Thursday, August 21, 2008

Make A Charm Pack Raggy Quilt Purse -Here's How

These little rag quilt bags are fun to make and actually very simple. For this one I used a Moda Charm Pack and about 2/3 yard of coordinating fabric for lining and pockets. What you actually will need is: 25 5" charm squares, 25 5" lining squares, 19 4" Warm n' Natural batting squares and about a 2" X 10" scrap for the button loop. This makes a finished bag that is approx. 12"X8" with a 4" gusset (that is the depth part.)

Here is my charm pack, it is called "Portugal"

Next I cut 25 5" squares from the coordinating fabric for the lining.

The 19 batting squares will be cut to 4".

Here are all the materials ready to go.

Now you make the 3 layer "quilt sandwich" by laying the top face down, the batting square is centered on the top, then lay the backing square face up.

Make 19 sandwiches, set the other squares aside for now.

If you have any doubts about your ability to sew a straight line you may want to mark an X on the back of your sandwiches.

Do this using a fabric marking pencil or a water soluble marker.

You might try stitching a few Xs and see how accurate you are, these do not have to be perfect so if you get them pretty close you can go ahead and skip this step.

The quickest way to sew the Xs is to chain stitch the squares. Stitch from corner to corner in each direction.

Here is a nice pile of finished squares. Clip them apart.

Lay out your front, back, two sides (gusset) and the bottom. I chose to alternate light and dark squares, but since this is a charm pack you can just lay them out randomly and they will look great I am sure.

Yes, that is my real sewing machine. I call her The Beast.

Now using a 1/2" seam allowance for all seams,
stitch the 3 rows of the front and back together. Stitch top and bottom squares to make the 3 rows for each side.

Be sure to stitch the squares WRONG SIDES TOGETHER so the seam will be exposed on the outside of the bag.

Make 3 pockets from the 6 left over lining squares. Stitch across the top, Right Sides Together, press the seam and topstitch on the outside. Lay two pockets down on row 1 of front of bag. Lay row 2 on top of row 1. Stitch from top to bottom.

Repeat this step, adding row 3.

For back of bag stitch the 3 rows together with seam exposed, of course.

Stitch the bottom 3 squares together now too.

Stitch the front to the bottom, starting at the the intersection of the X and the 1/2" seam allowance. Stitch across the bottom of the bag leaving 1/2" open on each end.

Stitch the back side to the bottom in the same manner.

Now you will have something resembling a little mini quilt. The top two rows are the front, the middle row is the bottom and the last two rows are the back.

Stitch the two squares for each side together too.

Lay the side piece on top of the front of bag and stitch from top to 1/2" from the bottom. This will be at the intersection of the X. Now stitch the back and side together from top to bottom, leaving 1/2" seam allowance open.

NOTE: Take care that you align the edges of the pockets with the front and side before stitching.

Repeat this for the other side.

This is what the side will look like when stitched.

Now pin the bottom and side together.

Stitch the side panel across the bottom between the X intersection. I usually backstitch a couple times to make sure the corner is nice and tight.

The body of the bag is done and ready for the finishing touches! WHEW!

That wasn't really so hard was it?

Here is and inside view of the bag and the 3 handy little pockets.

Take the remaining 6 squares and stitch them together with a 1/4" seam allowance. Press the seams to one side.

Cut the strip in half to make two 2 1/2" strips.

Cut a strip of batting 1 1/2" wide X approx 28" long. Center the batting on one strip and then pin the other strip in place on top.

Stitch the strap together with a 1/2" seam allowance. Stitch again 1/4" inside the first row of stitching.

I like to clip the strap before attaching it to the bag. Using a sharp scissors or spring type snipper, clip the edges every 1/4" to just outside of the stitching line. Do this on both sides of the strap.

Pin the strap in between the layers on each end of the bag taking care to center them.

Make a button loop with a 2" X 10" scrap of lining fabric. Fold in half wrong sides together and stitch, using a 1/4" seam allowance. Turn with a safety pin. Topstitch close to edges. Fold in half and lay flat to form a point. Stitch across the upper edge of point. Pin in place between layers of back center of bag.

Stitch around the top of bag 1/2" from edge. Stitch again 1/4" outside first row of stitching.

Clip all exposed seams, taking care not to clip into your stitching lines. Clip 1/2" - 1/4" apart. The smaller your clips the fluffier your "chenille bloom" will be.

Run your raggy bag through a gentle rinse cycle in the washing machine. Dry on low heat. I add a sweatshirt or a couple of towels to the dryer to help it dry faster and come out nice and fluffy.

Add a button to the front. I used a covered button on this one. Vintage buttons or a large decorative button are also a nice finishing touch. Enjoy!


  1. These are the most complete directions for making a rag purse that I have seen. Easy to understand. Thanks!

  2. Awesome! Thanks for the tutorial.

  3. I just wanted to say thank you for posting this! I found your blog when I googled how to make a rag purse. Your instructions were so easy to follow and I am so excited at how my purse turned out! :)

  4. this is pretty good indeed. we have include it in our site. :)

  5. I love to have different kind of puse specially for combine it with my clothes. I think every desing is identified with the personality of each woman. I prefer a comfortable and big purses because i usually carry many things even like when i buy viagra for my boyfriend.

  6. When i got my house by costa rica homes for sale i took all my document in my purse. Thanks God my purse was very big I had no problem. That´s why i prefer to use big bag every time. I really love it, because they are very comfortable.

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. What a great looking bag! I can’t wait to make one.

  9. Thank you for these easy to follow instructions.

  10. I have been looking for a rag bag tutorial Thanks so much I cant wait to make one :)

  11. Very complete and understandable instructions and they are also good instructions to get the job done. Thank you so much.

  12. After washing my bag it wouldn't stand. I tried starch and that didn't work either. Any suggestions?

    1. Thanks for visiting Rainbow Creek! I think it depends on the weight of the fabrics and batting you have used. I have had a few that turned out pretty limp too. I don't really have an answer if the fabrics are just too light weight. Sorry :(

  13. These are the best instructions I have seen on one of these bags. Deffenately going to make one.

  14. Thank you for the tutorial...I've been wanting to make one of these. Guess what I'll be doing tomorrow!

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