This project belongs squarely in the “in-progress” category because, as you can see, it’s just a block. And I want it to be a bag.

I’m such a fan of this block. Juliet from Tartankiwi has a ton of great machine paper piecing patterns, and this 12″ butterfly block is one of my favorites.  I loved the first one I made with reddish pinks and blues.  It turned into a lovely pillow that sits in my sewing area.

butterfly 2

I need some help with this one. I want to enter it into Tartankiwi’s Butterfly Challenge, and even though it doesn’t have to be a finished project for entry, I’d like to quickly get this block into a tote bag for my little niece. My niece is a year-and-a-half old and her mama seems to like the purple/yellow combo and butterflies (and very much has a need for a tote to carry her little one’s belongings).

What bag should I make that’s quick and not too difficult?  Anyone have a free tutorial suggestion?  I was considering the Poolside Tote, but I haven’t made myself a Supertote yet.  Before I spend more money on another pattern, I’d like to make that Supertote.  But, the Poolside seems to have enough space between the straps to accommodate this 12″ butterfly….  Decisions, decisions.  I know there are TONS of free, big tote patterns out there…

Can you help?

(In case anyone wants to join, I’ll be listening to the MQG’s webinar tonight on Showcasing Your Creations: Using Photography to Maximize Appeal.)

Linking with other WIPs at Freshly Pieced.


  1. Heather @ QA Creations

    Are you sure this wouldn’t fit on the pocket of the super tote?  That’s a big bag, 15 inches wide on the finished measurements.  Plus the zip helps keep everything inside and little hands out!

    1. Daisy

      It might fit on a super tote, but I was worried the super tote would take a while to make.  Maybe I should just bite the bullet and start two at once – one for me and one for this butterfly!

  2. Dena

    The colors you chose for the butterfly block are perfect!   The tote sounds wonderful. I wish I had a pattern or tutorial to suggested. Cheers!

  3. Maryse

    It’s beautiful! I saw this pattern last week actually and pinned it right away. My mother in law loves birds and butterlfies and I think it would be a nice pattern to make for her. It’s very pretty, well done!

  4. Kim S.

    Daisy, your butterflies are gorgeous! I think you should make an extra one to fit into your gypsy wife quilt, too! It is such a special block, and you construct it so well! As for totes, I am not much help on the free tutorials, but I do like making bags from the patterns in the book The Bag Making Bible by Lisa Lam. Even if you don’t want to commit to purchase the book, you can perhaps see if it is at your local library (it’s at mine). In addition to patterns, it offers lots of tips on constructing pockets, adding zippers, etc.
    Whatever you put the butterfly on, I don’t think you will go wrong! Good luck!

  5. Erica

    Just checked my Supertote pattern and the front pocket dimensions are approximately 13″ x 14″ so it might fit, and it would look awesome. I have not made mine so I can’t comment on how long it would take to make, sorry!

  6. Renee

    This butterfly is lovely!  I’ve made several super totes and think it would work beautifully on the front pocket or back piece.  The bag is a pretty quick sew, especially if you put a snap for the top closure instead of the recessed zipper and only do the gathered pockets on one side and slip pockets on the other.  The super tote is perfect for hauling around all those things you end up with kiddos!

  7. Indianna

    Lovely vibrant colours. I’ve a whole board on pinterest of bag tutorials.. The link is on my blog, I’m sure you’d find a tutorial without having to purchase a pattern.

  8. Raewyn

    I think this is beautiful – I love your choice of the background fabric too and purple with yellow are always winners 🙂

  9. Trish

    beautiful job Daisy! i enjoyed researching your block. I am wondering if you have your numbered steps for creating this block? i didn’t see if you had the sections numbered in order of sewing. I think this butterfly would look lovely on a bag or as the center of a larger quilt. you have inspired me to make a block for my sister’s office wall as butterflies are her theme. thank you. 

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