• Three coordinating fat quarters
  • 40cm (1⁄2yd) lining fabric
  • 50 x 70cm (20 x 28in) piece of wadding
  • Matching piecing and quilting threads
  • Temporary spray adhesive for fabric
  • Greaseproof or tracing paper

Finished Size

Approx 25cm (10in) high (at centre seam) x 23in (9in) wide x 6.5cm (2 1⁄2in) deep; each strap approx 47cm (18 1⁄2in) long

Skill Level


Handy hint If you would like longer straps so you can wear the bag crossed over the body, replace the fat quarters with 30cm (3⁄8yd) lengths of fabric. Lengthen at the wide (3in) end of the strap by adding a 3in wide 'strip' until the strap is the length of your choice (plus seam allowances).

Handy hint If you wish, use different fabrics for each of the lining pieces.


  1. Trace the pattern pieces provided on the pattern sheet onto greaseproof or tracing paper; seam allowances are included.
  2. Pin the patterns to the right side of the fabric when cutting the pieces out. To cut the reverse bag panel pieces, turn the pattern over and then pin it to the right side of the fabric.
Figure 1
Figure 1: Quilted bag panels


  1. From one fat quarter, cut the following pieces:
    • Two bag panels
    • Two bag straps
    • Two 1 x 11 3⁄4in strips
  2. From each of the remaining fat quarters, cut one reverse bag panel and one bag strap.
  3. From the lining fabric, cut the following pieces:
    • Two bag panels
    • Two reverse bag panels
    • From the wadding, cut four bag panels.
Figure 2
Figure 2 Prepared bag straps


  1. Place the wadding bag panels on a clean flat surface, reversing two of them. Spray them evenly with the temporary adhesive and, right side up and matching up the raw edges, place a bag panel or reverse bag panel on top of each piece.
  2. Right sides together, pair up a bag and a bag reverse wadded layer. Join the panels on the centre seam; trim the wadding close to the stitched line and then press open to reduce bulk. Repeat for the remaining pair. You now have your bag front and bag back panels.
  3. Quilt the bag front and back as desired. Anne quilted a simple grid on each side, but used different grids on the front and back so that she didn't have to worry about trying to match up quilted lines when constructing the bag. See Figure 1.
  4. Right sides together, pair up a lining bag and a lining bag reverse panel. Join the panels on the centre seam; press open to reduce bulk. Repeat for the remaining pair. You now have your bag front and bag back lining panels.
  5. Take one bag strap from the first fat quarter and place it right sides together with one of the other strap pieces. Starting at the wide end, stitch around the long edges – when you reach the top point, stop with the needle down, pivot the strap under the machine foot and then stitch down the other side. Do not stitch across the 3in end.
  6. Trim the seam at the pointed end of the strap, taking care not to snip into the stitching, and then turn the strap through to the right side. Placing the head of a large wooden knitting needle facing the point of the strap and then 'rolling' the strap over the needle is a quick and easy way to turn the strap through; use the point of the needle to gently push out the point of the strap.
  7. 'Roll' the seams to the edges of the strap and press well. Topstitch approx 1⁄4in from the edge all round the long edges. See Figure 2.
  8. Repeat Steps 4–6 to make the second strap.
  9. To make a ribbon tie, take a 1 x 11 3⁄4in strip and place it wrong side up on an ironing board. On one short end, turn over approx 1⁄4in to neaten and press. Wrong sides together, fold each long edge to the centre of the strip; fold in half so the raw edges are enclosed and the folded edges meet. Press well and then topstitch down the centre of the folded strip. Repeat for the other 1 x 11 3⁄4in strip.
Figure 3
Figure 3 Marking a bag corner
Figure 4 Trimmed bag corner


  1. Place the bag front and bag back panels right sides together. Pin to secure and then stitch down one side seam, along the base and up the other side seam.
  2. Refold the bag so the base seam is centred and one corner lies flat. Pin to secure and then measure and mark where the distance from edge to edge is 2 1⁄2in. See Figure 3.
  3. Stitch along the marked line and the trim 1⁄4in beyond the stitched line. See Figure 4.
  4. Repeat Steps 2 and 3 for the other bag corner.
  5. Repeat Steps 1–4 for the bag lining.
  6. Turn the bag right side out. Matching up the raw edges and with the side seam of the bag at the strap centre, pin a strap to the right side of the bag at each side; stitch in place with a 1⁄4in seam. Note that the fabric placed against the bag will be the outer side of the strap; Anne has placed the outer strap fabrics so that all three fabrics appear at each side seam. See Figure 5.
  7. Repeat Step 6 for the ribbon ties, placing them centrally over the centre seams of the bag front and back.
  8. With the bag lining wrong side out and bag right side out, place the bag inside the lining, i.e. the right sides will be against each other. Match up the raw edges, making sure that the side and centre seams are aligned and that the straps and ties are tucked down inside the bag. Stitch around the top edge with a 1⁄2in seam, leaving an approx 3in gap on one curved edge for turning. See Figure 6.
  9. Turn the bag right side out through the gap. Fold the seams of the gap under and slipstitch the gap closed. 'Roll' the top seam to the edge and then topstitch all round the top of the bag.
  10. Matching up the points, bring the straps together and tie a knot to create your preferred length of strap. Finally, tie the ribbons to close the opening.

Figure 5 Strap pinned to the right side of the bag


Figure 6 Lining stitched in place; note the gap for turning

First published in Popular Patchwork Bag Special 2012