Mosaic Heart Tote : a tutorial

free heart tote tutorialI’m so excited to bring you my latest tutorial for Janome using their limited edition Anna Maria Horner M100! This project was made for Valentine’s Day but you can use it all year long! Its called the Mosaic Heart Tote and I was inspired by the idea of a pieced heart thinking of all the people and things that make up our hearts. I think of my husband and children and the rest of my family, Olivia Jane (our dog), God, sewing, antiques, chocolate… all these things and more make up what I love. I think its especially fitting right now in our country- we are separate, we don’t always agree, but together we are this great nation! I hope in some way or another this Mosaic Heart will inspire you to make and think of the loves that are woven together to make the fabric of your heart.Free heart tote tutorialFree heart tote tutorialThis bag is 13″ wide x 16″ high x 3″ deep. Its a great tote size, and the straps can be lengthened or shortened easily whether you are making for yourself or a child (as was the case here as soon as my daughter saw the plans drawn up!)Free heart tote tutorialSo here’s what you’ll need:

Your basics (cutting mat, rotary cutter, ruler, thread)

some scraps to make the heart

Main Fabric: (2) 13.5″ x 13.5″ cuts

Interior Fabric: (2) 13.5″ x 18″ cuts

Faux Leather or some contrast fabric: (1) 9.5″ x 13.5″

Straps: to make your own (2) 4″ x 18-24″ pieces of fabric OR 1-1.5 yds strap

You’ll also need about 1/2 yd of Pellon Wonder Under, 1 yd of Pellon SF101, and 1.25 yds Pellon Fusible Flex Foam (you can substitute batting or some other interfacing if you wish to have less structure)

Note: if you’d like your bag a little wider, go ahead and cut 16.5″ widths on everything. 

First, go ahead and use the SF101 to interface the straps and the main fabric pieces. Free heart tote tutorialFold the straps in half lengthwise and then fold the raw edges toward the center foldline and press. Free heart tote tutorialUsing an edgestitch and a lengthened stitch (about 3 or 3.5) stitch all the way around your straps and set them aside.

Draw and cut a heart from your Wonder Under (about 10.5″ high and wide is perfect)Free heart tote tutorialNext we are going to make the heart. This is the fun part! You can use any shape of scrap and just start pairing them up and sewing together in every which way. Then trim a straight edge and join to another piece until you have enough to cover the heart. Free heart tote tutorialNow my recommendation is to fuse this to some SF101 for stability then fuse the Wonder Under heart to the back of that and cut out. Your improv heart will act as its own piece of fabric now, and the interfacing helps to ward off any fraying on the raw edge.

Remove the paper backing from the Wonder Under behind your heart and center it on one of the main fabric pieces. When you are happy with the placement, fuse it down. Free heart tote tutorialYou are now ready to applique!

My favorite stitch is #30 because it is so perfect for raw edge applique. The presets are perfect for me. Just switch over to foot F and line the edge of the heart up with the opening on the foot and start stitching. Free heart tote tutorialI used black thread for a high contrast look. I wanted my heart to be well outlined. Free heart tote tutorialNow switch back to foot A and stitch #00 and sew the faux leather to the bottoms of your main pieces using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Then go back and topstitch 1/8″ from the seam on the main fabric which will tack down the leather seam allowance and help everything lay flat. You should have one long piece with the leather in the middle. Free heart tote tutorialNow press the main fabric only (NOT the leather) onto the fusible flex foam. Take your time and just be sure it is evenly adhered. It’s not necessary for it to be fused to the leather bottom.

Fold your bag exterior in half right sides together and sew up the sides only with a 1/4″ seam allowance.

Place your interior pieces right sides together and sew around sides and bottom, leaving a 5-6″ opening in the bottom for turning. Free heart tote tutorialCut a 1.25″ square from the bottom corners. You’ll cut this from the stitching line, not the edge. So from the interior place the 1.25″ mark on the stitching lines, and for the exterior line the 1.25″ marks up with the side stitch seam and the bottom edge since it’s not stitched. Free heart tote tutorialNow open the bag a bit (don’t turn it; you should still be looking at the wrong side) so you can stitch across the corner openings so you can create the boxed corners. Use a 1/4″ seam allowance and be sure to back stitch. Free heart tote tutorialTurn the main bag right side out. Baste the straps in place being sure not to twist them. Place them about 2.5″ or so from the center of the bag and baste in place with a 1/8″ seam. Free heart tote tutorialSlip the lining over the main bag with is right side out so that the right sides are together. The top raw edges should be aligned. Pin if you want to and stitch a 1/4″seam all the way around the bag. Free heart tote tutorialFree heart tote tutorialTurn the bag right side out by slipping the main bag through the opening at the bottom of the lining. Go slow. You’re not in any hurry here. Tuck the lining into the main bag and press around the top edge. Now go back and top stitch around the top of the bag about 3/8″ away from the edge. That’ll keep the lining tucked in the bag. Free heart tote tutorialSew the opening closed in the lining and you have a finished bag! Free heart tote tutorialFree heart tote tutorialI would love to see your Mosaic Heart Tote! Use #mosaichearttote #oliviajanehandcrafted and #janomeamerica on social media! It totally makes my day to see your projects.Free DIY appliqué heart tote tutorial JanomeThank you so much for stopping by. I hope you have a wonderful Monday. :)


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Welcome to Olivia Jane Handcrafted! I'm Meredith and this is my creative journal. Here you'll find loads of inspiration for a handmade wardrobe, home decor, bags, and quilts. I even have plenty of projects and tutorials to get you started or help you along the way.

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