When the children were babies I used to say that going anywhere with them was like moving house – there always seemed to be so many things that I had to pack just for a day out. Now the children have grown up and left home and I feel the same way about going to quilting workshops. I’m sure that other quilters are much better organised than I am, but I seem to end up with lots of bags with bits of this and that in them. That’s why I decided that it was time for a cutting mat bag.
My cutting mat is 24″ by 18″ and my ruler is 18″ by 6″ so I have designed my cutting mat bag around those measurements. I’ve kept it really simple, but obviously you can embellish your bag far more than I have done.
To make this cutting mat bag you will need one 26″ strip, one 8″ strip and one 2.1/2″ strip cut across the width of two fabrics. One fabric will be the outer bag. The other fabric will be the lining and the pockets on the front.
Making the cutting mat bag
From the 8″ strip in both fabrics cut one 16″ length and cut the remainder in two. In my case that gave me two strips at 9.1/2″. These will be the pockets for the rotary cutter and scissors. Trim these 9.1/2″ lengths to 5″ wide rather than 8″. Place these strips of fabric with right sides together and sew together on two long sides and one short side to create three pouches.
Turn the pouches right side out and press. Trim the 26″ strip of both fabrics along the selvedge to give a width of about 40″. This will alow your cutting mat to slide easily in and out of the bag. Measure 10″ in from one side along the 40″ edge and place the middle of the 16″ pouch with the open end in line with the raw edge of the brown fabric. The closed end will then form the top of the pouch. The brown fabric is right side up as this will be the front of the bag. Place the other two pouches either side of the large pouch about an inch either side.
Check that the right hand pouch isn’t too close to the two sides of each pouch. these will form the pockets for the ruler, rotary and scissors, so don’t sew across the top.
Fold the brown fabric in half so that it measures 26″ by 20″ and covers the pockets. Sew the two seams across the side and bottom. This creates the outer bag. fold the yellow fabric in half in the same way to create the bag lining, but only sew down one 26″ length to create a tube. don’t sew across the bottomof the bag lining at this stage.
Now to the handles of the cutting mat bag. Take the two 2.1/2″ strips of fabric. With right sides together sew the brown strip to the yellow strip along both long edges to create a tube. Cut in half and turn the tubes right side out. Press the and top stitch along both long edges of each handle to hold them in place.
Pin the handle strap edges to the top edge of the bag as shown. Do the same on the other side of the cutting mat bag. Pull the bag lining down over the bag and handles with right sides together and line up all the raw edges around the top of the cutting mat bag.
Sew around the top of the cutting mat bag and then pull the bag lining up so that it stretches out above the bag. Turn under a small seam at the open end of the bag lining and sew the seam close to the edge to close the lining.
Push the lining down inside the cutting mat bag and pin and sew a line of top stitching around the top of the bag. With your new cutting mat bag you can now carry cutting mat, scissors and rotary cutter much more easily to your next quilt workshop.