Thursday, August 19, 2021

Tote Bag Featuring Sue Spargo's Appliqué Birds & Star Quilt Blocks

I just love these appliqué birds designed by Sue Spargo for Crafter's Edge die cuts. The birds are part of a series of 5 different birds that were designed for Crafter's Edge by Sue Spargo. I have two of the birds. 

I knew that I wanted to cut these birds out in felt using the die cuts, but what to do with them after I did that? At first I thought I would make them into pockets and sew them to a tote bag. But then I thought I should just sew these into a front & back of a tote bag. But I needed to make them larger first, so I decided to use the birds for the centers of a Sawtooth Star block. The Birds, the squares and triangles were all cut using the Crossover II Die Cut Machine and die cuts all from Crafter's Edge. That made the cutting so easy and precise.

Here are the blocks I made:

I used the felt I had on hand, which was either wool, a wool blend or polyester. I hand blanket stitched around the birds and added other some French knots too. Some buttons were also added on top of felt circles as well.

For the legs & feet, since they were so skinny, I just did a running stitch to hold them in place. The white background square I stenciled with a chicken wire stencil I had.

On this bird, I did similar stitching and also added buttons. I chose different felt colors for the bird as well as different fabric colors. The aqua fabric is actually a printed sun dyed fabric made by using paint and a texture on top that is dried in the sun. I didn't make this particular fabric; it was given to me by a friend. I have made other sun dyed fabrics before. It's a fun process (as long as it's not windy outside).

To create the stars, I used the Crafter's Edge Half Square Triangles and Quarter Square Triangles. They cut perfectly & sew perfectly too. Just look at that point!

Another perfect point sewn.

The other block points were sewn perfectly as well.

I decided to add an appliqué butterfly to the inside slip pocket as a bit of inside bling, so I used the large butterfly die cut from Crafter's Edge to quickly cut the pieces and I blanket stitched the appliqué by machine. I didn't add the extra appliqué pieces on top of the butterfly because I liked it just like this.

The lining with the slip pocket and appliqué butterfly. I wanted to photograph this before I made the bag, so you could see it better. On the left is a pen pocket division and I stitched another division down the center of the pocket, so there are 3 pockets, including the pen pocket.

One bird on one side of the bag. I quilted it first to batting and then added a foam stabilizer for the tote to stand up and not be slouchy.

The other bird on the other side of the bag.

Hand blanket stitching and added buttons and French knots.

Also hand blanket stitched with French knots and added buttons.

Handmade label.

I sewed the straps in place and also added metal strap ends and 4 rivets for each strap side for some bling and secure handles. 

On the top sides I added a magnetic snap to close the bag and give it a different shape when viewed from the front. When I need to open the bag wide the snaps easily unsnap. The center of the bag also closes with a snap too, keeping everything secure inside the bag.

There is a also a zippered pocket across from the butterfly slip pocket. 

Here is the top side snap unsnapped to show you.

The tote bag measures 15 1/2 " at it's widest x 17" high x 4 3/4" deep at the sides.

I added 6 purse feet to keep the bottom of the bag clean too.

I really love how my tote bag turned out! Thanks to Crafter's Edge for their great die cuts so I could cut such precise pieces and quickly too.

The following 6 die cuts from Crafter's edge were used in making my Tote Bag~

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  1. Daryl, the birds are so cute with their added extras of french knots and buttons and your beautiful stitching. They’re so cute on the bag. The butterfly inside is an awesome surprise.

  2. Your bag looks fabulous. Love those funky birds :)

  3. Those blocks with the blanket stitching are adorable. Well done.

  4. What a great bag, Daryl! I love these birds!! I was wondering about using the dies for wool and may give that a try. I've got to come up with a project for this month!!

  5. PS: Thanks for linking up with TGIFF today!!

  6. what a great tote I love the birds and how you mixed fibers. great idea using it in a tote.

  7. This is one of the cutest and prettiest bags I’ve ever seen. The felt birds are adorable. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you so much Linda! Since you are no-reply, I couldn't respond to you through email. So I hope you come back here to read this. I appreciate the comment very much.


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