Monday, July 15, 2013

Joining Squares into a Tote or Bag


I have been looking for the directions I have used every time I have done one of these totes. For the life of me, I can't figure where I wrote it down and saved it.

I wrote these instructions down as I was making the right tote. If you have any questions, please let me know.

Every time I type the name of a color, I would STRONGLY suggest that you label my colors with your colors to keep yourself straight. When you get a COLUMN done, I would pin a piece of paper on it with its' name: COLUMN A, COLUMN B, COLUMN C or COLUMN D. Again, this will help keep you straight as to what you are seeing on the directions and what you have in front of you.

After you have joined squares into a tote, several times, it becomes a no-brainer.


Before joining your blocks, lay them on the floor to see what they are going to look like. Once you get a pleasing pattern, you are ready to join.

These blocks are placed on a diagonal because that is the way the columns will be joined.:
a. COLUMN B dark red square will be joined to COLUMN A's light blue square.
b. COLUMN C navy blue square will be joined to COLUMN B beige square.
c. COLUMN D light blue square will be joined to COLUMN C dark green square.


1. I am getting ready to join the green and blue squares at the bottom of COLUMN A. 
Steps 1 - 2
2. I have picked up the back loop of the corner stitch AND the loop underneath it. (You can see the loop underneath the back loop to the right of the hook.)

Step 3
3. I have drawn my yellow yarn through a back loop (and the loop behind it) of a middle stitch on the green square with the matching stitch from the blue square (explained in #2 above.)

4. This is showing a single crochet decrease on the blue square.
Steps 4 - 5
5. If you need to do the decrease or an increase when joining, it will be unnoticeable.
Step 6

6. I am now ready to end the joining. The last stitch includes the back loop (closest to the hook end) of a stitch and the loop below the back loop.

7. Now, pick up the matching back loop and under back loop on the green square.
Steps 7 - 8
8. Next, pull the yarn through.

9. You are now ready to connect all of the blocks in COLUMN A. Follow the same steps as listed above.


10. Once COLUMN A squares are joined, join all of the squares of COLUMN B.

11. When COLUMN B is finished, place the TOP square of COLUMN B (my top square is red) next to the 2nd square of COLUMN A (light blue in the example.

12. Look at the picture below and see if your COLUMNS are joined in the correct way.

Steps 11 - 12

--> Now you are going to make your 1st join at the bottom of the purse.

13. This is the how the bottom squares (blue, solid pink and pink
Steps 13 - 15
variegated which is above the solid pink in COLUMN B) look when you finish joining COLUMN A with COLUMN B.

14. NOTICE: There is a major gap between the pink and blue squares? No problem!

15. Continue joining these two squares. When finished, you will have the bottom of the blue square sewn to the right side of the pink square.

--> Now you are back at the top of COLUMN A and COLUMN B.
16. This is what the top of COLUMN A and COLUMN B look like after they are joined.
Steps 16 - 18

17. I don’t like the space between the red and green in the picture below.

18.The long, horizontal piece of yarn (in the picture above above) shows where I made the place a stitch.

Steps 19 - 20
19 . After pulling the stitch tight, you can see the difference between the space in #17 above and the space in the picture below.

20.This joint will be stronger and more stable than the lose join I had to start with.

21.Next, join the squares that make up COLUMN C.
Steps 21 - 22
22.When you have COLUMN C complete, join the top square (navy blue in my example at the beginning of this pattern) with the 2nd square (beige in my example) of COLUMN B.

--> Now you are going to make your 2nd join at the bottom of the purse.

23.When you get to the bottom of COLUMN C,

a. You will have COLUMN A (blue square) and COLUMN B (solid pink square) joined.
b. Now, you will continue joining the two columns by joining the right side of the green square (COLUMN C) with the bottom of the pink square ( COLUMN B)

24.This is what the top of the bag will look like when you start #25 below.

a. The bottom squares from all of the columns will feel like they are bunched up, but that is normal.
b. The green from COLUMN A looks like it is above the pink from COLUMN B
c. REMEMBER: the grey square is the top of COLUMN D (in the picture above, it looks blue) and the pink is right below it.

25. Repeat #21 – 22 with COLUMN C and COLUMN D. 
DO NOT FASTEN OFF unless pattern says to fasten off.
a. This is ALWAYS the place where, invariably, I mess up
b. I am going to list the way the squares should match up.
Step 25
1. Green (1st or top square)to Pink (2nd square in COLUMN under the grey)
2. Light blue to Darker Blue
3 . Green to variegated pink.

26. STOP & CHECK. I have used safety pins to join my bottom squares together to make sure they will join correctly and make a square .
Step 26

--> Now you are connecting the variegated pink to the rest of the squares to make a bottom.

Variegated pink to Blue (COLUMN A)
Variegated pink to Light green (COLUMN C)
27. I stuck a pair of scissors through the middle hole that I had in my bag from joining the 4 squares. This shows that the hole at the join is bigger than I want.
Steps 27 - 28
28. Take a needle and yarn and whip stitch this bottom hole together. After doing this the bottom of the tote will be stronger and more stable for carrying heavy items.

Which side should be the front and which the back from the next 4 choices?
29. Navy & Scarlet Top

30. Silver Blue & Navy Top

31. Kelly Green & Silver Grey

32. Scarlet & Kelly Green

--> Time to finish the top and add the shoulder straps.

33. Decide what sides you want as your front and back. I chose picture 31 and 33.
--> I will do some stitches here for strength and stability. I want my tote to be able to carry anything I put in it without coming apart.

34. Join your yarn anywhere on the outside. (I chose the side of the grey square in picture 33.)
a.Ch 1, sc in same sp
b. Sc in each stitch around.
1. When you come to a place where two squares join (see picture go the right) sc2tog. This decrease will strengthen the top of the bag by pulling the (here red & green) squares closer together.
c.When you get to the middle sc of the green square (which looks blue in the picture to the right)
1. Ch 90, sl st to the square where the strap will join.
2. Sc in each st back to the beginning and single crochet decrease to join to the top of the bag.
3. Continue doing sc’s until you reach the place where you joined the handle.
e. Join your yarn in the space directly on the other side of the handle.
f. Repeat steps 1 -> 4

--> Adding more rows to the top of the bag and shoulder strap. Again, this is for strength and stability. One sc handle isn’t strong enough for the bag.

35. Join yarn in any stitch, sc around until you come to a shoulder strap, sc2tog between the last sc on the top and the 1st sc of the shoulder strap. Repeat step 3) and 4) above when you end up at a strep.

36. Decide how many rows you want to put on, Repeat step 37 above until the top of the bag and the shoulder strap look the way you want them (I used red between the straps and green on the outside of both straps.) FASTEN OFF.
CONGRATULATIONS! You are now done.
Wash and dry your bag (if the yarn allows) and ENJOY ! ! ! !

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1 comment:

  1. I have three of those purses in my closet...just hanging there. Have never used them, unfortunately. I actually quit carrying a purse. May send one to my niece to use as a carry all for the new baby. :o)


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