Two Way Bag

Materials

  • Approximately 1.5m of assorted cream prints for the blocks
  • Approximately 50cm of assorted brown prints for the blocks
  • Approximately 50cm of assorted beige prints for the blocks
  • Scraps of orange, blue and gold assorted prints for the blocks
  • 25cm of plain black for bag top, handles, facing, swivel hook loops and D-ring loops
  • 75cm of natural calico for lining and inner pocket
  • 50cm of 2oz wadding
  • One 3⁄8in antique gold swivel ring
  • Two 3⁄4in antique gold D-rings
  • 15cm cream zip
  • Foundation paper

Finished Size

40 x 40cm (16 x 16in) excluding handles

Skill Level

Intermediate

You can download a copy of the original magazine pages for this project here, Two Way Bag

Use a wide variety of prints, from your scrap bag, and try to piece them randomly so that no two blocks are exactly alike. The two sides of the bag are made separately using the “bag method” where the lining and wadding are sew to the pieces of the bag, which are then turned to the right side and quilted, before the sides and bottom are joined together.

For the square bag simply clip the swivel ring hook neatly to the first loop and for the flat bottomed bag clip the swivel ring hook to the second loop.

Preparation

Cut the following pieces for the bag. You can cut them as you need them if you wanted:

  • Two strips 1 1⁄2 x 16 1⁄2in from plain black for the top borders of the bag
  • Two strips 3 1⁄2 x 15 1⁄2in from plain black for the bag handles
  • One strip 2 1⁄2 x 32 1⁄2in from plain black for the facing
  • Two strips 2 x 2 1⁄2in from plain black for the D-ring loops
  • One strip 1 1⁄2 x 2 1⁄2in from plain black for the swivel hook loop
  • One piece 6 1⁄2 x 9 1⁄2in from natural calico for the inner pocket
  • One piece 6 1⁄2 x 2in from natural calico for the inner pocket
  • Two pieces 16 1⁄2 x 16 1⁄2in from natural calico for the lining
  • Two pieces 16 1⁄2 x 16 1⁄2in from wadding
  • Two strips 1 1⁄4 x 15 1⁄2in from wadding for the handles

Foundation Piecing

The blocks are pieced mainly in cream, brown and beige prints. Only add flashes of orange, blue or gold prints. The bigger the variety of prints you use the better the bag will look.

  1. You can cut the pieces ready for each block. Alternatively cut strips in varying widths and cut them to length after you have sewn them to the foundation.
      Block A
    • One 1 1⁄2 x 4in strip in assorted cream print – piece 1
    • One 1 1⁄2 x 3 3⁄4in strip in assorted cream, orange, blue or gold print – piece 2
    • One 2 x 3 1⁄2in strip in assorted cream print – piece 3
    • One 1 1⁄4 x 3 1⁄2in strip in assorted cream print – piece 4
    • One 2 x 3 1⁄2in strip in assorted cream print – piece 5
    • One 1 x 4in strip in assorted cream, orange, blue or gold print – piece 6
    • One 1 1⁄2 x 4in strip in assorted cream print – piece 7
    • Two 2 x 5in strips in assorted brown print – pieces 8 and 9
    • Two 2 x 5in strips in assorted beige print – pieces 10 and 11
  2. Block B
    • One 1 1⁄4 x 3in strip in assorted cream, orange, blue or gold print – piece 1
    • One 1 1⁄2 x 3in strip in assorted cream print – piece 2
    • One 2 1⁄4 x 2 1⁄2in strip in assorted cream print – piece 3
    • One 1 1⁄2 x 4in strip in assorted cream print – piece 4
    • One 1 1⁄2 x 3in strip in assorted cream, orange, blue or gold print – piece 5
    • One 1 3⁄4 x 4in strip in assorted cream print – piece 6
    • One 1 1⁄2 x 4in strip in assorted cream print – piece 7
    • Two 2 x 5in strips in assorted brown prints – pieces 8 and 9
    • Two 2 x 5in strips in assorted beige prints – pieces 10 and 11
  3. Photocopy or trace the foundation patterns on to paper, transferring all seam lines and numbers. Cut out the strips as listed above. Place the strip for piece 1 RS up on the unmarked side of the paper. Hold it up to the light to make sure that the piece covers the area marked 1 and extends beyond the drawn lines by at least 1⁄4in on all sides. Secure with a pin.
  4. Place the piece 2 strip on top of piece 1 with RS together and pin in place. With marked side of the paper uppermost sew exactly on the seam line between pieces 1 and 2. Begin by sewing a few of stitches before the line begins and extend a couple stitches at the end of the line. Trim the seam allowance to a scant 1⁄4in. Open up piece 2 and press.
  5. Continue to add pieces in numbered sequence until the block is complete. A 1⁄4in seam allowance is allowed around the edge of the pattern, so trim excess fabric to the outside lines.
  6. Make sixteen of block A and sixteen of block B; eight block A and eight block B for each side of the bag.

Making up the Bag and Quilting

Figure 1
Figure 1: Layout diagram, for added interest you can rotate the blocks too
  1. Referring to the picture and layout diagram, Figure 1, arrange the blocks in four rows of four blocks for each side of the bag. Take special care to place each block in the right direction to form the brown wavy lines across the bag, although you can turn some blocks upside down to give a more random look.
  2. Sew the blocks together in rows then sew the rows together. Press the seams open. Sew the plain black border strips to the tops of both pieces. Press the seams away from the blocks.
  3. Lay both pieces of the bag on the lining pieces, RS together, then lay both of these on the wadding pieces and pin together along both sides and the bottom. Sew along the sides and bottom of the bag.
  4. Clip across the bottom corners of the bag taking care not to cut any stitches. Turn both sides of the bag to the RS and carefully push out the corners.
  5. Tack the layers of the bag together along the top raw edges, then tack around the outside edges, close to the seams, and tack across the bag in both directions as you would for a quilt.
  6. Quilt 1⁄4in inside all beige and brown strips and quilt the remaining strips in the ditch. Quilt 1⁄4in inside the plain black top borders.
  7. For the pocket, sew the zip between the two pieces of calico for the pocket and neaten the edges with a zig-zag stitch. With RS together, fold the pocket in half and sew down each side reverse sewing at the folded edge. Turn the pocket to the right side. See Figure 2.
  8. Find the centre of the pocket by folding it in half and marking the centre with a pin. Pin the raw edges of the pocket to the WS of the upper edge of one side of the bag, having the centre pin in line with the centre seam of the blocks. Tack in place.
Figure 2
Figure 2: Pocket

Handles and Finishing

Figure 3
Figure 2: Pocket
  1. For the handles lay a piece of narrow ribbon or tape along one half of each of the plain black handles. The tape should be long enough to extend at least 1⁄2in beyond the handles at both ends. With RS together, fold the handles in half lengthways enclosing the tape. Lay the handles on top of the wadding strips and pin. Sewing in the end of the tape, sew along one short end, pivot at the corner and sew down the length of the handles. See Figure 3.
  2. Turn the handles to the RS by gently pulling on the end of the tape. The wadding strip should now be enclosed in the handles. Cut off the tape with the seamed end of the handle and discard. Press the handles lightly and quilt 1⁄4in and 1⁄2in inside both edges.
  3. Pin the ends of the handles to the upper edge of both sides of the bag, on the RS, having the outside edges of the handles in line with the two centre blocks. Tack in place. With RS together, lay one side of the bag on top of the other. Match the upper edges and the seams joining the blocks and pin the pieces together. Sew the bottom and both sides as follows: to make strong, flat, double seams, first slip stitch the edges of the bag together by hand, sewing only the edges of the fabric for the outside of the bag together, then ladder stitch the edges of the lining together.
  4. With WS together, fold the plain black strip for the facing in half lengthwise and press. Lay the double facing on the RS of the bag, matching the raw edges of the facing with the top raw edges of the bag. Adjust the length of the facing to fit the bag, and with RS together, sew the short ends of the facing together to make a loop. Pin and sew the facing to the top edges of the bag, sewing in the pocket and the handles, between the bag and the facing at the same time. Turn the facing to the WS of the bag and slip stitch the folded edge to the bag lining. Turn the bag to the RS.
  5. With RS together, fold the three strips of plain black, for the loops, in half length wise and sew along the longest sides. Turn the strips to the right side using a safety pin, and press.
  6. Thread a D-ring onto the two widest strips and thread the swivel hook on to the narrowest strip. With RS together, sew the ends of strips together to make the loops.
  7. Sew the swivel ring loop to one bottom corner of the bag, sew one of the D-ring loops to the opposite bottom corner of the bag and sew the remaining D-ring loop 3 1⁄2in from the swivel ring loop

First published in Popular Patchwork August 2006