Officer Thank Yous

Officer Gifts: Speedy Pouches
Officer Gifts: Speedy Pouches

The other day I talked about finishing up the Officer gifts that I was making. They were finally finished on Friday night before the meeting. Fortunately for me, DH didn’t get home until late, so I had some extra time to work on them.

As mentioned, these pouches are fairly speedy to make.

Officer Gifts: Speedy Pouches-ending
Officer Gifts: Speedy Pouches-ending

I am pretty happy with the way they came out except for the ending. That was my fault as I stopped reading the directions and just finished them.

I thought about using this pattern for the inside of the UCAB, also as mentioned so I have been mulling over how to add a leash. It doesn’t work with the binding used in the pattern, but the pattern calls for a super long piece of binding, most of which is not used. I could turn the ending in to a leash instead of cutting it off. That would also alleviate the problem of one of the ends. I might try it.

Officer Poolside Tote – that Wasn’t

Officer Poolside Tote
Officer Poolside Tote

My organizational system for officer bags is a mess and part of that is not posting about this bag. The last time I mentioned it was when I was having a zipper challenge.

I finished it quickly, which I think was a direct result of making it right after Mom’s tote. There are some quirks to this pattern, which hit me even after making a couple of these. One of them is the handle details on the front and back. Makers have to make sure they cover the raw edges of the front and side panels.

Officer Poolside Tote - inside
Officer Poolside Tote – inside

I am pretty pleased with the fabric selection. I would like to figure out how to put a slip pocket on the inside. I don’t think it would be terribly difficult. I think it would just require some deft measurement and having an already made up tote on hand might be the way to figure that out.

BAM Thank Yous

2019 Officer Thank You Presentation
2019 Officer Thank You Presentation

A five month project finally came to a close over the weekend.

Every year for the past few years I have gotten a group together to make gifts for the officers. At first, I didn’t think they needed anymore quilt projects, so I had the idea of making them a bag and having guild members fill the bags with small gifts. This has proven to be very successful. In the last few years, I have brought postcards, so people who cannot bring gifts can convey their thanks in writing.

Both Angela and Rhonda posted photos of their gifts, which is a good way for you to see the variety of made and bought gifts. Rhonda’s bag was a quillow, so she got a bonus and the colors are perfect for her as she loves the Japanese indigo style.

We had an extra bag, so I took mine back and will use it for something else or for next year. I have to think of a way to be better organized as I forgot one person who had agreed to make a bag early on.

Now I will start working on next year.

Speedy Pouches

I am in the process of making some of Aneela Hooey‘s pouches. I pulled this pattern out at the last minute to make some gifts that I was woefully behind on making. Although I am not finished, I am pretty pleased on how these are coming out.

The pattern I am using is called Speedy Vinyl Pouches. If I weren’t trying to make 5 at once, they would have been much speedier. πŸ™‚ Still they are fairly quick to make. I bought this pattern on spec after seeing another one of her patterns, the Boxy Clear Pouch that Angela made and looking through the site. Of course, I want all of her patterns, but I am trying to make the patterns that I have, so I limited myself.

Speedy Pouch Gift
Speedy Pouch Gift

The materials are pretty easy to gather up from what you have around the house, except for the zippers. I didn’t have 4″ zippers, but I did have 5″ or 6″ zippers and I just cut them off. It worked fine. Well, it has worked fine so far. We’ see when the pouches are finished.

The thing I really wanted to tell you is that the pattern is great! It is very clearly written, has a great font and is easy to follow — even for me! There was one line with the binding that I didn’t understand, but I made my own way and it seems to work. I guess we’ll see when I sew the binding down.

As you can see, I cut the fabric the wrong way, so the zipper is on the side. Oh well! One thing about this pattern is the orientation of the fabric. She is clear about it. I was trying to use scraps and cut the wrong way, then didn’t have more, so I am going with the flow.

Once I started working on this pattern, I thought I might be able to suggest the pattern to the Bag-a-Long group as an alternative to the ones the designer of the Ultimate Carryall Bag sells. I have nothing against her bags, but I think people might like an alternative to those pouches. I am not sure if this pattern will work as I can’t see a way to add a leash. I could add something as a zipper pull with a lobster clip on the end, but I am not excited about that option. I am going to consult with Lynette on Saturday.

UCAB Clippy Pocket – prelude to a tutorial

We are moving full steam ahead on the Ultimate Carry All Bag. members of the guild who are participating worked on cutting out pieces of the bag on the last Sew Day. Next we will begin working on pockets. To that end, I needed to work on an alternative/hack to the vinyl badge holder pocket.

Clippy Pocket Test
Clippy Pocket Test

I don’t want or need the vinyl badge holder pockets Natalie uses in the pattern. I also don’t like the idea of vinyl being so close to an ironing surface (front of the bag). I do need a place for a few WonderClips, however. To that end, I took the pattern for the Clippy pincushion, which was in Love of Quilting, issue 39 and adjusted it for use instead of the vinyl badge holder.

The photo shows one of the three test pockets I made. If you have the pattern, this is one of the end pieces of the front pocket. The directions for that section start on page 14. I am still working on perfecting the construction. I think I have the sizes down, but I am still tweaking the construction to take bulk into account.

I was absurdly pleased with my work on this pocket. Of course, part of that feeling was that I was relatively successful. If the Clippy/Wonderclip pattern sizes had been off, I might have felt differently. Still, I didn’t resent the time I took working on this piece of the bag.





N.B.: I will not tell you how to make the whole bag. In order to make this bag, you need to purchase the pattern from Quiltessa Natalie. She also has an Etsy shop where you can also purchase it. We would love to have you join us in making this bag.

Gift Post #10: Julie’s Mega-Pinnie

Mega- Pinnie for Julie
Mega- Pinnie for Julie

This is the Mega-Pinnie I made for Julie. I am really pleased with the fabrics I used. They were mostly handy, but I did crawl into the ‘attic’ of the fabric closet to make sure I found the most special fabrics to use for her version.

I gave it to her when we went out on New Year’s Eve. I forgot to photocopy tools to put in the pockets, so I had to explain that there were pockets and that always feels awkward to me.

Julie's Mega-Pinnie with lobster clip
Julie’s Mega-Pinnie with lobster clip

It occurred to me when I was explaining that it would be a good caddy if you wanted to carry some stuff to another room and work on a project away from your studio.

I’ll have to make her something to which she can clip the Mega-Pinnie.

I might be done with these Mega-Pinnies for awhile. I have an idea for one more, so we’ll have to see.

Gift Post #8: Julie’s Persimmon Pouch

Persimmon Pouch for Julie
Persimmon Pouch for Julie

I forgot to take photos of this pouch before I sent it off, but Friend Julie was kind enough to send me some photos. The photos were much better than I would have taken so I was glad I asked her.

This is another version of the Persimmon Dumpling Pouch by Sara Lawson. You can find this free pattern at the Sew Sweetness website. I made a few of these during my fabric gift foray (November 2019) and found it to be a clever design.

Persimmon Pouch for Julie side 2
Persimmon Pouch for Julie side 2

I made this one, as well as another, with Soft and Stable*. I think the pattern calls for Soft & Stable, so I cut the pieces out, but decided not to use it in the first pouches I made. I just used fabric with SF101/ ShapeFlex* and that worked fine. After making a few of these, I decided I was ready to tackle one with Soft & Stable*. I used the Soft & Stable as a base and piece it using the Quilt as you Go. This prevented me from having to quilt the pieces later. I also got to use up some scraps. I didn’t do anything crazy, though I can see improv possibilities using QAYG.

Persimmon Pouch for Julie bottom
Persimmon Pouch for Julie bottom

One thing I like about this pattern is the zipper installation. It is very clever and there are no issues with the ends of the zipper. The ends get tucked into the lining out of sight. There is no need for zipper tabs or cutting zippers or anything.

Persimmon Pouch for Julie lining
Persimmon Pouch for Julie lining

Turning the pouch was a little tricky because of the Soft & Stable, but not terrible. Normally, I like to make my interfacing a little smaller than the fabric, to reduce layers. When I make this pouch again with Soft & Stable, I will cut the piece larger than the pattern and then trim after I sew fabric pieces to the Soft & Stable. I had a couple of problems with the ends and I think this method would increase accuracy.

I did not hand sew the inside shut. I just wasn’t up for it. Still, I think the piece looks nice and Julie seems to be happy. The only other thing I would change is to get a zipper than matches.












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Gift Post #7: Mom’s Persimmon Pouch

Mom's Persimmon Pouch
Mom’s Persimmon Pouch

Like the pouch I talked about after Christmas and back in November, this pouch is made using the same Persimmon Pouch pattern, still FREE from Sew Sweetness. I made this one and Julie’s at the same time. I used Soft & Stable* for the lining.

I used the Soft & Stable as a foundation piecing base and sewed scraps to the base. The Soft & Stable* makes for a good base and I liked not having to quilt the sides separately.

I also used some of the artist fabric I had in my scrap pile to keep the idea of the set of items going.






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Chubby Charmer Does Double Duty

We are taking a break today from your regularly scheduled end of the year/holiday extravaganza that is the blog,. I want to show you that quilted things are not just pretty. They can also be useful.

Half Moon Modern Chubby Charmer Finished
Half Moon Modern Chubby Charmer Finished

Remember my Half Moon Modern Chubby Charmer? This is a bag I worked on for a long time, mostly, because the fabric was so precious I couldn’t think of a ‘good enough’ project for it.

Fortunately, I still like the fabric and still use this bag.

In fact, this bag does double duty as present transport during the holidays. To do that I have to clean it out. I actually use the large pockets for my collection of pie servers and knives. You might think dishing up pie is easy, but with 40 people who want to try everything, 7 desserts and two gluten free diets that will make people sick if wheat wafts past them, I need multiple implements and a strategy. That strategy includes knives (BIG knives) for cutting recalcitrant crust and pie servers since you don’t serve with a knife.

One of the attractions of the Chubby Charmer is that it is big. Big enough to bring a quilt to show and tell. And big enough to bring my pie implements, a mixer, a metal bowl, plastic bag with whipping cream (unwhipped) and 25 small gifts to the Christmas Eve celebration and some back home again.

Chubby Charmer pocket contents
Chubby Charmer pocket contents

In order to use this bag for a non quiltmaking purpose, I had to clear it out. All the large items went on the floor, but I needed the pockets, too. All the small things went on my desk. Later when I had a few minutes to look at them, I was sort of amazed and shocked at the variety and non-variety.

What I was most interested in were the multiples of things:

  • in that cool aqua pouch is a selection of pens. More than one.
  • 3-4 nametags?! I guess I can share with a friend or really want people to know my name.
  • Two chocolate bars: emergency and backup emergency, I guess.
  • 3 ATCs, because you never know when you are going to need a random ATC.
  • Out of date meeting and exhibit flyers. Good for nostalgia, I guess.
  • Multiple post-it notes. You can never have too many pens or post-it notes.

I put most of the stuff back in, if it wasn’t out of date or spoiled. I did spread out the nametags among other various bags. Better to have one than none.

What’s in your guild bag and do you use your bags for other, non-quiltmaking purposes?

Gift Post #5 2019: Day of the Dead Pouch

Dia de las Muertos Pouch
Dia de las Muertos Pouch

This isn’t very Christmas-y, but I knew my friend would like it. I cut this one at the same time I cut the other Persimmon Pouch. Same pattern. Same FREE pattern.

I used the fabric leftover from some pillowcases I made for her.

Dia de las Muertos pouch end
Dia de las Muertos pouch end

I wasn’t able to get this zipper to behave as well as the one in the first pouch, but the pouch still closes and I think it looks fine.

I still love the way this pouch finishes! It is so clever.

Zipper Challenge

I don’t think I really had a good tag for this post, which means I will probably never be able to find it again. πŸ˜‰ It is all about zippers.

I am faithfully following the pattern for the Poolside Tote. This is the third Poolside Tote I have sewed.  I am not sure why, but I always have trouble with different parts.

This time I struggled with the facing. I also wondered about the zipper. On mom’s version and on my knitting bag, I just used slip pockets. On this version, I cut zipper pockets, which I didn’t remember. I guess it forced me to make pockets with zippers.

Zipper pocket
Zipper pocket

The directions for the pockets were pretty good. I didn’t have much trouble except for lining up the stitching. One side is hidden, so I leapt that hurdle. The only question I had was about the size of the zipper. The pattern called for a 10 inch zipper and that just seems weird to me. It seems too small. There are holes at the ends and no directions for zipper tabs. Obviously, I can make my own zipper tabs, but I just wonder why the designer asks for such a small zipper. I wonder if a 12 inch zipper would be better?

Are there rules for the size of zippers one includes in patterns??

This is not the end of the world. The zipper works fine and nobody will put something so small in the pocket that it will fall out if the bag falls over. This is just a puzzle about which I am curious. I might try the bag again with a 12 inch zipper.

Mondo Bag Finished

Mondo Bag
Mondo Bag

I have worked on this project a little bit over the past several months, but decided I needed it out of my workspace. I finished it on Sunday.

It is big!

I thought of using it as an officer bag, but I really like the fabrics I used. I think I will keep it and use it to carry my hand quilting project around.

Mondo Bag lining and handles
Mondo Bag lining and handles

Again, the method of construction foiled my attempts at organizing the fabrics. I still think it looks good and I really like the lining and handle fabrics.

UCAB Pockets

Lynette and I met about the BAM Bag-a-Long  at Sew Day the other day. We went over the sketches she made for cutting and she also made a test pocket.

It turns out, from the test, that we need to make sure the participants buy the zipper sizes that are given in the pattern. The way Natalie finishes the zippers is a lot easier with zipper tape than it is with zipper teeth. This thought/method of making is contrary to the way most bag patterns are written.

UCAB test pocket
UCAB test pocket

It was interesting to see the large pocket finished, because you can see the flange (look for the WonderClips) in a big way. It is very clear that there is a different construction going on to finish the secondary pockets and keep them away from the edges.

Lynette said that it made the directions a little difficult to understand. Still, the thought of keeping the bulk away from the edges is a good one.

The bottom of the pocket also has a pleat so that larger non-flat items can be included.

I plan to make a sample of the small front pocket so I can test out making a WonderClip holder. I hope to get it done by the next meeting.


  • Purchase the pattern and sew with us-N.B.: we will not be providing step by instructions, but will be posting here with tips and tricks
  • Tour of the bag -Instagram
  • Bag-a-Long project post – 9/27/2019
  • Thoughts behind the bag – 8/7/2019
  • Free video instructions
    • UCAB episode 1 : preparing for sewing pockets
    • UCAB episode 2 : sewing pockets, discusses thickness of pockets
    • UCAB episode 3 :badge holder pocket technique
    • UCAB episode 4 : Large pocket, installing zipper
    • UCAB episode 5 : installing a swivel hook, front and back of bag, front and back pockets
    • UCAB episode 6 : insert pockets into side panels
    • UCAB episode 7 : very brief video showing how the piece looks after installing the pockets in the side panels
    • UCAB episode 8 :Brief video showing the finished bag. No sewing.

Silvia’s Jane Market Tote

Silvia's Jane Market Tote
Silvia’s Jane Market Tote

I started a new Jane Market Tote over the weekend. It will be a gift for my NSGW friend Silvia. She drove me all around while we were in SoCal and found Cat’s Quilting Corner, which was a great shop.

I am really pleased with how it is coming along, though I am annoyed at myself for cutting another lining wrong! I seem to do that every time with this pattern. I think I will make a template, as ridiculous as that sounds.

Poolside Tote for Mom

Poolside Tote for Mom
Poolside Tote for Mom

I made a Poolside Tote* for Mom. I have that paint tube fabric to use for gifts for her. I want to make her items that she will use. I sent it off on Wednesday.

She received it Friday and said that she really liked it. I am glad.

If you are familiar with the Poolside Tote pattern*, you know that it is large. I had a hard time photographing it since my workroom is a WRECK, so I put it on the YM’s bed and photographed it there.

She said she liked the large size. I hope to make some things that she can put inside when she goes on a trip or to Sew Day. Not sure how she will use it.

Poolside Tote for Mom - inside
Poolside Tote for Mom – inside

The pattern calls for a D-ring, so I put one in. Currently it is a place for her keys and, later, anything I make for her that has a lobster clip. See bottom right of inside photo.












*I use affiliate links and may be paid for your purchase of an item you click on. There is no additional cost to you for clicking or purchasing items I recommend. I appreciate your clicks and purchases as it helps support this blog.