Thursday, February 25, 2010

Cloth Lunch Bag Tutorial

As many of you know, I lived in Hawaii for 2 years while going to school at BYU Hawaii, and there made some of the most amazing friends and memories I will ever have. I miss my island home almost constantly and still await the day when I can visit my island Ohana again. A few years ago, a best friend sent me 2 stacks of 4" hawaiian fabric blocks for a Hawaiian quilt I was planning. Well, that quilt still has not been made and I have hundreds of these little squares sitting in my fabric bin. I pulled them out yesterday and decided to make some cloth lunch bags for E's school lunch. I had so much fun, I thought I would share them with you.

These bags fit sandwiches & snacks perfectly, and are completely machine washable. No more wasted money on garbage ziplocs! Plus, how fun to have these in your bag lunch! This pattern is a spin off from a great book called Cut Loose Quilts by Jan Mullen - my FAVORITE quilting book ever!

Materials Needed: 
(8) 4x4" squares of Cotton fabric
(2) 8" squares of Nylon fabric
1/2"x 4" Strip of Hook & Loop Velcro
Sewing Machine
Rotary Cutter/Scissors
Lets Begin!
Step 1. Choose your fabric squares - I used 4 fabrics with 2 squares of each print. STACK all fabrics together into 1 stack.
 Step 2. Place ruler over fabric at any angle and cut all layers of fabric at once.
Step 3. Move ruler to another random angle and cut again. This is what your stack should look like (your angles will obviously be a bit different).
Step 4. Now separate the 3 cuts and lay them out, mixing up the fabric pieces with other colors so you get fun random blocks. Since you cut them all at the same time, they will all intermix perfectly. (The pic shown here only shows half of my blocks). These 4 blocks will make 1 side of the bag.
 Step 5. This part is a bit tricky, but you can do it! Take middle piece (A) and fold it over on top of (B), making sure to line up the edges along the dotted line. It doesn't matter that the rest of the edges are not aligned. Sew along the matched edges marked with the dotted line.

Step 6. Next, do the same thing with the remaining piece - lining up the red-dotted side and sew together.
Your finished piece will look similar to this. The edges will be uneven, but we trim them into a square next.
Step 7. Square up the block by using the ruler to get an even square block.

Step 8.  Repeat steps 4-7 with the remaining 7 blocks.
Step 9. Sew 4 of the blocks together to make a square. This is the front of your bag. Repeat for the back of the bag.

Step 10. Next, take 1 piece of the Nylon. place it against the right side of the fabric & sew along 1 side. Flip right side out.

 Step 11. Place 1 strip (either hook or loop side) of Velcro on the nylon side (notice the seam at the top of the bag). This will be the inside top of the bag. Sew on, making sure the cotton & nylon stay lined up as much as possible. Repeat with other side. You will now have 2 halves of your bag.

Step 12. Line up the 2 pieces, with right sides together. Sew along the 2 sides & bottom - I reinforced the top sides near the velcro, as this is a high stress area. Turn right side out - you are done!!
Here are a few more bags to give you ideas of what you can do! I would love to see pics of your bags - have fun!

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