Handmade Holidays | Beautiful Tote Bag

Welcome to the Handmade Holidays on Buttons Galore! We’re joining in by sharing ideas for handmade Christmas gifts using – of course – buttons!


Today’s gift is both practical and pretty! You can never have enough tote bags, and today our gift is a nice sized one that is made gorgeous using an easy rag quilting method.

Rag Quilted Tote


  • 15″ x 15″ tote bag
  • 18 – 5″ charm squares
  •  Buttons Galore Button Bonanza in Bubblegum & Ocean Blue

This bag is quilted using convenient 5″ charm squares. I originally cut these to use on another project but when I switched fabrics for that project, these charm squares went unused. It took 18 of them to quilt this tote: 9 for the front of the squares, and 9 for the backside of them (to help create the bulk in the visible seams).

Charm Pack

Laying out the pattern is the first challenge. I inserted a piece of cardboard in the tote to help make it nice and flat while I worked on the layout.

Tote in progress

Once your layout is arranged, the next step is to prepare the edges that won’t be quilted of the squares.

On the backing squares, each edge that won’t be part of a rag quilted seam should be trimmed by 5/8″.

On the front (visible in the finished product) squares, press under a 1/2″ seam on each edge that won’t be part of a rag quilted seam. Miter corners where pressed edges meet for best results.

Stack the backing squares on the front squares, folding the pressed edges over the backing squares. Make sure that the raw edges for the rag quilted seams are aligned. Pin together.

Rag Quilted Tote SquareAssemble the 9 blocks into a square by using rag quilted seams. (For easy instructions on assembling rag quilt blocks, see this wonderful article by Deby at So Sew Easy.)

Once the squares are all attached together, the block must be attached to the bag by sewing around the outside edge. This seam must be sewn one block at a time, without passing over the rag quilted seams. So it requires a lot of stopping and starting of your machine. Careful pinning is the key to success in this step.

Rag Quilting ToteThe final step is to adhere buttons in each square. This project is a great way to use all of those really large buttons in your Button Bonanza bags! The buttons aren’t just decorative – they also serve a purpose as well, by helping to anchor the squares to the bag.

Tote close-upAnd that is it! Your tote is ready to hit the street – or be wrapped for under the tree! The rag quilted seams will soften and fray as they are used and washed into an even more beautiful fuzzy fringe.

Rag Quilted Button ToteNow, did I mention there are fabulous prizes?


We are having a giveaway of over $600 in craft supplies to help you make this holiday handmade! Enter to win using the widget below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Many thanks to all of the sponsors of the hop and giveaway!


HANDMADE HOLIDAYS SPONSORSThanks for stopping by, and make sure to use the widget below to visit the other hop participants!


Thanks for joining us for the three days of the Handmade Holidays blog hop! Make sure you don’t miss day one and day two of the hop, too!

The following two tabs change content below.

Nancy Nally

Nancy Nally is the social media manager of Buttons Galore, and the owner of Nally Studios LLC., which publishes ScrapbookUpdate.com and CraftCritique.com.


10 Responses to Handmade Holidays | Beautiful Tote Bag

  1. Janelle Rourke November 8, 2015 at 10:31 AM #

    Cute tote bag. That is one gift everyone can use! Love the patchwork and the buttons of course! Thanks for sharing and all the inspiration in the Hop.

  2. Katie Smith November 8, 2015 at 11:15 AM #

    This is so pretty! I know multiple quilters who would love this.

  3. Laura November 8, 2015 at 11:28 AM #

    Wow- I am loving this idea. I have a lot of these bags, some with images and logos I want to cover up. I think you should share this on Sewing With Nancy!
    I like the ruffled edges and cute buttons.

  4. barb macaskill November 8, 2015 at 12:41 PM #

    I totally agree that you can never have too many totes!!! I love decorating them and gifting them to friends and family!! I kept a few and use them as grocery bags and have gotten many compliments and have been asked where I got them many times!!! I have gotten few sales from when people comment on them too!
    Your tote is so pretty! TFS!

  5. Orlie Severson November 8, 2015 at 12:59 PM #

    I like your take on a tote. I would use your buttons to make another Christmas tree wall hanging.

  6. Connoe Mercer November 8, 2015 at 10:16 PM #

    Super cute project!! Love those buttons!

  7. Cathy November 9, 2015 at 3:28 AM #

    Beautiful tote, and it can be made in any color… these are great to put gifts in as well. I know several friends who will be getting one!

  8. TracyM #6773 November 9, 2015 at 6:05 AM #

    LOVE the quilted panels … thinking that this could be made with bold prints for masculine gift giving too, especially if it was filled with some goodies … oh, thinking ahead, this would be perfect for my nephew who is now living away from home!!!

  9. Sue D November 9, 2015 at 10:16 AM #

    This is so pretty –love this idea and the buttons are perfect.

  10. cal8007 November 10, 2015 at 4:47 AM #

    Such a cute tote! – I love all your button projects

    Carmen L

We love comments. Please leave one and make a designer happy.

Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes