Patchwork beach bag using 5 inch charm squares

Patchwork beach bag tutorial

Thanks to ReannaLily Designs for the free beach bag pattern (pdf).

I decided to use Fandango by Kate Spain charm square pack to make this bag. Therefore I had to adapt some of the measurements.

The final dimensions of my bag are: 23 in L x 11 3/4 in H x 14 1/4 W, big enough for 2 king size towels and all the swimming gear.

I also had to redraw the sides of the bag because when I printed the pattern on an A4 piece of paper the pattern was too small. I’m not sure what I did wrong.

You will need 40 charm squares to make this bag.

Sew the charms as per picture with 5 charms across x 8 charms long.

I made the rest of the bag following ReannaLily’s free beach bag pattern (pdf) tutorial.

For the sides of the bag I took advantage of the lovely fabric pattern and I stitched along the lines in a free motion manner.

Gathered handles


  • 2 strips 2 1/2 x 27 inches (I used different fabric for front and back of handles)
  • 2 strips 2 3/4 x 34 inches

Fusible interfacing

  • 2 strips 2 1/4 x 26 1/2 inches
Draw a line along the 2 3/4 in strips of fabric. This is where you will be gathering the fabric using a baste stitch. Check my Kid’s draughtman’s pouch tutorial for details on how to make this type of handle.

Apply interfacing to the other strip of fabric.

Stitch both strips of fabric right sides together.

Turn inside out and apply ribbon through the middle of the strip.

Attach the handles following the free beach bag pattern (pdf) instructions.

The bag is family size.

The charm squares are arranged in a way that the bag is a different colour each side: reddish and bluish.

Knitting storage: crate cover with pockets tutorial

This is an extension of the crate slipcover  I made a while ago following a tutorial by Laura Gunn (Download the instructions to make the crate cover in pdf).

While the crate cover is great for large items, fabric and the like, knitting needles and crochet hooks get lost in the contents.

The concept is very simple: I added a long piece of fabric, folded in two, around three sides of the crate and stitched it into pockets between 1 1/2 and 2 inches apart.

The measurements I’ll be using are for the crate size on my crate slipcover post.

I started with a finished slipcover.

I was using this crate to store wool scraps, needles, crochet hooks and other bits and pieces.

I marked the 2 corners on the front of the slipcover and measured all the way around: 42 1/2 inches. I added 3/4 inch to this figure: 43 inches. Depending on your needs you could wrap the pockets all around the crate, cover just one or two sides, or 3 of them like I did. Crochet hooks are a bit short for the pockets depth and they fall to the bottom of the pocket. You could choose to use 2 pocket widths on different sides of the crate so that the crochet hooks stick out.

Then I cut 2 pieces 43 in x 7 in in the facing fabric and another piece of the same size of calico fabric for the inside pocket.

Place both pieces of fabric right side facing together and stitch all around leaving a 2 to 3 inch opening to turn inside out.

The finished height of the pockets is 6 1/4 inches.

Turn inside out and top stitch right on the edge. This edge will be placed facing up the crate.

Place piece over the slipcover starting at the marking in each corner of the cover you made earlier.

Stitch along 3 sides of the pockets fabric leaving the top side open. Stitch first right on the edge and then 1/4 inch from the edge.

Then mark the lines where the stitching making the pockets will go. I used two widths: 1 1/2 and 2 inches wide pockets all around the piece. You can adjust the measurements to your needs if you were to store larger pieces than hooks and needles.

Pin in place well so that the piece doesn’t move.

Stitch over the marked lines cutting the thread after each of the pockets. Use backstitching at the end and starting of each pocket.

This is the ugly crate we’ll be covering.

And this is the crate covered.

A view from the top.

And you can still stack the crates one of top of another.

Reversible quilt: disappearing nine patch variation with prairie points and rubik’s cube inspired back

Charm squares and scraps project.

This quilt, on one side, is made with charm squares (Hunky Dory by Moda) and Moda Bella in ivory for the background fabric. The other side uses fabric scraps on a green Anna Griffin fabric.

Block tutorial

Assembly instructions for this side of the quilt are in my previous post about this quilt.

Prairie points detail

Closeup of the quilt, finished using free motion quilting

Reverse of the quilt

I’ve posted instructions to make this side of the quilt under my previous post Rubik cube inspired back of quilt. The instructions include size of blocks and fabric pieces.

Close up of reverse

The finished quilt with disappearing nine patch variation side showing.

The finished quilt with rubik cube inspired side showing.

Kid’s draughtsman’s pouch tutorial

This idea was born of a need to keep drawing notebooks and colouring materials together when travelling. It holds up to 4 A4 notebooks (though really designed for only 3) and 24 pencils/texters. Easy to carry and just folds open.



  • 24 strips of fabric measuring 1.5 x 5 inches each in rainbow colours
  • 4 different fabrics for the inside pockets, inside lining, outside, border and handles
  • some ribbon for the handles
  • calico fabric for the pencil pockets lining and the inside folder lining
  • medium weight interfacing
Size of the bag
The bag can be cusomised to your needs.
To work out the sizes, you need to decide how many notebooks the inside pockets will hold.
Place the notebooks on a pile and measure around the narrow part. Write down the figure and add 1 inch to it.
Measure the notebook height and add 1 inch to it.
This will give you the measurements for the lining, interfacing and outside fabric.
As a way of example, I used 3 A4 notebooks.
My pieces of fabric measure:
  • Outside, lining and interfacing pieces: 22 1/2 in x 12 1/2 in each
  • Inside pockets:
    • 2 pieces in coordinating fabric measuring 9 3/4 in x 13 1/2. I added 1 extra inch on the sides to make a pocket
    • 2 pieces in calico measuring 9 3/4 in x 13 1/2
    • 2 pieces of interfacing of the same size as the calico.
  • Rainbow pencil pockets:
    • 24 strips of 1 1/2 in x 5 in in assorted colours
    • 2 pieces of calico: 12 1/2 x 5 in
  • Handles
    • 2 pieces 2 1/2 in x 20 in of fabric
    • 2 pieces 2 1/2 in x 20 in of interfacing
    • 2 pieces 2 1/2 in x 24 in of fabric
    • 2  pieces of ribbon 20 in long each
Making the pencil rainbow pockets

A while ago I made a rainbow pencil roll using the same idea.

Assemble two lots of 12 strips of fabric in rainbow colours.
Iron with the seams open and square the resulting piece.

Square both strips.

size as the stitched strips and sew on

Cut 2 calico pieces of fabric the same size as the rainbow strips.

And sew together in 3 sides.

Turn inside out and iron flat. Take in the seams of the open side and pin.

Attach rainbow pockets to the outside fabric

Fold the outside fabric in two and place the rainbow pockets about 2 inches from the fold (I made a mistake on the photo and I attached the rainbow pockets 2 inches from the top).

Stitch around the edges first leaving the part facing away from the fold open.

Stitch on each seam between colours.

Now iron the interfacing to the wrong side of the outside fabric.

Making the inside pockets

The inside pockets are made of a piece of calico and one of the matching fabric sewn together and folded in half as per photo.

After folding the pocket in half, topstitch very close to the edge and then again 1/4 away from it.

Make a fold about 3/4 in from the bottom of the pocket and iron.

Place the pocket about 1 3/4 to 2 inches from the edge of the lining fabric and pin in place as per photo below. Stitch along the bottom of the pocket.

Do the same with the other side.

Pin the sides of the pocket to the lining fabric making sure you push the corner in a small fold as per picture.

Pin the sides and stitch.

The pockets are added.

Assemble outside and lining by placing both pieces wrong sides together.

Stitch around.

This is the front (as you can see, the mistake I made attaching the rainbow pockets made me cut the piece in half and restitch with the pockets facing in the opposite direction).

Finish binding the edges. My binding is made out of a double folded strip 2 inches wide.


I was inspired by this camera strap cover tutorial I saw though I didn’t follow the instructions.


  • 2 pieces 2 1/2 in x 20 in of fabric
  • 2 pieces 2 1/2 in x 20 in of interfacing
  • 2 pieces 2 1/2 in x 24 in of fabric
  • 2  pieces of ribbon 20 in long each

Take the longer strip and using a basting stitch sew all along the middle as per picture. When finished, pull the bottom thread holding the strip as you do it and spreading the folds along. Leave 1 1/2 in of fabric at each end flat.

Take the 20 in long strip of fusible interfacing and iron it to the 20in long strip of fabric.

Now take both strips and pin them with right side facing together and stitch along 3 sides leaving one of the short sides open for turning .

I found turning the handles very hard by the way. Once turned inside out, iron flat and sew the ribbon along the middle of the handle.

This is the finished handle (I replaced the ribbon with a different one when I realised I didn’t have enough for both handles, that’s why the next picture features a different ribbon).

Pin the handles not too wide apart, about 2 inches from the sides.

And about one inch in.

Stitch as per picture below.

This is the finished piece.

One side.

And the other.

Closeup of handles.


Easy open and close.

Easy carry.

Charm pack tote bag tutorial

Patchwork tote bag tutorial

Flickr group

If you have made a tote bag using this tutorial, why don’t you share your pictures on this Flickr group?

16 charms – I used Verna by Kate Spain
1/3 yard matching fabric for the bottom of the bag and the handles
1/4 yard of matching fabric for the gathered strip and the loop closure
1/2 yard of matching fabric for the lining
1 self covered button with the bottom fabric
2 pieces of batting
medium weight fusible interfacing

Seam allowance is 1/4 inch.

For each side of the bag, stitch 2 rows of 4 charm squares each and then 2 rows together. Iron with seams open to get a flatter look. You will end up with 2 rectangles measuring measuring 18.5in x 9.5in but measure your final rectangles well after sewing before you cut the bottom rectangles so that the width is the same.

From the matching fabric cut 2 more 8in x 18.5in rectangles to form the bottom of the bag.


Cut 2 pieces of 21in x 4in for the handles.

Cut 2 pieces of fusible interfacing slightly smaller than the handles and iron to each piece of fabric.

Fold as per picture below and iron.

Fold again and pin.

Stitch very close to the edge on both sides of the handle.

Gathered strip

Cut  2 strips of fabric measuring 2.5 in x 36 in.

Using basting stitch, sew along the sides of the strip.

Pull from the top thread while you hold the strip of fabric.

Pull from both sides and distribute the folds along the whole strip.

When the folds have been evenly distributed, iron the folds a bit, though this steps is not necessary.

You are now ready to piece the bag.

Pin the gathered strip of fabric to the charm packs which have already been pieced and stitch.

Pin the other side of the gathered fabric to the bottom fabric and stitch.

Now you have one side completed.

Do the same with the other side.

Adding interfacing

Cut a piece of fusible interfacing (medium to heavy) 1/2 in smaller than the sides of the bag. Iron to the back of each side of the bag as per instructions.

Make loop closure

Cut a rectangle measuring 6.5in x 4in for the loop closure. Make a tube as per handles instructions. Fold and stitch as per picture.

Stitch loop as per picture.


Cut a piece of batting slightly larger than the sides of the bag and pin. Stitch across the sewing lines from the right side of the fabric.

Put both sides together with right sides facing together and stitch around 3 sides leaving the side up open.

Fold the bag as per picture and make a 2 1/4 wide cut across.

Stitch along the cut.

Turn inside out. You have finished the bag.


Cut 2 18.5in x 18.5in squares. You can use the size of the pieces to cut the lining the same size of you prefer.

Place both pieces right side together and sew around the sides and bottom. Leave 4in opening on one of the sides to turn bag inside out.

Then do as for the outside bag: cut across the corner 2 1/4 inches as per picture and stitch again.

Pin loop closure and handles to the bag as per photo.

Place the lining over the outside bag as in the photo. The opening showing is the photo is about 4inches wide and will be used to turn the bag inside out once the lining and the outside a sewn together.

Stitch lining and bag together.

Turn bag inside out through the opening in the lining.

Stitch the lining opening.

Stitch across the top of the bag as per picture.

The bag is finished.

Free tote bag tutorials I’ve made

Spirit tote bag

Expandable tote bag

Charm pack tote bag with inside pocket tutorial

Charm squares and embroidery tote bag