21 Oct 2015
October 21, 2015

Crazy Quilted Lunch Bag

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Crazy quilted lunch bag

We recently posted this Crazy Quilted Lunch bag on our website, MakeItCoats.com. Not long after we had an email saying, “I love this bag, but I’m a beginner and the instructions are hard for me to follow.” So we went back to the designer, Elizabeth Hill, and asked her if she could break it down into steps that were easier for a beginner to follow. She said yes and went one better by sending along step by step photos.

The results were great so we decided to share the new instructions here on Sewing Secrets. If you would like to see the original- it is here: Crazy Quilted Lunch Bag


Finished Size  8” x 12”


MaterialsLunch bag picture 1 - Copy

Dual Duty XP® All Purpose threads to match fabric.

Dual Duty XP® All Purpose threads in bright colors for decorative stitching

Coats All Purpose Zipper to match fabric: 7”

Fabric for bag: ½ yard

Fabric for lining: 3/4 yard

Insul-Bright™needled insulating lining: ¾ yard

Stabilizer: 9” x 8” piece

Sew on Velcro: 2” piece




From print bag fabric cut:

Cut 2 pieces 12” x 13” for lunch bag

Cut 1 piece 8” x 5” for lunch bag flap

Cut 1 piece 3 ½” x 22” for handle

From lining fabric:

Cut 2 pieces 12” x 13” for lunch bag

Cut 1 piece 8” x 10” for flap

Cut 1 piece 8 ½” x 6 ½” base for applique and decorative stitches

on lunch bag flap

Cut 1 piece 8” x 5 ½” for underlining of flap pocket

From Insul Bright insulating lining:

Cut 2 pieces 12” x 13” (optional)

Note: all seam allowances are ½” unless otherwise noted.


  1. To make the pocket in the lunch bag flap: Embellish the pocket using appliques and decorative stitching:

Place stabilizer behind the 8 ½” x 6 ½” piece of lining fabric.

lunch bag picture 2 - Copy


Using scraps of fabric cut abstract shapes for applique. Pin shapes in place on the lining fabric.

lunch bag picture 3 - Copy

Using Dual Duty XP threads zigzag or buttonhole stitch scraps to the background fabric.

illus bag front


Once all pieces have been appliqued; finish embellishing the flap with random rows of decorative stitches.

Trim away excess stabilizer.lunch bag picture 4 - Copy

Trim embellished fabric to measure 8” x 6”.

  1. To make the pocket in the lunch bag flap:

Fold under and press ½” along the top of the embellished fabric.



lunch bag picture 5 - Copy - Copy

Insert pocket lining (8” x 5 ½” plain fabric) under the folded edge of the embellished pocket flap wrong sides together. This extra piece protects the decorative stitching in addition to lining the pocket.


Next, fold under and press ½” along the bottom of the 8” x 5” piece of print fabric.lunch bag picture 6 - Copylunch bag picture 7

Place the zipper under the fold of the embellished fabric. Using a zipper foot stitch close to the fold.

lunch bag picture 8


Attach zipper to the other side of the front bag flap. Trim zipper end. Finished size of flap piece will be 8” x 10”.

Top stitch the decorated portion of the flap across the top ¼” from the first row of stitching.

(Do not top stitch the top of the flap just yet. )

  1. To finish the flap put flap lining and flap top right sides together. Stitch along the the sides and the bottom. Leave the top open for turning. Clip corners. Turn right side out. Press.


lunch bag picture 9

Topstitch along the top of the zipper ¼” from the zipper to create the top edge of the flap pocket. Topstitch ¼” along the outside edges of the flap.

lunch bag picture 10




  1. To make the lunch bag: Cut 2 inch squares from the bottom corners along the 12” end of each 12” x 13” piece of print fabric, lining fabric and Insul Bright insulating lining.

illus bag dimensionslunch bag picture 11


  1. To sew Velcro fastener to the bag lining:

Measure 1” from top edge of each bag lining piece. Center the 2” piece of Velcro and stitch in place stitching close to the edge of the Velcro.

lunch bag picture 12

  1. Put Insul Bright insulating lining on the wrong side of the lining fabric. Baste Insul Bright to lining along the sides.

lunch bag picture 13lunch bag picture 14

  1. To construct bag:

On a flat surface put print fabric right side up. Center embellished pocket flap along the top edge. Baste ¼” from the edge.

lunch bag picture 15


Sew the lining fabric to the print fabric along the top edge. Repeat with the remaining two bag pieces.

lunch bag picture 16

Right sides together, match print fabric to print fabric and lining to lining. Be sure seams match. To avoid a bulking seam turn one seam allowance up and the other down. Pin.

Stitch sides leaving an opening on one side of the lining for turning the bag right side out. Stitch along the bottom edges.

lunch bag picture 17


Illus sewing bag together


  1. To make the boxy bottom :

At each corner match a side seam to a bottom seam. Pin. Sew ends together to make a boxy bottom. Repeat with remaining corners.lunch bag picture 19lunch bag picture 18


Turn right side out. Hand stitch the opening closed. Push lining inside the main bag.


  1. Press. Topstitch ¼” from the bag’s top edge.

lunch bag picture 20

  1. On the top edge of the bag measure 2” to the right and 2” to the left of each seam. Mark with a pin. Repeat at the bottom of the bag.

lunch bag picture 21

  1. Fold bag lengthwise from pin to pin. Place pins along the fold.

Do a long basting stitch along the folded edge sewing from bottom to top sewing through all layers. This will be bulky. Use the longest stitch and a larger needle.lunch bag picture 22lunch bag picture 22

Repeat on remaining sides. To square the bottom, topstitch the front and back edges of the bag bottom. It is not necessary to topstitch the side seams of the bag bottom.lunch bag picture 25lunch bag picture 24

Topstitching the sides of the bag will give it a boxy appearance.

  1. To make the lunch bag handle:

Fold the 3 ½” x 22” piece of print fabric in half lengthwise right sides together. Stitch ¼” from the edge. Turn right side out. Press with the seam in the middle of the handle. Top stitch ¼” from the edge of both sides. Press.

  1. Place the unfinished edge of handle 1 ½” from the top of the lunch bag right sides together. Stitch to bag ¼” from unfinished edge. Fold handle up and stitch to bag ¼” from the folded edge. Stitch again ¼” from the top of the lunch bag along the row of topstitching. This helps secure the handle to the bag. Repeat on other side. Press.

Note: To make the lunch bag without the embellishments and the zippered pocket omit Steps 1 and 2. Start with Step 3.

Cutting directions for this option:

From print fabric:

Cut 2 pieces 12” x 13” for lunch bag

Cut 1 piece 8” x 10” for lunch bag flap

Cut 1 piece 3 ½” x 22” for handle

From lining fabric:

Cut 2 pieces 12” x 13” for lunch bag

Cut 1 piece 8” x 10” for lunch bag flap

From Insul Bright insulation lining

Cut 2 pieces 12” x 13”


About the Author

Eizabeth Hill is a retired county extension agent who has taught countless 4-H’ers to sew. Elizabeth designs projects for Coats and Clark and she continues to share her love of sewing with youth in her church & community.

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