Ladies and gents, I have another finish to report: Here is my latest version of the quintessential quilter’s tote known as the Junior Billie Bag:
I just finished teaching a class at the Pine Needle on making a JBB. I started the class (and this bag) in January; you can read about my fabric choices here.
In the photo above, you see the longer of two sets of handles; these are worn over the shoulder. In the photo below you see the shorter set of handles, allowing the bag to be carried like a satchel:
Notice the custom outside pockets in both photos.
Now look inside the Junior Billie Bag, where you’ll find many more pockets, all sized with specific items in mind:
After those pockets are filled, there’s still room to tuck in bundles of fabric or batting — or even a sack lunch. Now you know why I call the Junior Billie Bag “the quintessential quilter’s tote.”
The original Billie Bag was designed by Billie Mahorney and measured 21″ x 21″ x 7½”. This version is smaller, measuring 14″ x 17″ x 7½”. Billie never wanted to write a pattern, preferring to teach her design in a classroom setting. Now that she has retired from teaching, I have the pleasure of teaching the class. How glad I am! It’s been so much fun sharing her design with other quilters, and in the process I have made myself a JBB or two and given others as gifts.
When Coco saw me taking photos of the JBB this morning, she trotted right over to investigate. Before I knew it, she had crawled inside and made herself very much at home:
It seems the Junior Billie Bag is perfectly sized for a cat. Who knew?!
That is one first rate five star cat bag! It’s pretty enough for the discerning Miss Coco; if you can get it away from her, it may work well as a sewing accessory!
What a scene stealer that little Coco is! Nubs, the bag is just outstanding. I really love the fabrics in this one!!
It isn’t a proper bag till cat-approved.
Any chance you will make up a pattern? Us ladies in Texas would love to have one!
She wants to go to class! Another great bag. Ah, planning ahead… So hard for me to do. Trying to figure out an efficient furniture layout for the quilt studio but I easily get distracted by cute boxes, containers and other organizing objects. Bag turned out very well; I especially love the pops of red.
Coco understands. She gets distracted by boxes and bags too.
Your quantity and quality of your work is amazing! I like your cat too!!!
Wish I could take that class or there were a pattern. I’m often asked about the pattern when I bring my bag around. And I can’t remember how I did mine. I made the junior bag in Billie’s class when she was back in Portland some years ago. I also have the big one that Billie gave me when I left the US 8 years ago.
I always love what you do with these bags and I also love how Coco photobombs your pictures. Makes them very special.
I love this bag – and your colors. I noted that the creator of the bag didn’t want to write a pattern, but preferred to teach it instead. I’d love to take a class! Unfortunately, I’m not local. Do you know of anyone else teaching this?
Thanks sew much
Hi, Mary. Billie’s design and my instructions are both copyrighted so no, no one else is (or should be) teaching it. Where do you live? Perhaps a quilt shop or quilt guild in your area would be interested in having me teach.
I live close to Cincinnati. There are some wonderful quilt shops around here- unfortunately fewer than there had been. Fingers crossed that someone will invite you to teach!