Officially finished and ready to load! Here ’tis, my eleventh Junior Billie Bag (JBB):
The block in the left photo above features an inset circle. Rather than make a different block for the other side (right photo), I used an uncut piece of the focus fabric because I wanted to showcase that gorgeous poppy border print. I really like how nicely the binding fabric — a metallic silver and black leaf print — sets off the grey, red, and black fabrics as well as the poppy print.
The bag is 14″ wide, 17″ tall, and 7″ deep. The depth of the bag is sufficient to hold a 6″ x 24″ acrylic ruler, which is only one of the terrific features of Billie’s design.
It’s always rather difficult to get good photos of the JBB with both sets of straps in plain sight. Here you see both sides flattened out, with the short and long handles in view:
Why two sets of handles? It’s so handy being able to choose when to carry the bag as a satchel using the short straps or when to carry it over your shoulder using the long straps.
It’s also difficult to get a good look at the pockets inside a Junior Billie Bag:
Here’s a photo of the interior (from a previous post) taken before the fourth side was added:
If you’re new to my blog, you may be wondering why on earth I’ve made so many Junior Billie Bags. The short answer is that I’ve been teaching this scaled down version of Billie Mahorney’s original design since 2015, and every time I teach the class, I make a bag because I’ve found that the best way for me to demonstrate construction techniques is to build a bag alongside my students.
Because of the pandemic, quilt classes came to a halt early in 2020. The last JBB I made was in 2019. When I started working on this one I realized how rusty I had gotten. As I tell my students, “This is a challenging bag to make but so worth the effort!”
You can see all of my Junior Billie Bags on the Gallery page of firstlightdesigns.com or by clicking here.
Lovely fabrics! Do you find that by having two sets of handles is cumbersome at times? I would so love take a class, but of course, the miles create a problem.
Not at all, Patricia! They never get in the way of each other. Whether I carry the JBB by the short or long handles is a function of what else I am carrying.
I love that bag! The fabric is stunning.
Beautiful. I love the red and black.
That’s a lot of Billie Bags, Dawn! There must be a folksong lurking around somewhere in this bag! Question: What are the dimensions of the original Billie Bag? Just curious…And where do these sample bags go after you have made one for the class? As a former sewing teacher, I fully agree. Making a project along with your students is the best way for them to learn. I used to make a reversible butcher apron every year with my 8th grade students. I don’t remember what I did with all of them, though….I think they went into my teacher-closet, and ultimately got worn out with use in the ten or so cooking classes I also taught. I remember making a very pretty one with some Paris-motif fabric. The kids loved it.
Hi, Anna! The original Billie Bag (if I remember correctly) was 20″ high and 20″ wide. It was so big that when it was loaded with supplies you could hardly lift it! One of Billie’s students was the first one to make a smaller version. It was 18″ high, which still seemed too tall to me. I changed the dimensions a bit when I started teaching the class in 2015. Six of my Junior Billie Bags were made as gifts and a couple of my earlier ones were given to quilting friends who didn’t mind accepting a “gently used” JBB.
Another fantastic bag! Congratulations on your finish!
Do you have an online tutorial or course for the Billie Bag Jr. ? I took Billie’s class at Sisters with the larger Billie’s Bag, but I need to make a new one. I live too far to take the course at your shop! Do you have a soution for me? (I would be happy to make the smaller bag if you have an online course or tutorial)!
Hi Julie. I am sorry to disappoint you but I do not have an online tutorial or course for the Junior Billie Bag. Billie always intended for the tote to be taught in class with hands-on instruction, and I am continuing in her path.