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An Unforgettable Tote Bag!

Penn Needles touts their totes!

  Checkerboard patchwork and punchy color!

Above left: A few workshop participants from Penn Needles tout their totes! Tote-ally fabulous, ladies!! Above right: my Taxi Tote

You'll be so proud to design, make, and carry your own unique, customized, generously-sized tote bag, you'll never leave it behind--that's why it's unforgettable!

Get inspired by one or more of the designs in my book, Unforgettable TOTE BAGS (purchase not necessary).

You'll use canvas, denim, or upholstery-weight fabric for the bag, lining, and/or foundation. Instead of following a commercial pattern for a bag, I'll guide you to create your own original design that shows off your personality—or makes the perfect gift for a certain someone (no giftwrap necessary!).  Learn or perfect your flip-and-stitch quilting. Get the skinny on a durable boxed bottom. As a full-day workshop, you just might walk out with a completed masterpiece.

"Thanks so much for spending your time with us. It was very special. My two daughters have been bugging me to make them carry bags---now I will!" -- Linda Curry, Keystone Quilters

Suggested Materials List 

An orphan block, UFO, luscious piece of fabric you've been dying to use, or a fabulous pictorial panel

1/4 yard or 1/2 yard cuts of 3-5 fabrics in a variety of prints, stripes, and solids to coordinate

1/2 yard canvas or duck fabric, at least 36” wide, or heavy home dec fabric, to use as a foundation/lining


Batting: 18" x 36"

2 yards 1”-wide, cotton braid trim or plastic webbing, in color to coordinate, for handles

Basic Supplies

Cutting supplies: rotary cutter with new, sharp, 45mm blade, large mat, and large (i.e., 6" x 24") and smaller acrylic rulers, OR strong, good quality fabric-cutting shears, fabric marking pen, and ruler

NOTE: For half-day classes, and for those who don't want to lug their sewing machines, you can spend your time designing and cutting and leave the sewing to do at home.

Otherwise: Sewing machine (best not a featherweight!) in good working condition, with 80/12 machine needle for piecing and 90/14 machine needle for bag assembly; 50-weight sewing thread (neutral or colors to match fabrics); straight pins and pin cushion; thread snips or small scissors


The Cobblestone Quilters' Guild, on the outskirts of Charleston, SC, cobbled, created, coordinated and got a big jump on some of the most individualized, personalized projects I've seen! Take a look:

   , Even with one arm in a sling, Virginia got her bag done in next to no time!! Wow!








Oh, the Ohio Valley Quilters' Guild honed in on the most successful designs with their unique UFOs and beloved fabrics. First, see how Laura auditioned possibilities:



Kim and Lisa also wended their way towards great designs!


The Keystone Quilters of Quakertown certainly held the key to unique, unforgettable tote bag design! See Linda Curry's above, and her guild sisters' work below. Please forgive my fuzzy photos!




Everyone at my workshop with the Anchorage Log Cabin Quilters guild composed a completely different bag, suited to each person's unique individuality and style! Check it out, and think about bringing me in to teach a workshop for YOUR guild. I guarantee, everyone comes out with a successful design with their personal stamp on it!


and look who finished her tote bag within 14 hours! Ruthe, YOU get lots of brownie points. Or would you prefer apple pie points?!

More photos of finished bags are coming in! Check 'em out; left to right, by Barbara Clinton, Donna Evans, and Kathleen Boulch: