Cute & Clever Totes

Mini Tote Lesson Plan

Cute & Clever Totes

By Mary Hertel

Class Description:

Beginners will learn to paper piece a combination block following the steps in my book. I suggest using the Rooster Block (p. 51), which is an easy pattern and is illustrated step by step in my book. Intermediate paper piecers can use this class as a refresher course and may have enough time to complete more than one block from my book. Students will also learn how to construct the Mini Tote, a quick and easy tote for beginners!

Class Length:

Two sessions of 3 hours each. Session 1 is used to teach paper-piecing basics. Session 2 is used to construct the mini tote.

Class Supply List:

Required book: Cute & Clever Totes                                     

Materials for the block:

  • 2 copies of the Rooster Block on Carol Doak’s foundation paper or the paper of their choice (intermediate students may want to come prepared to complete a second block if they are overachievers J )
  • Fabric scraps in the colors listed on the Rooster Block pattern
  • Any necessary buttons, hand-sewing needle, and thread

Materials for Mini Tote:

  • ½ yard for main outside fabric/pocket and pocket lining/strap   
  • 1 fat eighth (9˝ ´ 21˝) for binding   
  • 1 fat eighth (9˝ ´ 21˝) for inside lining (avoid directional fabrics)
  • ¼ yard fusible fleece               
  • 1/8 yard fusible interfacing (I recommend Pellon 809 Décor-Bond)
  • Large button                                                                                                                                                                             
  • Covered rubber band (such as a hair tie)                                                                                                                                
  • Sewing machine (stippling foot or walking foot if they plan to quilt any parts of their tote)                                                                                                                                                                    
  • Sharp scissors                                                                                                                                                                    

Sales Opportunities:

  • Carol Doak’s Foundation Paper                                                              
  • Add-A-Quarter Ruler (paper-piecing tool)                                                                                                                                   
  • Sharp scissors for trimming seams
  • Sewing machine needles                                                                                                                                                                 
  • Fusible fleece                                                                                                                                                                                                
  • Fusible interfacing

Classroom Preparation:                                                                                                                                                                Ironing board, iron, pressing cloth, cutting mat, ruler, and rotary cutter for each student.

Class Agenda: 

Session 1 (3 hours):                                                                                                                                                                               1. Students will follow along with the teacher using “Paper Piecing Basics” (pp. 7–10) to complete the Rooster Block.                                                                                                                                                                         2. Intermediate students may want to work ahead and should come prepared to work on a second block of their choosing if time permits.                                                                                                                                                                  3. Any remaining time in this 3-hour session could be devoted to cutting the pieces needed for the mini tote.                                                                                                                                                                                                              

Session 2 (3 hours ):                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Students will follow along with the teacher to assemble the mini tote (pp. 20–21), using the paper-pieced block from Session 1.                                                                                                                                                                                      Optional: After completing the front of bag steps 1–3 on p. 20, students could quilt over the block with a walking foot or stippling foot. This step is optional and only needed if student plans to wash the bag often.