Indigo Sewing Pouch

Two years ago I finished a cute little Indigo Siddhi mini quilt.  It was really fun to make something entirely by hand, but it wasn’t getting used much.  One quilter who inspires me tremendously is Megan Manwaring.  She has made a lot of pouches or bags using these mini quilt panels, and she inspired me.  I decided to try making a sewing pouch with it, but kept my original goal of an entirely hand sewn project.  So here is my Indigo sewing pouch!

I added two things to this piece.  First came pockets.  For these I chose a William Morris Strawberry thief print because the colors blend well with the indigo fabrics.  Plus, I love the strawberry thief pattern, and knew it would make me smile to see it here.  The fold is the opening to the pocket, and the edges are turned and hand stitched in place.  Not perfect, but still by hand!

My panel wasn’t perfectly square when I originally finished it.  That made adding the zipper more challenging at the end.  Above, you can see how I simply hand stitched the zipper on using the same big stitch.

I did great, except for the bottom joint, where it won’t lay perfectly flat.  Clearly I need more practice! Honestly, though, I’m not at all concerned.  This pouch is very functional, and I’ve been using it for a little while now.  I love the beauty of it, how unique it is, and also how lightweight it is!  Right now my indigo sewing pouch is the perfect size for my folk art flower applique blocks, which are slowly multiplying.

Someday it would be really cool to make a large Kawandi style quilt using this technique.  When I first took a class on it, that was my intention.  As you can see, I have far too many hand sewing projects going, so this idea will wait.

Folk Art Flower Applique blocks

Today let’s continue my general flower applique sewing theme.  Sound good?  Great, because I sure seem to be working on a lot of them!  Last year I sketched a simple folk art flower, cut it out, and stitched it to a diamond background.   (Hmm, just typing those words, “folk art flower”, reminded me of a favorite book and makes me want to draw.  I need to follow that impulse more often!)  But back to applique.  I cut out a few more, but other deadlines demanded my attention.  Recently I went back and thread basted them to backgrounds, so now my folk art flower applique blocks are coming along nicely.

This is a scrap project.  The diamonds require larger scraps, so I might need to raid my stash for more of them, but the flowers are small enough to pull from scraps.  I want to do more scrap sewing.  I feel like I haven’t done that in a while, and it sounds fun.

I now have nine folk art flower applique blocks completed.  I’m picturing a quilt with like colors going in diagonal strips for my final layout.  At this point I’m planning to just sew them together at the end without sashing.

My first bunch lacks contrast.  I chose stronger colors for this second batch, and I really like the solids mixed with prints.  The dark blue flower in the center is almost finished, and the others are simply basted.

These blocks are a great size for easy stitching.  It doesn’t feel like I’m working on a big project.  I have no idea how many I’ll need to make an entire quilt, so this will be a slow stitching project.  A little like my orange peel quilt, perhaps?  Ever slowly, they multiply.

Just keep stitching!

Mini Anthem block for Independence Day

For years I’ve wanted to play with my Anthem quilt pattern and make a “mini” or smaller block with it.  Now that it’s summer, and July, I pulled out some solids and started playing.  I’d forgotten how quickly these blocks come together, and before I knew it, I had a new idea and several stars to play with.  My mini Anthem block got me thinking about how many patriotic quilts have been made across generations in many countries.  It’s a theme that’s constantly being explored, and yet I’m happy to jump in.  I love these colors and this theme!  A little Independence Day sewing!

I decided on a light blue background, and there are actually two shades of blue in there.  It’s a nod to my Peppermint quilt version, but the blues don’t have quite enough contrast with one another.  It’s very subtle.  And yet, I really like the light blue background instead of a white one.  It makes the white stand out more.  I do think you can see the two blues and their secondary design a little more in the photo below.

To my surprise, I found sewing the narrow strips of red, white, and blue very satisfying.  In fact, I loved it!  Sometimes it feels really good to do something small AND accurate.  I’m smiling as I type because I enjoyed it so much.  I decided to make a large block by sewing four of them together and framing it with more stripes.  Something tells me I’ll be doing more of that.

We had our annual 4th of July breakfast this morning, complete with a flag ceremony and Independence Day trivia.  As a family we talked about the difference between the principles set forth in our founding documents, and the way our government currently functions.  It’s tricky.  It’s also easy to feel disillusioned or cynical about our nation.  But we talked about separating the pure principles of the Declaration and Constitution from the imperfect ways that historical figures and politicians administer in their offices.

I’m grateful for this holiday, a great day to remember and honor our foundation.  I find my heart in harmony with the words of Phineas Richards, who said, “as we have inherited the spirit of liberty and the fire of patriotism from our fathers, so let them descend [unchanged] to our posterity”.  I have inherited great love for the founding principles of our country.

We’re off to barbeque, watch fireworks, and listen to patriotic music.  But you’d better believe I’ll be back in my sewing room making more of these mini Anthem blocks tomorrow!  Happy Independence Day!

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