Quilted Bags and Gifts


Remember the Swivel Hook Tote I made a while back from Quilted Bags and Gifts? Well Zakka Workshop has sent me two copies of this just released book and I am giving one of them away over on my Instagram account! This book has so many (36!) cute bags and sweet little gifts made in traditional Japanese style. I have just finished my second bag using bolder colors and I have a few tips to help you make your own.
The first time making anything can be a little overwhelming, especially when trying new techniques. The templates for the Swivel Hook Tote bag require you to add your own seam allowance into the dimensions which for me ended up with two panels that were just too small. I recommend cutting your text print strips of fabric extra long and then trimming down to size after.


See how much excess I have on the long strips and at each corner? This will help it to square up without leaving any gaps when you trim to size. My panels did end up being smaller than what the pattern called for but this time around, instead of stressing about it being off by roughly a half inch, I decided to just go with it and make any adjustments as I went. In the end I have a slightly smaller bag over all but it was well worth not freaking out over a half inch difference.


One of the techniques I learned in this book is wrapping the inside seams so you have a nice clean looking inside of the bag. Here you see I am clipping the edge where I will be sewing and then using the excess fabric as a sort of “cheater” binding to cover up the seams. You should have extra fabric on each side like this. There SHOULD also be extra fabric at the bottom of each inside panel but I managed to trim my excess off the bottom both times I made this bag. Seriously, BOTH times!


At least I have cute contrast binding on the inside of both my bags, so that’s fun! I guess the lesson here is, don’t worry if you trim your excess fabric, you can always fix it with some cute binding.


So here is my second Swivel Hook Tote bag and I just love it! I used Art Gallery Denim in Indigo Shadow paired with Paperie fabrics, some Sevenberry florals and Liberty of London for a fresh modern look.


I decided to not quilt this bag at all and instead did two stitch lines on each side using Aurifil 12 weight in a navy.


These handles can be found at Zakka Workshop and are easy to stitch on by hand since the holes are already there. Just a note about the binding, I used 2 1/4 inch binding strips which is wider than what was called for but worked well to cover the thickness of the bag.


I love how this side looks with just the addition of a simple layered tag. If you have not yet worked with the AGF denim it really is so nice. This is the smooth denim and it is lightweight and easy to work with.


I wanted to add a leather patch to go with the handles and I think it came out nicely. OK, maybe a bit wonky, but still a fun addition.


More leather details from Zakka Workshop that add so much to this bag.


I think I will be trading out my ratty old diaper bag for this one. Especially since all I really need these days is an extra diaper and a pack of wipes for my “baby”.


The two patchwork panels are the perfect way to use up your favorite scraps or to fussy cut some really cute prints. Either way, you will have your fabrics with you wherever you go!


Now to what you really came here for! I am giving away a copy of Quilted Bags and Gifts along with a half yard of Lecien’s beautiful Yarn Dyed Cloth in blue, all thanks to Zakka Workshop. Giveaway is open worldwide with winner announced on Monday June 20. To enter, comment on my giveaway post on Instagram and follow me.

Thanks for stopping by! I hope my tips were helpful and as always, if you have any questions just ask!


2 Responses to “Quilted Bags and Gifts”

  1. Nina Cotonet Says:

    oh Faith! you are so talented! I love the patchwork panels you made ( you have an eye for fabrics and you make the prettiest combos with Liberty…). The bag looks great : ) and I think you are brave ^_^ I always find Japanese zakka books so intimidating!

  2. Rebecca Chianese Says:

    Adorable bag and fabrics, and your choices are magnificent! Rchianese26@yahoo.com

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