Gathering Threads

Quilted Trick or Treat Bag

Posted by on Oct 07 2010, in Patterns

If you’re a sewer with kids, October is definitely the month you come in to your own.

After all, nobody ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’ over the neatly shortened pants or the nice new curtains you made for the kitchen windows. Those boring, everyday things are just done by the sewing fairies. *laugh, snort* Nope, the real glory revolves around…drumroll, please… HALLOWE’EN!

Here’s an easy tutorial for a charming quilted trick or treat bag that’s sure to take your coolness quotient from ‘wonderful’ to ‘absolutely-the-coolest-sewer-that-ever-lived’ :). I made my bags for the boys a couple of years ago and they love them to pieces: the evidence is in the slightly wrinkled, been through the wash a number of times look my sample is sporting in the photos.

It’s a nice kid-sized bag, with sturdy ribbon handles and big enough to hold a good haul. However, it’s not so enormous you spend the entire night trundling round the neighbourhood, standing at the end of countless driveways, as the kidlets try to fill it! 🙂


1/2 yd orange cotton fabric

1/ 2 yd light orange cotton fabric

18” x 36” batting

8” x 12” square black cotton fabric

1 yd 1” green grosgrain ribbon

6” reflective safety tape (optional)

1 spool orange thread

1 spool black thread

Supplies & Notions

temporary fabric spray adhesive

fabric marking pen or tailor’s chalk

quilter’s ruler

rotary cutter

rotary cutting matte


8” x 12” piece of Wonder Under paper-backed fusible web


sewing needle


  1. Using the rotary cutter and quilter’s ruler, cut both orange fabrics and batting into 14 1/2” x 31” rectangles.  Set the light orange rectangle aside temporarily.
  2. Spray the batting with temporary spray adhesive and smooth the dark orange fabric on top.
  3. With the fabric marking pen, draw randomly spaced vertical lines (from 1/2” to 2” apart) down the fabric to simulate the lines on a pumpkin.   Using a straight stitch (L 2.5-3.0) and with the orange thread in the bobbin and upper, quilt the vertical lines.
  4. Print off the pumpkin face pdf by clicking here. Trace the face onto the paper-backed fusible web.  Following the manufacturer’s instructions, fuse the tracing onto the wrong side of the black fabric with a dry iron. If you’ve never attempted machine appliqué, check out this youtube video for step-by-step instructions.
  5. Cut out the eyes, nose and mouth from the black fabric.
  6. Make a mark on the quilted bag fabric 6 3/4” down from the top edge and 7 1/2” in from the left edge using the fabric marking pen. This is the center of the face.
  7. Position the pumpkin face on the quilted fabric, referring to the photograph for placement and centering the face over the mark.   Following the manufacturer’s instructions, fuse the pieces in place.
  8. With black thread in the upper, appliqué the pieces onto the fabric using a narrow zig-zag stitch (L 0.5, W 2-3).  Stitch around each piece slowly, pivoting carefully at the inside and outside corners.
  9. Pin the reflective tape on the right half of the quilted fabric, if using.  Stitch around the tape to secure.
  10. RS facing, fold the quilted fabric in half and pin along the side and bottom edges.  With orange thread in the bobbin and upper, stitch using a 1/2” seam allowance.  Trim the corners and press open the seam allowances.
  11. With the bag still inside out, align the side and bottom seams at one corner so that they form a triangle.  Using the quilting ruler, draw a horizontal line exactly 2 1/2” from the bottom corner.   The horizontal line will be 4” wide and when sewn will form the box corner. Stitch across this line. Trim the seam allowance and press. Repeat for the opposite corner.
  12. Cut the grosgrain ribbon in half.  With the raw edges aligned at the upper edge, center one handle on each side of the bag, with each end 3” from the edge.  Pin in place and then stitch the handles in place inside the seam allowance.
  13. Fold the light orange rectangle in half, RS facing.  Pin.  Stitch around the outside of the fabric, leaving a 5” gap on the long side for turning.  Press the seam allowances to one side.
  14. Form the box corners for the lining as in step 11.
  15. Insert the quilted bag inside the lining, RS facing. Stitch around the top of the bag through all layers.  Trim and press.
  16. Turn the bag right side out.  Slip stitch the opening closed.
  17. Fill with candy.
  18. You are free to share the link to this project with sewing friends and use it for personal or charity sewing. Please credit my website and don’t repost or resell the appliqué or instructions on your own site.  Enjoy!


  • Linda

    Claire…thanks sew much for the details!!! Count 5 more bags to your credit for little trick or treaters, princesses, spooks, goblins or whatever! This granny is excited!