Angie's Big Quilted Panel Bag

This pattern has been e-published, click on this link for a much more professional look, download the free book and my tutorial is on pages 35 to 40
 You can make this bag to be absolutely any size, it's the method that is important. I used very thin  batting/wadding.., you can use anything you want to, it's your bag!....


So..... for this BIG bag you will need.....
2 x (20" x 15") of main fabric, lining fabric and batting/wadding, for front and back panels.
2 x (15" x 8") of side panel fabric, lining fabric and batting/wadding.
1 x (20" x 8") bottom panel fabric, lining fabric and batting/wadding.
4 1/2" x (required length for handles) of main fabric and batting/wadding.
Co-ordinating threads.
You can use one fabric for the whole bag, that's why I haven't given fabric
requirements... too many options really.





2. Handles, very easy... press handle fabric flat, spray with starch if you like, lay batting in centre of strip then wrap the two edges over batting and press....



3. Fold strip in half and pin to secure then stitch close the the edges on both sides, you can stitch down the middle too if you want to.


4. two pooofy, comfortable, strong handles, set aside for now...



5. Same method as making the Mat & Ruler Bag.... lay batting/wadding flat and place the lining and your main fabric, right sides together, on top. Pin to hold in place and....

6. Sew a seam about the width of your walking foot.

Do this for the front. back and the two side panels, no need to do the bottom panel.



7. flip the top fabric up and over, like this.....


8. press well... (careful not to melt your batting)then fold over to complete sandwich....


taking care to get an even finish as this will be the top of your very own Big Bag, then you need to do two or three lines of stitching across the top to secure and strengthen it, this also decorates it and keeps it all firm (same as the Mat & Ruler Bag)


9. You need to quilt all of your panels. I chose to use my walking foot for straight lines on my side and bottom panels....

10. I did tiny meandering, free-motion stitching around my tea cups (I'm very pleased with the result AND it was fun). I will leave you quilting your panels while I prepare the next step..... just to note... the more quilting you do, the firmer your Big Bag will be, if you want it all floppy, do less quilting!
OK?... Now you have all your panels beautifully quilted you need to trim off all the little messy bits of threads and any batting/wadding that is untidy... be careful, all the panels need to be the right size so try not to trim off any main fabrics, just batting and threads.

Stitch the two side panels to the bottom panel using a 1/4" seam, you will need to use your walking foot for the bag construction....



you should then have one long 'gusset'...

It is easier to add the handles at this stage but if you want to leave them to the last job, that works too.
They need to be evenly spaced and level on both front and back ( I know that is obvious but hey ho) I did quite a few rows of stitching to secure the handles because I want it to be strong. The handle straps will be stronger if you take them all the way to the bottom of the panel but I didn't have enough fabric... it's my bag... I pleased myself, ha ha ha!


Now starts the fiddly bit. It will be easier for you to understand this if you have done 'Y' seams before. All the panels need to be stitched together starting and stopping 1/4" in from the edges so that they meet up perfectly. Use a lot of pins to help you....


see. it is the same as a 'Y' seam...


line up all panel edges using pins, lots of pins....



  each start and stop seam should line up with the other two, the whole thing will be getting harder to man-handle by now, he he he stick at it.


does it help to see the Big Bag inside? it shows the three seams all meeting up.... this bit is hard to explain me thinks!


Turn the bag now, to have the inside inside and the outside on the outside... he he he, have I confused you?
Anyway, the top joins will look like this now so manipulate the seams to be neat and then




top stitch all round the all of the panels, stopping and starting 1/4" before the end of each 3 join (Y seam)panel. In this picture the stitching is on one side seam of the front panel joining it with one side of the side panel and all other pieces are held out of the way...


back stitching will help, as you can see mine isn't perfect... it's my bag!
Make sure you are not stitching anything you shouldn't be, keep the panels in the right order.... eg, sew all seams from top of bag to bottom of bag before stitching around the bottom seams... oooo I hope you are following me...



the top will be neat too, I back stitched here too, to keep it good and strong, I bet it needs it too.


see how lovely and neat it is on the inside, with no need to add binding anywhere, apparently these are french seams that I thought I had invented here.....


Voila..... my Big, Quilted, Panel Bag ... I am so very proud of it.
I can confess that it was ultra difficult for me to cut into these beautiful, favourite fabrics.... but I am now very pleased that I did, what do you think?