📹 Take your totes to the next level: sewing box-bag corners with Gail Pan (video)

Cinnamon Delights BagWhether you’re a beginning bag maker or you’ve made a billion bags over the years, we think you’re going to love today’s video tip!

Four-time Martingale author Gail Pan is known for her charming embroidery designs that feature all of her favorite things: home, family, the changing seasons, and nature. She always has helpful sewing tips to share in her books and whenever we catch up with her at Quilt Market (see more of Gail’s how-to videos here, here, and here). She recently showed us a simple way to elevate your handmade totes and bags by sewing boxed corners, which makes for a wider, sturdier bag bottom that will sit flat. The technique is so easy, there’s only one seam involved! Check out her tip below:


 Reading this post in email? Click here to watch the video online.

Who knew sewing bags with boxed corners was so simple? Now that you know Gail’s approach, you’ve arrived at the fun part: choosing a bag to make! May we suggest:

Pretty Floral Tote
Pretty Floral Tote from
Patchwork Loves Embroidery Too

Happily Ever After Sewing Bag
Happily Ever After Sewing Bag from
Patchwork Loves Embroidery

Bunny Delights Bag
Bunny Delights Bag from
Patchwork Loves Embroidery Too

Redwork Tote
Redwork Tote from
Patchwork Loves Embroidery

See all of Gail’s beautifully embroidered bags, quilts, and more in her “Patchwork Loves Embroidery” series and in her upcoming book Changing Seasons—coming this April!

Patchwork Loves Embroidery Too Patchwork Loves Embroidery Christmas Patchwork Loves Embroidery Changing Seasons

Are you big on making bags?

  • I’ve yet to make a bag, but Gail’s boxing technique makes construction look easy.
  • I’ve got a few handmade bags under my belt.
  • I’ve made so many bags, I use my bags to hold all of my bags!

Tell us in the comments!


53 Comments (leave a comment)

  • I have made several bags over the years, but not ones like these with the added designs.

    —Rita Long on February 25, 2019
  • I have made a few bags. I love the embroidery definitely want to try this new technique

    Pat Urbeck on February 25, 2019
  • I learned to make box corners when making bags for breast cancer patients at our local hospital. Our bags were simple, but cheery in bright fabrics. They certainly weren’t as cute as Gail Pan’s though!

    —Mary on February 25, 2019
  • I’ve made quite a few bags. They are so useful and these Gail Pan ones are just too cute!

    Danette Stankovich on February 25, 2019
  • I’ve made many a tote and zip pouches, but always feel they could use some pizzazz – guess I’ll have to try the corners tips and adding some embroidery! Thanks for spotlighting this sewist and her videos.

    —Deborah on February 25, 2019
  • I’ve made a few bags, for myself & as gifts. I’d love to make more!
    These beautifully embroidered bags are gorgeous!!- practical yet inspiring & just joyful to look at! Thank you.

    —Dee on February 25, 2019
  • I have made a few bags – mostly small pouches.

    —Judy Patrick on February 25, 2019
  • You can never have enough bags (no matter what others say)…."I’ve made so many bags, I use my bags to hold bags." I just put some bags in bags yesterday…LOL

    —Vicky on February 25, 2019
  • I have made many bags and look forward to making more. I love the embroidery on these bags–it is so sweet!

    —Susan on February 25, 2019
  • I have made a few simple bags. Adding embroidery to bags would make them special.

    —Rita Lusk on February 25, 2019
  • Oh my, I have bags holding my bags. I love them.

    —kathy o on February 25, 2019
  • I’ve only made a couple of bags and would try more if I could get caught up on other projects. May just have to make a few even if I’m not caught up!

    —Rilla Burnham on February 25, 2019
  • I have made many tote bags — four this month. I make patchwork bags. I also re-purpose vendor totes from conferences by sewing orphan blocks over the vendor logos. I fill the tote bags with ARCs (advance reader copies of forthcoming books) and donate them to community fundraisers.

    Nann on February 25, 2019
  • I have made quite a few bags. I do have a tote bag to hold some of the smaller bags and organizers that I’ve made and am not using 🙂

    —Amy Mills on February 25, 2019
  • I haven’t made any bags yet. These look so pretty! Love the Embroidery and boxed corners!

    —Cindy Hoover on February 25, 2019
  • I have made several bags for myself and family members. I need to begin incorporating embroidery designs into my bags. So many possibilities!

    —Ann West on February 25, 2019
  • I’ve made so many bags I’ve lost count.

    —Judy Purcell on February 25, 2019
  • I have a few handmade bags under my belt but always looking for new fun bags to make

    —Delinda on February 25, 2019
  • I haven’t made any bag yet although I have put together all the supplies together but just haven’t started. I love the originality of home quilted bags.

    —Fran Claassens on February 25, 2019
  • I have made a few. Your patterns are darling.

    —Martha Cook on February 25, 2019
  • I’ve made at least 10 – 15 bags. They make great gifts! Looking forward to making many more.

    —Linda Lee Ahn on February 25, 2019
  • I’ve yet to make a bag, but I’m looking forward to getting started. These are darling.

    —Dorothy Carter on February 25, 2019
  • I have yet to make a bag. But have 2 I want to get started on!

    —Jenn on February 25, 2019
  • I have so many bags and totes they are inside bags and totes and tubs full. They are addictive and so many designs to play with, you just can’t stop at one, kind of like potato chips

    —connie in florissant on February 25, 2019
  • I love making bags!

    —gail on February 25, 2019
  • I have made several bags in the past, but none with embroidery. That is something I am going to have to try.

    —Kay McCaffery on February 25, 2019
  • I have made a few bags and would like to make some more.

    —Judy on February 25, 2019
  • I haven’t made a bag yet, but these designs are enticing! I will have to get started soon!

    —Debbie Davis on February 25, 2019
  • I’ve made 5 tote bags and 3 purses and enjoyed the process.

    —Connie F on February 26, 2019
  • Let’s just say my nickname is "the bag lady". I have bags to carry my bags and more totes than I can name. Totes and bags are my go to gift for friends! To add embroidery to them is especially fun!

    —Patty F on February 26, 2019
  • I so want to make bags for my friends, and I have patterns for some; I just haven’t had the courage to take that step yet! As with a lot of things in quilting, I guess it’s best to just take that leap of faith and get better as my skills improve!

    —Teri D. Gailey on February 26, 2019
  • I’ve make several bags and totes but have not used Gail’s technique.

    —Denise V on February 26, 2019
  • I’ve a few hand made bags under my belt.
    Looks very interesting.

    —Rebecca Moore on February 26, 2019
  • I have made lots of bags over the years but nothing near so cute as Gails bags. I cant pass up a cute bag pattern.

    Jeanette on February 27, 2019
  • I have made lots of bags but not ones with embroidery on them. So neat. I will have to look for this book.

    —nancy seitz on March 1, 2019
  • I have never made a bag before, but these make me want to – so beautiful!

    —Cindy Petersen on March 1, 2019
  • I’ve made a few bags. The boxed corners are the best.

    —Janet Dickson on March 1, 2019
  • I’ve made a bunch of bags over the years, but none with embroidery.

    —Sue on March 1, 2019
  • I have never actually made a bag, though I own several patterns!

    —bookboxer on March 1, 2019
  • I have made several bags and enjoyed making them. These are beautiful with the embroidery on them.

    —Sylvia L on March 1, 2019
  • I have made several bags and use them too!!

    —Debby Jensen on March 1, 2019
  • I love bags and have made a couple. Thanks for the video. It will help take my bags to a new level!

    —Jeanne Pope on March 1, 2019
  • The embroidery on these bags is just adorable.

    —Kim on March 1, 2019
  • I have made a few.

    Joyce on March 1, 2019
  • I’ve made several bags of various sizes, and having a flat bottom makes any bag look more professional.

    —Barbara Ann Jones on March 1, 2019
  • I have made a few bags but I could use help on techniques to make construction easier!

    —Janna Lee on March 1, 2019
  • I have bags for the bags. It is fun to make over large bags to carry quilts and storage them too.

    —Linda Christianson on March 1, 2019
  • I have made a few bags; this information is extremely helpful.

    —Lillian K on March 1, 2019
  • One can never have too many totes. They make the perfect quick gift. Many have glammed up my basic fashion wardrobe or have stored my clutter attractively!

    —Mary Smith on March 1, 2019
  • I love this comment – I’ve made so many bags, I use my bags to hold all of my bags! I’ve made a plethora of bags, for myself and many for gifts! Some are basic, some I followed a pattern, but mostly I design and create my own based on a particular need I have.

    —YvonneJ on March 1, 2019
  • I have made a few bags, these are delightful 😀

    Julia on March 2, 2019
  • I have made a few bags. My granddaughters and I made bags a couple of summers ago. I think we might try that again with added embellishments.

    —Darliss Peabody on March 2, 2019
  • I have made a few bags, and boxing corners is a skill that I use often.

    —Linda Towers on March 2, 2019

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