Keeping sewing and craft tools organized and in one spot can be a pain – but not with this clever tote! Using quilted fabric and easy sewing techniques, you can quickly put together a sturdy caddy for rulers, cutters and cutting mats that is both trendy and fun. You can even customize your tote to securely hold patterns, crochet hooks, specialized tools, scrapbooking supplies or whatever else you need. The tote also makes a great gift for friends and family members who like do-it-yourself projects. And, if you have more tools than one tote can possibly handle, make two! Sorting your tools by craft helps you switch between all of your favorite creative hobbies in a snap.
BEFORE YOU START
- You can purchase quilted fabric for this project, or create your own from material you have on hand. Simply sandwich a 7/8 yd. piece of batting between two 7/8 yd. pieces of fabric and sew across the top using your favorite quilting design.
- This tote is designed to hold an 18″ x 24″ OLFA mat. You can increase or decrease the tote size to hold larger or smaller mats, just make sure your tote is 2″ wider and 1″ longer than your mat when folded in order to hold it securely.
- When planning pocket placement on the inside of your tote, keep in mind that it will have two top edges because the tote will fold in half when you carry it. Make sure your pocket openings face up when the tote is closed.
7/8 yd. of quilted fabric
3 yds. of belting for tote strap
1/3 yd. of fabric for binding
Additional fabric to make OLFA ruler pockets (NOTE: Amount will vary depending on how many pockets you make)
2 large buttons
Iron and ironing board
Basic sewing supplies
- Using your rotary cutter, self-healing rotary mat and ruler, cut your quilted fabric to 26″ x 38″ and then bind the edges to create the body of the tote.
- Make button loops for sides of the tote by cutting two 6″ pieces of binding and sewing down the long side of each piece to close the binding.
- Measure 5″ from one short end of the tote and pin a binding piece at that spot. Pin the second loop on the opposite long side, making sure the pieces are aligned. Sew each end in place to make a loop.
- Pin belting on the outside of the tote, looping it over the top of each side to create an oval shape. Make sure the ovals are centered on the short sides of the tote. These loops will become the handles of your tote.
- Securely stitch belting to the quilted fabric.
Make the pockets:
- Lay out the OLFA rulers you want to carry on the inside of your tote. This will help you determine where to place the pockets.
- To cut fabric pieces for pockets, use the following formula:
(ruler width x 2 + 1″) + (ruler length + 2.5″). Example: If your ruler is 6″ x 12″, you will cut a 13″ x 14.5″ piece of fabric.
- Fold each fabric piece in half, right sides together, and sew the long edge and one short edge, using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Leave the remaining short edge open.
- Turn the pocket right side out and press flat.
- Hem or bind the top open edge to finish the pocket.
- Make as many pockets as you need.
Attach the pockets and finish the tote:
- Position the pockets on the inside of the tote with openings facing the handles. Stitch to the inside of the tote using a 1/4″ topstitch along 3 sides and leaving the bound top edge open.
- Fold tote closed and mark the spot where you need to place your buttons, using your button loops as a guide. Hand-stitch buttons in place and tote your tools in style!
TIPS FROM THE EXPERTS
- You can stow all kinds of tools in your tote! Shaped rulers like the 6.5″ Triangle or the 6.5″ x 6.5″ Square Ruler fit great, as do larger sizes like 12.5″ x 12.5″ or 16.5″ x 16.5″ Square Rulers.
- Consider adding a mini stuffed pillow to use as a pincushion. Slip one into a pocket or add a ribbon to tie it to the tote handle!
- You can also stow your OLFA Rotary Cutter in deeper pockets. What about your rotary mat? It fits into the tote itself, no special pocket needed!
- Sew a pocket to hold patterns or templates for your latest project, keeping all your tools in one handy place.