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Hi there, I am Mary Nell and I live in the Ozarks. I live on a farm which is my own little piece of Heaven. I love to craft, quilt and create. There is always something new going through my head that I see that I want to try to make or design. While quilting is a long standing tradition here it is something that I am fairly new at. I hope that on this blog you will find something that will spark your interest.and you too will want to sit down and make something for your loved ones. But once you do I can tell you that it can lead to a serious condition. There is no cure. Once you start it is something that you just can't stop...Enjoy!

Thursday, May 29, 2014


I was searching around on the internet on quilting sites and I started seeing Casserole totes and thought wonder if I could design one.  Well I did the first one was fairly simple looked good but not just what I wanted.  So I went back to the drawing board and this is what I came up with.  I hope you all like it.  This one I would not rate as a beginner item but if you are adventurous you may want to try it out.  Okay lets get started.  Here is what I designed.. Lots of pictures so get ready...

1 yard main fabric
1 yard lining fabric
2 yards cotton batting and 1 yard thinsolate
Heavy duty needle
Thread to match main fabric 
3 magnetic snaps
a small piece of Velcro for the straps and you also can use velcro for flap instead of a snap.  
 Cut from main fabric and lining fabric 2 pieces ea.  14"w x17" L
cut 4 pieces of cotton batting 14 1/2" w. x 17 1/2" L.
2 pieces of thinsolate the same size
cut 1 piece of main fabric and 1 piece of lining fabric  9 1/2"w. x 10"L 
cut 2 pieces of cotton batting the same size adding a 1/2 in to the measurements. 
Cut 2 strips  of main fabric or coordinating fabric for straps  28" L x 4 " w
cut 1 piece of main fabric or coordinating fabric for binding 13 1/4" L x 3 1/2" w
lay 1 piece of main fabric right side up over your 3 layers of batting. 
 Quilt as desired.  I did a diagonal diamond pattern. 

 Starting at one corner sew a line from corner to corner diagonally across the fabric  then going down the side follow your original sewing line and sew from edge to edge diagonally until the all the fabric is sewn in one direction.  The turn the piece and sew another line from corner to corner making an x and continue to sew across your first lines using them as a guide to size.  I did mine about 2 1/2" apart.  Do this for both main pieces of fabric.  Now it is time to sew the bag together.  I used about a 1/2" seam.  Place your 2 pieces of now quilted fabric right sides together making sure that your fabric is going in the same direction if directional.  Sew from the top to the bottom across the bottom and the up the other side.  Back stitching where you start and stop.  
Now take the corners and pull out the corner so that the bottom seam and the side seam lay together..  This is to make the bottom of the bag or the gusset
It should look like this...
Now lay it down on your sewing machine and measure up 2 1/2 " from the tip.

This will be your sewing line.  Back stitch to start and then sew across it and back stitch again.  It will look like this...

 now cut the tip off at the seam line leaving a seam allowance. 
Do this for both sides.  Now turn your bag right side out.  It should stand on its on.  Now to make the lining you sew the two lining pieces together just like you did the main fabric and sew across the corners to make the gusset using the same 2 1/2 in. Measurement from the tip.  Leaving this bag wrong side out slip it into the main fabric bag and line up the bottom and the sides so that your seams are all together and pin at the top side seam and a couple around the top. Turn the bag wrong side out and straighten the bottom so that the gussets line up.

 From here we are going to box the sides.  starting at the gusset.  pinch together the main bag and the lining making a seam from the gusset to the top of the bag.  Pin to secure.  Then sew about and 1/8" seam catching both parts of the bag along your pinned line. 
Sew  both sides so that it looks like this.   Turn right side out and make sure that you have caught both the main bag and the lining if not turn it back and sew where you might have missed.  The key is to pin it so that both are tight together.  When done the bag will now be squared...

turn the bag right side out and lets put on the straps.  Take your first strip of fabric that you cut and press the piece in half cut a piece of stabilizer or batting 2 in w and the length of your strip.
Press down a little at the top and then turn one side in to the center and press.  Then turn the other side in and press again. 
Do this for the length of the strip and then fold in half sew down the outside edge with a small seam.
about 1/8"  sew the whole length and then starting back at the top sew the folded side the same way.  you have now made a strap. Join this strap end to end making sure it is not twisted and zig zag across the ends...this is the top of your strap.   Next we are going to attach it to the bag by pinning it to the back side of the bag and up the sides. 
measure up about 4 1/2 to 5 in.  pin it  and stop at the top of the side seams.  Now sew it down to the back of the bag following your stitch lines. Back stitching for strength when you start and stop.   Do not sew it to the front of the bag!   Make the next strap in the same manner and place it around the bag about 4 in.  from the first one.  Pin it and sew following your sewing lines.  Remember Do not sew it to the front of the bag!!! 

Now make a 2 1/2 in piece from your scraps and sew it length wise and turn right side out.  attach a piece of velcro to both the ends and loop around the top of the handles.  This will hold the handles together and you can also carry your serving spoon threaded through it. 
Now the binding and the flap.  Turn the bag wrong side out again and then place your binding piece around the bag and pin in a couple of places right sides together measure your strip and make it tight around the bag.  Mark the spot with a pin.  Take it off the bag and sew it together at this mark.  Put it back on and pin it around the bag about an inch from the top. 

sew a 1/4 inch seam around the top and then turn the bag right side out and fold ,pin and
sew the strip to the front of the bag stitching in the ditch on your seam line you just made. When you have it sewn down box the corners like you did before just catching the binding do this at all 4 seams.  Next we are going to add the snaps so that the bag will snug down around the casserole dish.  One set on each side.  Using your seam ripper make a very small slit in the sides of the lining between your boxed edges.  One piece of the snap on each side of the center seam line.
Push the prongs of the snap through to the back side of the binding  adding a keeper to the back that comes with the snaps.   Take a pair of pliers I use  needle nose pliers and bend the prongs outward over the edge of the keeper.  You can then put a cover over the back of the snap if your want to  give it a little more strength.  Or leave it what ever you choose.  Do the other side the same way making sure you are using a male and female piece.  when done it should close like this...
Now for the flap.  take the main fabric piece and sandwich it with your batting pieces and quilt in the same manner as the bag body.  Then press it and lay it face up and lay your lining piece face down on it and draw a slight curve at the bottom of the flap ..the narrow end.  Sew around this from the top to the curve and on around up the other side .   Trim off the excess around the curve and the side seam if needed.  
Turn it right sides out and fold down the open end inside of itself and sew across it to close.  Then sew a small seam all around the rest of the flap. 
Now we are going to sew it to the bag.  On the back side of the bag lay the flap with the lining side up right below the binding edge.  Sew it down back stitching to start and finish. 
Then turn the flap up and over the binding and sew another line of stitching about 1/4" from the first fold this will help it lay in place. 

Now turn it over and add your velcro or snap to the flap and the bag.  I added a snap and covered it with a button. 
And you are done!  this was a long one and it is not quite as hard as it seems..but I want everyone from beginner to experienced sewers to understand it.  Thanks for looking !  Hope you try it.  If you find any errors please let me know. 

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