Tutorial: 9-Patch Tote Bag

9-Patch Tote Bag

Finished size: Approx. 14”x9”

9-patch tote bag


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Supplies required:

  • 18 pcs: 5” x 5” squares quilting cotton in assorted designs (you can repeat some prints)
  • 1 pc: 7” x 14” quilting cotton (or linen or denim) fabric for bag base
  • 1 pc: 14” x 34” quilting cotton fabric for Bag Lining
  • 1 pc: 15.5” x 36” Batting
  • 2 pcs: 32” Webbing (Bag straps)



Use ¼” seam allowance unless otherwise stated 

  1. Arrange 9 of the 5” x 5” squares in 3 x 3 layout as desired. See Fig. 1.Fig 1
  2. With right sides together, sew the squares to make 3 squares in a row. Join left square to center square first before joining the right square to complete the row.
  3. Press seams of 1st and 3rd row to the right. Press seams of 2nd row to the left. See Fig 2.
  4. To complete the 9-patch block, sew 1st Row to 2nd Row, nesting the seams which are pressed in opposite directions. Add the 3rd row net. Press the seams all towards the bottom of the block. See Fig 2.Fig 2
  5. Square your block to 14” x 14”
  6. Repeat steps 1-5 to make the 2nd block for the other side of the bag.
  7. Right sides together, sew base fabric to the 2 blocks. Press seam toward blocks. (see Fig 3)Fig 3
  8. Baste pieced top to batting and quilt as desired.
  9. Trim batting of quilted edges (see Fig. 4)Fig 4
  10. With right sides together, sew together the long edges on both sides of the bag piece.
  11. To create a base for the bag, cut 1¾” x 2 1/8” from both corners at the bottom of Outer Bag. See Fig 5 and Fig 6.Fig 5
    Fig 6
  12. Pinch together the gaps in cut corners, lining up the side seam to the bottom fold line. Sew across. This step creates a flat bottom and some depth. See Fig. 7Fig 7
  13. Repeat steps 10-12 for the bag lining.
  14. Position the edges of the bag straps to the left and right of the center squares of the Outer Bag. Pin/clip/ baste the edges of straps to front of the Outer Bag. See Fig. 8Fig 8
  15. To join the Outer Bag, Lining and straps, turn bag lining right-side out and place it inside Outer Bag so that the right sides are facing together. See Fig. 9Fig 9
  16. Backstitching at the beginning and end of the seam, sew with an 1/2" seam allowance almost all the way around the tote, stopping 4" before the starting point — this should catch all four ends of the bag straps while leaving ample room for turning.
  17. Turn the bag right side out through the 4” opening. Lightly press with a warm iron to remove wrinkles.
  18. Top-stitch all the way around the bag sewing ¼” from the edge. This will also help reinforce bag straps and close the gap left in the previous step for turning.

It is all done now!