I have quite a few panels at the shop. They are great for quick quilts, especially chidren’s quilts. Some of the panels are made up of smaller pictures and these can be cut up and made into cushions, table-runners and placemats and I like to make them into bags.
I thought that I would share with you how I make a panal bag.
At the moment I have the ‘Promise of Spring’ panel which is super cute with bunnies in teacups.
I chose two of the panels and 3 of the coordinating fabrics, you could choose 4 if you wanted different fabric for your handles.
Fabric amounts : 2 panels 1 Fat Quarter for bag sides. 1/2 metre for bag top, bottom and handles ( if you want a different fabric for handles – a long quarter for handles and a fat quarter for bag top and bottom) 1/2 metre for bag lining.
I work with a 1/4″ seam allowance.
Cut the pieces for the bag sides – measure the height of your panel this will be the length of your strip (my panel measures 12″) Cut a 3 1/2″ wide strip and cut to the length of your panel. You’ll need 4 strips. (Take care if your fabric is directional.)
Sew these strips to each side of your panels.
Measure the width of your panel now -including the added strips. For the bag bottom – cut a 3 1/2″wide strip and cut two pieces the same measurement as your panel. Sew them to the bottom of each panels For the bag top – cut a 2″ wide strip and cut two pieces the width of the panel. Sew these to the top of each panel.
Layer the panels on top of a piece of wadding that is slightly bigger than your panel.
Quilt the panel as you wish.I quilted around the edge of the panel ‘in the ditch’ and around the bunnies, followed the lines in the stripey fabric on the top and bottom and a bit of ‘free-motion’ on the sides.
Make your handles – cut two 4 1/2″ wide strips from the width of fabric. Fold the strip in half length ways and flatten the fold. Open the strip out again and fold the edges into the middle using the crease as a guide. Fold back in half and sew along the folded edge about 1/8″ in from the edge. Sew down the opposite edge. Repeat with the other strip.
You now have two handles – you can cut them to your desired length. I like mine slightly longer because I like to slip them over my shoulder, but you might want shorter ones, just remember to add an extra 1/2″ to your desired length for seam allowance.
Sew the handles to the top of the panels measuring 4″ in from the side edge.
Place the raw edges of the handle against the top edge of the panel. Sew a rectangle at the top of the strap and sew across the diagonals to give extra strength, about 1/2″ deep. Repeat on the remaining 3 strap edges.
Join the two panels together along the bottom, place right sides together and sew along the bottom edge.
Cut the lining fabric – the same size as the two panels sewn together.Place the lining rights sides together with the panels.
Sew the lining across the top of the bag, encasing the handles, 1/2″ down from the raw edges.
Take the two top seams and line them up together, so that the lining is right sides together and the panels are right sides together.
Sew down from the top to the bottom on one side.
On the other side, sew along the edge but leave about a 4″ gap in the middle of the lining edge.
Box the corners – take the corner and flatten out so the seams and fold of the bottom are lined up and it forms a triangle – measure 1 1/2″ down from the point of the triangle this will give you a 3″ line from edge to edge, draw along the line, then sew along the drawn line and trim 1/4″ away from sewn line, cutting the triangle off.
Do this on all 4 corners.
Pull the bag through the gap in the lining and poke the corners out. Hand sew the gap closed.
Oversew the top edge of your bag, sewing about 1/8″ in from the edge.
Enjoy your bag and all the compliments you’ll get from having such a gorgeous bag 🙂