If you missed the first post detailing the instructions on making the body of the bag, you'll want to check that out here.
In addition, you'll need the remaining supplies listed:
- 1-1/4 yards black solid
- Four 7/8″ grommets
- 2 yards 13mm cotton piping cord
- Two 35mm decorative buttons
Make the Handles
From the remaining black fabric, cut two 4-1/2" x 33-1/2" strips. From your two yards of cotton piping cord, cut two 32" lengths. You'll find it helpful to wrap the cord with tape before you cut it to keep the ends from raveling.
On the 4-1/2" wide strips, fold up 1/4" on each end and press into place. Then, fold up approximately 1-1/2" along the length of the strip and press into place.
Next, use a ruler or hem gauge to fold the strip so that it is 2" wide with all the raw edges toward the wrong side. The fabric will slightly overlap on the inside.
Wrap your fabric around the cording and stitch around 3 sides to encase the handle. It will look so much nicer if you have a cording or welting foot for your machine, but a narrow zipper foot will do a passable job.
Now just repeat that for the next handle, and you'll have two lovely handles ready for the next step.
This is probably the most frightening thing you will ever experience while quilting: cutting holes in your quilt on purpose. I think every quilter needs to do this at least once, just for the experience.
There aren't too many pieces for grommet installation: you need the eyelet and washer, plus an anvil and setting tool. These are usually sold together in one package, but if you install a lot of grommets like me, you'll end up buying refill kits that only contain the grommet parts. You'll also need a marker, a hammer and a hard surface.
You'll be installing the grommets in the sashing strips closest to the center block; refer to the main photo for placement. On the short side of your quilt, position the eyelet about 1/2" from the edge of your binding, in the center of one sashing strip.
Use the marker to trace the inside of the eyelet to mark the size.
With a sharp pair of scissors, carefully cut the circle you drew through all layers. It's better to cut this hole a little smaller at first, and then carefully enlarge it as you try to insert the grommet.
Insert the eyelet from the right side of the quilt to the wrong side, so that the neck of the eyelet is poking up through the quilt back. Lay the eyelet over the anvil on a hard surface.
Center the washer with the prongs facing down on top of the eyelet neck.
Insert the grommet setting tool into the eyelet, and make sure everything is centered before you hammer.
Now, hammer the setting tool until the washer and eyelet are flush against the quilt on both sides.
Now that wasn't so bad, was it? Just do that three more times, in the other sashing strips. Insert one end of your strap into the grommet from the back to the front, and tie a knot. Insert the remaining end of the strap into the second grommet and tie another knot.
Repeat this for the second strap. Now it's time to construct the bag!
Fold the quilt in half with the backing fabric on the inside, matching the strap edges, and stitch both sides of the quilt next to the binding to close the sides of the tote. Reinforce your stitching along the top edge. Next, fold the bottom of the tote at a 45-degree angle. We're going to box the corners without cutting the quilt here. Measure in 4" from the point and draw a line.
Stitch across this line to box in the corners, pressing the binding to either side to reduce bulk. Repeat on the other side.
To give the bag a little more structure, fold the bottom of the tote so that it matches the width of the boxed corners, and topstitch 1/4" from the edge. Repeat this on the other side.
Do the same thing on the bag sides to give them a little structure and make the bag more box-like.
You probably won't like the box corners sticking off the side of your bag, so take a bit of embroidery floss, thread it through the side of the bag, and stitch up the box corner.
Add a decorative button if desired.
As the final step, measure in about 1" at the top edge of your bag, and stitch along the upper edge, reinforcing your stitches at all four corners. This will help your bag sides to stand up a bit more and preserve the box structure.
Fill your bag with lots of wonderful quilty things, and enjoy!
Ebony Love about to demo how die cuts can make trapunto a snap on Quilting Arts TV!