art gallery fabrics

Recycled Block: Trick-or-treat Tote Bag Tutorial

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Hi, Makers! 

Spooky season is here! One of my favorite holidays is Halloween because we get to do so many fun projects here at the studio. This time around the marketing team and I were thinking about all the projects we can create this season so we started looking for inspiration at things we’ve done in the past! 

That’s when we came across a super sweet quilt block I sewed for Instagram! Where I pieced some strips of Halloween-inspired colors from our Pure Solids range, applied Decostitch Elements in “Stellar” on top, and reverse appliqued to reveal the fabric strips underneath! If you’d like to learn how to reverse applique, click here and watch our Reels video that I filmed to show you a quick tutorial on how to create it! You can also click here to download the bat stencil. 

We received such great feedback from that post, I knew this was the block I had to dig out of my cubby to see what we can do with it. 

 *Pure Solids featured in Honey, Dried Carrot, Vanilla Custard, and Crystal Pink.


Trying to think of ways to recycle this block while still being an easy project, we thought a trick-or-treat tote would be perfect! This way you have the opportunity to recycle some past projects or UFO quilt blocks to give them a new life. This brings us to today’s post, where I show how to create a tote bag using a previous block! 

What I love about this tutorial is that you can easily adjust the size of the tote according to the size of your block and you also have the chance to use 2 blocks that are the same size in one bag (front and back)! 

Let’s get started!

Take a 12'' square of your choice of fabric for the back of your tote (our block measured 12'') or the same size as your existing quilt block, and quilt it.  

Place the back of the tote and the front right sides facing together and sew all three sides, leaving the top unsewn. Pin in place.

Take two (1) 12’’ fabric squares of the desired color for the lining and sew the three sides leaving the top part unsewn. Make sure to leave about 3’’ of opening on one side in order to turn your tote inside out. 

Insert the lining fabric inside the exterior fabric with right sides together. Line up side seams.


Blog-photos_10Create your handles first. Then, insert one of the bag handles between the exterior fabric and lining fabric about 3” from the side seams (like a sandwich). Be sure your handles are straight and do not twist.

The raw edges of the bag handles should be placed side by side, approximately 5” apart. 

Pin in place and repeat on the opposite side of the bag.


Using a 1/4” seam allowance, stitch around the top edge of your bag.

Turn your bag right side out and carefully press the top seam.

Push the lining fabric into the bag and press the top edge.

Topstitch around the entire top of the bag using a 1/8” seam.

Blog-photos_14And ta-da!! You have yourself a cute trick or treat bag for Halloween!!

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I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! It was a fun one for me to create and I can’t wait to give it to my niece so she can use it this Halloween. I definitely want to use the tutorial again for some of the blocks I have laying around that I can transform into an everyday tote for my groceries! You can even get fancy with it and make the tote bigger by adding borders, have fun changing up the hand straps- there are so many ways you can personalize this project. Please let me know in the comments below if you have any questions or tips you’d like to share! 

As always, please share your totes if you recycle one of your old blocks on social media by tagging us in your photo with the hashtag #artgalleryfabrics

Until next time, happy sewing!



SURPRISE BONUS! Makers’ Call: Block Edition


Just when you thought it was over…

#AGFNationalSewingMonth is back with a final hurrah! For those of you who missed it, here’s a quick recap! Over the month of September, we celebrated National Sewing Month with a special event called Makers’ Call. This event would take you along the designing process until the very end where you get to download the winning free pattern! 

It was a thrill watching everyone be a part of this event, from choosing your favorite block to the final project. After counting over a thousand votes, the winning project was the TABLE RUNNER and we named it “Midnight Flowers”. We posted all about it in our last blog post where you can find all the fabrics used and the free pattern link! 

We received such great feedback after releasing this pattern but behind the scenes, we actually never told you how close of a race this was. The runner-up project was the Lunch Bag and we couldn’t believe it had lost by only 50 VOTES! After so many comments asking for the lunch bag and knowing it was such a close call, we knew we just had to bring it back as a BONUS! 

Introducing… Our “Midnight Flowers” Lunch Bag Pattern


The fun never stops!  Now you can download this pattern too and recreate your own version. Thank you all for being a part of this event and we are already planning something for the next one!  Make sure you tell all your quilty friends, especially if they were rooting for the lunch bag about this exciting news! If you make this pattern please share it with us by posting under the hashtag #artgalleryfabrics, we would love to see it!


Until next time, happy sewing! 


A Feel-Good Fabric Collection: Onward + Upward by Jessica Swift

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Hello, fabric lovers! 

I would like to start the day with one of my favorite sayings, “It doesn’t matter how many times you fall, what matters is how many times you get up!” We are all humans, going through this roller coaster we call life, and our goal is to try to make the most out of it. Today celebrates exactly that with Jessica Swift’s latest collection, Onward + Upward! One of my favorite things about Jessica as a designer is that her collections are so personal, relatable, and enlightening. 

Onward + Upward embraces the powerful experience of self-discovery and the beautiful nature of life. She illustrates her journey through loss and grief and the rise through it all with bold colors, folkloric designs, and magical creatures.

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This collection is available in 12 quilting cotton prints, and just by looking at them will bring a smile to your face! It’s filled with cheerful colors and symbolic animals. In fact, in a special interview with Jessica, she expressed that many of the images in this collection are symbols– either universal or personal – of rebirth and rising up. Such as the phoenix that’s present in the print “Rise Up,” the pegasus in the print “Magical Moment,” and other symbols like the stars and the sun that represent Jessica as the universe and its magic. 

Fabric 11*Knit print in Dream the Best Haze

Fabric 8*Rayon print in Rise Up Scarlet

I love the prints chosen for the substrates because they are both versatile in their own ways! The knit print is playful and bright, making it perfect for kids’ clothing like shirts, leggings, and onesies, & the rayon’s BOLD print is meant to be a statement piece like a flowy dress or scarf. The possibilities are endless! 

Fabric 17Add to your patchwork projects by combining the Onward + Upward with these matching AGF Elements:

Nature Elements: Ocean Breeze

Oval Elements: Pomelo and Deep Bayou

PURE Solids: Cozumel Blue, Fresh Water, Coral Reef, Grapefruit, Flamingo, Georgia Peach, Dragon fruit, and Evergreen. 

Squared Elements: Teal



Let me formally introduce to you one of the most stunning quilts of all time, “Thankful”! Filled with the cheerful colors of this collection, this quilt is a true labor of love as it’s gonna cost you a few rotary blades and patience, but I can tell you seeing this beauty in person-IT’S WORTH IT. Download it today and put it on your sewing to-do list, you’ll thank me later! 



On every page of our Onward + Upward Fabric Lookbook below, you’ll discover crafty projects made with the 12 cotton prints, and sweet accessories & apparel with the available knit and rayon print. 



What better way to uplift your spirit than a GIVEAWAY! Just CLICK HERE, fill out the form for a chance to win a fat quarter bundle of the cotton prints of Jessica Swift's Onward + Upward fabric collection! The giveaway ends on October, 8, and the winner will be emailed and announced right here on the blog. 

Onward-blog*Please reply within 7 days to claim your prize (check your email on October 15th!) If we don’t receive a reply, we will have to choose another winner as we’d like to be fair with all participants, and pass the opportunity to another contestant. Thank you! 


As someone that uses a lot of crafts to help me through the hard times of my life, I would love to hear any of your stories that sewing and quilting have helped you! No matter what you are going through, you can always rely on this community for support and in the end, have the satisfaction of creating something beautiful. If you get your hands on this collection and you want to share your projects with us, please tag us on social media using the hashtag #AGFOnwardandUpward, we’d love to see what you’re making! Until next time...

Happy sewing!