Creative articles about embroidery

Japanese Knot Bag, free design and PDF instructions.

Need an unusual present try this Japanese Knot Bag!

Japanese Knot Bag Jumbo hoop

Japanese Knot Bag Mega hoop

Click on above  blue link to access the zip files choosing the files suitable for your particular machine.

This is a ‘cut in place’ applique project using different coloured fabrics. However, with a bit of imagination it could be worked with just one colour of background fabric.

The zip files contain the embroidery designs in both EXP and EMB format and PDF notes. You will need to have either a ‘Mega Hoop’ 400 x 150 or a ‘Jumbo / Maxi Hoop’. I have included the EMB file so that the design be resized or edited if wished. (I would recommend printing out the PDF notes and make your own notes on it re fabric choices and thread colours.)

This bag was created for my monthly embroidery group and was a very popular project. During the two previous months they had spent one class learning how to use the ripple fill in a controlled way.

Close up of ripple fill part of design

The following month we looked at how to create motifs i.e. a rope motif to create motif lines that could be used as an alternative to satin lines to cover an applique edge. Except for the line of candle wick stitches and the calligraphy satin lines all others are motif lines that I have created. For many it was the first time that they had used calligraphy satin lines and they were very impressed at how a simple satin line quickly became a much more decorative and visually interesting line.

Close up of calligraphy lines and motif satin outlines

To Stitch out the design           

  1. This bag is worked in a number of different steps. The PDF shows the screen shot of each step.
  2. Load the design into Bernina software and use the ‘Redraw facility to review the design and see what order these steps are.
  3. If you do not have Bernina Embroidery software load the EXP design into your embroidery machine and before stitching the design use the colour change feature to see the order of the steps.

Making up the bag

I have not included instructions on how to make up this bag as everyone has their own techniques. I chose to make bias piping with the background fabric to go around the edge but this is a personal choice. If unsure of how to make it up do an internet search and you will see various options.

Finished bag layed flat

(not my best photography effort!!)


Difficulty level: Intermediate
Time to Complete: Evening
Used Material: embroidery thread, fabric, tearaway stabiliser

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  • Cynthia McBride

    I would love to make this, however there is no blue link to the .ZIP fines in this article.
    Also,  instructions are very basic. Do you have another article to elaborate more? Says “lay wadding on stabilizer. What size to “lay on”? Also do you mean the green material, felt or batting? I don’t know what “wadding” means. Can you help clarify? Thank you

    • ramonawirth

      Dear Cynthia,

      Happy to hear you like the project of Carolyn!
      – Regarding the blue link: on this Blog, all links appear red because of the BERNINA theme. You can find the zip files under the first picture.
      – The size of the wadding schould be a bit bigger then the seam line. With a quick google search of “wadding”, it does show pictures of batting. So its batting, I guess?
      I hope this helps!
      Kind regards, Ramona from BERNINA International

  • momma IsLearning

    I this only for people with programmable embroidery machines?? I can’t seem to find the actual pattern for the bag

    • ramonawirth

      Dear momma,

      It is a project with embroidery only – There is no classic pattern for it in this article. But if you want a pattern for it, you could try and make it from the embroidery files:
      – Open the embroidery files with the free software BERNINA ARTlink 8
      – Print the hoops which stitch the shape of the bag on paper, cut them out and you have a pattern!

      Or the much easier way: Google “Japanese knot bag pattern” and you will find several pages with instructions and free patterns 🙂

      Hope this helps!
      Best regards, Ramona

  • Martha West

    I really love this little Japanese  knot bag, I can’t seam to get the pattern to download, Maybe I’m not holding my mouth right?

    • Philipp Köstner

      Dear Martha,

      I double checked both downloads – they work as expected. Maybe you want to use a differnt browser and try again? In some browsers like Firefox, you have to know where to look at to see that the download is being processed.

      Kind regards, Philipp from BERNINA Online Marketing

  • Victoria Villar

    Me gustaría conseguir el patrón del bolso japonés, el tamaño grande. Muchas gracias

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