MCM #44 – A Better Zipper Pouch

Happy Monday!

Thanks so much for all the happy birthday wishes. I had a great day of sewing and a weekend with my hubby and boys, so I am one happy Momma.

My topic for Main Crush Monday this week is much the same as last week. I’m still working on items for the table I will have at a local craft show, and making good progress. Remember when I said I wasn’t terribly happy with the way the zip ends looked on these zipper pouches?

Zipper Pouches

Well, I spent some time experimenting and came up with an end that I like much better.

Zip End on Zipper Pouch

It has a much cleaner look to it and the top of the pouch doesn’t have that curve at each side.

Zipper Pouch

Now that I’ve found a method I like, I will be making several more of these pouches. The trick is to cut the zipper a little shorter than the width of the pouch, and adding a fabric tab to each end. Once I’ve made a few more and am more comfortable with this method, I’ll share my notes and measurements with you.

Let’s move on from the pouches!

These mums are on my back deck, and I love how pretty they are:

MumsWhen I have time, I’m going to use these colors as inspiration for a fall themed quilt. It might not get done until next fall, but hey, that’s okay, right?

Look how pretty these flowers are:

MumsThat’s it for my crushes for this week – zippers and mums! What are you crushing on? Before we see all your great projects, let’s look back at a few that linked up to our MCM party last week:

Sarah from Cedar Fork Stitches is seriously crushing on some Carolyn Friedlander fabric lines, and has started working on a ton of HST’s. CF is one of my favorite designers, so I’m definitely feeling Sarah’s crush!

Photo by Sarah of Cedar Fork Stitches

Photo by Sarah of Cedar Fork Stitches

Abby of Fluffy Puppy Quilt Works (don’t you love that blog name??) shared a tutorial on making a quilt block that is a real scrap buster! I think a large quilt of these blocks would look fantastic. The tutorial is well written and there are a ton of pictures to illustrate her instructions – go check it out!

Photo by Abby of Fluffy Puppy Quilt Works

Photo by Abby of Fluffy Puppy Quilt Works

Now it’s your turn to share what you are working on this week. What has you excited to be in your sewing space? You can link any blog post, Instagram of Flickr pic – here’s how:

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Posted in Main Crush Monday, Uncategorized, Zipper Pouch | Tagged , , | 13 Comments

A Selfish Sewing Day

Yesterday I received this sweet gift in the mail:

Sisters Infinity Necklace

My sweet sister, and quilting inspiration, sent it for my birthday. Yep, another year people! I’m excited to have another year under my belt so to speak, and am looking forward to the next one. Wissa is the best sister, and made my day. 🙂

To celebrate today I am all about doing whatever I want. So of course that means sewing ALL DAY!!!! It’s raining here today (yay! we need it!), the temps are cool, a double chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream frosting has been baked, and I am spending the day sewing whatever I want.

What could be better?

One of the projects I hope to work on is last year’s Midnight Mystery quilt. I completed the first two months and then all progress screeched to a halt. Here it is in its current state:

Midnight Mystery QuiltMaybe I’ll have bigger blocks to share with you in a few days…

Of course, I’ll also be sewing for the craft show, so I’ll have plenty of fun things to play with today.

I hope you have a wonderful day wherever you are, and are able to fit in some sewing time!

Linking up with Finished or Not Friday – be sure to check out all the other projects.


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MCM #43 – The Countdown is On…

Thanks for all the lovely comments on the Hot Pad tutorial. From what I’ve heard, lots of lucky people will be receiving these as Christmas gifts this year. How cool is that??

I was so busy in my sewing room last week, and this week promises more of the same. That’s a good thing! If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen bits and pieces of what I’m working on. I feel like I’ve been fluttering from one project to another and I’m just a bit discombobulated. But I’m having fun and that’s what counts!

I’m going to share a few unfinished projects with you today. Hopefully they’ll be finishes later this week.

After much prodding and convincing from my friends and family, I signed up for a table at one of the largest craft shows in our area. It’s a bit scary, you know, hoping people will like the work that is on my table. Then there is the pressure of making a variety of items (but not too much) because really, I just don’t know what will sell. The craft show is in four weeks, so I need to keep my nose to the needle, pedal to the floor, and all that… 🙂

My plan is to use only items in my stash, but I know I’ll need to get a few things. For instance, I just don’t have the perfect binding for this table runner:

Charm Pack Table RunnerThis is a simple design using charm squares. It’s the perfect color for fall, and I had fun playing with the quilting.

I played with more quilting on this Christmas Tree mini quilt:

Christmas Tree Mini QuiltI really love the swirls for the background, and stitch in the ditch for the tree. Here’s a close-up of the swirls:

FMQ Swirls close upSo much fun!

I’m also making hexagon coaster sets. Here is the sample one I made:

Hexagon coaster

See that yellow template in the picture? It makes a 5″ hexagon shape. Imagine my disappointment when I found out it’s bigger than a charm square….

These coasters are fun and fast to make. I found a video on You Tube that shows how it is done. If you want to make your own, here’s the link to the video.

Last, but not least, are the zipper pouches I’m making. These are quick and easy to do, but I’m going to experiment with the zipper a bit and see if I can find a way to do it that makes me happier. I don’t like the way the zipper end is tucked in – in makes the top look funky.

Zipper Pouches

Anyway, that’s what I’ll be working on this week. I can’t say I’m crushing on all my projects, but I am seriously liking the tree mini quilt. I’m thinking of doing a red version. And you know, with blue and silver trees coming back into style, maybe an icy blue one, or icy purple one, or silver one….hmmm….

On now to what you’ve been working on. Here is a recap of a couple of projects from our Main Crush Monday party last week – I hope you had a chance to visit several of the posts and share the comment love. 🙂

Nancy of posted a tutorial on this adorably spooky Halloween cat flag. Looks easy, and so much fun!

Photo by

Photo by


Have you heard all the buzz going around about Quilt Theory? It’s a new pattern company started by several bloggers that focuses on easy, one page quilt patterns. I think that’s a genius idea and am excited to see all the new patterns they release. Yvonne of Quilting Jetgirl linked up last week (she is one of the designers and is seriously crushing!); you can read all about Quilt Theory in her post and see her newest quilt design.



Finally, look at Ariane’s hexagon star quilt. Be still my heart! This is so beautiful and I’m very happy she linked up to share it with us. Read more on her blog: Ariane Quilts

Photo by Ariane of Ariane Quilts

Photo by Ariane of Ariane Quilts

Okay, now it’s your turn! What has you excited to be in your sewing space this week? You can link up any blog post, Instagram or Flickr pic – here’s how:

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Posted in Main Crush Monday | Tagged , , , , | 19 Comments

Tutorial – Casserole Hot Pad

An Easy Tutorial. Make in any fabric combo for a great gift idea!

Hey! Guess who’s been hanging out at my house….

tutorial-6… October! I told him to go back to the North Pole, but he insists on staying around. 🙂

Below is a quick tutorial on how to make your own Casserole Hot Pad that I shared with you on Tuesday. Later I will have a printable version on the Tutorial tab above, but for now here we go:


  • 2 coordinating Fat Quarters, or 2 fabric pieces cut to 14″ x 17″
  • 2 pieces of batting, cut to 14″ x 17″
  • 1 piece of Insul-Brite, cut to 14″ x 17″
  • 2 – 2-1/2″ x WOF strips for binding

Step One

Layer materials: 1 piece of fabric wrong side up, 1 batting piece, Insul-Brite, 1 batting piece, fabric piece right side up. Pin or spray baste layers to make a quilt sandwich.


Step Two

Quilt as desired. Note: This is a pretty thick quilt sandwich, so I used my walking foot to sew straight lines one-half inch apart. I haven’t tried to quilt this on my HQSS, mostly because I really like the look of the straight lines.

Straight Line Quilt w/Walking Foot


Step Three

After the quilting is finished, trim the piece to measure 12″ x 15″.


Step Four

Join the two binding strips and press the strip in half lengthwise. You can find a detailed tutorial on perfectly joined binding strips here.

Press Binding Strip in Half Lengthwise

Step Five

Attach the binding using your preferred method. I sewed the binding to the front by machine and stitched in place by hand on the back.

Step Six

Enjoy your new casserole hot pad! These are quick and easy and fun to play with coordinating fabrics. Make lots of them as gifts for this holiday season. You can see I’ve already started!

Casserole Hot Pad



Posted in Tips & Tutorials, Tutorials | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Why ‘Cooking Up Quilts’ and Casserole Hot Pads

Casserole Hot Pad with Insul-Brite

Someone recently asked me why my blog was called Cooking Up Quilts. It was a question that made me realize I have never shared one of my favorite pastimes with all of you. It also made me think that maybe some of you might have wondered the same thing!

I love to cook. I spend a lot of time gathering recipes, watching cooking shows (Chopped and Master Chef are my favorites), and trying out new food combinations. My friends and family get to be my testers. Sometimes that can be iffy! But, there was the year I took cake decorating classes and my coworkers loved it. They got to eat all the cakes because there was no way I was taking home all that frosting! (I couldn’t eat frosting for about a year after those classes – just the thought of all that sugar mixed with Crisco….uh, no thanks!)

Even though I love to play in the kitchen, I am no way Master Chef quality. Those people amaze me! But I like to try new recipes and put foods and spices together in different ways.

When I started my blog, I tried several names. Some weren’t available, and others just didn’t feel right. When I chose Cooking Up Quilts it just hit all the right notes. I think the name represents me – I feel like I “cook” up a quilt much the same way I experiment and cook up dishes in my kitchen. When it comes to quilting I do a lot of playing and testing. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. The same thing happens in my kitchen. When a dish works, it goes in the ‘keeper’ file. When it doesn’t work…well, there’s always take-out!

This is a keeper! Lemon pound cake with fresh Georgia peaches - yum!

This is a keeper! Lemon pound cake with fresh Georgia peaches – yum!

So, speaking of cooking…

I had a need for a large hot pad. You know, one that a casserole dish or cake pan would fit on. I only have small ones in my kitchen and when I have a big dish, I always have to put two small hot pads together and hope they stay under the hot dish. Usually I just end up layering a couple of heavy dish cloths and using them to protect my countertops from the hot dish.

But now, I have finally made a couple large size hot pads!

Casserole Hot Pads

I love them! These were so easy to make. I did the binding by hand and still finished the entire project, quilting and all, in ninety minutes. I timed it because I really wanted to know how long it would take to whip one of these up. Attaching the binding by machine would certainly speed up the process. I actually tried it on the brown/red/gold one but it looked a mess. I ended up taking the binding off and re-attaching it by machine on the front and whip stitching it to the back. I’m just not that comfortable with machine binding yet.

The fabrics for the darker one is Jo Morton for Andover Fabrics. The yellow/grey/white one is made from fabrics in Corey Yoder’s Sundrops line. I’m seriously obsessed with Sundrops. I’m also a little fan-girlish with Corey – she lives in the area where we held our retreat so, you know, I feel a connection to her and her fabric! 🙂

Reversible Hot Pads Casserole Dish

The hot pads are reversible.

Back to the hot pads. I used my walking foot for the quilting and did straight lines about half an inch apart. The sandwich was pretty thick when I first started quilting because there are so many layers. I have a layer of Insul-brite, a layer of thin batting on either side and then the fabric layers.

The instructions for the Insul-brite said to add the batting layers to absorb the condensation. I’m assuming the instructions meant batting on both sides because it doesn’t really say. Have any of you used this stuff, and if so, did you add the batting to both sides?

After it is quilted, the hot pad is the perfect thickness and looks so pretty in the kitchen.

Casserole Hot Pad with Insul-Brite

If you want a tutorial to make your own large size hot pad let me know. I’ll be happy to write up the measurements, materials list, and instructions for you.

Now you know a little more about me and why this blog is called Cooking Up Quilts. Since you now know how much I love to cook, there might be a recipe pop up here now and again. But only the keepers!! 😉

I’m going to link up with Lorna for Let’s Bee Social. Be sure to check out all the great links!




Posted in Machine Quilting, Mini Quilts | Tagged , | 17 Comments