Elizabeth Hartman’s Perfect Zip Bags (or What I Made the Craft Night Girls for Christmas)

Sometimes I get a little carried away.

Or a lot carried away.

Sometimes, I start a project thinking it will be no big deal. That it will only take an hour to make 14 million zip pouches.

In the middle of this project, I asked the Mister why it was that I start huge projects and don’t realize how huge they are until I am in the middle of them. He just smiled, because I always do this, and he always warns me.

The conversation went something (exactly) like this:

Me: “Am I just really dense or something? Do I just live in a complete fantasy land? Am I just really full of myself and think I can do super human things? What is my problem??”

Him: “No, not any of those things. Really, I just think you have no concept of space and time.”

I couldn’t stop laughing.

And now (much to his dismay) I can’t stop quoting him. Not because his assessment is particularly flattering to me. But because it is so, SO true.

When I get a creative idea, it is so large and full of newness and excitement for me that I tend to overlook critical factors.

Like, hypothetically, if the longarm machine will actually fit in our house.

Or like if there are actually enough hours between now and the craft night before Christmas to make fourteen zip pouches and still have time to sleep and eat. (Let alone enjoy the holiday with my kids.)

Turns out, the answer was Yes, just barely to the longarm question, and yes, just barely to the pouch question too.

Someday I would like to say that I have a better concept of space and time. But until then, I’ll be very, very grateful for patterns like this one, that go together in a snap and have perfect instructions for the novice and expert alike.

And believe me, if there had a been a problem, I would know. I made fourteen in the space of about 36 hours.

Thanks for the great pattern, Elizabeth. You saved my tail feathers.

If you’d like to make a pouch or two (or fourteen), you can find Elizabeth Hartman’s Perfect Zip Bags pattern here or here.

PS: I made these pouches exclusively from scraps I had sitting around. The only thing I bought new were the zippers. The twill and denim came from pairs of my husbands old pants that I couldn’t figure out what to do with but felt bad throwing away. The back of each pouch is made from a piece of solid twill or denim to match the solid strip at the bottom on the front.

Did you handmake any gifts this Christmas?   How good are you at figuring out how long something will take? Please tell me I’m not the only one.

xoxo

April

 



Custom Machine Quilting: Susan’s Christmas Quilts

My sweet friend Susan made three darling pieces for Christmas and told me I could quilt them however I wanted. I was so excited to try some new things! (I went a little crazy.)

First, this really fun table runner.     Susan thought it would be fun to have a giant swirl in the middle of the ornaments, so that is what I did. Then, in the remaining background space, I echo quilted around the ornaments. That echo quilting is harder than I thought! By the end I had gotten the hang of it, but let just say at the beginning there were a few lines that got unpicked. :) I did a loose weave-type pattern in the borders, which was a lot of fun.

Second, this long wall hanging.        I outlined each of the panel prints, and did some loop-de-loops in the frames and swirls in the borders. I even tried my hand at micro-stippling, which is much harder than it looks, and also takes a lot of muscle control.

Finally, the one I went crazy on. This wall hanging was so cute, and had so many different places to have fun with! I did a different design in each of the panel backgrounds, and then some fun swag borders around each of the panels. Some figure eights in the borders, and voila! The back looks pretty cool, too. Looking at it now, I wonder if I should have dome something to the actual images in the panels, but at the time I wasn’t sure what to do. What do you think?

 



A surprise {fast and easy} quilt for Great-Grandma

We had no idea what to give her for Christmas.

Especially because she was quite adamant in saying she didn’t want anything (which is of course not acceptable).

She doesn’t need anything.

But she’s always cold.

Turns out, that, I know how to fix.

A darling layer cake of American Jane’s Fairy Tale Friends (thanks Moda!) some really snuggly backing, and a few hours later?

Voila.

She loved it.

“Oh, I’ve just never felt something so soft!”

It just might have been the only gift that got her to smile this year.

But I might be biased.

It now lives on her bed along with the matching pillowcase.

That, my friends, is what quilting is all about.

xoxo

April

 



A fond goodbye. An excited hello.

A fond goodbye to a beautiful year that was full of firsts and unexpected surprises.

A heartfelt thank you for all the kindness you have shown me as I learn about and grow my business.

A whole lot of love for these goobers, who inspire me every day to be more “me”.

A bunch of kisses for this guy, who smiles through my hare-brained ideas and loves me anyway.

A heck-of-a-lot of excitement and anticipation for an amazing year to come.

What are you excited about in 2012?

 

 

 



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