I signed up for the “Secret Sisters” swap in my quilt guild (the Tacoma Modern Quilt Guild) in January. We drew a partner at the January meeting, and then at the February, March, and April meetings we were to bring a small gift ($10 or less) for our “secret sister”, not revealing ourselves until the April meeting. As soon as I saw who I’d drawn for the swap, I had plans for the April gift, my “grand finale”!
For February, I played with Michelle’s Dumpling Pouch pattern. I’d realized that the “small” dumpling pouch had different (rounder vs longer) proportions than the “large” pouch that I preferred, but I wasn’t happy with the size of the small pouch. Print the pattern at 110%, and voila, a larger dumpling pouch with a nice, rounded shape. I also had some fabric that seemed perfect for a needle minder, and I was starting to experiment with my fabric-covered buttons.
For March, I’d found some nifty little crafting tools on Amazon and ordered two for my partner… and a set for myself as well. I was on the home stretch of the Rainbow Mini Swap for the March gifting, so purchasing a gift was much lower-stress than adding a sewing project to my craziness.
I was super excited to make April’s gift. I’d decided at the beginning that I wanted to do an extra large Pouch with a View – perfect for storing the block of the month for guild meetings! I’d learned two lessons after the pouch I made for myself (okay, three actually – including that they’re really serious about not letting the iron touch the vinyl!!). The first lesson was to do a proper binding – the pattern calls for cutting the backing extra large, and folding it over towards the front to be top-stitched down for a binding… and I hate how mine turned out around the edges. This pouch got a proper double-fold binding. The other lesson that I’d learned was that while that window looks like a really awesome place to put a fun design, the minute you put a 12 inch quilt block on the pouch, the inside design is completely hidden. Oops. So this pouch got a pretty quilt block on the outside back. Forward facing, it shows off the quilt block or project being stored inside the pouch. Turn it around, and it shows off the quilt block that I made!
I’ve been experimenting with foundation paper piecing, and picked out the Goosing Around pattern by Jeli Quilts, using Kona solids and Alison all but one of the colors from Alison Glass’s Sun Print Grove line. It was fun to make, and I only screwed up one of the four quadrants (luckily pretty early into the quadrant, since a raw edge was showing and a 1.5 stitch length means throw it away and start over instead of getting out the seam ripper). Now I think I need to make a new pouch for myself, out of that lovely Robert Kaufman Essex Linen. I’m just trying to decide which design to do!
I also got some lovely gifts from the quilter that drew my name – and chocolate of some sort in each gift. She figured me out fast!
My first gift was a beautiful “basic mixologie” charm pack from Moda, some chocolate mix, and a little fabric envelope just the right size for thread scissors… or a few business cards, methinks!
In March, I got a lovely quilted scissor case with some new thread scissors (you can never have too many scissors!) and a little A5 sized lined notebook that I’ve added to my leather journal cover, and is currently hosting my “to sew” list… and some chocolate!
And in April, you can never have too many zippy bags! this one has some heavy duty interfacing giving it great structure, and it’s just the right size for pens and pencils, sewing notions, and even my rotary cutters fit! I’m thinking this will be making appearances at quilting retreats to help hold my tools!
Thank you again, Cate!