When you’re going in a dozen different directions at once, you need a generously-sized tote to hold all their on-the-go supplies. Our Jelly Roll Jumbo Carryall fits the bill. We designed the modern skyscraper appliqué on the front and back to feature some favorite Jelly Roll strips.
The Moda Barkcloth we used for the exterior has a wonderful weight and drape, but is does want to shift a bit. Because of this, make sure you start your stitching at the center of each panel and work outwards – first in one direction and then in the other. For the best look and the easiest construction, the batting is sized to keep it out of all the seams, but if it creeps out of line anywhere during the quilting, simply trim it back as needed. The pretty lining will hide all the seams.
Finished-edge Jelly Roll strips create the front and back appliqués. The rich gray of the exterior is the perfect background for this, allowing the rich colors and patterns in each Jelly Roll strip to really pop.
In addition, the juxtaposition of a patterned lining against the neutral solid of the exterior is a classic combo.
We added a pair of handmade, double-color tassels to the front handle. Tassels are a hot trend on bags and totes right now. We’ve seen them in all lengths, colors, and textures. You can make these yourself from twisted floss with a crocheted or braided hanger.
Load up with whatever’s required to take you in a dozen different directions. From bundles of books to balls of yarn, the inherent softness of this quilted bag gives it the flexibility to hold a lot or a little.
- Sewing Machine and standard presser foot
- Walking or Even Feed foot; optional but best for the straight line quilting as well as finishing the multiple layers around the top of the bag
- Zipper foot; optional for inserting base
Fabric and Other Supplies
- 1 yard of 45″+ barkcloth or similar for the tote’s exterior and handles; we originally used 45” Moda Barkcloth in Slate Gray
- 1 yard of 44″+ wide quilting weight cotton for the lining; we originally used Fringe in Navy on Bisque from the Valley collection by Sherri & Chelsi for Moda Fabrics
- FIVE Jelly Roll strips; we originally used a Jelly Roll from the Valley collection by Sherri & Chelsi for Moda Fabrics
NOTE: If you choose not to use a Jelly Roll, you’ll need FIVE coordinating 2½” x 42” strips.
- ½ yard of 44″+ wide muslin or similar lightweight cotton for the backing of the exterior quilt sandwich; we used standard white muslin, purchased locally
- ½ yard of 44″+ wide low loft batting
- 1 yard of 20″+ wide lightweight fusible interfacing; we used Pellon Shape Flex
- ¼ yard of 20″+ wide heavy-weight fusible interfacing; we used Pellon Peltex
- Twisted floss in three colors for the tassels; we used light taupe on both, combined with deep red on one and navy on the other – for the best look to the tassels, start with one full skein for each of the accent colors and three skeins of the coordinating color (one for each of the two tassels and one for the hanger and wrapping) – in our ingredients photo above we show more than necessary; we were testing tassel options
- All-purpose thread to match fabric; must be a close match for the appliquéd strips
- See-through ruler
- Fabric pen or pencil
- Seam gauge
- Seam ripper
- Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
- Iron and ironing board
- Straight pins
- Large-eye upholstery needle for the optional tassels
- Crochet hook for the optional tassels’ hanger
- From the exterior fabric (Moda Slate Barkcloth in our sample), cut the following:
TWO 22″ wide x 15″ high rectangles for the front and back panels
ONE 18″ wide x 5″ high rectangle for the base
TWO 30″ x 3½“ strips for the handles
- From the fabric for the lining (Fringe in Navy on Bisque from Valley in our sample), cut the following:
TWO 22″ wide x 11″ high rectangles for the front and back panels
ONE 18” wide x 5″ high rectangle for the base
ONE 11” wide x 15” high rectangle for the lining pocket
- From the Jelly Roll, you’ll select FIVE strips.
- Remove the outer plastic wrap. Use a lint roller across the top and bottom cut edges to help reduce the shedding.
- Carefully unroll to pull out the five strips.
- From the Valley Jelly Roll, we used:
Fringe in Coral on Bisque – Cut into TWO lengths at 8”
Creosote in Navy – Cut into TWO lengths at 11
Windblown in Coral – Cut into TWO lengths at 10”
Wheat Field in Navy on Bisque – Cut into TWO lengths at 12”
Empire in Teal – Cut into TWO lengths at 9”
- From the lightweight interfacing, cut the following:
ONE 11” x 7½” rectangle for the lining pocket
TWO ¾” x 30” strips for the handles
TEN 1½” strips to go with the Jelly Roll cuts above:
TWO at 1½” x 7½”
TWO at 1½” x 10½”
TWO at 1½” x 9½”
TWO at 1½” x 11½”
TWO at 1½” x 8½”
- From the batting, cut TWO 21” x 12” rectangles.
- From the lightweight muslin or cotton, cut TWO 21” x 12” rectangles for the quilt sandwich backing.
- From the heavy-weight interfacing, cut ONE 16¾” x 3¾” rectangle for the base.
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
Create the appliqué
- Find the ten cut Jelly Roll strips and the corresponding cuts of lightweight interfacing.
- Center an appropriate interfacing strip on the wrong side of each Jelly Roll strip. It should sit so there is ½” of fabric showing beyond the interfacing on each side and one end. At the other end the interfacing and fabric is flush. If you have a directional print, the folded end will the top and the flush end will the bottom.
- Following manufacturer’s instructions, fuse the interfacing in place.
- Using the edge of the interfacing as a guide, fold back the sides and the top to create a finished edge on three sides.
- Find the two exterior panels. The appliqué design is a mirror image from front to back.
- Following our diagram, and starting the first strip approximately 4” in from the raw side edge of the exterior panel, place the five strips in position on each panel.
- The strips are ¼” apart. Pin each strip in place.
- Repeat to create a mirror image of the arrangement on the opposite panel.
- Lengthen your stitch to edgestitch each strip in place along both sides and across the top. Remember to make a sharp pivot at each top corners.
- Take the time to re-thread the machine with thread to best match each strip.
Quilting the exterior panels
- Find the batting panels. Center a batting panel on the wrong side of each appliquéd exterior panel.
- Place the cotton backing panel over the batting to create the final quilt sandwich.
NOTE: These two panels are smaller than the main exterior panel in order to keep them out of the seam allowances for a flatter finish. This is different than the layering you would traditionally do for a quilt. With proper pinning (or basting) through all the layers, any shifting of the layers during quilting can be kept to a minimum.
- Flip the sandwich so it is right side up and pin along the edges as well as through the center of the panel. You are “pin basting” just as you would for a quilt.
- Find the center of each panel and, using a fabric pen or pencil, draw a vertical guideline at this center point. This will be your starting guide line for the straight line quilting.
NOTE: Remember, you are working on the right side of the fabric so make sure your marking pen or pencil is one that is easily removable or with ink that will vanish with exposure to the air or the heat of an iron.
- Create straight, parallel lines of quilting across the entire panel. The lines are ½” apart.
- Start at the drawn center line and work from the center out to one side, then reposition to work from the center out to the opposite side. You can draw in guidelines ½” apart across each panel, or use markings on your machine, or use a quilting bar.
- The quilting lines go from the top raw edge to bottom raw edge of each panel. And they stitch through the appliquéd strips.
- If your batting/backing ends up encroaching into your bottom or side seam allowance space or the top facing space, trim it back between the lines of stitching as needed.
Assemble exterior front to back and insert the base
- When the quilting is complete on both the front and back panels place them right sides together. The raw edges should be flush all around. Pin along both sides.
- Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch along both sides to create a tube. Press the seam allowances open and flat.
- Along the top, fold down the facing all around. To do this, fold back the raw edge ½” and press well. Fold down an additional 2” and press again. This second fold should be right along the top edge of the batting panel.
- Find the exterior base panel and the heavy-weight interfacing panel.
- Center the interfacing on the wrong side of the base panel so there is ½” of fabric showing beyond the interfacing on all sides. Following manufacturer’s instructions, fuse the interfacing in place.
- Find and mark the center point of each side of the base panel. We used notches as our marking points.
- Find and mark the center point of the front and back of the exterior tube.
- The exterior tube should still be wrong side out. Starting on one side, pin the base panel right sides together with the tube. Align the center pin point of the short side of base panel with the side seam of the body of the tote. Continue pinning the base in place, matching the center notches front and back, and matching the center notches to the side seams along each side.
- Starting ½” in from the corner, and using a ½” seam allowance, stitch along the first side. Stop the seam at the opposite corner, ½” from the corner. In other words, your seam is starting and stopping ½” in from the edge of the base panel.
- Remove the project from the machine. Turn the corner. To help make the turn, you can clip the base of the bag at the corners. You are clipping into the corner at a diagonal at a depth of about ⅜”. This frees up the seam allowance so you can stitch each side of the bag independently.
- Use a ½” seam allowance to stitch the next side of the base to the body of the bag. Start and stop at ½” in each corner. Using a Zipper foot helps you stitch right along the edge of the heavy-weight interfacing.
NOTE: If you are new to inserting a rectangular base panel into a tube, we have a handy step-by-step tutorial.
- Set aside the exterior bag.
Create the lining with its pocket
- Find all the lining pieces, including the pocket and its interfacing.
- Re-thread the machine with thread to best match the lining in the top and bobbin.
- Fold the pocket in half right sides together (so it is now 11” wide x 7½” high) and press to set a center crease. Unfold so the crease line is visible. Center the interfacing on one half of the pocket panel. The top of the interfacing should be aligned with the center crease line and there should be ½” of fabric showing beyond the interfacing along both sides and across the bottom. Following manufacturer’s instructions, fuse the interfacing in place.
- Re-fold the pocket panel in half, but this time, right sides together. Pin along both sides and across the bottom, leaving a 3” opening along the bottom for turning right side out.
- Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch along both sides and across the bottom. Remember to pivot at the corners and to lock the seam at either side of the 3” opening.
- Clip the corners and press open the seam allowance.
- Turn right side out through the opening and press flat. As with the exterior pocket, gently push out all the corners and press in the raw edges along the opening so they are flush with the sewn seam.
- Find one of the main lining panels. Place it right side up and flat on your work surface. Place the pocket on top of the panel. The pocket should be centered side to side, 3” down from the top raw edge of the panel, and 1” up the bottom raw edge. Pin along both sides and across the bottom.
- Edgestitch along both sides and across the bottom of the pocket. This seals the opening used for turning right side out.
- Place the front and back lining panels right sides together, sandwiching the pocket between the layers. Pin along both sides.
- Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch both sides.
- Mark the center points of each side of the lining base panel as well as the front and back lining panels.
- Insert the base into the lining tube in the same manner as you did above for the exterior.
Assemble the lining and exterior
- Find the exterior bag, it should be right side out. Unfold the top facing hem.
- Find the lining bag, it should be wrong side out.
- Slip the lining inside the exterior so the two are now wrong sides together. The lining pocket should be against the back exterior panel. The top of the lining should fit along the second fold (the 2” fold) of the facing – in line with the top of the batting/backing. Smooth the lining down into position matching up the side seams and inset base panels, then fold the facing down into position and pin in place.
- Re-thread the machine with thread to best match the exterior in the top and bottom. Lengthen the stitch.
- Stitch all around the top of the bag, running the seam 1¾” down from the top of the finished bag. Make sure you are catching the inner hem of the facing.
NOTE: We used our standard presser foot, but you could also switch back to a Walking or Even Feed foot as an alternative since the top layers of the bag are rather thick.
Handles and straps
- Find the two 30” x 3½” handle strips and the ¾” strips of lightweight interfacing.
- Place an interfacing strip on the wrong side of each handle strip so the interfacing is flush with one 30” edge. Following manufacturer’s instructions, fuse in place.
- Fold in the fused edge along the inner edge of the interfacing. Then fold in the opposite un-fused edge so the raw edges meet in the middle. Press well.
- Fold the strip in half, aligning the folded edges and hiding the raw edges within the folds. Press well.
- The machine should still be threaded with thread to best match the exterior in the top and bottom, and the stitch should still be lengthened.
- Edgestitch along both long sides. The ends remain raw and unstitched.
- Find the tote. Re-find the center point of both the front and back panels. Measure 2¾” to the right of center and place a marking pin. Then measure 2¾” to the left of center and place another marking pin. Do this on both the front and back panels.
- Create a loop with each handle, centering the raw ends over the outer marked points. Tuck under each raw end ½”. The bottom finished (tucked under) end of the handle should sit 2½” down from the top folded edge of the tote.
- Pin each end of each handle in position, then stitch in position with a 1¾” box (not an X-Box – just an open box).
- We wanted a substantial hanger for our larger tassels and so opted to crochet it, using a simple chain stitch to yield an approximate 12” finished length. If you do not crochet, you could also cut three 30” lengths of floss and braid them neatly into an approximate 12” finished length.
NOTE: Remember, you have three skeins of one color and one each of the other two colors. The third skein of the main color is used for the crocheted hanger as well for the floss to wrap the neck of each tassel.
- Unwrap an entire skein of each tassel’s colors. Do not untwist. Place the hanger down on your work surface and place the skeins side by side over the hanger.
- Slide the floss pair towards one end of the hanger. Wrap the hanger around the center of the floss pair, pull tight and knot the single tail end of the hanger around the main crocheted segment. Knot to secure. The tail end will be concealed within the tassel.
- The remaining length of crocheted hanger and the opposite single tail end extend out from this first tassel. It will be looped around the second floss pair.
- Pull another length of floss from working skein of the main floss color. Use this to wrap the neck of the tassel. Fold this strand in half and thread both cut ends through the end of your upholstery needle.
- With the floss pair folded in half at the knot, circle your wrapping strand around the bundle approximately ¾” from the top. Pass your needle back through the strand loop and pull tight to secure.
- Once secured, circle your wrapping strand around the floss bundle as many times as needed. The look is up to you, but with this thicker floss, about six to seven wraps is a good average.
- When you’re finished going around and around, pass your needle back through the wrapped threads, knot, and pull tight to secure.
- Cut through the bottom folds of the twisted floss pairs to free all the strands and fluff them out into the full tassel shape.
- Repeat to create the second double-color tassel and attach it to the free end of the hanger in the same manner.
- Fold the hanger so the inner tassel hangs higher than the outer tassel.
- Hand stitch the loop in place behind the right end of the handle against the tote’s front panel.
NOTE: This tassel construction was adapted to give an extra full finish and add the crocheted hanger. We have a standard tutorial as well on how to make a standard tassel.
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Kathy Andrews, What Sew Ever