I enjoy trying pieced blocks just for the experience and many of them are never used in a quilt. I have a stack of various sizes and developed this envelope-style lined gift bag to hold small, flat gifts and then be useful for storing sewing, cosmetic and other small items. Each bag uses two orphan blocks of the same size. Of course, scraps could also be used.
Here is how I make the bags:
- Choose two quilt blocks of the same size, one for the outside bag and one for the lining (my blocks in this example are 12-½ inches)
- Place the two blocks right sides together and stitch a ¼ inch seam on all sides, LEAVING A 3 INCH OPENING ON WHAT WOULD BE THE BOTTOM SIDE OF THE BAG. Back stitch at the beginning and ending.
- Trim the 4 corners …
- …and turn the bag right-side-out. Press and tuck in the opening fabric. Top stitch 1/8 inch from the edge on all four sides.
This is all of the machine sewing you’ll be doing on this project. A bit of hand sewing will complete the bag.
- Place the finished piece on point right-side-up on a mat and fold the bottom point to meet the left hand point.
- Pin together so that the sewn edges meet but do not overlap.
- Using needle and thread and beginning at the top edge, join the two pieces, catching just the edges of the lining fabric so the stitches don‘t show on the outside of the bag and so the edges abut.
- Fold the right hand point over to meet the center and join together.
- Turn and press.
- Sew a small snap on the back flap and center.
- If desired, add a button or other embellishment to the back and/or front.
The 12-½ inch block makes a bag approximately 7 x 8 inches. It would be a good size for a small journal or paperback book.
A 9-½ inch block makes a bag about 5-3/4 inches square.
An 8-½ inch block makes a bag about 5-¼ inches square – good for a CD or DVD
These bags are very fast and easy to assemble, make nice holders for gifts and reduce the stack of orphan blocks.