Open Wide Zippered Pouch
This week, I decided that my planner needed it’s own zip pouch, especially so I can keep my colorful pens, sticky notes, and whatnot with it easily. I wanted to be able to just stuff it in my purse without worrying about things getting jamed inside it and ruining the pages, too. I’ve got an Erin Condren Life Planner (I love it – I finally caved in and got it after drooling over them for the last two years). The company sells a neoprene pouch for the planner that you can also fit a couple of pens into, but at over $35 including shipping, I didn’t think it was anywhere near worth it… especially when I have a sewing machine, loads of fabric, and a zippered pouch pattern that I really wanted to try out! I used the open wide zippered pouch tutorial from Anna at Noodlehead.com, and with a tape measure to figure out the finished size I wanted, and a little reverse engineering on her size chart to make sure I was figuring the cut size of my pieces correctly. I love how the pattern has the closed end of the zipper come up out of the bag and extend past the edge, so you can actually get the bag open all the way instead of losing width at the opening because of zipper bulk.
I wanted to add a divider down the middle of the pouch, to keep my planner on one side, and my pens and bits on the other, so I wouldn’t end up jamming my planner down on top of a pen or a roll of washi tape and crumpling up the pages. Originally, I’d tried to figure out how to tie the divider in to both sides and the bottom, but it ended up looking like entirely too much work and hassle… so the bottom is free-floating. My divider is lined with Pellon 71F (ultra firm one-sided fusible stabilizer) to make it rigid enough to act as a divider… and flexible enough that I was still able to get my bag turned! I went a bit nuts on the applique (as you can see above), but I had fun doing it – even if half the time the bag is going to be hidden in my purse!
The lining ended up a little loose, which likely is partly due to the outside of the bag being lined (and quilted) with fusible fleece, making a little more bulk between the outside and lining of the bag. Next time, I may do seam allowances on the outer part of the bag just slightly narrower than the 1/2″ called for in the pattern. I am very glad that I did the seams a little out of order – the fusible fleece makes the seam allowances bulky, so I did the outside bottom seam on the bag before doing the sides… I ironed that seam open, and stitched the seam allowances down so that the seam would stay flat on the outside bottom! (If anybody is interested in my bag measurements/modifications to fit the Erin Condren Life Planner, please message me and I’ll see if I can put together a little tutorial.)
January’s Block of the Month: Scrappy/Wonky Star
The January meeting for the Tacoma Modern Quilt Guild is this coming Thursday (my first as an “official member” instead of just “visiting”! … yes, I’m a dork), so I figured I should get around to working on the block of the month. This month’s block is a 12.5” primary color scrappy star on a light/low volume background, in a scrappy star pattern – tutorial at Wombat Quilts. Since December’s block was red (and white), I decided to go for yellow on this one. I didn’t have much in the way of low-volume fabric for the background, but I was in need of some for my next mini quilt swap, so it was off to the quilt shop! I found some great “low volume” fabric for the background that matches my block perfectly. It occurred to me as I was finishing my block that the directions said “primary colors” not “a primary color” so hopefully I got it right in having the whole block the same color, because I’m sure not redoing it now!
Rainbow Mini Swap Round 2
I fell in love with the Hazel the Hedgehog pattern during the Schnitzel and Boo Mini Quilt Swap, and happily it looks to be a pattern that my partner for this swap likes as well! My original hope was to scale Hazel down by 50% to fit more “Hazels” into the 24″ square maximum measurements, but after doing a test run of the block full size tonight (I got carried away and dinner ended up late!), I’ve decided that scaling down Hazel would be a terrifically stupid idea. The finished pieces already end up rather narrow, and when you add in seam allowances to contend with on the back… thank you but no. My next plan is to make four Hazel blocks with each of them being a rainbow, with some “low volume” or “texty” background fabrics. I’m not sure if this Hazel will make it into the mini quilt, if I’ll keep her for myself, or if she’ll get turned into a pouch of some sort. Ship date is in March, but I’d love to have this done by the February quilt guild meeting so I can show it off there before shipping it off!
A Little Indoor Gardening
I finally got around to putting my Easter Cactus starts in larger pots today, and two or three have been spoken for by a couple of ladies at the quilt guild. I’ll take all four with me, and maybe I can offload them all! If anybody local-ish would like one, please message me – I can make more from my main plant quite easily! They bloom a very pretty pink! These are starts off of my cactus, which is off of my mom’s, which is off of my aunt’s, which I believe was off of my great-aunt’s Easter Cactus. What a history! They’re incredibly easy to propagate. In the two tubs on the right are African Violet starts that I finally moved into dirt from a jar of water that they’ve been growing in for longer than I’d care to admit. If they survive the transplant, I’ll offer them up for adoption when they’re a little larger and stronger!
I’ve got some more sewing on my to-do list (when do I not??) that I haven’t gotten started yet. I’ve been sick the last two weeks, but I finally seem to be on the mend. Thankfully, my brain is back in the game so I was able to do the bit of sewing that I did! Brainless from a cold (and cold medicine) isn’t time to be playing with sewing machines and rotary cutters! Next up on the to-do list… a “one hour basket” to keep the cats’ toys in (I found some perfect fabrics today at Gee-Gee’s) and a reversible bag pattern I found that I’d like to try (if it’s easy enough, perhaps some bags will end up in my Etsy shop?) I also really want to try out the Pouch with a View pattern. I’m rather addicted to zippered pouches, and perhaps I can make one to include as an extra for the Rainbow swap.
…How is it that I got this much done this weekend (plus laundry!) but I feel like I did very little more than sit on my bum all day Saturday??