KaleidoscopeStorage Bag


Based on fabric 132cm (52in) wide

  • One jelly roll – Rowan and Westminster fabrics were used in the featured bag. If not using a jelly roll, you need 20 2 1⁄2in strips cut across the width of various fabrics
  • 1.2m (1 3⁄8yds) lining fabric
  • Wadding: one piece 29 x 117cm (11 1⁄2 x 46in) for the inside of the bag; one piece 29cm (11 1⁄2in) square for the base of the bag
  • 1.5m (1 3⁄4yds) piping cord

Finished Size

Approx 30cm (11 1⁄2in) cube

Skill Level



  1. From the lining fabric cut:
    • one piece 29 x 117cm (11 1⁄2 x 46in) for the inside of the bag
    • two pieces 29cm (11 1⁄2in) square for the base of the bag
    • two strips 3 x 122cm (1 1⁄4 x 48in) for the binding
    • one strip 4 x 117cm (1 1⁄2 x 46in) for the piping

Handy hint You may want to spend some time experimenting with the order in which you place the fabric strips. You could group similar colours together or alternatively join contrasting fabrics. The strips placed on the edge of a set form part of the kaleidoscope pattern in
the centres of the side panels.


  1. To make the sides of the bag, sew the jelly roll (or 21⁄2in wide) strips together into two sets of four strips and four sets of three strips. Press the strips so the seams are all facing the same way and take care to ensure the seams are as straight as possible.
  2. Place a set of four strips across your cutting mat. Using template A provided on the pattern sheet cut eight pieces from each strip set as shown in Fig 1. Use the lines across the template to match with the seams.
  3. Place a set of three strips across your cutting mat. Using template B provided on the pattern sheet cut eight pieces from each strip set as shown in Fig 2. Use the lines across the template to match with the seams. This time the template needs to be turned between cutting each piece, which provides two different pattern pieces with the strips in different orders. See Fig 2. 
  4. When all the pieces have been cut, arrange them to create the four sides of the bag. Each side needs four matching A pieces and two sets of four matching B pieces. See Fig 3.


Figure 3: Layout of bag sides


  1. To make the piping, wrong sides together, fold the piping strip in half along its length. Enclose the piping cord in the fold by sewing the strip together using a piping foot. Cut into four equal lengths.
  2. Sew all four sides of the bag together, in a line, with a strip of piping between each panel.
  3. Place the side panels, right side up, on top of the wadding. Join the raw edges, with a final piece of piping, to form a tube.
  4. Sew the lining for the sides, right sides together, into a tube. Place this inside the bag with the wrong side facing the wadding. Line this up with the top and bottom of the bag and pin in place.
  5. Quilt through all three layers, on each side, following the quilting diagram given in Fig 4.
  6. Ensure the top and bottom of the bag are level by trimming off any excess wadding, piping or fabric.

Figure 4: Quilting diagram for sides (green lines are A + B templates)


  1. Create the base of the bag by sandwiching the base wadding between the two pieces of base lining
    fabric with the right sides of the fabric facing out; pin to secure.
  2. Quilt a line diagonally across the square; quilt another line approximately 1⁄2in next to this. Continue
    quilting lines in this manner to create a grid. See Fig 5.
  3. Ensure the edges are level by trimming off any excess wadding or fabric. 
  4. Pin the edges of the base to the bottom of the main body of the bag, ensuring the corners of the
    base are lined up with the piping. The bag will now begin to take a cube shape.
  5. Add the binding to the bottom of the bag. Right sides together, sew the binding strip around the base of
    the bag where you have pinned. Do this one side at a time without sewing through the piping. Stop sewing when you reach the piping on each corner and start on the next side; slipstitch in place on the underside of the bag.
  6. Sew the second binding strip around the top of the bag, right sides facing; slipstitch in place on the inside of the bag. 
  7. To pronounce the corners, pin the sides together next to each corner and stitch approx 1⁄4in next to the piping. Finally, press the the finished bag and then fill with fabrics…

Figure 5: Quilting diagram for base

First published in Popular Patchwork June 2009