When I quilt, I always have leftover squares. Sometimes squares are from a new technique that I tried, but never made enough squares to add up to something. Some squares are extras I made while making a quilt (I like strip quilting which makes creating a couple extra squares easy, and it is always nice to have a couple extra on hand just in case). In any case, I end up with a stack of ziploc baggies that have random quilt squares in them.
I decided to make little draw-string bags with the squares. These bags will make great gift bags! I wanted the bags to be lined (so that all the raw seams from the gift bag wouldn't show), but I still wanted them to be super-easy (and super-quick) to make. I think I succeeded on all fronts... here is the tutorial.
Start by grabbing your quilt squares. I'm using 2 squares for each, but you can easily use 1 square and more of the lining fabric (or another complimentary/contrasting fabric).
Grab some lining fabric. I had extra fabric left over from making the quilts, so I just used that. Cut this fabric the width of your square, and the length of your square x 2 plus two inches (mine was a 5.5" square, so I had a piece of fabric 5.5" by 5.5+5.5+2 = 13")
Sew your squares on either end of the strip of fabric.
Note: this seam is going to be the top of your bag, so if your square has an "up" and a "down," make sure that you're sewing along the top of the square.
Then, zig-zag the long sides of the lining fabric, and press everything flat.
Second Note: You don't really need to zig zag the entire length of the lining, just about 2.5" in from each of the seams you just made. My fabric was small enough that it was easier to just go the whole length rather than start and stop. If you're making a big bag, you might just want to zig zag in the 2.5". Up to you. :)
Now, fold your piece in half, right sides together, and mark 2" in from the seam on the lining fabric, on both sides.
Now sew along the three open sides. Leave open the area between the seams and the 2" marks you made in the previous step. If your bag is a whole lot bigger than mine, you might need more than a 2" gap on one of the sides, you'll see why in the next step.
Clip the corners to reduce bulk, then turn the whole thing right side out, pulling it through one of your 2" holes. This is why you'd want a bigger hole if you've got a bigger bag.
Tuck the lining into the bag. The lining should reach the bottom of the bag, and still stick out about 1" on top. Press everything down. Pin down the top. If the zig-zagged edges stick out, tuck them back in.
Stitch along the seam (stitch in the ditch) to hold the lining and the top together. This will also make the casing for the drawstring.
Before we insert the drawstring, if your zig zagged edges are still poking out, go ahead and tack them down with a couple hand stitches if you like. Then, cut a length of ribbon, and thread through the top.
Tie a knot in the end of the ribbon, then thread through another piece starting and ending on the other side.
Tie a knot in this end, tuck in something cute, and enjoy (or give as a gift)!