Three Big Bags From One Jelly Roll!


Hi I’m Jenny from the Missouri Star Quilt Company.  Take a look at these bags behind me.  Last year when Sarah was at market she was walking around carrying a big bag.  You know the bag is almost as big as she is, but everybody wanted know how she made it and you know how to make it themselves and so we’re going to do a bag tutorial for you.  Now we’ve already done the three, three bags out of one charm pack and this is three big bags out of one jelly roll.

So to make this bag what you’re going to need is twelve strips.  Two and half inch strips and out of one jelly roll you’re going to get three bags.  You’re also going to need a half a yard or a yard and a half of lining fabric, for the handles, the pocket and the lining and you’re going to need a about a yard of batting.  And this can be a scrap you know, I, I don’t think you can buy, well I don’t know if you can buy a yard or not, but it’s just a, I used a scrap from the bottom of, of another quilt.

So the first thing you’re going to do is open up your jelly roll and you’re going to choose twelve strips that you love that go together that you want on your bag.  You’re going to put those strips right sides together like this and you’re just going to sew down one side of them, quarter of an inch, iron them open and you’re just going to keep adding them together to make a set of twelve.  So I have a set over here that I’ve sewn together, right here.  And by the way the fabric we’re using here is the “Civil War Jubilee” fabric by Barbara Brackman from Moda and the ones that are up on the wall, these are made with “Tula Pinks Acacia” fabric.  I just wanted to show you two different styles.  These, I mean they’re just beautiful bags.  

So here you can see I’ve sewn twelve strips together and pressed them all nice and flat and now we need to quilt them.  Now the machine quilting on this is super easy and it’s really left up to personal preference what you like to do.  I’m linear so I like lines and I like things to follow.  So you’re going to take your batting and you’re, you’re going to leave it a little bit bigger and you can see I have a pretty good size piece here and I’m going to lay this so it comes fairly close to one edge, like this.  And fairly close to a top and then what I’m going to do is just kind of trim off this bottom edge a little bit, because I don’t want a ton of extra when I’m, when I’m quilting.  And basically I’m going to anchor one side and just start sewing long seams down here.  Long rows of stitching down here just to anchor the quilt.  It doesn’t matter how far apart they are.  How close they are.  None of that really matters.  It doesn’t matter if you go cross ways or you want to cross hatch it or you want to go in straight lines.  That is left totally up to you.  What we’re trying to do is give the bag some body.

So what I’m going to do.  The other thing is, is that on, on a smaller, you know on smaller pieces like this you don’t really have to anchor it terribly.  You know you just, what I’m going to do is I’m going to sew one seam down along the edge and anchor my pieces to my batting and then I’m just going to kind of smooth as I go along.  If you’re a little uncomfortable with that you can put some pins in it.  You can also use some basting spray and stick it on.  I’m just always in a hurry to you know get things done so I like to do it.  

So now that I have my piece flat and smooth on my batting, I just going to take this over to the sewing machine and I am just going to sew straight down one side like this and you just kind of let it rip.  So I’m just sewing right along the edge.  I’m letting my presser foot be my guide and I’m just making sure that it’s generally on there.  We’re attaching it and I just let this go.  Sew it down.  And because you’re going from one side to the other, it will eliminate any puckers or, you know folds or anything like that, because you’re just going to go from one side to the other.  

So now I’m going to pull this out like this and I’m just going to slide it right back forward and do it again.  Now, now how close you want to do this is entirely up to you.  I’m going to like eyeball about a half an inch.  You can run yours right next to it if you want.  I’m just going to eyeball about a half an inch, because every time you get to a seam line over here it’s going to straighten you back up again.  So even if you get a little off it’s not going to really show.  

So now you can see I’m still eyeballing about a half and inch over here and the next seam I take is going to be right at the seam so it just kind of straightens you up.  You can put as many rows in there as you want.  I’m going to end up with one two three four sew lines per strip, but really whatever you want to do.  It’s really just to give it some texture and some body.  So I’m going to go ahead and keep sewing these and I’ll meet you back here.

So now I’ve got all my rows sewn together and see it just gives it a little bit of oomph.  A lit bit of you know, body to it and I want you to take a good look at my seams, because they’re not perfect.  You know they’re not completely straight.  They’re not always right on the seam, you know they’re just, it’s just not going to matter.  When you look at these purses it’s not the exact quilting you look at and you’ll see in this one I’m about a half an inch apart on these.  Maybe three quarters or an inch and this one over here is just quarter inch intervals.  They, we use the presser foot just at the very next seam align.  So it’s just, it’s kind of whatever look you want and how much sewing you want to do.

So the next thing we’re going to do is trim this up and we’re just going to use our ruler and our rotary cuter and we’re going to cut right along the edge of our strip here and this is just going to clean it up, because this piece, this fabric piece is going to become the pattern for your lining.  And I like to save these little pieces here that are about an inch, because they’ll, that’s what’s going to go in my handles.  So I’m going to flip this around and do the other side.  These big bags are so handy.  If you added a few more strips on it, you could even use it to hold your, your cutting mat and your ironing board when you go quilting.  You know it’d make a great quilting bag and it’s all from stuff we just have, you know, so it’s not like we’re.  I’m sure all of us have a few two and half inch strips in our stash, haha, I sure know I do.  

Alright on these end pieces right here I’m going to trim this off also, but I’m going to come in about a quarter of an inch from the furthest selvedge, because they’re not going to end up exact.  So I want to make sure I don’t get any selvedges in there.  So I can use my ruler to line up on my strips and make sure that I’m pretty straight across and then I’m just going to trim this off right here.  Make sure I’m still straight across.  There’s a lot of things you just kind of, when you’re dealing with a bag this big it gets a little bit big for your, your cutting boards.  So you can always fold in half or you know that kind of thing to make it more manageable depending upon the size of your table and all that.  I kind of use my lines on my ruler to make sure that I’m fairly lined up, fairly square I guess I should say.  And that looks pretty good.  So let me just get rid of these over here.  And look how nice and clean this is now.  You know it’s all cleaned up.  You can see here’s the back where we’ve sewn through the, the batting and I mean it just looks great.

So now this is our pattern for our lining and we want to cut that before we go any further and this is, this is just some fabric and again you’re just going to need a yard and half of this and it’ll take care of everything.  You’ll have enough for everything.  And you should be able to get your lining right out of, by folding your bag in half you’ll get the exact amount that you need over here.  You’ll be able to just lay your ruler down and give that a cut.  Now, because, because the bag doesn’t have any seems in it yet we don’t need to allow for any seams.  We’re just going to go ahead and figure out how wide our bag is and then we’re going to trim our lining so that we have our lining.  And then I’m going to go ahead and cut the selvedge off the top of this so that I don’t by accident get, get them stuck in the side of my bag.  And you can see what I’m doing here is I just folded this over so that it makes it a little more manageable for my ruler.  I’m making sure everything’s lined up.  Then I’m just going to come across here and trim my selvedges off like that.  And this should now be the exact same size as your bag.

So we’re going to set that apart or aside over there and then we need to cut our handle strips.  The handle strips are four inches and you’re going to need four of them and I’ve already cut mine over here, right here.  And you’re also going to need a one inch strip of batting to go inside your handles.  The other thing you’re going to need from this piece right here is you’re going to need your pocket.  So I like to, depending upon the size of the pocket you want, I’m going to take this and cut this at the fold, because every pocket measurement is different.  You can see I have a tall one here and it’s set up on the bottom.  Over here I have a shorter one and it’s actually set into the bottom seam.  So it’s, you know again it’s, it’s you can play this and have a little fun with this.

So I’m going to cut this at the fold, right here.  And I like a double pocket so what I’m going to do is I’m going to fold my pocket like this and I think probably I’ll lay it on the bag to see exactly how wide I want it and I don’t want it quite that wide.  So I think that will be wide enough, I’m just going to cut about two inches off of this piece.  This will make my bag, I mean my pocket, oh fourteen by twenty.  And so I’m just going to trim this off right here.  You can put different pockets.  These bags have different pockets on either side.  You can see they’re, they’re different.  You can do whatever you want, I’m going to do the same.  So I’m going to fold this one and trim it to fourteen also.

So now we’re just down to the assembly.  So the first thing we’re going to do is make our handles and our handles, I like to sew, I like a two strip handle, because I want to be able to make it as long as I want to.  And, so I sew my ends together, my selvedges together like this.  And I going to come right over here and do that.  Make sure my, my, make sure I don’t have any selvedge showing and I think I do have a little bit on this other side so I’ll take a little bit deeper seam.  Then I’m going to trim that off and head back over here to the iron.  So I’m just trimming this extra fabric off.

And then this is how I do my handles and you know I try to do everything the easiest way possible.  So we’ll just, we’ll just look at it and see.  I’m going to scoot this over a little bit.  Move this out of the way.  And then when I iron my handles what I do is I iron a quarter of an inch side on one side.  So I’m just going to iron this whole thing like this and just keep sliding this down.  K, now I’m getting close to the end of this ironing and the reason I’m folding one side down is, because for me this is the easiest way to do this.

Then what you’re going to do is you’re going to cut some one inch strips of batting or a little bit shorter, little bit smaller than one inch I think and I have a piece right here.  And I’m just going to lay my ruler on here, batting is kind of a bunch of fluff.  This also does not have to be an exact science, because we’re just going to eyeball it and give us some strips that are just about, about an inch.  We’re not worry about how, you know how exact they are.  

And then what I do and I want you to get a good look at this, because this is how I put my handles together.  What I do is I lay my batting down the center of the strip like this.  I fold the piece with the raw edge over and the piece I’ve ironed under I’m going to fold over the other side like that.  So then I’m just going to go along and stitch down this, this seam right here and stitch it closed and I just take the whole thing over here and I just run it through my, my presser foot like this and I put my, my needle right on the, close to the edge as I can get it and I just keep folding this over and running this down.  Just like this.  And when I get to the end of my batting strip, you know I don’t worry about piecing them together when I get to the end.  I just slide another piece in there.

These do make a super long handle so you need to judge that on your side.  I’m taller so I can take a longer handle, but you know if Sarah tried to carry my bag as tall as I am, you know she’s a lot shorter than I am.  So it’d be dragging on the ground.  So you just need to make sure your handles fit you and it’s in a comfortable spot, which you’ll be able to do that as we, as we put them together you’ll be able to see how, how that’s going to work.  K I just slipped another piece of batting in there so I could keep going along and I just kind of lay one, one over the other as I’m sewing.  I just then fold it over and just keep sewing.

So now I’ve finished sewing the first seam on my strip and I’m going to add two more and this is just to give it strength and body and I use my presser foot and I line up my presser foot with the edge and sew another two more seams.  So I’m going to three total across this, because when we attach the handle we’ll be sewing right along the edge.  So I just use my, the edge of my presser foot as a guide on this one.  On both sides of that center seam.  Ok so now I’m finishing up the other side of my handle and I’m just finished going down this other side and if you get it lined up right, you really can just push on the presser foot and let it go.

So now my handle is done and when you flip it over this is the side of the handle that’s on the outside.  So you can see, you know it has a real nice clean look to it.  Just straight stitching sewed down.  Easy as pie.  Alright, now let’s get to some of this assembly.  Get rid of some of these extra things I don’t need.  Oh I’ve got them all here my pockets, my, my handles.

Alright, so now this bag right here you, take a look at these behind me.  This one I have my strips running sideways.  This one they’re running up and down.  Either way I like to cut across the bottom of my bag, so that, so that I have a seam there to stick my handles in and you don’t have to do that I just, that’s just kind of how I like to do it.  So I’m going to iron a little seam on here so I know where to make my cut and then I’m just going to go ahead and cut straight down this.  It’s just a little bit bigger than my ruler and then I’m going to have two halves.  Make sure nothings under here, haha, don’t, don’t, don’t want to cut my strap in half.  There we go.  Alright here we are.  Little bit more.  There we go.  Ok, so now we have two halves.  

So once you’ve got your bag cut in half then you’re ready to put your straps on and your pocket.  So I’m going to go ahead and trim off the end of these straps. Like this so they’re nice and straight and I’m going to get my pocket ready to go on.  Now I don’t have to worry at all about these side seams, cause they’re going to go under the pocket, but I do have to worry about this seam here.  So I’m going to take this and sew this on the sewing machine closed.  So it’s going to make a little bit of a tube.  And then I’m just going to turn it right side out.

So we’re going to turn this right side out like this and then I’m going to press it nice and flat so it’ll lay.  So here where this fold is we’re going to press that and we’re just going to press it straight up on the top.  We want a nice flat pocket.

Alright, so now you’re going to position your pocket where you want it and as you make a lot of these you’ll, you’ll develop a system.  You know it’ll start, you’ll, you’ll be like “oh I like it there” you know, I know that this bottom is going to curve over, under a little bit.  So I’m going to come up about four or five inches from the bottom and I’m going to lay my bag on there and then I’m going to lay my strap on there.  My strap is going to hang off about an inch and I’m going to follow it all the way up here to make sure that it’s straight.  Now the edge of your pocket gives you a really good idea where to lay your strap too.  It gives you a good place to pin and this is a, this is a place you want to pin.  Make sure when you use this strap, because for most of you the strap is going to be too long.  You know it’s going to be a little bit too long.  So I’m actually going to shorten this myself.  And, and take a little bit off so that’s it a little bit more fitted for me, cause you don’t want your bag to drag on the ground, haha, and this strap could be long enough to drag on the ground.

So then we’re going to pin this.  Make sure this, we’re going to pin where the pocket is so we make sure that we’re holding everything down.  Like this.  I want to pin up here again.  And then I’m going to put a pin up here at the top, because I want to be sure that I’m going to stop about an inch from the top, because I’ve got, I want to, I’m going to need some seam room up here when I put my, my lining in.  Go ahead and pin this side over here.  Pin my pocket side.  There we go.  And I’m using my jelly roll strips as a guide to keep my handle straight and I have a little extra handle over here.  So I’m just going to trim that off.  Give me about an inch extra like that and then we’re going to sew this down right along the edge of the strip.

Ok, so I’m at the sewing machine and we’re just going to sew right along the edge of this and I just watch it through the, through my presser foot to make sure that I’m staying right along the edge.  And I ease my pins out as I go along and then I’m going to stop just before this pin up here and I’m going to go slide this down and sew the other side.  And that should catch your pocket completely.  There we go.  And you’re going to do the same thing to all the other side as well and the other side of the bag.  So I’m going to go ahead and finish this up and I’ll meet you right back here.

Ok, so I’m back here.  I’ve got my pocket sewn on, my pocket sewn shut, my straps sewn on and I’ve got two identical sides.  Now what we’re going to do is we’re going to lay them right sides together and we’re going to sew the bottom shut and I’m going to go ahead and put a couple of pins in here.  Anchor this down and then we’re going to sew up the sides as well.  Sew straight across the bottom and straight down the sides.  So let’s head over to the sewing machine and do that.

Alright, so here we go along the bottom.  I’m giving this about a half an inch seam allowance and I’m going to sew right over my straps right here and a little bit of a backstitch.  There we go.  Alright, so I’ve got my sides and my bottoms done and now I’m going to trim off my extra handles right here.  That’s a hunk of handle right there.  Trim off that and I’m going to take my pins out, which they’re sometimes a little hard to find in this batting.  But I want to make sure they’re out or I will forget them and they will be sewn into my lining, haha, and I will be, oh my goodness pocking myself.

Alright, now we are almost ready for our bag.  The only thing we have to do now is square the bottom.  I like a bag that sits and squaring a bottom is super easy.  So let me just show you how that, how that works.  I’m just clipping a few extra threads.  So you’re going to reach on either side of your bag like this and you’re going to pull that apart.  Now however, and then you’re going to line, you’re going to line your side seam in with your bottom seam and sometimes it helps to stick your hand in there.  Here let me get this stuff out of the way so you can like really see this.  So I am, I have my hand in there and I’m pushing it apart and I’m feeling for these two seams to line up.  Now however far in you go that’s double, your, your bottom is going to be double that width.  So if I’m measuring two inches like this, which this is just about two inches and I have those two seams lined up, the bottom seam and the side seam.  Like this.  

Then you’re, you’re, you’re going to sew two inches out from either side.  So let me make sure this feels right to me in there, you have to make sure nothing gets caught in these handles.  And, and that feels good so this is going to give me a bottom about this wide and I think that’s pretty good.  And if you want you can take a ruler and you can just draw a line across there so you have a sew line on and that’s pretty handy sometimes.  I have a, well I have a little pencil here somewhere.  Let me see.  A pencil, a pencil, here it is.  Here we go.  I know I had one there somewhere.  

So we’re just going to draw a line across here and that will give me just something to aim for and we’re going to do it on both sides of this thing. So my hand is back inside and I am, let me clip off this thread right here and I am pushing those, that, pushing the seams out to make it wide.  I’m going to run the side seam and the bottom seam different directions and I’m going to come in and you can actually measure this.  You can say I want it to be four inches so I’m going to come in two.  So there’s our two I mark right there and then I’m going to flatten this out a little bit like this.  Lay my ruler across there and draw the line and there are many more effective pencils than a ball point pen, haha.  So you might look at that.  

Now what we’re going to do is sew straight across this and I’m going to backstitch this as well, because I want this to stay in.  Make sure you remove your pin.  And backstitch. You know the only reason we don’t backstitch in quilting is, because everything is enclosed in another seam so we don’t need to.  But in every other kind of sewing, we backstitch.  Alright, so here we are on this one.  I did the manual backstitch on that, haha, I’ll do the real backstitch on this.  There we go, haha, sometimes I just get in a hurry.

Alright, now you can trim this off, but I would highly suggest flipping your bag right side out and looking to make sure it is the right width before you trim it off, because you can’t glue that back once it’s gone.  So that looks like a pretty good width.  See how the bag is, it’s got a good, a good sit, a good straight down side and we’ve matched up our, everything, everything just has laid together very nicely.  So now I’m just going to open this up and I’m going to, I’m going to go ahead and trim off this bottom piece right here and I’ll show you how I’m doing that.  Right here.  Just be careful and don’t cut your bag and then I’m going to trim my other side.  There we go.  Make sure my seams are out of the way and I’m only cutting one thing here.

Alright, now we have our outside of our bag completely done and we only have to do the lining.  Remember our lining is, is made just like our purse, but we don’t have any of the handles or anything like that and we have a fold on the bottom.  So all we’re going to do is we’re going to put his right sides together and we are going to sew right down the sides and then just pull our bottom piece out to make our bottom and that’s we have to do to this lining piece.  So let’s sew the sides.  Make sure your top pieces line up.  Cause your sometimes the fold isn’t always at the, in the right spot.

Alright, now on this other side we’re going to leave a little opening.  So I’m going to sew up about hm maybe about ten inches and then I’m going to lift up my needle and I’m just going to move it up here a few inches, cause we need a hole to turn our bag through.  Making sure everything is still lined up.

So what I’ve done is I sewed my side seams and then I just boxed the corners by measuring up two inches, drawing my line across and sewing it and then sewing across it and trimming it off so now the lining will fit perfectly into the bag.

Alright, so now we’re ready to put our purse together.  The main body of the purse is going to be inside out and our lining is going to be right side out.  So I’m just going to slide this down in here and slide the two together and so they should go together so they’re right sides together like this.  Then I’m going to take my side seams on my lining and line them up with the side seams on the bag.  They should fit pretty snuggly and be you know, both fit together.  And I’m going to put a pin on here on the side.  Like this.  On both sides so one over here as well.  Line up my side seams.  The next thing I’m going to do is make sure my handles are tucked down.  We do not want to get this handles in this.  So we’re going to tuck those down.  Make sure they are not up where we are sewing.  So what I’m actually going to do is I’m just going to fold this handle down, but I’m going to put a, a pin on that lining where it’s going to hit so that I know that handle isn’t going to sneak up in there and get into my seam.

Alright, now let’s go over to the sewing machine and sew this down.  Now if one of your pieces is a little different than the other one, you can just take in that side seam just a little bit so that it fits.  That’s the easiest way to do that.  Alright, what we’re going to do is we’re going to just sew, of about a half inch, quarter inch seam along here.  Alright, I’m just about to the end of this seam and it’s completely enclosed and I’m going to backstitch on that a little.  And then we’re going to turn it through the side.

So this is where that opening we left on the sides comes in.  I’m going to pull my lining out, find my opening, and then I’m going to pull the whole bag through that opening.  So it’s going to be a little bit of work and you’re going to have to be careful, we don’t want to rip that opening too big.  Whoop, I just pulled a few stitches.  It’s coming, it’s coming.  I put my hand in there.  Make sure my corners are boxed out on both pieces.  Like that and like that and then I’m going to fold this lining, push this lining down inside the bag.  

So you can see right here.  It’s all getting pushed down inside there.  Now actually before we get it completely in there we need to sew up this side seam.  So what I do is I take a hold of these ends right here and I pull them out and I’m going to iron those two down so it makes a little seam like this.  You can do this by hand, but I like to just press it so it lays together real nice.  And then I’m just going to top stitch along the top of this, this one.  This is a real easy way to do it.  It’s not the most finished looking, but it works for me, haha.

Alright, so here we go, over here and I’m just going to sew these two pieces together now that I have my bag all turned and I’m going to go right along the edge.  We want to make this as nice looking as possible.  And there we are up where the seams starts and our bag is closed up.  And you just get a little seam like this, I’ll show you, hang on.  There we go.  You just get a little seam like this and works really well.  

So then we’re just pushing it back down into the bag and we’ve got one more thing to do before we’re done and I like to top stitch the top of this bag so it lays nice and flat.  So I’m going to, I got to get sticky fingers.  I’m going to roll this down like this and make sure it lays.  And right here where my handles are, I’m going to pin that right there.  So I’m going to pin that handle up, because I’m going to sew right across the top of that handle.  Just like this on all four handles.  And if you pin in those four places, pretty much the other parts will lay down pretty good and you’ll be able to just zoom around this top and finish this up.  Cause it’s starting to get pretty exciting, we almost have a bag.  A finished bag.  One of three that we can make with this jelly roll, haha.

Alright, so here we go and I’m going to sew on the top, top stitching.  I’m going to start at the side seam.  So my starting and ending point will be hidden on the side and not in the front of my bag.  I’m going to line my presser foot up with the edge of the bag.  Cause I just want about a quarter of an inch seam.  And then I’m just going to go right across this handle.  Just like this.  Then I’m going to make sure this part of the bag is laying down.  And then I like to go around one more time when I’m done and do it right along the top edge.  So we’re just going to go ahead and sew all the way around this.

Look at this, hallelujah, ha, the bag is done.  I added one more little row of top stitching on the very top edge of this seam right here you can see it.  And it’s done.  Look how cute this is.  Look at that.  Awesome.  This is a great size.  I’m going to Florida next week.  I think I could put my flip flops and my beach towel in here.  Anyway, we hope you enjoyed this tutorial on the big bag from the Missouri Star Quilt Company.


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  • Mary Jane Cuff Gibson

    Love this bag, was wondering if you would follow the same process if you wanted the same bag in a smaller size. Would you start with 1/2 of the Jelly Roll strips to achieve this? Was just wondering if anyone at the shop has made a smaller one yet. Thanks Jenny, and thank you for the wonderful tutorials you bring to your fans 🙂

    • Sandra Laws

      I am currently making this bag using 9 strips instead of 12 because I didn’t want such a big bag. I am turning it on its side too because I didn’t want the bag to be too deep. I’m having fun.

      • Linda Latsko Seng

        I made the bag using 12 strips and it helped hone my sewing skills, but it is HUGE! Next time I may try 6 strips and turn it on it’s side.

        • JenniferMSQC

          Always learning! You’ve got this, Linda!!

      • Susan Harp

        Sandra, How did the bag turn out??? I am interested in making a few smaller ones too.

    • Faye

      Jennie also has a tutorial where she makes three totes/purses out of a charm pack that makes considerably smaller bags.

  • MeMe Fraser

    Can the instructions and list of material be printed off?

  • I loved how at the end you say HALALUYA!!! Can you do a tutorial on this dress?

  • Jasonrya

    The straps are four inches in width, about what length should I cut the fabric?