Mermaid I Spy

I still don’t really have a plan for 2024 in terms of sewing. I am just not sure what type of projects I want to focus on. I am starting to think that finishing a lot of UFOs was a bad idea. It left me sort of feeling like I don’t want to generate more UFOs.

Create * Make * Dream I Spy
Create * Make * Dream I Spy

I still want to sew, so I fell back on my potato chip project: the I Spy pouches. I have some templates coming from Sew Sweetness so I thought I would get ahead of the game and make the pouches in advance. The first one I finished was the Mermaid pouch AKA the Create * Make * Dream I Spy.

Create * Make * Dream I Spy - back
Create * Make * Dream I Spy – back

I used a different coneflower colorway than I did in the last I Spy. Surprisingly, I didn’t have as much of it as I thought, so the three pouches I made are sort of scrappy. This one looks relatively normal from the front, but I used a mermaid print for the back.

I bought this fabric on a whim at Cool Cottons in Portland last year, possibly for a bag for my sister. This is the first time I have used it, however. It is a fun fabric and I am glad I will have a little piece of it for myself. I still have enough left to make something for Lil Sissy.

I haven’t put any templates in yet, but it will be used for acrylic bag templates.

Zebra I Spy Started and Finished

Zebra I Spy - front, empty
Zebra I Spy – front, empty

I started and finished another I Spy pouch very quickly last week. I needed another one for the Falabella templates, which I found when I was rummaging for the Piebald templates. 

I went out of my way to use the zebra fabric and I had just enough left for the various lining pieces.

Zebra I Spy - back
Zebra I Spy – back

As I have with all of the other I Spy pouches, I used the Anna Maria coneflower fabric again. I had some leftover from a previous project and was able to use it up. Some wrong cuts aren’t always useless even if they aren’t useful at the moment. 😉

Zebra I Spy - front, full
Zebra I Spy – front, full

The templates fit nicely inside this medium version.

Flowl I Spy Pouch

Flowl I Spy
Flowl I Spy

If you ever watch the TV show Ghosts, you will know Flower. I watched the beginning episode of the season and decided that some Tula owl fabric would be good for this latest I Spy.

Flowl I Spy with Vervain templates
Flowl I Spy with Vervain templates

I know I always say that I don’t want animals looking at me from my quilts, but these I Spy pouches seem to be immune. Anyway, the owls will most be covered by the Vervain templates that now live in this pouch.

I know I have said this before, but these pouches make me really happy.

Finished: Enlarged I Spy

Blazing Star I Spy
Blazing Star I Spy

I finally finished the Enlarged I Spy (AKA Blazing Star I Spy). It is too big for the Blazing Star templates, but I can always use it for a different set of templates or for something else. It won’t go to waste.

Blazing Star I Spy - back
Blazing Star I Spy – back

I am pleased with how I matched the coneflowers on the top around the zipper. The process, in general, however, wasn’t as smooth as I would have guessed. I suppose I was distracted a bit. From what, I don’t know.

Blazing Star I Spy -zipper end detail
Blazing Star I Spy -zipper end detail

One thing I am determined to remember to do is to cut off the ends of the zippers and use zipper tabs. I really don’t know how I missed that bit of metal with my sewing machine needle. Sheer good luck.

You can also see, in this picture, that I used glitter vinyl. I love it!

Enlarged I Spy

I am finally attempting to enlarge an I Spy pouch. I decided that last week, one evening after work, was the day to do it.

Blazing Star I Spy in process
Blazing Star I Spy in process

Sara’s directions work well regardless of the size. Sizes are always the challenge. I used the widths, but extended the lengths to accommodate the Blazing Star bag acrylic templates.

True Colors Wildflower
True Colors Wildflower

I learned a lot. One thing is to cut the back and lining back after you have put the front together. Normally, having everything cut and fused is a good thing, but in this case, I made so many cutting mistakes that I ran out of lining fabric.

On my next enlarged I Spy, I will put the sides and the vinyl together, then cut the top and bottom, install the zipper, then cut the back and lining back. I don’t know enough about enlarging bags to do anything different.

One More I Spy

I told you: potato chips.

Tea Cup I Spy pouch
Tea Cup I Spy pouch

I cut out and made another one of these pouches on Saturday. The acrylic templates for the Enigma bag were laying around and it seemed like the right thing to do. Also, I got a finish after almost no finishes during May.

The Enigma templates almost don’t fit in this large sized I Spy. Soon, I’ll have to pluck up the courage to try making one of these slightly larger. Saturday was not the day as this was a quick win.

The teacups look a little weird, because I used vinyl with stars on it (also from Sew Hungry Hippie). I think I prefer the glitter vinyl, but the stars are fun, too. I have a small roll of it, which is what I grabbed and cut before I realized what I was doing.

I am sticking with the Coneflowers theme. I can’t seem to get away from it.

Cork I Spy #3

Cork I Spy - medium #1
Cork I Spy – medium #1

Here is the last Cork I Spy pouch I made at Retreat. The lining fabric is one of my favorites and I just had a bit of it left. I had just enough for the large lining piece.

In general for the three pouches, I found the cork to be easy to sew, but not easy to turn. If (when?) I use cork again on an I Spy pouch, I will definitely round the corners. I think it will make the project much easier to turn.

All that being said, I thought the corners looked fine when I finally did get the pouch turned. I gave these to some work colleagues and they loved them.

BAM Retreat My Projects

This will be a multi-part post on the recent Retreat I attended. I have to split it up, because I don’t have enough time to write a big long post right now.

I had a couple of specific goals in mind. I wanted to finish a Mother’s Day gift and I wanted to finish some gifts I am taking to my work colleagues later this week. Then, if time permitted, I planned to start a new quilt.

First, I was able to finish the Mother’s Day gift. It is small and you’ll have to read the post on May 14th to see what it is.

Three cork I Spy pouches
Three cork I Spy pouches

Second I finished the three I Spy pouches I started. I had some of the fabric cut, but not all. I cut the cork, yes cork, at the Retreat and sewed the pouches together. I cut quite a number of strips wrong, so will have to make some pouches out of odd sized strips.

In between, the top two projects, I worked on donation blocks. You saw some of these in the post a few days ago about donation blocks for April. I don’t think I mentioned that I used kits the guild team had prepared. The squares frayed a lot and made me quite crazy.

Scrappy Celebration - first blocks
Scrappy Celebration – first blocks

After these, except the donation blocks, were finished, I started a new quilt. I had a fabric pull from a couple of years ago that I wanted to use. I had some options and finally decided on a plan. This quilt is from the American Patchwork and Quilting Sew-a-Long. It is designed by Lissa Alexander. Because I seem to be incapable of following directions as written, I resized the EQ8 project to include 12 inch blocks rather than 6 inch blocks. The straight nine patches are quite large, but they provide some space for viewers to rest their eyes. Also, the small squares in some of the blocks above are much easier to sew when the entire block is 12 inches finished.

I missed the Sew-a-Long, which started in February, but this project is super easy. The pieces are, mostly, standard sizes and easy to cut. I think even beginners looking for a second or third project could do it.

One of the things I wanted to do to start was to use all the fabrics I selected to see how they worked together. I didn’t quite succeed, but I was able to use a lot of them. So far, so good.


Cork I Spy #1

I bought some cork from Sew Hungry Hippie to make the YM a pouch. A lot of cork arrived, though I didn’t think I bought that much.

Cork I Spy - large #1
Cork I Spy – large #1

I had to make some gifts so I decided to use the cork. I cut the lining before I left on Retreat, but did everything else at the Retreat. I could have made more complicated pouches, but I needed to get these done. This one has a super cheerful lining.

The YM still has no pouch.

Selection of I Spys

I Spy pouch selection
I Spy pouch selection

After writing the last I Spy post, I decided to take a look at the I Spy pouches I had made. I didn’t pull all of them as some are in project boxes with the supplies for projects I want to make.

I was surprised to find that most of them were made with the same coneflower colorway. I have other colorways. I thought I had used multiple colorways to make these, but I have stuck mostly to the one. Interesting.

Surprise! I Spy Again

I Spy with Pink Batik - empty
I Spy with Pink Batik – empty

I quickly cut more pieces for another I Spy and finished it over the weekend. I think I have a sewing routine for this pattern down pat now.

One of the reasons I made this one is that I liked a piece of fabric I pulled for the Pink Strip donation quilt back. I decided to use it for the lining, which shows up nicely through the window. It is a good way to be able to see a fabric I enjoy.

I Spy with Pink Batik
I Spy with Pink Batik

This one will replace the one I gave as a gift. It will hold the Friesan Pouch acrylic templates. I’ll save the Grey Cross I Spy for something else. I kind of like having all of my acrylic templates in pouches that match.

I was pleased to see that I lined up the top strips around the zipper very well.

I Spy with Pink Batik back
I Spy with Pink Batik back

I just love making these pouches, as I have said a million times.

Yet Another I Spy

I told you: potato chips.

Grey Cross I Spy
Grey Cross I Spy

Yes, I made another I Spy pouch. I don’t like this one as much. It doesn’t feel as substantial as the last one and I am not sure why. It has to be the fabric. It is an Art Gallery fabric, which I really like, but I don’t think it is right for this project. Since I am storing acrylic templates in them, then need a little heft.

This doesn’t mean it is terrible or anything and I do like highlighting the lining fabric through the window. It is like a fun prize. I’ll probably use this as a gift.

This is the small size. I also use the glitter vinyl. I like that glitter vinyl. Not only is it easier to cut, but it is fun. It does make the peony look a little blurry in the photo. It doesn’t look like that in person.

New I Spy Pouch Start & Finished

I Spy pouch #7
I Spy pouch #7

Remember I said that these pouches were like making candy? I gave one of my I Spy pouches to someone on my team, so I just made another one for my Cotton Candy pouch acrylic templates.

This one follows the theme of the others. I used the Anna Maria Coneflower fabric again along with some of the hexagon Tula Pink fabric for the inside.

It was fun just to sit down and start and finish something relatively easy. I feel ridiculously pleased with this pouch. Actually, every time I make one I feel ridiculously pleased.

More I Spys

All the I Spy Pouches
All the I Spy Pouches

I used some of the Anna Maria Horner fabrics I received in the Quilty Box to finish some of the more recent I Spy Pouches. Once I finished the two large ones, I got all the pouches out and rearranged my templates.

I know it seems kind of ridiculous to make pouches for templates. On one hand, I like having them organized. I also like the fabric and enjoy using the coneflower print for something I am going to keep. Finally, the I Spy pouches are quick to make, so rather satisfying.

New Large I Spy Pouches
New Large I Spy Pouches

The two newest pouches are quite wild. I used a couple of the Bright Eyes prints. I didn’t really realize how exuberant the pouches would be using those fabrics. The fabrics clash a little with the coneflowers, unfortunately. Still, I like them and the coneflowers will show up when I put some templates inside.

I have a number of template sets that are too big for these pouches. I can use the same directions to make larger pouches. I just haven’t been up for that lately.