Fine Feathered Friends

feather pouch front

I made a zippered pouch.  It started as an experiment.  It’s my first reverse applique!  I had no clue as to what I was doing, just winged it… Then the feather sat next to Betty (my beautiful sewing companion) for a month.  So one night I pulled a zipper out of my drawer of supplies, looked up a tutorial I wanted to try & sewed my little heart out.  The zipper turned out to be a vintage metal zipper, that I LOVE!!  vintage zipper copyright 1963

vintage zipper

I just love the back of the package…

zipper package

zipper package again

It makes me want to dress up in heels to do my housework.  I am in love with this pouch.  I’m not even sure what I am going to use it for, but I want to see it every second of my day & let no one else touch it.  When I started this experiment, I thought I might gift this to someone, but before it was finished, I knew it was never leaving my side.

feather vintage zipper pouch top

(I thought I banished all the lady bugs!)

feather pouch open mouth

I used the Open Wide Zippered Pouch tutorial from Noodlehead which was oh so wonderful!  The resulting pouch is super easy to open up & dig around in.  Like I said before, I LOVE THIS POUCH!!!  The outside is Essex linen (don’t know the color), Kona Nightfall, the feather is a Joel Dewberry print, the lining is  Heather Ross, zipper end is Lotta Jansdotter.

feather pouch open front

This isn’t the only feathery project up my sleeve lately.  I also tried my hand at making a mug rug for a swap with my do. Good Stitches girls.  I made an enormous mug rug.  So perhaps it’s more like a place mat… I love this one also.  I am hoping my partner receives it & loves it & can overlook its enormous size.  Apparently I go big or go home.

feather mug rug

I used the free feather pattern by Anna Maria Horner.  I made the feather smaller but not small enough.  I also couldn’t find my brain & couldn’t for the life of me cut the feather sides correctly.  I cut a whole bunch wrong before I got it right.  So I have a few weirdo feather scraps to work with someday.  I did a little hand quilting on the feather & machine quilted the rest.  If I were to do it again, I would change some things, but overall I really like how it came out.


After  finishing up my 2 feather projects, I looked out my window & saw 2 pheasants hanging out in my neighbor’s yard.  How fitting.  They didn’t want to be photographed together though, so I only have 1 pheasant to show you.


One More Zipper Pouch

Way back when I made these, I cut out fabric to make one for my sister, Senja.  Well, it got put in a bin & forgotten about, until I cleaned my sewing area over the weekend.  Well, I found it & finished it up! Yay!!  Go me!

chair ouch for sisterI got this purple chair fabric in a scrap pack (it’s Tufted Tweets by Laurie Wisbrun) & had just enough for a little pouch.  Senja loves purple so it’s all hers!  It will probably go into her knitting bag & get packed full of stuff!  🙂

chair pouchI used this tutorial for the most part.

(I forgot to box the corners, like the other ones…  hope it is still okay!?)

I love you Senja!  Miss you!

Too Busy

I’ve been oh so busy…but not sewing. Working. It totally messes up my normal life to get up at the crack of dawn & drag my kids to daycare.   So I haven’t had much time to sew or think about sewing.  I am so SUPER grateful that my normal life has lots of hang-around-the-house & do-what-I-want time!   I have also had a bunch of days spent at the school doing end-of-the-year things.  I have really enjoyed being able to do that this year!  Last year, around this time, my heart was getting really bad, so I didn’t have very much energy.  I was able to enjoy my time so much more this year!  🙂  I’m so happy I got my valve replaced when I did!!

So here’s some stuff I’ve been up to since I last posted.  (I have another week & a half to work.  Hopefully I will be able to post more often then!!)

swapped items for birdandbicycleMaLora of Bird and Bicycle & I set up a private swap to celebrate our May birthdays!  This is what I sent to her.  Two knit dish cloths, a bicycle bib, a  hot pad/mug rug, & a pincushion with scrap bag & pockets.  I am going to make one of these pincushions for myself soon because I LOVE how it turned out!  It seems like it would be very useful! The pattern is FREE from Sew Mama Sew!

knit dishclothsThese are the dish cloths I made.  They are both free patterns I found through Ravelry.  I’m too lazy right now to look them up for you…  Sorry!

stamped wordsThis is the back of the hot pad/mug rug.  I stamped the letters on!  It was my first attempt at something like this.  It isn’t perfect, but it’s okay.  I used Jacquard Textile Color as ink.  I put Insul-Bright inside so it can be used as a hot pad.  I was originally making a mug rug that was going to be rectangular.  It turned into this though because I didn’t plan it AT ALL.  I just grabbed, cut, & sewed fabric together until it was this.

party supplies in a bagMaLora sent me a Party in a Bag!

party in a bag contentsIt contains: a brightly colored table topper, 16 cloth napkins, cupcake toppers, 3 different lengths of paper garland (some bonus Japanese Linen) and…

garlanda fabric garland!  My kids will love having impromptu lunch parties!  I think I will start using the cloth napkins instead of paper towels.   We go through a lot of them at our house!

cupcake toppers and garlandThese are my favorite part!  How cute!  I can’t wait to make cupcakes!

zipper pouches for teachersHere are the zipper pouches I made for T’s four preschool teachers & W’s regular teacher & math teacher.  They were each filled with yummy candy & a Thank You note.  I appreciate all the hard work all those teachers did for my kids this year!  Both my kids have made great strides academically & socially this year!

my favorite pouch for teachersThis is my favorite pouch!  I gave it to W’s 3rd grade teacher.  She taught him cursive, & for that I will be forever grateful because I can read his writing now!  🙂

T's preschool graduation with teachersHere is T at his preschool graduation with all four of his teachers!  I bawled like a baby when I said good-bye to them!  T is leaving preschool with all the skills necessary to succeed in Kindergarten next year.  He can read a lot of sight words, has great rhyming & alliteration skills, follows directions very well & best of all he learned what it takes to make friends.  I am so proud of my little guy!  We will really miss preschool & Miss Jessica, Miss Wanda, Miss Erin, & Miss Maren!

May blocks for do. Good StitchesThese are the May blocks for do. Good Stitches Peace Group.  These blocks taught me how far off  my 1/4 inch seam allowance is.  I really had trouble making these the right size.  I finally got it though!  🙂  Yay me!

linen dishtowel with patchworkThis is a dish towel I made for my partner in the Spicing Up The Kitchen Swap.  It is made out of 100% Linen & some scraps.  I did some paper piecing for the curve.  I did a fancy mitered edge on the hem.  It looks amazing! I was really impressed with how well the corners turned out!  Now I want to wash it & make sure it softens up & stays together!!

plastic bag dispenserThis is also for the SUTK swap.  This is a plastic bag dispenser.  The fabric is some charms of Dream On by Urban Chiks for Moda.    I hope this is my partner’s taste.  I have changed my mind on what she will like so many times now… I really hope I have it figured out.   This is a little too “girly” for me.  Although it kind of gives me warm fuzzy feelings because it reminds me of some of the sheets we had growing up.



huge mothAt the Cub Scout Pack meeting in May a “Bug Guy” came.  He brought all kinds of gross things that the boys just loved.  He also brought meal worms for them to eat!  Eww!  The kids all got a real kick out of that!  This is a huge moth (I can’t remember the name) that is native to Minnesota.  I have lived here my whole life & have never seen a moth this big!  Amazing!  The next one isn’t so pretty…

W with giant cockroachYes.  That is a Giant Cockroach.  Yes.  My son is holding it.  Yes.  I had to touch it too.  Gross!  Most of the boys wouldn’t touch these but not my kid!  He was brave & picked it up & held it for a while.  I think I did a good job of hiding my disgust…

T with millipedeT is holding a Millipede.  That thing felt so weird to hold.  So many legs.  There was also a tarantula but I didn’t get a good picture of that.  The boys really enjoyed this special activity at the last pack meeting of this year.  I was happy when all the bugs were put away!

That’s all I have!  I hope you are all enjoying your summer so far!  I am looking forward to planning some camping trips & going to the beach soon!  Speaking of the beach, I should go order that swimsuit I had my eye on…

Pretty {little} Pouch ~Sent~

I’m all done!!  The Pretty {little} Pouch is on its way to…??

I made 2 practice pouches that taught me a LOT about pouches.  I hadn’t ever made one prior to doing this swap.  Here they are…

first practice pouchI used a pattern from Weekend Sewing by Heather Ross for this one.  It turned out the right size.  I just really didn’t like using this pattern.  The inside seams just didn’t do it for me.  I wanted a fully lined pouch with no seams showing.  Also it was really difficult to line everything up, so it ended up a little wonky.  I gave this to W’s student teacher.  He loved her & will miss her very much.

second practice pouch  For the second one I used this tutorial.  It went smoothly, except that I made up my own dimensions.  I was stupidly delusional about how big this was going to end up.  I turned out to be about twice the size I thought it would be!  I love the fabrics (Joel Dewberry Aviary 2)  & like the embroidery.  (It reads “Choose happiness”) I gave this to Cassie.  She is using it as a knitting project bag & by happy accident her Nook fits in the bottom of it!  Her daughter told her it looks like a popcorn bag.  🙂  It’s true…

final pouchHere’s the final Pretty {little} Pouch.  It’s heavily influenced by this & this.

I kept trying to make my partner something just green & blue but I could NOT get inspired.  My partner had tons of Mendocino by Heather Ross (that’s the seahorse fabric) in her favorites on Flickr.
As soon as I noticed the Mendocino love in her favorites, I knew I had to do something with that.  I hope she really does like it!  I lined the pouch with the seahorse fabric & the back side has a couple of pieces of the mermaid fabric.  I didn’t want to use too much in case she really didn’t love it.  I had a lot of fun making this pouch! I almost didn’t want to send it away!  I can’t wait to see what she thinks!

back of final pouchThis is the back side.  My husband was like “uh… did you mean to make this side so plain?”  🙂

Well, yes honey, I did.

I thought the other side was a bit busy.   I’m one who needs a little calm.  So when you need a little calm, look at this side!  It’s a little weird that the fabrics wrap around the bottom & I wish I would have thought that out a little better.  I really like how the bottom turned out, but I can’t show it to you yet.  (Because my partner would figure out it’s hers!)

hand stitching on pouch

I was really nervous that this wasn’t going to turn out, but as soon as I was done sewing the boxy sides & turned it right side out, I knew it was right.  It turned out as good or better than I had expected.  I am really, really happy that I pushed myself to try some different things with this swap.  I  CAN NOT wait to see what someone made for me!  I am excitedly checking the mail everyday!  handle of pretty little pouch