120-Minute Gift: The Queen Bee Bag


Hello, again!  I’m Polly Monica from Aunt Polly's Porch blog. I am so pleased to be back at the Moda Bake Shop with a large mat and ruler tote bag designed just for quilters like you to use when you go to bee or a quilt class!!

Believe me when I say you will certainly be The Queen Bee when your friends see your new bag!!  And it would sure be a favorite gift for a quilting friend this holiday season!

1 charm pack ( I used A Stitch in Color)
2 yards coordinating solid (I used Moda  Bella slate grey)
1.5 yards print from same collection (I used the Spectrum print from the A Stitch in Color collection)
2  small gold decorative buckles (about 3/4”)
10” of matching Velcro
batting, matching thread

Cutting Directions-
From the solid grey fabric-
cut four 4.5” strips the full Width Of Fabric (WOF) for the straps
cut a strip 22.5” by WOF, then sub cut it into
    one 22.5” by  28” piece for bag front lining and
    one 18.5” by 14” piece for the tall ruler front pocket
cut another 22.5” strip by WOF, then sub cut it into
    one 22.5” by  28” piece for bag back lining and
    one 14” by  9.5” piece for short ruler front pocket and
    two little  1  3/8”  by  5  1/4” rectangles for buckle straps on mini pockets
cut one strip  9.5” by WOF, then sub cut it into
    two 9.5” squares for inside pocket linings

From the print yardage-
cut a strip 14” by WOF, then sub cut it into
    one  14” by 18.5” piece for bag front (behind the ruler pockets) and
    one  14” by  18.5” piece for the tall ruler pocket lining
cut a strip 14” by WOF, then sub cut it into
    one 14”  by 22.5” piece for the back pocket lining and
    one 14”  by 9.5” piece for the short ruler pocket lining
cut a strip 22.5” by WOF, then sub cut it into
    one 22.5”  by  28” piece for bag back

From the 42 Charm Squares in the pack-
    select 18 charms squares for the bag front
    select 15 charm squares for the back pocket
    select 4 charm squares for the 2 front mini buckled pockets

From the Batting-
cut two  22.5”  by  28” pieces for bag front and back
cut one  18.5”  by  14” piece for the tall ruler pocket
cut one   9.5”   by  14” piece for the short ruler pocket
cut one  22.5”  by  14” piece for the back pocket 
cut two  80”  by   1.5”  strips for the straps (these can be pieced or fused together from smaller pieces)
Sewing and Assembly Directions- 
Sew two  of your  4.5”  by  WOF  grey strips together on the short end.  Press the seam open.   Next, press both long sides under 3/4”.

Slip one 1.5”  by 80” batting strip under one of the folded in long sides. 


Bring the other long edge over to meet the folded edge and pin all the way to edge.


Stitch the two edges together 1/4” from edge.  Stitch to end, turn and stitch across the raw edged short end, then back up the other side.


Repeat this topstitching again 1/8” from the edges.


SAFN!!  (Set Aside For Now!)
Bag Front--  (using the 18 charm squares and one 18.5” by 14” print piece)


Select 4 of the charm squares, sew them together to make a strip. 
Press seams however you prefer, then sew the strip to one 18.5” side of the print piece.
Repeat this process with 4 more charms squares sewn together then sewn to the opposite 18.5” side.
Take 5 of the charm squares and sew them together in a horizontal strip, press seams all one way
Take another 5 charm squares and repeat the process but press the seams in the other direction.
Sew the two rows together, nestling the seams at each intersection.
Now sew this piece to the top of the previously pieced front, press well.


Pin it to the front batting  piece and quilt as desired.  I used a sort of zig zaggy stitch to quilt it. 
Here’s a look at it from the batting side…but you can quilt it however you prefer!


SAFN!  (Set Aside for now.)
The same process is used to make both the tall and short ruler pockets on the front of the bag.
With right sides together, match up the solid grey tall ruler pocket piece with it’s matching print lining piece and it’s matching batting piece.  Pin and stitch across one 14” side.


You want the lining to show a tiny bit across the top of the pocket at the seam line from the front side, so you will not press the sewn seam as you normally would, but allow the actual seam to be about 1/4” down from the pressed top edge… which means that the bottom edge of the lining will be a tad short…  about a 1/4”…so no big deal!   This is hard to explain in words but look at the photos and you’ll see what I mean.


Quilt the pocket as desired.  I used a bright variegated thread with an simple meander design.  Repeat this process with the second smaller ruler pocket.  SAFN!

Next we make the 2 mini buckled pockets!  Take the two grey  1  3/8” by 5  1/4” pieces and press them in half lengthwise.  Open up the pressed piece and now fold the long raw edges into the center fold and repress.  Now the raw edges are enclosed inside.  Topstitch down each long side .  Slide the buckle and center it onto the strap.


Pin and stitch it to one charm square. Do the same with a second charm square.


Using the remaining two charm squares as pocket linings, place them right sides together with the two charms you just sewed the buckle straps on.


Remember to leave an opening in one side as you stitch around them, so that you can turn them right side out!


Turn them right sides out, press and topstitch across the top edge of each pocket.


Now center and pin one buckled mini pocket on top of the small quilted grey ruler pocket as shown in the photo.


Stitch it down on three sides.  Now lay the small grey ruler pocket on top of the larger one and baste the side seams together with a scant 1/4” seam allowance.


Now center and pin the remaining mini buckled pocket onto the taller ruler pocket and stitch it down on three sides as shown.


Place the double ruler pocket piece onto the quilted front,  centered left to right and having the bottoms aligned together.  Baste the pockets down using a 1/4” seam allowance.


Take one prepared strap and with the raw end of the strap even with the bag bottom, pin it up and over one side of the ruler pocket piece, and then bring the other raw end of that strap back down the other side of the pocket to end at the bag bottom.


Slowly stitch through the strap, pocket and bag front all at one time.  Start stitching at the bag bottom/raw end of strap, and stitch up until you are about 5” below the top edge of the bag, turn and stitch across the strap at that point, then turn again and stitch right back down the other side of the strap, thus enclosing the raw edges of the ruler pocket. I stitched the straps on using matching grey thread and stitched between the 2 lines of top-stitching previously done with the bright variegated thread.


Repeat this now on the other end of the strap … up the other side of the ruler pocket.  SAFN!
Bag Back-
Pin the print bag back piece to it’s matching batting piece and quilt as desired!

Back Pocket-
Arrange the 15 charm squares into three rows of 5 squares each and stitch them together.


Pin the matching batting piece to it and quilt as desired.  I used the bright variegated thread and did a simple meander!


With the matching print pocket lining piece, place right sides together, pin and stitch across one 22.5” side.  Do the same thing with pressing that seam as you did on the front ruler pockets… as you want to see a bit of the lining from the front side.

Lay the second completed strap on the back  pocket- over the first seam line from each side of the pocket, with raw short end edges even with the bottom of the pocket.


Pin the strap in place up over that seam on one side of the pocket, over the finished top edge of the pocket and then back down the other side of the pocket, ending with the other raw edged end even with the bottom of the pocket.


I again used matching grey thread to sew the strap onto the pocket, stitching between the rows,  previously topstitched.   Sew up one side from the bottom of the pocket to the top, turn sew across the strap to the other side and turn again and then sew down the strap to the bottom.


Lay the completed pocket on top of the bag back with sides and bottom even.  Baste around the pocket using a 1/4” seam allowance.  SAFN! 
Inside Pockets-
Use the leftover charm squares, cutting a few more from the leftover printed yardage scraps, to make up 2 sets of 4 charm squares arranged and sewn together like a four patch.


Put these two four patches together with the pocket lining pieces previously cut from the grey yardage with right sides together and stitch all around the edges with a 1/4” seam, remembering to leave an opening for turning!


Turn them right sides out and press.  Top stitch across the top edge of each pocket.  At this point, sew one 5” piece of Velcro (soft side) on the inside of each pocket, near the top.


Center the two pockets on one of the print yardage lining pieces as shown below, and pin in place.


Unpin just the top of each pocket and fold  it down so you can sew the other side of the Velcro where it needs to be in order to match the Velcro on the pocket itself.

Now,  bring the pocket tops back up and repin, then stitch around all three sides of each pocket.


Lay the two grey bag lining pieces, right sides together, matching the sides and bottom and pin.  Stitch the three sides with a 5/8” seam allowance, remembering to leave a 5” opening in the bottom for turning.

Now pin and stitch the outer bag sides with right sides together, using a 1/2” seam allowance.

Turn the bag lining right sides out and push it down into the outer bag with it still right sides IN…which means they are right sides together!!

Match the side seams and pin all around the top edge, making sure you don’t accidentally catch any of the two straps in that top edge seam.  Sew the top edge seam with a 1/2” seam allowance.


Turn the bag right side out through the opening you left in the bottom of the lining.  Sew that opening closed, then push the lining down into the bag.


Again, as in the top edges of the pockets, you want some of the grey lining to show at the top edge of the bag, so manipulate the edge that way and pin it all around the top.


I “stitched in the ditch” – in the seam line between the grey lining and outer bag to hold the top edge as I liked it with the grey lining showing a bit on the outside, then I topstitched it twice with the bright variegated thread.


And finally, VOILA!!  all done!  YAY!!  Smile


one 22” by 26” quilter mat and ruler tote bag
Time to put your mat and rulers in the new bag and get on your way to bee or quilt class!!
Yogi's bed
Yogi and I hope you like the Queen Bee Bag quilting tote and will enjoy making one for yourself or for a gift for a quilter friend!

Come visit us soon, over at my blog- http://www.auntpollysporch.blogspot.com/
We hope you have a wonderful holiday and a most blessed New Year!!

Polly Monica


dagmar.eu said...

Another great project from Polly. I can't wait to make this (for myself). Looks practical and sturdy and great for a bit of FMQ practising along the way. Thank you!

Maria said...

A great tutorial Polly for a useful quilting bag.. thanks.

Chris said...

Super bag, great idea, I'll do it next!!

Gill said...

Thanks Polly for a great tutorial!
I love this bag!

Cindy said...

Polly, you always come up with fun, useful ideas. This is a GREAT idea. I always wonder how I'll carry my rulers/mat to class because they can be "sew" awkward. This "Queen Bee Bag" will do the job.

Thank you.

The Bear's Blog said...

Your creations are always amazing and your detailed tutorials make these projects so much fun and easy to follow.

Shelley said...

I love "the Queen Bee Bag"! It's perfect for taking to classes and on retreat!

Rosa said...

thanks Polly for the tutorial.Can´t wait to make one.Merry Christmas!!

Needled Mom said...

This is a wonderful project. It would certainly be great to take to class filled with all of your needed items.

Angie said...

Love love love this bag!! Thank you bunches for this tutorial. :) Happy Holidays

CJ Tinkle said...

This is fantastic Polly! I can't wait to make one, thank you for the wonderful tutorial!

Mary on Lake Pulaski said...

Fabulous tutorial! Thank you very much!

trudie said...

What a wonderful class day bag. I love the roominess and pockets. Yea!

Farm Quilter said...

I love this bag! Nice that it is large enough to fit my mat and rulers, as well as my project! Fabulous tutorial - very well written in logical steps!!

barb said...

I really love this bag! Trying to carry a mat, ruler and various stuff is hard. A little bit smaller and it would make a great purse!!

nettie said...

Oh, Polly, you always come up with the neatest projects! Can't wait to make one for an upcoming retreat. I have several "charm packs" that would do the trick.
Thanks for a very easy tutorial.
Happy New Year too.
Nettie from Spanish Fork, UT

Sherry said...

Wonderful project. Thanks for the great tutorial. This will be a perfect bag to make for myself.

Cecilia said...

Thank you for such a wonderful project and great instructions.

wanda said...

I love the quilt bag, I cant wait to make it. I follow your blog, and I love your quilting, the patterns, etc. thanks

Janice Stockwell said...

I love this bag1 i will probably be gifting them to friends. Thanks!

Janice Stockwell said...

I love this bag! I will be using the pattern to make gifts for friends. THANK YOOUUUU!

Clara {Clover and Violet} said...

such a great bag and tutorial!

sandra said...

This is a great bag and I know a few people who would just love it (next year Christmas gifts, better start soon). Polly as usual you wrote an excellent tutorial I love it. Blessings Sandra

Mommarock said...

Really appreciate super clear super easy instructions for fabulous projects like this!!

linynp said...

Great tutorial!!!! Thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lesley said...

Congrats on an excellent project and tutorial!

Usharanee Murugesu said...

Great tutorial...Thanks


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Molly Dee said...

I've been looking for a bag like this and this one fits the bill. I love the colors you chose for it too. I plan on making this in the next couple of weeks so off to the quilt store I go tomorrow. Thanks for another great tutorial. Yogi looks adorable as ever.

Debbie said...

Great tutorial for a bag to use to carry my tools to the retreat I am going to in January! Thanks for another doable project. Give Yogi a scratch on the ear and Happy New Year to you.

Gmama Jane said...

I do LOVE this bag and need one desperately to carry my rulers and cutting mat back and forth to my quilt class as well as all the Quilt Expo's I attend!! I REALLY want Yogi but that isn't about to happen I'm afraid. Great Job, Polly as always!! Her blog is wonderful if you want a great blog to read!!
Gmama Jane
Yikes, I HATE HATE HATE Word ID!!! My aging eyes make this so hard.

StitchinByTheLake said...

What a great project Polly! I love that it's so quick to make. blessings, marlene

Mihaela said...

Thank you, Polly for this very good tutorial!
I love Malka Dubrawsky's fabric designs for a long time.
I can't wait to make a such a beautiful and useful bag.
I wish you a very Happy New Year!

Nancy M. said...

great bag and tutorial. Thank you. Happy New Year.

Lisa said...

Love this bag!

Grams said...

Awesome project Polly.

Carlyn Holmes said...

This is a Great tutorial...thanks.

Carrie said...

This blog inspired me highly. Thanks for this great share! Isthatnew

Roberta said...

Hi Polly - thanks for this tutorial! Your instructions were perfectly clear, and I made a bag for a quilting friend this week, and have plans for a couple more. Here is the finished project with the Sweet Serenade charm pack. http://quiltini.blogspot.ca/2013/08/la-finished-ruler-bag.html

steve7876 said...

I actually do APPRECIATE that tote and will need 1 frantically to hold my own rulers and slicing sparring floor between the two to help my own umbrella class and Houlteninstitute.com also the many Quilt Expo's When i show up at!! I SERIOUSLY want Yogi nevertheless that isn't planning to come about I'm reluctant. Great job, Polly seeing that often!! The girl blog is superb if you prefer a wonderful blog to learn!!

Teacosy said...

What a wonderful Pattern, wunderschöne Anleitung sehr nützlich.
Regards Sylvia

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