Big Sis, Little Sis Owl Messenger Bags


I’m Jo from Jo’s Country Junction. I am so excited to bring to you my latest Moda Bake Shop project, “Big Sis, Little Sis Owl Bags.” You can make one bag or both bags. If you read on, you will even find out how to get instructions for a matching tiny baby owl bag that can be used as a coin purse. Grab some “Just Wing It” fat quarters and a little bit of yardage and let’s start sewing.


Large Bag (10″ x 11″)
1 fat quarter for outsie
1 fat quarter for inside
1/4 yard for binding
1/3 yard strap and inner pocket
2-1/8 yard cuts for eyes and beak

Small Bag (6″ x 7″)
1 fat quarter for outsie
1 fat quarter for inside
1/4 yard for binding
1/8 yard strap and inner pocket
2-1/8 yard cuts for eyes and beak

Buttons for eyes
Scrap of DecoBond
Scrap of Heat and Bond
2 Scraps of leftover quilt batting the size of your fat quarter


Draw out a pattern using the following measurements. This will be the front and back of the bag.

Base 7″ (12″)
Height 6″ (9″)
Top 4.25″ (9″)


Cut a 12″ x 20″ (18″ x 21″) piece of fabric from your fabric that will be the outside. Cut a piece of batting that is slightly bigger. Machine quilt the to pieces together using a scalloped type quilting pattern.


From the quilted piece cut::
2 of the drawn pattern
2-2.5″ x 6″ pieces (2-3″ x 9″)
1-2.5″ x 7″ piece (1-3″ x 12″)

Pin the 6″ pieces to the 7″ piece as shown. Sew between the pins leaving a 1/4″ not sewn at each edge. Do this for each end.

Pin the front piece to the side pieces as shown. Again, sew between the pins leaving a 1/4″ not sewn at each edge.

Pin the side pieces to the front as shown. This time leave a 1/4″ not sewn only at the base of the purse only. Sew to the edge of the top. Sew both sides the same way.

Sew the back piece in place by repeating the last two steps.

Turn right side out.

From the lining fabric cut::
2 of the drawn pattern
2-2.5″ x 6″ pieces
1-2.5″ x 7″ piece

From a contrast fabric cut 2-4.5″ x 5″ (6.5″ x 6′) pieces for an inside pocket. Put the pieces right sides together. Sew around the edge as shown leaving an opening. Clip the corners. Turn right side out. Hand stitch the opening shut.

Stitch to the back piece as shown.

Now assemble you lining using the same steps that you used to sew the outside of the bag together. Clip the corner seams.

Now tuck the lining into the bag putting the WRONG sides together. Pin the seams together as shown.

Cut 2-2.5″ strip of fabric for the binding. Using one strip, bind the top edge of the bag just as you would bind a quilt. I sewed the binding to the outside and flipped it over to the inside, hand sewing the binding in place.

To make the flap, cut a 5.5″ x 5.5″ (11″ x 5.75″) piece of lining fabric and one the same size of the machine quilted pieces. Layer them wrong sides together. Bind three of the sides with the other 2.5″ binding strip.

Find the center of the back side of the bag. Find the center of the flap. Match them up as shown. Pin the flap in place about 1/4″ below the binding strip. Sew into place.

Trim the seam to only 1/8″. Turn the flap into position. Pin in place. Stitch 1/2″ from the fold covering the raw edge.

Using the beak pattern provided in the printable version, cut two beaks from fabric and one from decobond. Put the fabric pieces right sides together. Layer that on top of the decobond piece. Sew along the two curved sides using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Trim. Turn right sides out. Iron. Turn the straight open edge in, iron.

Sew the beak in place on the center of the flap as shown.


To make the eyes cut a 5″ x 2.5″ (7″ x 3.5″) piece of the outside bag fabric and one of a contrasting fabric. Cut a piece of heat and bond that is that size as well. Adhere the heat and bond to the back of one of the pieces of fabric. Then adhere the other piece of fabric to the heat and bond making a fabric and heat and bond sandwich. Using the fabric, cut two 2′ (3″) circles.

Cut a piece of contrasting fabric that is 1.5″ by 3.5″ (2.5″ x 5″). Cut a piece of heat and bond the same size. Adhere to fabric. Cut two 1″ circles. Adhere to the middle of the 2″ circles. Using a scissor, fringe the outside edge of the 2″ circle.

Now all that is left is the strap. To make them cut two 2″ x 28″ (2.5″ x 42) pieces of fabric and one of batting. Layer the batting between the fabric and machine quilt. Pin the strap to the purse testing the length. If you want it shorter, now is the time to trim it. Cut 2 (3) binding strips. Bind the strap as you would bind a quilt.

Position the strap as shown and stitch in place.

Your bag is finished…unless, of course, you are making one of each size….Remember the directions for the large bag are in parentheses.

If you look at the photo of the finished bags you will see a picture of a tiny matching purse. If you want to learn how to make that, head on over my blog, Jo’s Country Junction, and you’ll see a little tutorial on how to make it. If you make it without the handle, it’s a darling little coin purse. I am giving away my extra scraps so you might want to check that out too.

Large Bag (10″ x 11″)Small Bag (6″ x 7″)

Jo Kramer