Zip pouches aren't quilting per se, but you can patchwork-piece the outer fabric, embellish with english paper piecing, or just use leftover fabric from quilts. I've made zip pouches for stocking-stuffers, and as packaging/wrapping for smaller gifts like lipgloss sets or pencil sets. As an added bonus, they're quick to whip up and easy to personalize.
There are a lot of fantastic tutorials out there. My favorites are:
Simple zippered pouch from our own Punkin Patterns
Open-wide zippered pouch from Noodlehead
Dumplings from Michelle Patterns
Patchwork pencil case from Little Big Girl Studio
Zippered box pouch from Pretty Modern Life
My husband’s family does a large handmade gift exchange every year - 15 people participate. We each choose a handmade project, make 15 of them, and swap. This year, I've decided to make 15 of the dumplings from Michelle Patterns.
When I’m making one or two zip pouches I don’t worry about efficiency - I just follow the pattern from start to finish twice. But with 15 to make, I’ve been thinking about the quickest way to get them all done. Here’s my strategy:
- I’ve already made this pattern three times. If the pattern was new to me, I would make a prototype.
- Select outer and lining fabrics from my stash that coordinate with the 15 assorted zippers I bought. Iron all fabric.
- Cut all the pieces. I use one template for fabric and a smaller template for interfacing, so I don’t have to trim down the interfacing after I cut it.
- Iron the interfacing to all fabric pieces
- Clip all the zippers.
- Pin all zippers to outer fabric.
- Baste all zippers.
- Group pouches by thread color. For each thread color:
- Sew the lining and outer fabric to the zippers with a zipper foot.
- Clip all seams.
- Turn all pouches right side out and press.
- Switch to a heavier needle, top-stitch all pouches.
- Switch to regular foot, sew the corners.
- Cover the raw edges with binding. I’ll probably do this by hand.
With this strategy I won't have to switch the iron temp or change thread colors often, and I'll have a minimum of presser foot and needle changes. Hopefully this means less mistakes, fewer melted zippers, and an overall quicker process. So far, so good. Here's my progress up through step 7 -all basted and ready to sew!