I'm going to be teaching my guild how to make these bags at our October meeting. I just love tote bags! These are roughly the same size as the grocery store bags you can buy. I use them for my groceries and Wal-mart purchases and many other things. They are certainly more stylish than the store versions and they are washable. The blue one below was made by my 9 year old niece, so they are easy to make as well. The original pattern is from Valori Wells' blog.
I have not deviated from her pattern much. However, for the blue bag below we used regular cotton quilting fabric instead of home decorator fabric so I had to adjust the cutting instructions. We also used Craft-Fuse to add stiffness to the lining since regular quilting cotton fabric is not as heavy as home decorator weight fabric. I like the pattern best made with home decorator fabrics but these are more expensive and harder to find in my area. I got all my home dec. fabrics from the clearance icon at eQuilter.