Meet and Make: Carol Steely

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This week’s Meet and Make designer is Carol Steely. Carol loves quilting and sewing and shares her designs on her blog, Fun Threads. She especially likes creating quilts with raw edge applique, and offers free templates and tutorials so her readers can make her imaginative quilts too. Carol also maintains an Etsy shop where she sells quilt tops and other crafts.

Let’s meet Carol!


10 fun facts about Carol

  1. I’m addicted to iced tea
  2. I can’t parallel park a car
  3. I wear blue jeans most of the time
  4. I helped to rebuild a VW bug engine
  5. I HATE hot weather and being hot in general
  6. I taught myself to crochet when I was 8 years old
  7. I’ve sewn a Victorian bustled dress from an authentic pattern
  8. Craft ideas swirling in my head frequently wake me up in the middle of the night
  9. I was a mechanical drafter for a company that made collision repair equipment
  10. My handwriting is so bad some days I can’t even read it. Thank goodness for computers!


Here’s Carol’s project!

“All We Need” Tote Tutorial
This is a lined bag


Finished Size: 12 inches tall x 12 inches wide x 5 inches deep

Primary Technique: Pieced and fusible applique

Seam allowance: 1/2 inch


  • LOVE pattern – Download HERE
  • 1 yard black print
  • 1/3 yard solid black
  • 1/4 yard solid pink
  • 1/8 yard pink print
  • 1 yard Pellon 40 interfacing
  • 1 5/8 yard of 1 1/4 wide belting
  • 1 sheet Steam-A-Seam Lite 2
  • Sulky 40 wt. pink thread to match the solid pink fabric
  • All purpose black thread
  • Chalk wheel (optional)
  • Rotary cutter, mat and grid ruler (optional but very helpful)

Cutting Chart – Cut in the order given

Backing – Black print
15 1/2 x 18 inches

Lining – Black Print
15 1/2 x 18 inches (cut 2)

Wide Borders – Black Print
Sides 4 1/4 x 11 1/2 inches (cut 2)
Top 1 3/4 x 18 inches
Bottom 4 1/4 x 18 inches

Letters – Pink solid
9 x 9 inch square

Center Panel – Black solid
10 x 10 inch square

Thin Borders – Pink print
Sides 1 3/4 x 10 inches (cut 2)
Top 1 3/4 x 11 1/2 inches
Bottom 1 3/4 x 11 1/2 inches

15 1/2 x 18 inches (cut 2)

29 inches long (cut 2)


Step 1 – Create the Applique

If you need additional help a detailed tutorial on how to make fusible applique can be found on my blog

1.  Trace the design on to the Steam-A-Seam Lite 2 sheet. The design is already drawn in reverse for you.

2.  Peel the backing paper off.

3.  Place design on the back of the dark pink fabric. I like to hit it quickly with the iron to make sure it’s sticking well.

4.  Cut out the design beginning with the small center cut outs first.


5.  Center the design on the solid black square. When you are happy with the placement fuse it in place.



6.  Use a chalk wheel to connect the lines forming the letters.


7.  Stitch around the letters with an applique stitch, zig zag stitch or satin stitch using the rayon thread.


8.  Press the square without steam to flatten the stitching and straighten the block.


Step 2  – Attach the Narrow Borders

Seam allowance 1/2 inch

1.  Attach the pink print side borders and press.

12.  Attach the pink print top and bottom borders and press.


3.  Attach the black print side borders and press.

34.  Attach the black print top and bottom borders and press.

45.  The front of the bag is now finished.


Step 3 – Create the Outer Bag

1.  Stack the layers as follows and pin evenly – Interfacing, bag back “pretty” side up, bag front “pretty” side down, interfacing.


2.  Sew the side and bottom edges.

3.  Use a chalk wheel to draw a 2 1/2 x 2 1/2 square at each bottom corner of the bag. Cut off these squares.



4.  Pull the seams together squaring off the corners. This will create the bag’s shape.


5.  Sew across the corners.


6.  Press the entire bag neatly giving it shape.

Step 4 – Create the Lining

1.  Pin the lining fabrics together evenly with “pretty” sides touching.

2.  Mark an opening on the bottom edge for turning the bag later.

3.  Sew the side and bottom edges (do not sew between the opening marks).

4.  Use a chalk wheel to draw a 2 1/2 x 2 1/2 square at each bottom corner of the bag. Cut off these squares.

5.  Pull the seams together squaring off the corners. This will create the bag’s shape. (see photos above)

6.  Sew across the corners.

7.  Press the entire lining neatly giving it shape.

Step 5 – Attach Handles

1.  Center and pin the handles to the top of the bag. They should be 4 inches apart.  Make sure they are facing down like the photo.

2.  Stitch across the straps to hold them in place.


Step 6 – Attach the Lining

1.  Stuff the bag into the lining with “pretty” sides touching.

2.  Make the top edge even and pin.

3.  Sew around the top edge of the bag.

4.  Turn the bag “pretty” side out through the opening on the bottom of the lining.

5.  Sew the opening shut and stuff the lining into the bag.

6.  Top stitch around the upper edge of the bag to hold the lining in place.


Your Tote is Finished! Enjoy!


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  1. Norma says

    Absolutely love this tote! Can’t wait to make one. I am into hearts (daughter born on Valentine’s Day) and my boyfriend is into the peace symbol. Thanks so much for sharing.


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