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Boho Bag - How To Make a Quilted Tote

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My parents are Master Quilters.  Seriously.  My mom and dad have quilted everything you can imagine; from hand-quilted crib quilts for newborn babies, to huge king-size quilts, and quilted wine totes, to quilted Harley motorcycle covers!

If you ask me if I quilt like my parents, I get tight in my chest just thinking about it!  I'm simply not a perfectionist at most things, and I don't have the patience to be sure every stitch is straight in a quilted project.  And there is no way I could ever be a master at quilting like them.  The bar is too high.

But, I do love to sew, try new things, and all things Bohemian.  I am a fabric and trims and fancy ribbon hoarder.  And I just love making sassy fashion accessories, so I decided to QUILT (I say that loosely) a little bag with things from my sewing stash.  So here goes.  If you like it, here's how to make one with all of YOUR sewing goodies.  

How-To Make a Boho Bag:



Fairfield™ Poly-fil® Low-Loft Quilt Batting 

Scraps of Fabric

(2) 9-inch Wooden Hoops 

(1 Yard)  2-1/2 " Wide Ribbon

Assorted Appliques and Doilies 

Option:  Wooden Hoop Earrings

Coats & Clark Heavy Duty Thread


Pinking Shears

Sewing Machine


Cut 2 rectangles fabric with pinking shears for the lining of the bag; 10 x 13 inches.

Cut 2 rectangles of Fairfield™ Poly-fil® Low-Loft Quilt Batting the same size.


Place the batting on the wrong side of the fabric rectangle.

Cut strips of fabric and pin to the batting, overlapping each other.  I used pinking shears on the polyester fabrics to add a little fancy edge, and straight scissors on the tweed fabric so that it would fray on the edges for a more "Bohemian" vibe.


Sew the strips to the batting and lining on all 4 sides of each strip, creating a quilted design.  I sewed decorative stitches with my Janome sewing machine to add more interest to the quilted design.  You can use a straight stitch as well. 


Stitch appliques and doilies to the quilted patchwork design.  This will finish one side of the tote.

Repeat the process for the other side of the tote.


Pin the two finished quilted pieces together and sew a straight seam on the sides and across the bottom to form the tote bag.  


Divide the yard of ribbon into 4 equal parts.  Pin 2 strips of the ribbon around a wooden hoop and to the top of the tote bag, adjusting the angle to accommodate the round hoop.  Sew to the top of the bag, and then trim off any extra ribbon.


Repeat the process for attaching the other handle.



Take the earrings apart, and sew to the bottom of the tote bag.  If you don't have earrings to use, you can sew beads or fringe or tassels to the bottom of the bag.


Trim the batting inside the seams of the bag on all 4 sides.


And you simply can't have a Boho Bag without adding a tassel!  So grab your Large Pattiewack Tassel Maker and wrap shredded silk fabric around the largest step on the tool around 20 times.  Tie the neck at the top for a fabulously full tassel.

For a finial, I took an old wooden spool and covered it with vintage ribbon.  I used double-sided taped to attach it to the spool.


Then I threaded the top of the tassel through the spool with a wire.



The final step was to tie the tassel onto the bag.  I love it so much!

Of course, your tote bag will look totally different than mine, but that's the fun part of it, right?  No two Boho Bags will look the same, and you can even make them different sizes, too!

Thanks to Fairfield™ World for the fabulous batting, and thank you for hanging out with me here at the Pattiewack Blog!

You can go to Fairfield™ World for more project ideas. 



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