What is a Mondo Bag?

A Mondo Bag is a large bag you make mostly from squares fused onto a pre-printed, fusible interfacing. The pattern and interfacing are from QuiltSmart. I purchased the Mondo Bag pattern with interfacing several years ago but just now got around to making one. This is such an easy, fun bag to make.

How to Get Started

The interfacing is fusible and printed with grids and instructions. You take 2-1/2″ or 5″ squares and fuse them to 4 grids.

Gridlines on interfacing

This picture shows the printed grid and some squares in place.

Using the applique pressing sheet

All the fabric squares are in place. I spray water on top (or use a steam iron), use an Applique Pressing Sheet and fuse the fabric to the interfacing.

Fabric squares fused onto interfacing

All fused and ready to stitch.

Clipping the seams

Start with the short sides. Fold on the dotted lines and stitch 1/4″.  Cut a slit in the seam between the fabrics. This is done so the seams can be sewn in opposite directions later.

Pressing the seams

Close-up of the pressing in opposite directions…BUT at this point you don’t need to press. I only pressed the first panel then watched a video from QuiltSmart showing that they didn’t press. After the short sides are stitched, move on to the long sides.Mondo Bag panelOne panel stitched and pressed. You will make a total of 4 of these.

Next you should watch the video below for a better understanding of the next steps.  I will give my comments and experiences after the video.

Comments and Observations

Fusing and Stitching — The first half of the video shows how to fuse and stitch the 4 panels.

Color Groups — I like how she used color groups to make the bag. The darker colors are at the bottom and the medium and light colors flow up to the top of the bag.

Constructing the Cover – Next you take the 4 panels, stitch 2 “L” pieces then stitch the “L” pieces together. Four seams complete the cover.

Fusible Fleece or Soft and Stable — The video uses the Soft and Stable from ByAnnie. I have used this product for placemats and it is great. However, I don’t like how stiff it is for this bag. I used Pellon Fusible Fleece and the thickness and softness is perfect for my purposes. If you want the bag to really stand up and keep it’s shape, you might like the Soft and Stable.

Constructing the Lining — The lining consists of 4 fused panels, the same size as the cover panels. Construct the lining the same way the cover was constructed.

Sewing Lining to Cover — I actually read the instructions wrong on this step. I didn’t leave the opening in the lining. Instead I left the opening in an area along the top edge. Worked out fine for me.


Finish the bag with some decorative top-stitching.

Step 12 — Step 12 says to “Double-stitch along solid line to reinforce.” I didn’t do the the second stitching. Instead, I added a second top-stitch to finish the bag.  The picture below shows the top-stitching for my bag.

Top stitching the Mondo Bag

The stitches are irregular because there are multiple, thick layers here at the edges of the bag. As a result of the changes in thickness as I stitched, the fabric caught under the presser foot, making the stitches irregular. If I had used the Soft and Stable, this would be even thicker. I used a longer stitch for the inside top stitching.

Mondo Bag handles

The top-stitching is much nicer here.

The Finished Mondo Bag

Finished Mondo Bag

Here is my finished bag. It has some fabric and a journal book in there and it stands up nicely with just a few things in it.Peek inside the Mondo Bag

Finally we take a peek inside. I love this bag and I want to make a few more in the future. The size is perfect and the handles are just long enough for me. If you want to make a second or third Mondo Bag, you already have the instructions. The fusible interfacing is sold by the panel at QuiltSmart.com.

The Mondo Bag fabric option –  use 5″ squares from Charm Packs. Check out the latest selections at The Fat Quarter Shop. Check out the their Daily Flash Sale.

Recommended Products:

If you don’t want the large bag, check out the Middi Bag and the Bitty Bag.  Click on the image for more information and add one to your collection today!


FREE step-by-step instructions to make the Mondo Bag

Until next time,


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