that the tote can be reversible.   Smooth out your 2 pieces around your ironing board ensuring there is no wrinkles.  Then, with the Panel side face up, Press on a hot setting, fusing the 2 sides together.

This can take some finagling, to get out any creases, bumps, and ensure that you fuse all parts of the tote together.   I found in some of the hard to get parts of the bag, that if I  used my hand inside the bag to press against I could work on smaller parts.  But of course, don't do this for to long, if it feels to hot, put it down.

Also, to get the corners really good, just put your iron inside the bag, and shove the point of the iron into the corners of the bag.  This will really fuse them well ;)

And before you know it, you are done!!!!   And hopefully you will have a fantastic little treasure tote for your own little treasure.  I don't think she will be going anywhere without this little tote for days ;)

I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial for a Reversible Vintage Market tote.  If you make your own I would love to see it!!  You can email me a picture to or add it to my Flickr group here or post it on social media with #happyquiltingwithmc ;)

Thanks for joining me today and have a Happy Quilting Day!!!
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  1. Thanks for the inspiration: I owe someone a shopping bag (our lovely (not) county has adopted a measure that says stores can't give out plastic shopping bags any more, and if you want a paper bag from the store you have to pay 10 cents per bag!) So now I have your great idea to go and make one!! Thanks!! Hugs, H

  2. Truly enjoy your free patterns .. the totes are amazing .. thank you for being there for all of us


Thank you so much for your sweet comments. I just love hearing from you!!
Have a Happy Quilting Day :)