January 29, 2011

{ tutorial: how to make a zippered pouch }

Welcome to my first tutorial. I hope it’s thorough and has sufficient information without being TOO detailed (you know the type).

When I tried to figure out how to sew one of these cute zippered pouches last weekend, I just got frustrated with the inadequate instructions I found…until I found some YouTube videos. Combining the videos with the written instructions, I finally figured out. Now – watch out world! I’m a zippered pouch making fool…and I want you to be too!

Here we go…

Materials needed:

(2) 8”x6” fabric for the outside
(2) 8”x6” coordinating fabric for the inside
(2) 8”x6” pieces of stabilizer
7” zipper
pins, scissors, sewing machine
start (1)

Start by ironing on your stabilizer to the back of the outside pieces. (You might notice that the back of my outside pieces are tan. This is because I accidentally bought 5 yards of Wonder Under at JoAnn’s last week instead of stabilizer. So – I improvised using the Wonder Under and ironed my outside pieces to some scraps of tan fabric. I actually really like the results because it makes the pouch more firm. You do what you like – I’m not one to judge!)

Place the outside fabric right side up. Place the zipper right side down on top of the outside fabric.

start (2)

start (3)

Place the inside fabric right side down on top of the outside fabric and the zipper. Pin across the top.

start (4)

Go to your sewing machine. Attach your zipper foot to your machine. My zipper foot can be attached on the left or the right. Attach on the right. Line up the right edge of the foot with the right edge of your fabric sandwich.

start (5)

Backstitch at the start and continue sewing keeping the edge of the zipper foot lined up with the edge of the fabric.

photo 1

Sew until it becomes difficult to continue because you’ve reached the zipper pull.

 photo 2

It’s tricky to get a clean line around here, so I backstitched a little way and picked up my needle. I unzipped my zipper past where I’d sewn then sandwiched my fabric again. Go back to your sewing machine, backstitching again where you begin, continue sewing to the end of the fabric. 

photo 4

When you’re finished, it should look like this:

photo 3

Taking your remaining two pieces of fabric, sandwich the zipper between those two like you did earlier.

 photo 5

Sew along the right edge using the same technique you did earlier.

It should look like this when you’re finished:

1 (1)

Unzip your zipper about halfway down (this is super duper important!).

Pick up your fabric and put the inside pieces right sides together and your outside pieces right sides together. The zipper should be in the middle.

1 (2)

1 (3)

Pin all the way around, leaving about a 3” opening at the bottom of the inside fabric.

1 (4)

Put your regular sewing foot back on and sew around the perimeter of your fabric using about a 5/8” seam allowance.

1 (5)

Once you’ve done that, you should have an opening at the bottom of the lining that looks like this:

2 (2)

Trim your corners at a diagonal to help keep the corners nice and square.

2 (3)

Using that opening, turn your fabric inside out completely. Unzip the zipper further if you need to.
Fold in the fabric in the lining (inside fabric) and press if you need to. I just pinned mine.

2 (4)

Sew the opening closed with a tight seam allowance – less than 1/4”.

2 (5)

Push your lining fabric inside the outside fabric. Adjust the lining so that it fits well inside the pouch. Yep, that’s right. You just made a zippered pouch!


Zip and unzip over and over while you marvel at your new skill. You made a zippered pouch! YAY you! Show everyone you know. Fill it with anything you can think of! Make more in every size! I think it works great to cut your fabric 1” longer than the length of your zipper. (8” fabric = 7” zipper…5” fabric = 4” zipper).

If you have questions, contact me and I’ll try to help.

Congratulations! You made a zippered pouch! { High Five! }

{ friday night}

This Friday night was spent…

evaluating transcripts…
This week was the beginning of second semester, so that meant changing schedules, making sure final grades were posted correctly, processing grades, printing report cards, updating transcripts, and now evaluating transcripts. I got through all 4 grades in about 2 1/2 hours. Now I’ll go through and put that information onto a spreadsheet next week.

photo 2
Thank goodness for Jennifer – she keeps me sane and keeps me laughing when life gets stressful! We always do a great job of making fun of ourselves when we screw things up – and thank goodness it’s always reversible! Smile

I wanted to get those transcripts done, so I could spend the rest of the weekend doing fun things, like…

making more of these!

photo 1

and cutting fabric…and cutting fabric…and cutting fabric!

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I cut fabric for my next 4 quilts – including a Buggy Barn quilt! Yes, ladies, I took the plunge. Not only did I buy the kit, but I actually cut into it!

Now I’m ready to go for our craft retreat next weekend!

project boxes

January 24, 2011

{ single girl }

So I saw a link to this today…
(single girl quilt along – click for blog post)


Why am I such a sucker for a quilt along?!

Single Girl? Check
Like to Quilt? Check

I bought the pattern…


The quilt along starts February 14th, so I have some time to think about it.

It looks hard, right? But think of all the scraps I could use! God only knows that I need something to bust through my scraps. I have a terrible habit of needing to be matchy matchy. Break me of that binding habit!!!

January 23, 2011

{ round two }


This afternoon, I read about a dozen blog tutorials on zippered pouches and watched some more YouTube videos. I decided I was ready for round two.

In less time than it took to watch an episode of “Holly’s World,” I made this:

photo 1

photo 2

YAY! This was much easier than the first try. I might even be able to help you make one of your own! And now, I must return to JoAnn’s tomorrow to buy more zippers. Smile

{ trying something new }

I decided to try a new sewing project yesterday…a zippered pouch.

Last week when I packed up all my sewing stuff to take to Jessica’s for the day, I decided I needed a little pouch to put all my sewing machine feet, ruler, seam ripper, etc. when I travel. When I’m at home they’re in a little scalloped tray, but that’s not conducive for travelling!

ANYWAY – I found a pattern in a book I already had, bought a zipper, found some fabric in my stash and got to it.

After TWO hours of trying to figure out how to sew in the zipper between the book and the included directions, I was SO frustrated, I quit for the night.

I turned to trusty YouTube and watched about 10 videos before I tried again. The videos made a lot more sense than the written directions!

And – after 1 1/2 hours this morning, I now have a pouch!

photo 3

 photo 1

photo 2

Do not ask me to help you! I have one more zipper to try another one – maybe the second time will be the charm! On YouTube, I saw two different ways to do it, so I’m going to try the other way next time and see which I like better.

I’m glad I persevered and figured it out ‘cause I’m pretty proud of my little pouch – even if it’s not as pretty as a Vera! Smile

January 19, 2011

{ laurel }

Another new friend!


Laurel Jane Ransbarger

January 13, 2011
7 lbs, 2 oz
19 1/2 inches

Congratulations to Darron & Kristiane!


I hope she’s not walking and talking before I get to meet her!

{ callie mae }

I’m happy to welcome a new friend to the world…

Callie Mae Jenks

Callie Mae Jenks

January 18, 2011
7 lbs, 1 oz
20 inches

Congratulations Kameron & Christine
and big brother Kutter
and her guardian angel, big sister Cassidy.

January 18, 2011

{ dream on }

My quilting idol, Camille (p.s. we just became Facebook friends today...REALLY?! pretty darn excited over here!), posted a blog yesterday about dreams. She shared about her dream 3 years ago to design quilt patterns and fabric…which she has done, quite successfully, in my opinion!
She urged readers to share their dreams – which I did. I realized I’d never shared my dream on my own blog –
Here’s what I posted on Camille’s blog:
Since I was about 20, my dream has been to open a coffee shop/cafe in my little hometown. There is no where here for people to just hang out - that's warm and cozy and welcoming. I would love to have the little shop that has coffee, treats, big comfy couches & oversize chairs. My family even has land and I have a name for it - "Holy Grounds." The land I would put it on was the site of my Dad's auto electric shop. Ten years ago, it caught on fire and he was inside. He survived with 58% burns - he is a true miracle. Many factors complicated his situation and he was not expected to live through that. I would put my "Holy Grounds" coffee shop on the site where his shop once was.
Since I began quilting 2 years ago - my dream has expanded to include something quilty in that coffee shop...maybe fabric, maybe just a place to put my quilts that I love to make.
Hopefully dreams do come true!
This truly is my dream…which I hope one day I will see come true. When I was in college and this dream was developing, I spent time in class – not doodling or day dreaming, but drawing logos, furniture arrangements, etc.  I accumulated quite a file of plans. Since college, I haven’t thought about it as much as I did back then. Every once in a while, it’ll cross my mind and I’ll day dream for a little while about it. It sounds like a pretty cool space to hang out in!

January 17, 2011

{ chicken chilaquiles }

Chicken Chilaquiles is one of my most favorite things that I acquired from my time in Mexico. When I went to Mexico in high school (holy jeez – it’ll be 13 years ago this year!), we went with a tour group. We had continental breakfast buffet each morning and it always included chicken chilaquiles. I fell in love.

When I returned to Mexico 4 years later, I never got to have chilaquiles. Sad smile I lived with a family and I think the mother was trying to give us American food (jello and … I don’t remember what else, but I remember having jello at every meal. Nasty!).

In the past few years, I’ve tried to find the best recipe to duplicate the dish I loved in Mexico. I have found out that traditionally, it’s a dish that is usually served for breakfast and uses leftover tortillas – and basically any other leftovers from dinner the night before.

I made a version this evening that is pretty close to what we had – the key is cotija cheese sprinkled on top before you eat it. My fave!

We dug in too fast tonight and I didn’t get a picture! Next time!

1/2 cup vegetable oil
10 flour or corn tortillas (6 to 8 inches in diameter), cut into 1/2-inch strips
2 cups shredded cooked chicken or turkey
1 1/3 cups salsa verde or green sauce
2 cups shredded Chihuahua or mozzarella cheese (8 ounces)

  1. Heat oil in 10-inch skillet until hot. Cook tortilla strips in oil 30 to 60 seconds or until light golden brown; drain.
  2. Heat oven to 350ºF. Grease 2-quart casserole.
  3. Layer half of the tortilla strips in casserole; top with chicken, half of the salsa verde (about 2/3 cup) and 1 cup of the cheese. Press layers gently down into casserole. Repeat with remaining tortilla strips, sauce and cheese.
  4. Bake about 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and golden brown.

I also wanted to make Spanish Rice, but the recipe I had called for regular rice, but we only had Minute Rice. I made the minute rice anyway and added a cup of salsa to it after it’d been covered about 3 minutes. It turned out pretty good – in a pinch.

{ zig zag }

I have wanted to do a zig zag quilt since I saw this one on Cluck Cluck Sew:IMG_3794

It’s so adorable….I even have it on the main page of my blog!

Then my favorite gal Camille, came out with this pattern:


Just what I had in mind!

Here’s my version that I finished this morning…

zig zag

I was going to send it to the quilter, but when I looked back at the Cluck Cluck Sew one I noticed she quilted 1/4” outside the seams to emphasize the zigs and zags. I’m down with that!

Hopefully I’ll get to share a completed quilt on here before Valentine’s Day!

January 15, 2011

{ cheddar chicken }

I saw this recipe on my friend Amy’s blog last week and it sounded delish. We tried it tonight and she wasn’t joking – it’s great!


16 Ritz crackers (about 3/4 cup) crushed
6 oz of sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
4 Tbsp melted butter
* Heat oven to 350. In a bowl combine the crackers, cheese garlic and salt and pepper to taste.
* Dip chicken in butter then cracker mixture then place on a foil lined baking sheet.
* Sprinkle remaining mixture onto chicken then bake until chicken is golden brown. (25-30 min)

Thanks for this recipe, Amy! It’s a keeper!

January 12, 2011

{ JUNK }

I saw this cute cute bag pattern at the fabric shop in Poulsbo when we were there for Brian and Megan’s wedding last May. (You can find the pattern HERE.)

I was excited to make the bag for myself, but I’m a picture follower – so I had to get all the embellishments so I could make my bag look as close to the bag in the picture as possible.

It was fun to pick up old hankies at the Farm Chicks Antique Show in Spokane last June. I only bought 3 with this bag in mind…even though I’ve finished the bag, let me tell you, I will be buying more antique hankies when I go this year. What for, I don’t know – I just think they’re sweet and cute!

I got velour ric rack at the fabric store in Chelan (and cute little pink pom poms, which did not make the final cut) and green lacy ribbon/ric rack at JoAnn’s.

Here’s the final product:

photo 1

photo 2

photo 3

photo 4

I think it’s a lot cuter in person, personally. I’m not a great picture taker.
I am so happy to have it completed and it’s all ready to accompany me to the Farm Chicks show in June! (And I didn't leave it to the last minute!)

The pattern is actually really simple – it just took quite a while to embellish the front. It’s a great size and you could put any four letter word on it (careful now!).

So fun! And so happy to move on to the next project! :)

{ the story of Lary }

I have a new addition in my office that I’m pretty excited about. It’s perfect for my office and I have a selection of coffee creamers in my mini fridge under my desk. It’s one of the things I asked for at Christmas and I think we’re going to be a great pair!


One day last week, a student came in and exclaimed in her most excited voice, “Oh my gosh! You have a FISH?!” (Notice the blue light in the water tank.) I laughed (pretty hard) and replied, “No, Madi…that’s a coffee pot, not a fish tank.” Smile And, I definitely shared that story a few times in the following days.

On Monday I walked into my office and Madi is cutting out a pink fish from a post-it note and writing a name tag for the fish, which she tapes to the side of the coffee pot. I didn’t want to make a big deal about my coffee pot so that EVERYONE knew about it, but now, it’s definitely an eye-catcher.

(And yes, we did have a conversation about how Larry is usually spelled with two “r’s”…to which she replied, “Not my fish!”)


Madi’s Dad works at the school, so of course I had to point this out to him. He surely would be so proud! He said she’s adopted. Smile

Yesterday I came into my office to find Lary’s life story on my desk – written by Madi, of course. It’s entertaining, to say the least.

It makes me a little scared of what I’m going to find today.