Tag Archives: swap gifts


Today was our holiday part at Bay Area Modern Quilting. There's an annual tradition of a gift swap among members. In 2017, I made this apron for Gerre. And last year I made a pair of fabric trays for Joelle. This year I was assigned to make for Mary, and she indicated that her favorite colors were purple and teal and that she'd like "anything." I knew immediately that it would be fun to create something for her and decided her "anything" would be a bag, making it a twofer as it fits the requirements for the November Travel Handmade Bag Making challenge for the Aurifil Artisans.

I started with a fabric pull, including a zipper that coordinated. I spent a fair amount of time pursuing bag patterns and considering what I'd make. In the end, I settled on the Noodlehead Open Wide Zippered Pouch in size large. There are quite a variety of zipper pouch tutorials out there, but I just love this one so much! It's a great pattern, can be made with just one or two exterior fabrics, or tricked out with piecing or appliqué. Unlimited options!

I like making this size bag with fusible fleece on the exterior panels, but I didn't want to make a run to the store. Instead, I used a remnant of Quilters Dream Deluxe batting from this quilt. This thicker loft batting gave the bag great structure. Since I was quilting with batting, I made my panels a little oversized and trimmed down to size after quilting.

I had considered piecing the exterior panels, but decided on a split panel with the floral on the top and the teal Christa Watson fabric on the bottom. However, the floral was just a couple inches too narrow for this so I was able to use the polka dot to fill in. I ended up trimming off the floral size to leave a better ratio of the polka dots instead of just 1-2" per panel.

One my exterior panels were pieced I auditioned thread colors for quilting. I like having a variety to choose from.

I settled on these three: Light Lilac (#2510), Violet (#2520), and Dark Turquoise (#4182). I love that quilting with 50wt doesn't compete with the pattern on the fabric.

I chose three different motifs for the quilting. Here's a view from the back.

I used my walking foot for the organic, wavy lines in the teal sections, tried out a new-to-me motif from Leah Day's 365 FMQ Designs in the polka dot sections, and used one of my favorite motifs, spirals, for the floral sections.  I didn't have backing fabric on my quilt "sandwich" since the lining would cover the back of this quilted panel.

After quilting, I appliquéd the square of polka dot fabric to the front panel.

Then I chose a lining fabric, stitched it all together, added the tab of fabric on the end of the zipper.

The gift exchange is so fun every December. People made a variety of delightful gifts -- coasters, table runners, aprons, placemats, bags! Tomorrow I'll show you what I received. :-)

I'm participating in the 31 Day Blog Writing Challenge with Cheryl of muppin.com.


Yesterday was our Bay Area Modern (BAM) holiday party. It's a sew day, potluck, gift swap, and meeting with show and tell all wrapped into one. It was such a lovely day after a stressful week.

Our theme for this year's holiday swap was B is for BAM. The signup form had a variety of B items you could make (box, bag, bucket, bin, baby blanket, bowl, bookmark, etc.) in a variety of B colors (blue, beige, black, berry, blue-green, blueberry, brown, etc... including an option for "BAM-Maker's Choice"). Joelle chose blue or bright for her color and didn't indicate any item preferences. The gift I made for Joelle was a pair of boxy trays. I've seen these around a ton and don't know who the original designer is, but I used the "just wing it" technique for making mine.

Sometimes having too many options can be paralyzing. Once I decided what item I would make I pondered what fabric to use. Then I noticed my leftover pile of fabric from my Fandangle Scrappy Squares quilt. I love the bold blue and green colors in this line. And if it didn't seem perfect enough, I had leftover squares of fabric already cut. And I had the perfect thread color (Aurifil Turquoise) for top stitching.

The project I brought to work on at the meeting/party was actually my Fandangle quilt which I was sewing a quilt sleeve onto. Joelle stopped by the table I was working at and admired the fabric while I was working. :-) When she opened her gift she noticed that I had used the same fabric for her trays. Oh, and I like wrapping gifts for quilters in fabric.


I received a lovely gift from Cyndi for the holiday swap. She was so generous to make not one, but four items for me! My daughter is attempting to claim two of them, but I'm trying to stand firm. ;-) However, the little fish bin would be lovely in my daughter's room. Hm.

First is this beautiful, bright drawstring bag. I really love hot pink and love the bold print on the fabric.

Inside that bag was the adorable quilted bin. Look at the lovely buttons she used to adorn it! And I love the spiral quilting.

Inside the bin was a little pouch and a bunch of delicious chocolate caramels!

And lastly, the bag also contained this microwavable fabric bowl. I've never had one of these, but think it will be a great addition to the kitchen.


Yesterday, I also received a swap gift for the Mini + Metal swap. Back in September I shared the extra small open wide zippered pouch that I made to give in that swap. I didn't receive my gift that month, and then I missed the October and November meetings. Sue delivered my adorable, aqua pouch. And she stuffed it full with a spool of Aurifil, chapstick, and a bag of tea. I think this little bag is destined for my purse. It will make me smile every time I see it.


Quilty friends are the best!