Shoddy Seamstress Adventures: Mini Zip Pouches and a Crazy Quilt

I spent my morning at the sewing machine today. Which is sometimes exactly what I want to do. Some of my projects are fun. Others are functional. Today’s projects were both. And inspired by ice cream.

Last week, my kids wanted me to send money to buy ice cream at lunch. Being a pushover, I said yes. I got together the 90 cents for each child (because I had a $20 in my wallet and didn’t trust them to bring me change). When it came time to give the kids said change, it occurred to me, I didn’t actually have anything to put this change in. Into a plastic sandwich baggie it went. A completely inelegant solution.

I looked at a number of different “change purse” ideas on Pinterest. I wanted it to be small. Zippered. Be made with available materials on hand. And relatively easy to put together. I liked the idea of a little triangular pouch; I have one I purchased for knitting notions years ago. I gathered up some reclaimed zippers (that were from my Grandmother’s house), fabric, iron-on fusible fleece and set to work.

I started by using the cardboard insert of a fat quarter as a template, it measures 5″x5.5″. I cut out 2 pieces of fabric (1 for the outside, 1 for the liner) and 1 piece of interfacing. I used the same fabric for inside and outside. I trimmed down both pouches to be closer to 3″. The banana pouch has a piece of bias tape encasing the inside seams. The Spiderman one I just used the zig-zag stitch to finish up the seams. I like the bias tape enclosing the zipper better, and if I made more of these, will use that.

These zippers being ancient (reclaimed sometime 20 to 60 years ago), they are metal as opposed to nylon. I like sewing nylon zippers better- I can sew right over the zipper teeth. I had to maneuver to avoid sewing over the teeth.

I wasn’t quite ready to put away my sewing machine. I had cut out the outside and liner fabric for a pouch earlier this summer. I decided today was time to put it together. I added a little wrist strap out of bias tape. I still am rubbish at sewing on zippers. Practice makes PROFICIENT.

It’s the right size for a small project, like socks!

Nope. I still wasn’t done. I worked on putting more pieces on my “crazy quilt”. I guess this would be considered a crazy quilt. Its random pieces of scrap fabric from all the projects I’ve worked on in the past 18 months (and before).


This whole fabric project has been a lot of fun. I can recall the purchase of most of the fabrics, which were fat quarters, which were from OTHER sewing projects, and which were purchased for projects that never came to fruition. The oldest fabric in the quilt was purchased in 1994, the most recent fabric purchased in August 2021.

At this time, I am approaching the limit of my fabric scraps. Many of those remaining are rounded and quite small. I trimmed my sections as I went to square them off. Its a tremendously busy piece of fabric, a testament to my love of bold colors. I will back it with fabric I already have. I know I have a queen batting I can cut down. I also have some regular poly-fleece that would make a suitable low-loft batting. I want to use as much repurposed or stash materials as possible.

A bit of background on the fabric/quilt project: Crafting creates A LOT of waste. Some waste, like treads, has no practical reuse value; if I put it outside, it could be dangerous for birds and wild life. I’ve used fabric scraps to stuff amigurumi, as it makes a heavy dense stuffing for decorative applications. My community does not offer textile recycling, which I would utilize if there was! Textile waste in landfills is growing to be a major waste stream. My salvageable scrap pieces are made into tiny sewing projects: mini-pouches and pen holders. Oh, and one of the dozens of masks I made last summer. Other pieces have been stitched into my “crazy quilt”. No rhyme, reason, or matching present.


12 responses to “Shoddy Seamstress Adventures: Mini Zip Pouches and a Crazy Quilt”

  1. I love your projects, and your bold colorful fabrics, Cinna. So glad you provided a link back to this post as I missed it the first time. Your Madness crazy quilt is going to be spectacular. So glad to see this progress picture of it!

    Liked by 1 person

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