A Piebald Pouch for the Kiddo

I made the kiddo a toiletry bag years ago. Well, I actually made it for my husband, but the kiddo took it over. But it’s too big for what he needs.

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I’m a sucker for the Sew Sweetness Minikins patterns. When I saw the patterns in the Minikens Season 3 and saw the Piebald Pouch, I knew it was perfect for a smaller toiletry bag for the kiddo!

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The pattern comes in three sizes, but the only problem was that they weren’t tall enough to hold his toothbrush. I guess it wasn’t really a problem, necessarily! I just added a couple of inches to the bottom.

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For the inside I used the same cleanable fabric I used in the last toiletry. I honestly don’t remember what it is, but I do not recommend it for this pattern! Ha! It frays really easily and there were a few tricky spots with sewing this together that I didn’t know if I’d make it through without it completely fraying apart… I made it, but by the skin of my teeth and a few bad words!

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I love that it opens out! And look, tall enough for the toothbrush.

It is all made from my stash! I had been holding onto the great bunny fabric for YEARS! And he picked it out. Of course, I had the matching solid fabric. I had the interior fabric and the zipper. And I also just happened to have all the interfacing required by the pattern (even though it didn’t work great with my lining fabric….) Perfect! I love it when a project comes together like that!

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The detail of the hook on the back is really nice as well. If you do make the bag taller, don’t forget to make this piece taller too. I made the size M, but made it 2″ taller. This meant the hook needed to be 4″ inches longer than the pattern called for.

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I just happened to have this fun blue leather that matched perfectly for a little leather pull detail!

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And it works! We took it camping and it worked! He takes it on sleepovers. Perfect!

Loons Here and There

This doesn’t happen often! A quilt that I started this year, finished this year, photographed this year and am blogging about this year!

This one I’m calling, Loons Here and There. If you are a fan of Maria Shell, you may recognize it as a play on one of her quilts.

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I took Maria’s class, Improv Triangles: Perfectly Pointless, at Quiltcon From Home in February. I love a good improv triangle quilt and found the class very inspiring! I also have a bad habit of starting quilts at QuiltCon and never finishing them. (But thanks to the WIPs Be Gone Challenge, I’m going to change that soon!) But this class inspired me to get out of bed despite my broken leg and sew for a little while each day! I fell in love with Maria’s Break Up quilt and wanted to give it a go!

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She recommended pulling 8 to 12 fabrics for the fabric pull. I pulled 17, plus I added in brown later. I didn’t think much about the pallet, actually. I pulled a bunch of leftover fabric. Fabric that I had about a fat quarter’s worth of or so. Then got to cutting the squares.

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Once I had the squares, I cut them in stacks into triangles and then sewed them back together. The rule I made was that the sides of the triangles couldn’t be the same color. In keeping with improv, I only used the ruler to eyeball the size of my blocks. I did use it to get a straight cut on the triangles, but not to measure anything. Once I sewed all the pieces back together, I do trim the blocks, but just to give me straight edges, not a particular size. And I repeat this every time I sew blocks together.

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Then I just laid them out and played with contrast to place the blocks.

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I would sew them into smaller blocks and then added a few straight pieces as needed to get all the blocks to fit together. I love the quilting pattern I used. Again, using improv a bit. I laid out the diagonals first using a guide, but then went back in between adding the diamonds ‘freehand’ with the walking foot! I did have a little problem with the quilting and the fabric not staying put. I spray baste and I think it was a combo between the actual brand I was using and also with the the fact I sprayed and then it sat without being quilted. Anyway, once it washes, I think it will be just fine for a potential baby quilt for a friend.

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I did piece this back. I love how the orange block is reflected in the rock formation behind the quilt! You may also recognize this backing fabric from a few other quilts… The Spark and Tic Tac TIgerlily and Scatterlilies. I still have more so you may see it again!

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And my label shot. This also gives a nice view of the quilting pattern.

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And the cutest quilt holder…

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And that’s a wrap for this one! In case you’re wondering where this awesome ‘quilts in the wild’ photoshoot took place, I’ll tell ya! It was at Steamboat Rock State park in Eastern Washington. One of my most favorite places in WA!!! If you haven’t been, you should go!

The Spark- A Mini Quilt

If you follow me on IG, you know I have a to do list this year to get my WIP completed and my sewing area purged. I also have a list of exceptions and one of those exceptions is to participate in the Quilt Improv Studio’s quilt challenges!

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This challenge is Monochrome Dreams!

“Monochrome dreams” is our new improv patchwork game, aimed to let you play with one hue in many shades.

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Originally, I had a plan for a pink quilt. I’m on a bit of a pink kick right now. Not that you’d know if from what I’m sewing, but you would if you saw what I’m buying! 🙂

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Then, I was sorting through scraps I had pulled for an ongoing scrap project I’m working on, I found all these orange scraps that were already pieced…. I couldn’t resist! They are the leftovers from the Improv Flower Pillow I made a while back.

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I didn’t have quite enough to hit the 24″x24″ size requirement, so I also pulled more orange scraps to get me to the right size. I also cut way more squares than I needed for another quilt I just finished and will tell you about soon. So I pulled those orange squares and started cutting into them too, making flying loons.

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I was going to cut out the yellow (or the very, very light orange hehehe) pieces, but in the end I decided to keep them in. They are what give the quilt it’s name. The Spark!

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I usually am not very creative with my quilting thread. This year I participated in the monthly Aurifil 2021 Color Builder program. Mostly to get the awesome wildlife paper piece patterns by Cassandra Beaver. But the ones I just recieved happened to be orange, so I used them!

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Some detail shots….

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The back was almost just one piece of fabric. Which isn’t really my style, but for the smaller ones, I don’t piece as much. This one I cut the back wrong, so I had to add the orange anyway. And you know me, I always like to throw in a picture of the label!

I know there are a bunch of pictures, but I also wanted to share a few behind the scenes…

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My kiddo did the quilt holding. We did 4 photo shoots. Two just didn’t turn out quite right. Then we found these fields! The pup looked happy to stop and smell the fresh air!

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And that’s my Spark for the Monochrome Dreams Challenge! Are you participating? What color would you use?

Firefly Tote

I have a to do list to finish all my half done projects this year. This project was NOT on my list, but I did it anyway…

The tote is the Firefly Tote by Noodlehead. It’s one of her new patterns and she just hosted a sew along. I really liked it, and knew I wanted to try out my waxed canvas on it, so I joined in. Even if it wasn’t on my To Do List! The pattern has two sizes, a smaller ‘Project’ size and the larger ‘Tote’ size. I made the Tote.

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I was able to pull all the fabrics from my stash! I’ve had a few of these for a while and was excited to finally use them.

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The pattern directions say to shop local. So I did! There is this leather store, MacPherson Leather Company, about 5 minutes from my house and I’ve driven by it saying I’m going to go for about 15 years. I took this opportunity to finally go and get my materials. I took my kid and his friend, which was not the best idea… I left with way more than I went in for….

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The first piece was the pocket. I didn’t have much of this fabric, and I didn’t pay attention when I cut the fabric in order to get the pieces above and below the zipper to align! If you make it, keep that in mind when cutting! I love the bright pop of color in the zipper!

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Then we put the exterior together and left it right sides together while we moved on to make the interior pieces.

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I was intrigued with the drawstring topper on the lining. I think I like it!

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I decided to go with a black leather tie for the drawstring closure.

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I really wanted to use this stripe fabric for the drawstring top, but I didn’t have enough. so I wasted a LOT of time hemming and hawing about it… What other fabric to use???? I just couldn’t make a decision. Finally I complained to my buddy Debbie and she is brilliant and recommended using some of the lining fabric to make the drawstring the correct size. Genius! I think it worked perfectly!

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(check out how well the lining and the drawstring fabric lined up on this side!)

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I used the ‘kite’ fabric for the lining of the outside zipper and also for the interior pocket. I think the pocket in the Tote is a little too deep. When I make it again, I’m going to make mine smaller. It probably works great for something like knitting needles, but otherwise, it’s too deep for pens and pencils. IMO, anyway…

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The other thing about this project is how the hardware makes the bag look really professional! I just happened to have the rivets already, so that was nice.

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The back is nothing exciting, except for those fancy rivets!

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I like it! One thing I did realize about the waxed canvas is that dog hair has a tendency to kinda stick to it… So if you have a large white dog that’s fluffy and sheds a lot, this fabric in black may not be the wisest choice… Just sayin’! Otherwise, I love it! The pattern is great. She also has the pattern all in YouTube videos so you don’t even have to read the instructions! Love!

Red and White Quilt

It’s almost perfect for this holiday weekend! It’s just missing that Blue part….

This one was started way back in 2018 and finished last year. It is a paper pieced pattern that I did with my do.Good Stitches group back in the day.

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My group was usually not fans of my paper piecing obsession! But they played along nicely anyway. Well, some of them did. I bowed out of the group not long after designing this one and presenting it to the group. A few members never sent me their blocks… Oh, well..

There are actually 3 different blocks in the quilt and I had assigned different blocks to different people. The original quilt design was intended to be a little larger, but I think the size it ended up is just right.

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One thing I do love about bee quilts is the variation in colors of fabric. I love how this is a red and white quilt, but when you look closely each block is just a little different.

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And the back. I had a few blocks that were a little smaller than the rest so they went to the back. That is a typical problem when doing paper piecing. Be sure to always print your pattern with no scaling. If you don’t, different programs treat PDF’s differently and some scale up or down the image.

Anyway, they ended up being perfect for the back, so it all worked out in the end.

The little triangles in the top corners are not part of the quilt. I basted them on to make it easier to hold for photographs! And it seemed to help.

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I just really love this one! I did have a little trouble quilting it due to the bulk in the corners. I need to figure that out before I attempt this one again.

I’m also considering publishing the pattern one day soon. Yes, no?

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And my quilt holder fighting with the wind. You can see how he used the corners. Not my idea. I got the idea from my friend Debbie, aquilterstable, who got the idea from Zak Foster Quilts.

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It’s quite Red, White and Blue for the holiday weekend, but it’s as close as I could get! I hope everyone in the US has a great 4th of July weekend and stay safe!

A Graduation Gift Set for a Drummer

I may have mentioned this, but I’m really bad about giving graduation gifts on time. It takes me a while to figure out just the right thing!

My cousin’s son graduated high school during the pandemic and started college at Troy University playing drums. I’m just a year late on this one!

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I had the bright idea to make him a drum stick bag. My original idea was much more simple than I ended up making! I mentioned it and was introduced to the world of drum stick bags on Amazon. No drawstring bags here… But I was up for the challenge. Pockets and straps and handles, oh my!

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I also took a while to figure out how I wanted to make it special. Then the idea of cork came to mind. I ended up ordering some black and grey cork from Sew Sweetness and it’s just perfect. The school colors are black, grey and burgundy, so I stitched the outline in burgundy thread.

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The biggest detail on the outside is the T. I love how it turned out. But I also added handles and a key fob and a little cork detail to finish off the double zipper.

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The inside has 4 pockets and a long adjustable strap. The strap can hook onto the side of a drum and hang there for easy access to the drum sticks.

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I also made a bucket. For the drum stick bag, I just made up the pattern as I went. But for the bucket, I used the free Faithwell Storage Bin pattern by Sew Sweetness. I’ve used this pattern before with my cross stitch koala and love it. I have never included the handle, though.

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The storage bin actually came out of a mistake I made on the drum stick bag. I originally sewed in the T in the wrong orientation. So then I was was like what do I do with this extra Troy T? I make a bucket! Perfect!

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I followed the directions, but changed it up some with the cork. The directions call to use fusible foam and fuse it to the exterior fabric. I was hesitant to add to the cork, so I flipped it and added the fusible foam to the lining. I was also concerned about the seams in the cork, but they turned out great!

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I also made a key chain with the scraps from the cork pieces. I used my own tutorial for that!

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Then I filled it with fun goodies. Seattle Chocolates, a WA state flag, a Troy pin, some Legos, and a stress ball thingy! I was super excited about how it turned out. and I’m pretty sure the kiddo liked it as well.

Do you have a favorite Graduation Gift you like to make?

Superhero Teacher Pouches

This year for Teacher Appreciation Week, we made Superhero pouches. Ok, there was no we. It was me…

Does this look familiar? I started using this printed fabric that I designed when the kiddo was in preschool, and I’ve used it every year since. We started with totebags back in 2015…

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What a silly little kid! You can find the tutorial and the printable gift tag here. Then a couple of years ago we made a one hour basket using the same superhero fabric! I designed the fabric when then whole tradition started. You can even order it here from Spoonflower. It’s sized to make the fold over pocket on the totebag.

This year I changed it again and went with quilt as you go pouches!

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I just happened to have a large pile of colorful 7″ zippers, so the pouches became about 5×7 inch pouches. Perfect for holding a gift card. I didn’t add a tag, but I’ll have to come up with something clever for when I do this again next year! Stay tuned!

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The front has a little quilt as you go. Then you turn them over and there’s more quilt as you go! To make the pouches there are a million tutorials out there to use. I went with Sotak Handmade’s QAYG pouch tutorial for a reminder. I’ve made pouches a million times (ok, maybe slightly less than that), but I always like to skim over a tutorial before I do it to make sure I remember how. ha! Not sure why, but I do!

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These are my two favorite backs. The funny thing is, they are QAYG, but I didn’t add any quilting on top on either of these. I did on all the others. So I think it’s funny that my favorites don’t’ have quilting to show. and just like my quilts, sometimes I like the backs better!

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I also order my quilt labels and my ‘everything else’ labels from Spoonflower. The little ones are slightly hard to read. But I’m using them anyway!

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The Teacher’s are Superheros fabric has so many more options than just tote bag pockets. It was fun moving outside the ‘bag’ (Ha! Get it…) and trying something else with the labels. Teacher Appreciation week has passed, but it also works for end of the year thank you gifts and holiday gifts.

Should I make pouches again next year? Or try something new?

Courthouse Steps Mini Quilt

My first quilt finish this year.

I’m off to a slow start this year with my broken leg in January, but I’m hoping to catch up soon!

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I started this one to submit to the Curated Quilts Mini Challenge for the ‘Stripe’ issue coming out later this year. The challenge was:


Please use “balance” as inspiration for your quilt design. Balance can be interpreted at many different levels and we encourage you to explore what balance means to you. You can improvise or paper piece your mini quilt. We love seeing how creative everyone is and appreciate all forms of piecing in your mini quilts. The color palette we would like you to use is included in the image above, soft grey, jade green, bright pink, bright blue, purple, and highlighter yellow. 

Originally I was going to make a striped mini, with circles cut into it and in the circles the lines were going to go in a different direction. Maybe I still will make that one, but I saw a lot of others using circles and I didn’t want to anymore. But I kept making my stripes until I figured out what I wanted to do!

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Balance was the inspiration…

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I started my stripes picking out some of the colors from the challenge. Well, all of them except green and purple. I started with paper piecing the stripes, still unsure where this was going.

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I drew lines on a large piece of freezer paper and started sewing. The lines are spaced in 1/4″ and 1/2″ increments.

Doing this wasn’t very quick and it gave me time to realize where it was going.

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To balance the color, I went all grey. To balance the precise straight lines, I went improv.

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It almost killed me, but I finally got up the nerve to cut into all my stripes. They were so pretty just the way they were that I didn’t even want to cut them!

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The traditional courthouse steps quilt pattern was my third ‘ode to balance!

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I was falling in love with this mini quilt and knew I couldn’t keep it small enough to submit it for the challenge and that was perfectly fine with me! The challenge submissions can’t be bigger than 16″ square. This one ended up about 24″ square. Maybe one day they will do a Courthouse Steps issue and I’ll submit this then. in the meantime, I’m just loving on it!

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I also got new labels this year. Similar to all my other ones, but these are put together a bit different than last years version. Maybe I’ll do a blog post one day! I think these are my favorite.

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I love a good challenge to get me trying new things! I had never freezer paper pieced anything, much less small lines. I wouldn’t have picked these colors together, yet I love them! I had a great time making this one, even if I struggled for the design for a while.

Holiday Swaps with the Cotton Candy Pouches

Last December I participated in two swaps. Was was meant to be a handmade item the other wasn’t!

The first swap was with the Seattle Modern Quilt Guild. This one was a secret swap, but our partners gave us colors and ideas of what they would like to get. One of the items on my partners list was a pouch.

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I choose to make the Cotton Candy Pouch from Minikins, Season 1 by Sew Sweetness. It is a really simple pouch with a fun shape. I love the Sew Sweetness patterns because most of them also have a video included. Unfortunately, you can’t buy just this one pattern by itself, you have ot buy the whole Season 1 set. But FORTUNATELY, the whole set is full of great patterns!

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The colors. I don’t think I would have chosen them for myself, not because I don’t like them, just because I usually go to brighter colors. She said she liked navy and cream, grey and touch of green. So I pulled out my navy fabrics. One of them had a green in it, which was perfect. I also knew that the beige freckles fabric from Cotton and Steel had navy freckles. I love this!

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I started by making a ring of flying geese and realized they were way to big for the pouch. So guess what… I’m making myself a bag with the same color scheme! I really love it!

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For the back, I went with a solid panel rather a pieced panel in one of the fabrics I used on the front.

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On the inside, I also used another fabric from the front and added one of my little labels!

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From my secret swap partner, I also got a pouch! Yes, I got mine early and mailed mine late. On time, but later than I received mine so I got this fun shot of the two of them! Mine is made using Marcia Derse fabrics. Very cute!

And then my office had a Christmas Swap. It was also a secret, but no suggestions were given to the giver. My partner is a very creative designer sort, so I debated what to get her. I almost got her a craft kit. Then realized I couldn’t get what I wanted to get her in time for the party, so I decided that she would appreciate something handmade.

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So out came the Cotton Candy Pouch pattern again!

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For this one, I used one of the Mini Series patterns by Giucy Giuce. For this one I used the Courthouse Steps Pattern. She likes to wear earthy tones, so I went orange, yellow and a brownish orange yellow with a mix of creamy background fabrics.

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For the inside I used a golden stripe fabric and added my little label again!

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This pattern is an easy pattern to have as a quick go to pattern! I love how both of these turned out! what is your favorite go to pouch pattern?

Happy Easter!

I made a couple of quilted Easter decorations in time for Easter this year!

OK, full disclosure… I made them last year, but didn’t get them done in time for Easter! So technically, my first statement is true… LOL!

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As soon as I saw this bunny banner pattern by Sugaridoo in Quiltnow Magazine Issue 60, I was super excited to make it! I just think this little bunny is adorable!

FYI- Quiltnow Magazine is not longer being published and they have taken down the website where this pattern was located. The pattern is not in the magazine. Sugaridoo doesn’t have this pattern on her website, but she does have a similar bunny that you could use for a bunny banner project!

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So cute with the little chick on top! The pattern is a paper pieced pattern. I did not get very creative with this one, even the fabric colors are very similar to the one she made in the magazine. I really debated the quilting. I couldn’t decide what to do and was worried this diamond shape would take away from the bunny. In the end I think it turned out just right.

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I didn’t piece the back on this one. I did add a sleeve, but didn’t use it in the photoshoot!

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And you probably know that I love to just my scraps from a project in another project or a coordinating project right away. So I made Easter eggs! Scrappy, improv Easter eggs. I used this tutorial for my eggs, but instead of a circle, I made the egg shape.

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And I used more scraps from the eggs to make the back!

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A little invisible zipper action.

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Three eggs and another chick from the original pattern, makes for a cute pillow, if I do say so myself!

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I hope everyone has a great Easter weekend and hopefully you are able to get some sewing time in! I plan too. A little Easter Egg dying and sewing for my weekend.