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Sashiko Tote

Sashiko Tote


Sashiko Tote Project

By Kelly Laws

SKILL LEVEL: Beginner  


You can never have too many bags! Create unique tote featuring Sashiko quilting and accent stitching. This project is quick and easy to make using the Baby Lock Sashiko machine. Download printable instructions.



  • Twenty 4” cotton print squares in different colors
  • 1 yard fusible fleece
  • 1 1/4 yard coordinating cotton fabric
  • 2 ½ yards ¾”wide gross grain ribbon
  • All-purpose thread to match fabrics
  • 30-Weight thread in white and black
  • Fusible Web (optional)
  • Iron and Ironing board
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Ruler
  • Chalk


  • Baby Lock Sewing Machine
  • Baby Lock Sashiko


  1. Thread the machine with all-purpose thread to match your fabrics. Using a ¼”seam sew five blocks together to form a row.

  2. Create 3 more rows of 5 blocks alternating the block colors.

  3. Sew two rows together to create the pieced band for the bag front.

  4. Repeat to make a pieced band for the other side of the bag.

  5. Cut four pieces 18”x 15”from the cotton fabric.

  6. Cut two pieces of fusible fleece 18”x 15”.

  7. Following the manufactures directions, fuse the fleece to the wrong side of two of the 18”x 15”pieces.

  8. Sew the two fleece pieces together along one of the 15”sides.

  9. Sew the other two 18”x 15”pieces together along one of the 15”sides. This is the tote lining, set this piece aside for later.

  10. Open the piece out into one long strip. Along the top edge measure down ½ inch and draw a placement line with chalk.

  11. Sew the two pieced bands together to form one long strip.

  12. Place the pieced band wrong side down onto the right side of the fleeced cotton piece, aligning it at the placement line. Note: Right sides should be facing out. Pin in place.

  13. Thread the Baby Lock Sashiko machine with the white thread. Adjust the stitch space and stich length as desired. (Stitch length 3 and stitch space 2 was used here.)

  14. Stitch X’s in each block of the pieced section, stitching through all layers to quilt

  15. Change the thread in the Sashiko machine to black. Set the stitch length and stitch spacing as desired. (A stitch length and spacing of 2 was used)

  16. Align the ribbon over the seam in between the pieced block rows and using the Sashiko machine stitch along the edges of the ribbon to secure the ribbon

  17. Add another row of ribbon to cover the lower edge of the blocks.

  18. To make the handles cut a strip of fabric 3” wide X width of the fabric.

  19. Cut a strip of the fusible fleece 1”x width of the fabric.

  20. Fuse the fleece strip in the center of the 3”strip on the wrong side.

  21. Wrap one side of the 3”strip over the fleece. Turn under ¼”along the long edge of the other side of the strip to conceal the raw edge. Fold this side over.

  22. Option: Fuse the folded edges of the handle piece in place with a fusible web for added stability prior to stitching.

  23. Using the Sashiko machine and a thread color that matches the fabric of the handle piece, stitch consecutive rows of stitching along the length of the handle piece.

  24. Cut the handle piece in half to form two handles. Shorten the handles to your desired length at this time.

  25. Position the ends of each handle evenly spaced on each side of the tote. Baste in position so the raw edges are in-line with the top edge of the pieced blocks.

  26. Align the lining piece right sides together along the placement line. Stitch in place using a ¼”seam allowance.

  27. Press open the seam.

  28. Align the side seam of the tote right sides together matching the corners, ribbon strips, and top seam.

  29. Sew the side seam of the tote and the side seam of the lining.

  30. Stitch across the tote lower edge to create the bottom seam.

  31. Stitch across the lining bottom edge, leaving an opening for turning the bag.

  32. Open out each corner and stitch to make the bag have corners so it will sit. Repeat for the corners in the lining fabric.

    1. Make sure all the corners measure and are stitched the same, or the tote will be uneven.

  33. Turn the tote right ride out through the opening in the lining.

  34. Press to shape the tote. Topstitch the lining in place along the top edge of the pieced block section.

  35. Stitch the lining opening closed by hand or machine.

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