Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Easy Peasy Makes

After making my Mirri dress (see last post), I'm still enjoying faster (than quiltmaking) makes. 

Big Cypress Quilters is making backpacks for a charitable organization - Haven of Lake and Sumter Counties - a shelter for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Our group is helping Haven by giving women and kids a backpack, rather than a pillow case, to contain their possessions.

We're using the Easy Peasy Drawstring Backback pattern made following this tutorial by SewCanShe. Though my stash of children's prints is pretty small, I found these two that are appropriate for boys.

When we lived in Iowa, I taught beginner Stitchin' Mission quiltmaking classes (a ministry I led in the Des Moines area). In classes comprised mostly of women, they learned to make a quilt that they donated to charity. Inevitably I watched most of them gravitate to feminine quilting cotton prints. For that reason, and because I have four young grandsons, I make with boys in mind.

Last week, while reading blogs, I came across a post about a zipper pouch that intrigued me. The blog post is written in German: here. It's a tutorial for making a zipper pouch from zippers. 

I made this one, and offer here a tutorial with my revisions. 

Choose zippers of any color and size desired. Just make sure the zippers are the same length, or can be cut off to be the same length. I used 10 zippers, each 12" long.

For backing, choose a heavier fabric (than quilting cotton) because structure is needed to counter-balance the weight of zippers. Denim, canvas, and upholstery fabric are all good choices.
For lining, pick your favorite quilting cotton. 
For interfacing, Pellon's SF101 works great.

Make It
Match the top zipper stops - the small metal square - of each zipper. With right sides together, sew a narrow seam to join. I used my zipper foot with the needle set 3 to the left of center, and my sewing tweezers to help keep zipper edges aligned.

Press the joined zippers using lots of steam to flatten them. Measure the length and width of sewn zippers to determine the backing, lining and interfacing size needed. Measure the length from just above the top metal zipper stop to slightly above the bottom metal zipper stop. Mine measured 8" X 12". 

Press SF101 fusible interfacing to the wrong side of the lining fabric. See the great lining print I found in my stash?! Too perfect, right? 

Pin the fused side of the lining to the wrong side of the back. 

Partially open one of the center zippers, for turning right side out. 

Pin the back unit to the zippers, placing the right side of the backing against the right side of the zippers. 

At the top end of the zippers sew to join zippers to the back unit. Again, I used a zipper foot with the needle position set at 3 to the left. Take it slowly, keeping zipper ends touching one another. 

Repeat along the bottom to join zippers to the backing unit, carefully sewing across the zippers just above the metal zipper stop.

Sew to join the length of both side zippers to the back unit.

After sewing all four sides, I used my serger to sew and neaten the edges, cutting off the excess zipper at the top and bottom. With the cutter disengaged, serge the along the zipper sides too. Turn right side out. Press.

Voilá! A cute, happy pouch. 


At the top: a sewing machine pin from @quietplay
and items from @zappy dots: a magnetic dot and an "O Happy Day" needle case

I've read 26 books so far this year, and decided to do a recap of the ones that made the top of my ratings list. These six titles received 4.7 or higher (out of 5.0) by my way of judging. 

Book Recommendation
As seen above, The Rose Code by Kate Quinn, is one of the best books I've read this year. It was recommended to me by my sister who is also an avid reader/listener. She knows my tastes. 

The Rose Code takes place in Britain during WWII. The story centers on three young women - Osla, Mab, and Beth - from divergent backgrounds who meet while working at Bletchley Park, the British code-breaking facility. Their jobs are all about high stakes, and a vow to never speak about what they really do. Osla becomes the love interest of Prince Phillip of Greece (the same prince who is the recently-deceased husband of Queen Elizabeth), and experiences a London blitz and the bombing of The Café Paris. Beth becomes a cryptanalyst who cracks codes that are interpreted with the use of an Enigma, and a Bombe, the machine called "Agnes" that Mabs learns to operate. After the war, these women realize that a spy was among them, and it's only their skills that can provide evidence.

I know WWII books put off some people because we're currently saturated on the topic, but I was enthralled. I couldn't stop listening. Perhaps it's because I'd recently watched a TV program about the life of Prince Phillip, or because (many years ago) I saw the PBS series Bletchley Circle, but books based on fact "get me" every time. 

Linda's score: 4.9/5.0

While power-walking this week, I almost stepped on this sandhill crane. Well, I was walking fast and looking the other way when it was suddenly eight feet from me. 

Sandhill cranes mate for life, and this one was all alone. I even asked, "Where's your mate, poor baby?" They're such impressive creatures when they stand tall, at a little over four feet, I'd guess. 

I'm still worshipping virtually each Sunday morning with Lutheran Church of Hope in West Des Moines, Iowa. The sermon messaged featured clips from "The Queen's Gambit," Netflix's all-time, number one most popular show. Pastor Mike's message is always spot-on and uplifting. I recommend watching "An Eye Opening Experience."

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  1. Haha, you certainly do enjoy a challenge, all those zippers! What kid wouldn't love one of these for their school pencils! The backpacks are such a great idea too. I'll have to file that away for a time (hopefully soon) when our ministry group gets back on track with actually making for others. The group seemed to lose its mojo during the height of covid between illnesses and lack of facilities accepting new donations for fear of bringing in virus.

  2. A zipper pouch from zippers? Now that's clever. Aren't those cranes magnificent? Thanks for the tutorial link. I have Rose Code in my Audible library, but have not stated it yet. Soon!

  3. The zipper pouch is hilariously cute. You did a winning job on making it.
    I am glad you did not trip over that crane. beautiful but that would have been painful for both of you

  4. My first comment didn't work, I don't know why? Anyway, that's a lot of zips on one pouch. I guess zippers are not as expensive there as they are here in Australia! I must look for the Rose Code in my Library. I'm getting through lots of audio books now that I am at home more, and I love it!

  5. What an adorable zippered pouch! Thanks for taking the time to tell us how you put it together, Linda. Upcycled denim and a rainbow of colors, what's not to love?!

  6. I just love your pouch! So colorful and fun. I'm wondering if the zippers could be overlapped and top stitched together rather than the traditional seam? Also wondering about separate linings to make multiple separate spaces on the inside. That would be fun. Do you think any these things would work? Obviously this has me thinking of ideas. Not that I'll actually make one. haha. At least not right now.

  7. What a wonderful post, full of color and zip (pun) and interesting things, as usual. I follow your blog via Feedly, so luckily I won't lose you or Susan to Blogger/Google's whims. It is crazy-making, though, for sure. I abandoned BlogLovin' because I can't block the crazies, and thankfully, Wordpress is still going strong.

    I love that you could bring us a photo of that crane! I had no idea they were so large. We have an egret who frequents our neighborhood, but he is smaller than the crane. And I love what you are doing with the backpacks: you are always caring for others, Linda. Thank you!

  8. How great that your group is making backpacks! The zipper pouch is fun and the lining fabric is perfect.

  9. The zipper pouch is a cute idea! And pastor Mike looks a bit like a young Billy Graham, whom I've always admired.


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