Gifty Galore – Project 4


This week’s Gifty Galore project, a handy Car Trash Bag, comes from Stephanie Hughes at a A Ditchin’ Time Quilts. Our family enjoys long car trips to visit family or go camping. I have found if the road is straight, I can do handwork in the car. The problem is that I tend to leave threads all over when I sew. I thought this trash bag would solve that problem! I did make a couple of adjustments to the pattern that I will tell you about as I go along.

When I asked my DH what color to make the bag, he looked at the grey interior of the car and said “grey”. So I found some lovely fabrics from the Neutral Love II and other collections.


The pattern recommends making the bag with two fabrics, an outer bag and a lining. Then, a cylinder of stiff stabilizer is inserted inside the bag to wrap a plastic garbage bag around to be removed and replaced as needed. Since I didn’t plan to use the bag for lots of dirty trash, I wanted the lining to be waterproof and something I could wipe off if necessary without dealing with plastic trash bags – kind of like my lunch bag I take to work. I considered a fabric-backed laminate but couldn’t find one the right color. I ended up with a waterproof fabric used for baby diaper covers and bibs. Amazingly, it came in black!

The first steps were to fold a 13″ x 22″ piece of fabric right sides together, sew a 5/8″ seam allowance with a row of zigzag stitch alongside, and trim the remaining seam allowance. Fortunately, I remembered to switch to an open-toe presser foot (#20 for Bernina) before I started the zigzag stitch because the titanium needles are pretty strong and you can do some serious damage to your machine by hitting a needle on a presser foot.


The right side of the waterproof diaper cover fabric has a kind of a slippery knit fabric appearance but the wrong side is rubbery – my machine did not like it! Not wanting to break out the walking foot, I had good results stabilizing the two layers with Wonder Tape. Much better!


Once the side seams were sewn, the bottom of the the outer bag and lining were sewn, secured with a zigzag stitch, and trimmed.


Then I opened the bottom of the bag and lining as shown and marked a line 1-1/2″ in from the corners to sew and trim.


Now the bag and lining both had a rectangular bottom.


After turning the outer bag right side out, I inserted the lining in wrong side out. It was time for the binding. The pattern calls for a 3-1/2″ binding folded in half lengthwise and sewn on the outside 1″ down from the raw edges at the top. I wanted to sew the binding on by machine using a new binding method I wrote about in a  recent blog. Two fabrics are used, one 1/4″ narrower than the other, so a small flange is formed when they are sewn together and pressed in half. I cut the binding strip 2″ and the strip that became the flange at 2-1/4″.


I sewed the binding on the inside of the bag with all the raw edges aligned.


Before stitching the binding on the front, I had to decide how to add the handle. In the pattern, a loop to hang over the stick shift knob is added after the binding and the ends are covered with a decorative button. Our car does not have a knob from which to hang the bag, so I needed to find a way to secure it to the grab handle in front of the passenger seat. I decided to make a strap about 3″ wide to be anchored in the binding on the back and brought forward.

Clover Wonder Clips helped hold everything in place when I folded the binding to the front. I used the #10 Bernina stitch in the ditch foot, the arm on my machine, and thread color to match the flange fabric to stitch in the ditch around the top. The flange adds a little pop of contrast.

Ann-3Binding  Ann-2Binding

All that remained was to sew some hook and loop tape on the strap and inside the bag and sew a big button to cover the stitching on the strap.

Ann-4Binding Ann-5Binding

Now when we travel, I can keep the car cleaner. Road Trip! I think it will also work fine for everyday trash that is not too messy. I considered adding pockets on the outside for hand sewing supplies, but decided I would rather make a matching sewing kit to hang so I can find my scissors, needle threader, thread, etc. while I am sewing in the car.


A big thanks to Stephanie for a fun Car Trash Bag pattern – What a quick useful project for gifts!

A new Gifty Galore project will be posted each Monday through December 8th. To keep track of all of this year’s Gifty Galore projects, click here. We would LOVE to see how your projects turn out. Join the Gifty Galore group on Quilt With Us (QWU) and post your pictures there for everyone to enjoy. If you’re on Pinterest, upload your picture and tag it with #GG14. Of course, we would also love to see your pictures on our Facebook wall!

Please post any questions about this project below in comments and we will respond.


  1. Anita McIntire - July 28, 2014

    It looks great Ann!

  2. Stephanie Dunphy - July 28, 2014

    A useful project and I love that fabric line. Thanks for the many tips.

  3. Mary Alice Espinoza - July 28, 2014

    So was Peltex not used on this bag?

    I think it looks great! I’ve been wondering about those Neutral fat quarters and what to do with them. Now I know!

    • Ann - July 28, 2014

      No, I chose to eliminate the Peltex and plastic trash bags and used a waterproof fabric for the lining since I didn’t plan to put messy trash in it. I can still wash the whole bag or wipe off the lining fabric if needed. For a general purpose car trash bag, the Peltex sounds like a good idea.

  4. Linda Froggie - July 28, 2014

    I need a trash bag for the truck! Now to figure out somewhere to hang it, the truck doesn’t have a floor shifter or a handle on the glove box.
    ~Hopppy Quilting~

    • Ann - July 28, 2014

      Hi Froggie! There is always sticky, non-sew Velcro in a pinch! I also considered some kind of weighted flap to go down inside pockets on the back of the front seats because there is no handle there either. Let us know what ideas you come up with please.

      • Kay Pratt - August 12, 2014

        Some trucks have arm rests that fold up — I use small plastic bags with the hole for a handle so I can toss the trash on my arm rest. This idea with a longer strap might be perfect — I just slide the bag back to where it folds up now — this would certainly look nicer. Thanx for the idea!

  5. KarrieLyne - July 31, 2014

    How did you know I needed one of these!?? 😉 Great pattern, thank you!!

    • Ann - July 31, 2014

      So glad you found a pattern just when you needed it! Enjoy!

  6. Pat - August 11, 2014

    I love this idea, can you tell me the finished size of your bag? Had to go look in my car, to see if I could
    Find somewhere to hang one, have door handle similar to what you showed except on an angle, so gonna have to maybe put hanger on top side seam. Guess if I get that far will have to just try it out, before stitching. Lol thanks, for sharing.

  7. Connie - August 11, 2014

    I use the command hooks and strips in my van to hang my trash bag. They are movable, don’t cause any damage or leave any residue.

  8. Jan - August 12, 2014

    Just looked in my car and I do have a place to hang this and so will my daughter! First Christmas project. This is really a fantastic idea. Love them all.

  9. Ann - August 12, 2014

    Pat – I don’t have the bag with me but looking at the pattern I think it is about 8″ x 10″. It is a little hard to say because of its shape. It was bigger than I thought it would be or needed for thread scraps! It is a good size for a car trash bag. I ended up putting my 7″ embroidery hoop,sewing supplies, and project in the bag when I wasn’t sewing.
    I thought about adding pockets for scissors, etc but decided that wasn’t a good idea because it hangs over the passenger seat airbag. They are dangerous enough inflated without projectile scissors!
    I do like Connie’s idea of a removable stick-on hook – or sticky back Velcro like I mentioned earlier.
    Thanks for everyone’s comments – it is fun to hear from others about their ideas.

  10. Sharon Lowe - December 31, 2014

    I am having trouble putting the corners in on project # 4 . Can you help , I do a lot of sewing thank you

  11. Ann - January 5, 2015

    Sharon – I replied to your email address. Please let me know if you have problems finishing it.