Finishing the Quilted Charm Square Tote + Giveaway!


Happy Monday y’all!  Can you believe January is almost over?!?  Spring will be here before you know it and there will be color everywhere.  This charm square tote will help bring some color in right now!  Today I’m going to show you how to add the handles and a lining to the tote.  I’ll also reveal what else is in the giveaway!  (Psst!  Scroll to the bottom if you just can’t wait!)

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Before I get into it, I want to remind y’all about the Conquer Your Clutter Super Bundle from Ultimate Bundles.  Today is the VERY LAST day to order it y’all!  It will be gone like Cinderella’s fancy dress at midnight – poof!  It’s a really awesome deal ($29.97) and I know it will be a big help in wrangling some of your organizational chaos, so don’t miss out!  (Check out this post for more info if you missed it!)

Making the Lining

The lining is cut out of one piece of fabric and the outer bag is patch work, so we’re going to use a little math to figure out what size it should be!  The outer bag measures about 13.25″ finished.

I’m going to use the original size of the charm squares to figure out about how big the lining needs to be.  The charm squares are about 5″ x 5″ (they vary some!) and I used 1/4″ seams to sew them together.  The math looks a little like this:

3 x 5″ = 15″ (total without seams)

15″ – 1/2″ (seam 1) – 1/2″ (seam 2) = 14″

Why do I subtract 1/2″ for seams?  Each seam takes 1/4″ off both pieces of fabric, so each seam takes 1/2″ away from the overall width.  This means I need to cut a 14″ square for the lining.  I will also cut the 2″ x 2″ notches on one side just like I did for the outer bag.  (See original post for more info)  Here’s the lining cut out – please excuse the weird lines running through the fabric!  That’s a technical error and those lines are not on the fabric.

Here’s a close up so you can see the shiny silver bits!

Now, just sew the lining together the same as the outer bag.  (See original post for more info)

We just need some handles and we’ll have a tote!

Making the Handles

Handles can be made in many different ways, but today I’m going to show you how to make a double folded handle.  This is also how you would make double fold binding for quilts.  The first thing to decide is how wide you want the finished handle to be.  1″ to 1.5″ is really the best size for something like this.  Anything larger will make it hard to hold.  Tote handles are usually about 18″ – 20″ long.  This gives enough room to allow for taller items to fit in the bag, but it’s not intended to go over the shoulder.

I want my finished handle to be 1″ x 20″, so it’s time for a little more math!  I need to multiply my finished width by 4 to know what size to cut the fabric.  That means my fabric piece should be 4″ x 20″.

Once the fabric is cut, take it to the ironing board for some pressing!  Fold the fabric in half, lengthwise, matching ends and lining up the edges.  Give it a good press to crease the fabric.

Next, fold the longer sides in to meet the crease.  Press a crease on both sides, being careful to not iron the first crease.

You should have 3 evenly (more or less) spaced creases in the fabric now.  Fold the sides into the middle and then fold it in half.  Go ahead and press it again to set everything in place.

I sewed down both sides and down the middle with the same grey thread I used to quilt the bag.  I used black thread in the bobbin, which blends in more with the navy fabric.  It reminds me of writing paper, which I think fits the drafting print perfectly!

All the pieces are ready, so it’s time to put the pieces together.

Assembling the Tote

Center the handles on the seams of the outer bag and attach with a clip or pin.  Since my handles have a definite front and back, I’m making sure the right sides are facing each other.  At this point, you can baste the handles on if that’s your preference.  I prefer to sew it all together in one go!

Turn the lining inside out and put the outer bag into the lining, right sides facing.  Be sure the handles are sandwiched in between the lining and outer bag.

Line up the seams and clip or pin everything in place.

Sew about 1/2″ from the edge, all around the top.  Leave an opening large enough to turn everything right side out, making sure to back stitch at the ends.  I left my opening between a handle and a seam.

Turn everything right side out and it should look something like this.

Tuck the lining into the outer bag.  Take it to the ironing board and give it a good press around the top edge, making sure the open ends are tucked inside.  Sew about 1/8″ from the edge, catching the opening in the stitches.  This picture is at the start of the opening.  I’m holding the opening “open” so you can see the ends tucked in.

Now your tote is ready for a photo shoot in the trees!

Pretty snazzy, huh?


As I mentioned in the previous post, I will be giving away one of the bags I’m making.  There are two other patterns to choose from, which I have better pictures of today!  I haven’t quilted them yet, but maybe you’ll get a better idea of what they will look like.  Here are the 3 patterns to choose from:

Drafting Patterns ~ The bag in the tutorial. (see above)

Dot to Dot ~

Floating Floral ~ 

All you have to do to enter is tell me which pattern is your favorite in the comments below.  Friday I hinted that the bag would come with things to help you with starting your own planner and here they are!

This little set includes:

  • 1.5″ binder (in one of my favorite colors!)
  • 4 colored pens (Yay!)
  • 2 year pocket calendar
  • scrapbook kit ~ This is one from my stash that I’ve never opened!  It has stickers, paper, and rub-on emblems!
  • coffee mug ~ I really love the saying on this mug!  This is to fuel your organizing plans!

So….if you win you get the bag of your choice AND all these goodies!  What a great way to start the year!

Just to recap ~

  • Vote for your favorite pattern by leaving a comment below.  The patterns are (see pictures above):
    • Drafting Patterns
    • Dot to Dot
    • Floating Floral
  • Sign up for Teadoddle’s Newsletter and get an extra entry!  If you already are, first off, thanks!  Also, if you leave a comment for your favorite bag, I’ll go ahead and add an extra entry for you.  If you don’t leave a comment, I will assume you’re not interested in this giveaway. 🙂
  • This is only open to residents of the contiguous United States.  (Sorry ~ shipping is killer!)

I’ll be announcing the winner this Friday, 2/3, during my Finish it Friday post.   I wish everyone the best of luck!  See y’all Wednesday!

P.S. Don’t forget to check out the latest Ultimate Bundle before it’s gone!  Today’s the last day!

Conquer Your Clutter Super Bundle!



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