Project Work Bags

These project bags have been on my list to make for quite some time. I decided I would use up some of my “I Love to Quilt Blocks” blocks from here. I had an idea of what I wanted to make and looked at a number of tutorials; this was one I followed.

With pieced stitches

Here is are some of the things I though about as I made my bags.

  1. Borders: The bag would be big enough to carry 12 1/2″ unfinished blocks. My blocks would finish at 12″, so I wanted to add borders to make the block/bag finish around 16″. I used 2 1/2″ borders for the blocks.

2. Iron on Vinyl: These blocks are appliquéd using a fusible. Some are sewn down, some are not. I decided that putting some of the Heat-N-Bond Iron-on Vinyl* on the block would do 2 things: 1) preserve the letters from getting destroyed, and 2) allow things to move in and out of the bag easily.

3. Quilting: I wanted some stability so I used Soft and Stable* rather than batting. I love the way it worked out. It really does make the bag stable. I quilted in the ditch then a few lines through the center of the blocks.

4. Zippers & Vinyl Window: I attached 2 – 3″ wide strips of cotton fabric to either side of the zipper, folded edged toward zipper teeth. One had had 1/4″ folded and pressed toward the wrong side to accommodate the vinyl. The the clear vinyl* was cut at about 12-13″. A third piece of cotton fabric was used attached to the bottom of the bag, again folded in half and with a folded hem that enclosed the vinyl – raw edges towards the edge of the quilted piece.

5. Handles & Binding: I needed 70″ of binding and 32″ of ribbon to finish the bags. I sewed the handles down first, the binding second. I also sewed the binding to the back and brought it to the from to be sewn down by machine.

Miracle of miracles my new machine did not balk once at any of the fabrics or thickness. My only struggle was keeping the vinyl off the table as it would get stuck, but it was actually pretty easy once I encountered it a few times! I think the bags are looking for some projects to be put into them, and I have a few I can use to fill them up!

Now, if we could only get out and sew with our buddies, but for, it will have to hold some future projects and look pretty in my studio! This is one of my UFOs for 2020 ….only 1 more to finish for the PhD and 1 new project. This is also my one monthly goal (OMG) for this month.

Coming Up on the Blog:
#TTot22 – 12/22
2020 Monthly Color Block Finish
Punch Needle UFO 12/28
My Stitching Resolution 12/30
Best of 2020

Linking Up:
PhD in 2020

Disclaimer: *Links with asterisk indicate an affiliate link and as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Your price is not any different, but a small percentage of the sale will go to supporting my blog.


  1. December 21, 2020 / 12:48 AM

    What a cute idea for using up those blocks! They are so bright and cheerful. When we can go to quilt retreats again, you are good to go!

  2. Brenda @ Songbird Designs
    December 21, 2020 / 8:51 AM

    I really like your bags Kathleen, and I know they will be very useful! I need to make a few myself. Thanks for the link to the tutorial…and your free block! Merry Christmas!!

  3. thedarlingdogwood
    December 21, 2020 / 11:33 AM

    Love your bags!!! What a great use for orphan blocks. Do I understand correctly that you put iron-on vinyl over the block, and then there is regular vinyl on the front part of the bag? I bought some iron-on vinyl years ago and don’t think I’ve ever used it.

    • kathleenquilts
      December 21, 2020 / 2:52 PM

      Yes you do! Iron-on vinyl was on top of the orphan block (to protect the fusible appliqué some sewn, some not!), and then regular vinyl. I wanted to save the appliqué and make getting things in and out of the bag easier by not sticking to the cotton. Its very easy to use and I have had mine for a long time too. I don’t know why I waited so long.

  4. December 21, 2020 / 2:50 PM

    Hi Kathleen! What a fun idea and I love how you took action and brought then to fruition. I also love all the different fabrics you used! These bags are gorgeous and so very useful. Nice job! ~smile~ Roseanne

  5. December 21, 2020 / 5:32 PM

    What a great way to use up orphan blocks! Thanks so much for sharing! I think I need to make some project bags now! 🙂

  6. December 21, 2020 / 6:07 PM

    Lovely project bags … such a clever idea! And thanks for the helpful hints!
    Happy Quilting! 🙂

  7. patty
    December 31, 2020 / 8:55 AM

    Love these! Thanks for linking up with Elm Street Quilts One Monthly and congrats on your finish!

  8. Dione
    January 4, 2021 / 11:51 PM

    Great idea and they look lovely. I hope we can put covid beind us soon and they get lots of use. Thanks for sharing at the Chameleon’s party.

My Favorite Tools

Pins with Numbers & Arrows
Annies Soft and Stable Foam Stabilizer
By Annie’s Clear Vinyl
Heat N Bond Iron On Vinyl
Omni Thread, Purplelicious
Aurifil 50 weight thread
Hobbs Tuscanny Wool Batting
Freezer Paper Sheets
Binding Sasher
Nexcare Clear Skin Tape
Cluck Cluck Sew Tape
Simple Folded Corners Ruler
Free Motion Quilting Workbook
Shape by Shape Collection 2
Shape by Shape
DayLight Wafer 1 Light Box
Freezer paper
Siteground Web Hosting
Dream Cotton Batting
Sidekick Ruler
Hex N More Ruler
4″ Circular Plastic Needlepoint
Awesome Ocean Pattern
Schmetz NonStick Needle
Sulky Totally Stable
Barn Quilt by Sherry Shish
Applique Pressing Sheet
Mary Ellen’s Best Press Starch
Clover Bias Tape Maker 12mm
Woven Diamonds Pattern
Hobbs Premium 80/20 Batting
Woven Star Pattern
Wefty Needle
Quilt Hanger
Fat Quarter Shop
Westalee Sampler Template Set
Mettler 60 wt. Cotton Embroidery Thread
Sandboard for Hand Sewing/Appliqué
Clover Needle Threader
Sewline Black and White Pencil
Sewline Grey Pencil
Backyard Birds
Wing Clipper
Quilt Pounce
Hobbs Thermore Batting
Clover Chaco Liner – silver
Turnabout Patchwork by Terese Mairal Barreau
Sewline Glue Pen
Fusible 1″ Hexagon Paper
Fusible Appliqué Paper
Electric Quilt 8
Quilter’s Dream Select Batting
Quilt in A Day Log Cabin
Judy Martin Log Cabin
Emiko Toda Loeb
3M Command Strip Clothespins
Paper Templates for Lucy Boston
Lucy Boston Templates,MPP
Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Cross
Clover Wonder Clips
Thread magic
Clearly Perfect Angles
Slotted Triangle Trimmer