Half Hexi Tote Bag
Project by Katie Done at The Fabric Squirrel
During lockdown we are clinging on to anything to help bring joy and purpose into our lives. For many it has been crafts and sewing, some fitness, decorating and gardening. For my husband it has been the purchase of a 3D printer. So, I have been thinking of ways that I can make the most of it in my sewing room and have tried out a few quilting templates. We have tried a few different designs and shapes including this half hexagon. I saw a cheat hexi quilt years ago and always wanted to give it a go so I thought this shape would be a great place to start.
I was sent some new garden themed fabrics from The Craft Cotton Company to play with. They are a subtle colour pallet of yellow, green and grey and feature cute images of wellies, beehives, watering cans, hedgehogs and plant pots.
My neighbours also have their own business and pre Covid we used to do our daily post runs together. Our chats now are confined to the garden fence and since she had a special birthday recently, I thought I would try out the new hexagon template in a bag to help carry some of her packages.
YOU WILL NEED
· Fat quarter bundle
· Half metre for lining
· Rotary cutter and mat
· Iron and ironing board
· 1m Bag strap
· Sewing machine
1. First cut your fabric. I have used my new template which you can purchase here if you want. I first cut 3" strips vertically and then used the template to make the hexagon shape. If you don't have a template you could create your own with some card. I would suggest creating a hexagon on something like Word that is 6" wide, print it, cut it in half and then transfer it to card.
· White Beehives - 24
· White Wellies - 24
· Yellow - 10
· Green - 12
· Hedgehogs - 10
2. Layout your fabric for each side. I have laid it out in a way that means the hexagons will be complete on the seam.
3. Sew the vertical rows together. When you pair the pieces up, make sure you don't meet the corners, there needs to be a 1/4" gap. Use a 1/4" seam allowance.
When they are sewn together, give them a good press. I press my seams open.
4. Then sew the columns together and trim the edges.
5. I have used Bosal Mid-Weight wadding to give the bag some strength. Pin the fabric to the wadding and quilt however you like. I have gone with diagonals through the centre of the hexagons.
At this point I realised my dimensions didn't look quite right so I had two options - trim it or turn the top over. Since I didn't have any multidirectional fabric left for the lining I went with the trim it option. I trimmed 2" off so that the top hexagon was in half.
6. When you have done both sides, pin them right sides together around the sides and bottom edge and sew. I was recently asked to try out some Clover Fork Pins through UK Quilters United (if you were wondering what was different about the pins). You can read what I thought about them here.
7. To make the bottom square you need to fold the corners so that the side and the bottom edge meet. Measure 3" from the point and mark it with pins or a dissolvable pen. Sew across, back stitch at the start and finish. Trim off the excess.
8. I wasn't very smart when I cut my fabric so I didn't have any of the designs wide enough to line my bag. No worries though, I just pieced two of the fabrics together and I am actually pleased that I did. Each side needs to be 19" x 21".
9. I added a pocket to the inside by cutting a 12" x 6" piece of the hedgehog fabric. Press over the top edge by 1/4" twice and top stitch. Press over the remaining three edges by 1/4". Pin it the the centre of the lining, around 3" from the top and top stitch it in place.
10. Repeat steps 6 and 7 with your lining pieces but leave an opening around 3-4" wide on one of the sides to turn it out through.
11. I have used 34mm grey webbing for the straps. You could do the same or make your own straps in the fabric. The strap on each side is 50cm. Pin it one hexagon in from each side and top stitch in place.
12. Turn the lining the right way round and place it inside the main bag so that the right sides are together. Pin it with the side seams matching and then sew it all the way around the top edge. Backstitch over the straps to reinforce it.
13. Turn it out and give it a good press. Top stitch the top edge. Whip stitch the opening in the lining or use your machine (I used my machine).
And there you have it! I love this hexagon style and I can't wait to make quilts and cushions the same way.
To see more from Katie, visit her on Instagram @thefabricsquirrel
Made by Katie Done for The Craft Cotton Company 2021