Finishing one swap and starting another

Pushing the deadline – which was today – I managed to finish putting together my Pretty Little Pouch Swap pouch. I had finished all the pieces earlier in the week, it was just a matter of assembling it. I hadn’t counted on getting knocked down by a wicked cold, but it did definitely put a dent in my projected finish date. However, I finished it up this morning, using the Open Wide Zipper Pouch tutorial by Anna Graham of Noodlehead. I can’t rave enough about how great her tutorials and patterns are, and this one is no different. I love how this one finished out! It measures approximately 8 inches tall by 12 inches wide with a two-inch gusset on the bottom. The front features my patchwork feather – enhanced with an outline of hand quilting in magenta the stem of the feather outlined in white cotton – and the back a strip of patchwork in complementary colors. The background fabric on both sides is Kona coal and the lining is from Joel Dewberry’s Modern Meadow line of fabric. Quilting is 1/4 inch lines throughout, with echo quilting around the shape of the feather.

I packaged this beauty up with a couple of extra goodies and shipped it off to my swap partner this afternoon. I so hope she loves it, and I’m eagerly awaiting the arrival of my pouch from the Pretty Little Pouch Swap!

I have two favorite Flickr swaps, the Pretty Little Pouch Swap and the The Pillow Talk {Swap}. I use swaps to motivate me to sew, especially when I’m not feeling inclined to sew on a regular basis, because what happens is once I sit down and work on something, I find myself suddenly motivated to start working on other projects for myself and our home. Unfortunately, the pillow swap group is just wrapping up a swap I didn’t participate in because I was relocating. And ironically enough, just as I was finding myself somewhat disappointed about this, an Instagram friend posted that she was looking to swap pillows with someone. Of course, I jumped at the chance, and now Kelie, of Craftnursequilt, and I will be making pillows for each other!

Kelie just recently picked up a copy of Pillow Pop by Heather Bostic of {House} of Ala Mode. And raved about it on IG. So, of course, I had to pick up a copy too. Mine came today and I had a chance to flip through it this evening. Ah, love. My favorite things – patchwork and pillows! This book contains 25 beautiful examples of patchwork pillow by some of the most well-known and loved names in the sewing and blogging world, including not only Heather, but Brooke Biette of apriltwoeighty, Angela Mitchell of Fussy Cut, Ryan Walsh of Ryan Walsh Quilts, Penny Layman of Sew Take a Hike, Jessica Kovach of Twin Fibers, and many more! This is one book I’m going to be thrilled to add to my sewing and quilting book collection. I know I will refer back to it often and I’m already dreaming up quilted pillows using some of the patterns in the book!

Kelie and I set a private swap deadline of a month and gave each other pillow mosaics and other starting off points. It’s going to be so much fun to make a pillow for her and her family – one that will be used and loved each and every day. I don’t know what it is about swaps that makes you try new things, push your comfort levels and go above and beyond, but it is so nice to have the needed push to create. This is one project I’m looking forward to sitting down and working in the near future!

In the mean time, my new dining table is in need of placemats – three kids are rough on furniture, that’s for sure. I’m thinking I’ll have fun with this quick project, using up scraps and solids!