If you’re looking to embroider a table runner, a wall hanging, or a quilt, SweetPea has a vast array of sizes, shapes, and designs. The same goes for purses and totes. However, did you know that you can take your favorite runner/quilt block and transform it into a bag for a creation that is uniquely yours? Intrigued? Well then, read on.
Sweet Pea’s Designs
You will need a Sweet Pea table runner, wall hanging, or quilt block design. Plus you will need a Sweet Pea bag design. Both designs must be capable of stitching out the same size block. For example, if you want to use a 6×10 quilt block then you also need to have a bag design that has 6×10 block.
For this tutorial, the Freeform V1 table runner is matched with the Dachshund Tote. Both designs can be done in a 5×7, 6×10, or 7×12 hoop.
If you want to add outside zippered pockets you will also need Sweet Pea’s Zippers for Multiple Hoops design.
-Sweet Pea Designs
-Fabric — see Sweet Pea’s instructions for your designs
-Cutaway poly mesh stabilizer — see Sweet Pea’s instructions for your designs
-Tear away stabilizer for zippered pockets
-Batting – I used Pellon 988 *
-Foam – I used Pellon 76 Naked Flex-Foam **
-Polyester Zippers for pockets and bag closure
* I prefer Pellon 988 because it is a low loft batting. It gives texture to the stitch out without the bulk of other types of batting.
** I prefer Pellon 76 Naked Flex Foam because of its low price point compared to other foam products. This product does not have a tricot finishing, thus the lower price point. On the downside, because there isn’t a tricot finishing, it may rip if pulled too hard.
Pellon 988 and Pellon 76 are my preferences — there are many other batting and foam products that you can use.
-Trim all blocks with 1/2 inch seam allowance. Stitch 1/2 inch seams unless otherwise noted.
–When a page number is referenced, it is from the Dachshund Tote PDF.
-Front – 3 Freeform panels
-Back – 2 zippered pockets and 1 Freeform panel
-Top and bottom borders plus boxed corners from Dachshund design
Embroider the Blocks
The Dachshund Tote has 3 front panels and 3 back panels. I stitched out blocks following the Freeform instructions — 3 for the front and 1 for the back.
For this bag, I made 2 zippered pockets for the back of the bag. The detailed steps for the zippered pockets are at the end of this article. Make your pockets before continuing.
Joining the Blocks
Following the directions on pages 25 – 27, sew and press the 3 front panels together. Then repeat for the 3 back panels. Open zippers half way to ensure the zipper stop clears the needle.
Add the Borders
Following the directions on pages 27 – 29, add the top and bottom borders. Also, cut the corners out of the bottom border (page 29)
Following the directions on page 30, cut the front and back fabric lining. Repeat with the foam. Place the fabric lining on top of the foam. Stitch 1/4 inch around all edges to secure fabric lining to the foam. Then straight line or free motion quilt the two together (optional). Note: Be sure to stitch fabric and foam together at the edges before quilting otherwise the fabric will shift while quilting.
To add a Zippered Closure to the bag, follow the SweetPea’s Inserting a Zipper into Your Tote Bag instructions.
Finishing the Bag
Start by making your straps following Page 31. Then follow the remainder of the Dachshund instructions to the end.
I placed the straps differently than shown in the Dachshund instructions as I wanted a cross body bag. I made one long strap and then attached to the ends of the bag.
Here’s the finished bag — a delightful merging of Sweet Pea’s Freeform V1 table runner and Dachshund Tote!
Making Zippered Pockets
Step A – The finished pocket needs to be the same size as the other blocks. I decided I wanted the same embroidery on my pocket fronts as the other panels. So I stitched out another Freeform block. You could use a different embroidery design, you could free motion or straight line quilt a piece of fabric, or you could use a plain piece of fabric. What ever you choose, just remember that the zippered pocket (including seam allowances) needs to be the same height/width as an embroidered panel.
Step B — Cut your lining fabric the same size as your pocket front in Step A. Pin the top of the pocket to the top of the lining right sides together. Stitch together with a 1/2 inch seam. Fold at the seam line with wrong sides together. Press. Top stitch. This is the bottom of the pocket front.
Step C – For the top of the pocket, cut a piece of fabric, 2 1/2inches high by the width of your pocket. Fold wrong sides together and press. Insert a piece of batting inside.
Step D – Use SweetPea’s Zippers for Multi Hoop Sizes Design to add the zipper. Follow Steps 1 and 2. Skip the instructions for zigzagging your fabric pieces. Remove any tape from the middle of the zipper. The folded edges of both pieces are placed by the zipper teeth. Do Steps 3 and 4. Remove from hoop and remove the tear away stabilizer.
Step E – Cut a piece of fabric for the back of your pockets. It needs to be the same size as your panel including seam allowance.
Important – Move the zipper stop to the middle of the pocket. Lay the front of your pocket right side down on your work surface. Lay the backing piece right side down over it. Make sure the top of the backing is lined up with the top of your pocket. The pocket will be slightly longer than the backing. Trim the pocket to match the backing. Using a 1/4 seam to sew the backing to the front of the pocket. Trim the excess zipper from the sides.
The finished pockets are the same size as an embroidered block including 1/2 inch seam allowances.