Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Crinkled Paper Zip Pouch Tutorial

A couple and a half years ago I figured out a way to make a zip pouch from a paper product...that would hold up under lots of use and not tear.  Yes, it’s vinyl coated, but sewing perforates the paper and the vinyl leaving them susceptible to tearing.  Read on to find my secret ingredient for durability.

I wanted to make a basic zip pouch using an image that I liked, without being limited to fabric prints.  Or candy wrappers, pet food bags, etc.

I’ve used royalty free images from the internet as well as my own photos and sometimes my own artwork.
This tutorial of my process shows how I make them for anyone not familiar with making a basic zip pouch.
For those that know how to make a zip pouch, I have only a single ingredient to add to the process.


Find an image or photo you like and print it to a size you want.  Also find an image or design for the backside of your pouch.  Pixabay has been an excellent source for royalty free image use.

Trim your pouch front image keeping in mind that you will sew a 1/4” seam allowance.  Then trim the pouch back image to the same size.  The 1/8” white borders that you see will not show when sewn.

Other supplies you will need are iron-on vinyl, a zipper (longer than your paper image), a lining fabric and muslin (the secret ingredient).

I use this iron-on vinyl product.
It can also be purchased as a small roll.  I started out with the rolls but I had such fun making tons of these that I needed the bolt of it.  This was my second bolt!

Cut 4 pieces of vinyl that are larger than your trimmed images.  You will seal the paper between two pieces of vinyl.  Be sure to smooth out bubbles before heat fusing.  Stick the vinyl to both sides of the paper.  Then trim off the excess.  

The vinyl directions only tell you how to adhere it to fabric.  You’ll need to test.  I set my iron at the center of the heat dial.  (On my iron that is the cool end of wool/silk). No steam.  I hold the iron in place for 8 seconds until image is completely fused.  I use the backing paper from the vinyl to place between the vinyl image and my iron.  What a mess if you forget that!!!

Heat fuse BOTH sides separately.  Let the first side cool before fusing the reverse side.

Cut 2 pieces of muslin larger than the images.  Sew the images to the muslin at the edges.  You will need a walking foot or a teflon coated presser foot for this step.  After stitching, trim the excess muslin to the edges of the image.
It is the muslin that will hold the stitches and needle perforations in place so that the pouch won’t tear.


I want the lining to nest inside the pouch, so I cut the lining the same size as the pouch image and then trim off 1/4” on one side and 1/8” off the bottom of the lining pieces.

Sew one side of the zipper to one lining piece as shown.

Place the pouch back image over the zipper and lining and stitch in place.
If you trimmed your lining, center the vinyl image over the lining.


It will look like this from the lining side.

Repeat those steps for the other side of the zipper making sure the linings are on one side of the zipper (the underside of the zipper) and the vinyl images on the other (the outside of the zipper).

At this point your pouch looks like this.


Open the zipper at least half way or you won’t be able to turn your pouch after sewing the sides and one end together.

Clip your lining pieces together and your vinyl pieces together.  Push the zipper teeth to the lining side.  Stitch all the way around (being careful over the zipper teeth) leaving an opening at the bottom of the lining for turning the pouch right side out.


Trim off the excess zipper at both ends. Also trim all the corners.
I even trim the tiny sharp corners at each end of the zipper on both sides.


Now the fun part!  Turn your pouch right side out.  This is when the paper gets magically crinkled.
Be careful at the corners.  They will not be a sharp corner, they will be rounded.  They will kind of have a mind of their own.  But they can be carefully manipulated.

Stitch the bottom lining opening closed.  I use the zipper foot to get close to the edge.  You can also slip stitch it by hand if you prefer.

Your pouch is finished!


They are quick and fun to make.  I became addicted and made nearly 100 of them!

When I give these as a gift, I include simple instructions.

Ink jet ink is water soluble.  If the pouch is left in water, the water will slowly seep through the needle holes and the ink will run, ruining the design.  Permanent ink will not run.  But if soaked, the pouch will take days and days and days to dry out.  I tossed one that I made from an old pattern instruction sheet into a wash load to test the ink.  The pouch was fine but it took forever to dry out.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me, I’m more than happy to help.

Sunday, September 18, 2022

The Queen of Gadgets Blog Hop

What is your favorite sewing gadget?
The Queen of Gadgets Blog Hop
The challenge:
Use your favorite sewing tool to create a project. 
Tell us and show us why you love it.

I not only ‘used’ all my gadgets, I chose to ‘sew’ my favorite, or more accurately, my most used gadgets, around the border of a sewing themed panel.

I created the paper pieced pattern for the pin then die cut the pin heads using a thinlet circle die.  They are raw edge appliqued to the tops of the pin metal.

Although I haven’t used an old fashioned tomato pin cushion for ages, I did have one way back in time.  I’ve added real pins to the finished wall quilt in all the pincushions.
This paper pieced pattern is by Full Bobbin Designs on Etsy

Can’t forget the little strawberry that is usually attached to the tomato pincushion.
This paper pieced pattern is by Center Street Quilts on Etsy.

This panel is of an old needle book design so I added a pair of old black handled scissors instead of a modern rotary cutter.  I do still use scissors.
This paper pieced pattern is by Full Bobbin Designs on Etsy.

A seam ripper might not be considered a favorite sewing gadget, but it’s a necessity when my machine sews something wrong.
This paper pieced pattern is by Full Bobbin Designs on Etsy.

I also added real pins to the printed tomato pincushion on the panel.

The completed wall quilt.
My grandmother actually had one of those cardboard pin blocks.
There were several pins still in it.

This is the fourth and final gifted panel I made into a wall quilt.
This panel was very fun to make a border for.  It wasn’t until I was ready to sew everything together that this panel made known how terribly out of whack it is!!!  The worse I have ever had.  So disappointing as this one was my favorite.  It measures approx. 29” X 49”. The top is 29”, the bottom is 29.5”. There was no way to even fudge squaring it up without cutting into the words or design.  The quilt is okay hanging on a plain wall.  But my wall where I wanted to hang it is bead board.  The stripes in the board make it look even more than 1/2” out of whack.
Such is the life of a fabric panel.

The panel is by J. Wecker Frisch, Joy Studio and Riley Blake Designs

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Bird Postcard Process

Just another bird postcard.  But one different from any other I have made.
He is a quilt block pattern by Nadia Ridgeway of ellisandhiggs.com that I purchased on Etsy.

I redesigned him to be a paper pieced pattern, reduced in size for a postcard.

Here I show a peek into my process of changing a quilt block pattern into a paper pieced pattern that I can sew as a postcard.  Anything can be sewn from the pattern though.  I just happen to love sewing postcards.

Quite an involved process, but the work only needs doing once then the pattern is reusable infinitely after that.  I’m looking forward to a variety of bird colors with this pattern.

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

ECV Donkey

This guy was very fun to sew!

I found this paper pieced pattern on Etsy at PatternsByShaley from her Almost FARMous Collection.  I added a couple of inches of fabric on the left side.  I felt that his nose was too close to the edge.

His process looked more intimidating than it really was.  Of course when the pattern is designed well, all the sections go together well.

With paper piecing I have learned that it’s best to let the seams go the directions they choose rather than trying to force them against their will.  I think overall the pieces lie flatter that way.

My son and grandson are members of the organization E-Clampus Vitus (ECV).  They are also known as Clampers.  The colors are red and black and the organization mascot is a donkey.  My grandson has a collection of ECV related items.  I like to think this wall quilt will be a fun addition to his collection.

Measuring 15.75” X 17.25”

August 2022 Calendar Journal

Friday, August 26, 2022

Table Scraps and Orange

This month at The Joyful Quilter’s table scraps challenge, the color is orange.
That worked perfectly into my project to use up some leftover scraps/pieces.

I had some leftover half square triangles from this recliner quilt I made way back when.

And recently there was a slab of this piecing leftover.

They all came together for this scrappy orange placemat.  

I had begun a monthly block quilt-a-long before learning I don’t really enjoy making traditional sampler blocks.

So those would-have-been orphan blocks also were made into a placemat.

Then scraps from the Pink Stash Quilt also became a placemat.

The pink scraps did not lend themselves into much of an interesting design, so I made this section from a paper piece pattern called Diamond In Diamond by Sanjay Kilskinen that I found on Etsy.

Now I have three new placemats for dining...that are much more fun than what I had bought ready made.

It will be fun to add to this collection of placemats as I accumulate new scraps from new projects.

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Pink Stash Quilt

During a moment of nothing to sew because every project was waiting for something to come in the mail or for me to drive to the quilt shop to get what was needed, I joined the Moda Fabric’s Blockheads 4, 28 week quilt along.  I intended to sew the blocks from my stash of pink fabrics.  I quickly added in some greens.  (Neither stash color is any less from this effort.)

Instructions were included for both 9” and 4.5” quilt blocks each week.  They also threw in some bonus blocks every couple of weeks or so.  I managed to keep up for several weeks before deciding that sewing traditional quilt blocks and cutting the menagerie of little pieces was really not my thing.


I had this many blocks by that time.

I decided it could be a baby quilt...until I thought it might make a baby crazy looking at that wild mess.  So maybe it would be a small lap quilt (for my old age).

I needed five more small blocks.  It was depressing to think about making them from the quilt along’s block designs.  So, in true Annie fashion, I went my own direction and made five paper pieced hexie flowers from a pattern by CenterStreetQuilts on Etsy.

I laid out the blocks, added a border, pin based the layers and made it a quilt.

Layout was a struggle and in the end, as I was trying to scatter the hexie flowers, I forgot about other appearances of block placements.  Other than that miner offense, I’m liking this wild mess of a little quilt.

I did that border/binding thing again that I found I liked in my previous quilt.  Now I’m finding it hard to get away from it in other items I’m working on.  I really like the way that looks.

This little gem measures 43” square.

This hexie flower was a bit too light for the quilt but was perfect for making a postcard with.

For me, a postcard is always a happy ending to a project.

Monday, August 8, 2022

Fall Raven

I’ve revisited making a denim raven art postcard.

I’ve stitched the raw edge applique a bit farther into the bird with hopes of getting a more feathered look for him.  I’m much happier with his look this time.  Of course some areas will not fray as much but that is to be expected with fabric.

I love those Fall leaves die cut from that Tim Holtz Eclectic Elements fabric.

Again I used Miracle Fabric for the correspondence side.  A rubber stamp and archival ink for the words.

The two postcards together.

Dies used:
Rachael Bright Sizzix Bigz die Birds
Tim Holtz Sizzix Thinlits dies Leaf Fragments

Friday, August 5, 2022

Abandoned2 Quilt

I could not resist this Tim Holtz, Eclectic Elements Abandoned2 fat quarter bundle.  As soon as it arrived I prewashed the fabrics and began cutting into it and sewing.

To really get the fabrics all mixed together I decided on the Economy Block for this quilt.  I staggered the blocks slightly.

Of course I needed some of the selvedge included in the quilt design.

The quilt measures 57” X 68”

I just love all the colors and the grunge.

The back and the binding are the same fabric.

I did not want a border, but I needed a border or I would loose all the points of the economy blocks around the edges when I added the binding.  I sewed a scrappy border of many of the prints.  I cut strips 1.25” wide.  After the quilting was finished, I trimmed the quilt so that the borders were 5/8”.  That left a thin 1/4” border before the 3/8” binding.  I really like the look of it.  I will definitely do this again and probably again and again....

It was somewhat frustrating and disappointing working with this bundle.  When there is text on a print, it seems to be a crap shoot whether they will be printed straight on the fabrics.  Most of these were wonky.  Some more so than others.  I could have trimmed the pieces to be straight but I would have lost a lot of useable fabric that I needed (and paid for).  All together they make a pretty busy quilt and are hopefully just not that noticeable.

My July 2022 calendar journal.