Orphan Block Tote Bag

There are a TON of bag patterns out there, and a lot of them are very good.  However, they aren’t really a FAST way to use up orphan blocks!


In contrast, there are several sources of good, sturdy, plain fabric bags that can be decorated with orphan blocks in very little time to make an attractive and useful bag.  If you haven’t run across them, try craft stores.  You can also Google “blank canvas totes” to find lots of options.  I like buying them in dark colors so they won’t show dirt with use!

NOTE:  Even if you didn’t prewash the fabrics for your orphan block, you should prewash the canvas tote.  Otherwise it may ruin your work by shrinking or bleeding color when it’s washed later.

Choose your block and, if you want, quilt it with your choice of batting and a thin backing.  It’s also fine to leave it unquilted.

orphan block

I quilted and bound my block, but it isn’t necessary

Once your block is ready to attach, either bind it or frame it with fabric.  Alternatively, it works fine to just turn under 1/4″ on each edge.  REALLY, you could just zig-zag stitch it to the bag without any edge finish.

The only trick is that you need to make full use of the free arm feature of your machine, and squnch the bag a bit, to sew around the block.  These bags aren’t very big, so it’s entirely do-able.



DONE!  This is a nice quick-and-easy project and a useful gift.  But don’t use up all your orphan blocks—there are more projects to come!


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