myBearpaw Blog by Jo Avery

It’s been a very pouchy Christmas!

Pouchy for presents that is!
I’ve come to the zippy pouch very late in the day, having let my colleague Naomi teach our class in this subject in the past.
But armed with this excellent tutorial from Flossie Teacakes  I turned this hexy sample piece (that I made during my demos at the recent ICHF show) into a sweet Secret Santa gift for one of my EMQG pals (it’s ok she already knows who made it!).

After that first attempt (I had to adapt the tutorial a little as the hexies were already in one piece) I wanted to try another one. So I made a couple of scrappy improv blocks, added some wadding and FMQ’d them.

Then made them into a nifty little pouch for my niece. I filled it with fabric and haberdashery as she is a keen sewer too.

For the lining I used this adorable dress pattern fabric from Riley Blake.

Now I was thoroughly addicted and decided to make one more!
I was also enjoying ‘using stuff up’. These petal/leaf shapes are the left-over bits from using one of the Sizzix Drunkards Path dies (for my Squaring the Circle Quilt). They were such a perfect shape I couldn’t throw them away.

So I needle-turn appliqued them to black Essex Yarn-dyed linen in a random pattern.

After some hand quilting I turned them into another pouch, this one for my best friend, also filled with fabric and habby (all my friends and family are forced to be crafty).

Next I turned to my spare sample embroideries made for my Further Adventures in Embroidery class.
I ‘portholed’ them both and turned one into a notebook holder for my sister-in-law, with the aid of some lovely AMH Honor Roll (and a cute Red Riding Hood button!).

And another into a draw string bag for my mother-in-law.

It’s fully lined with this gorgeous Heather Bailey ‘Up Parasol’ fabric.

Lastly I made Christmas Tote Bags for my 3 helpmates – Barbara, Jane and Sarah. I don’t know where I would be without them, and even though Sarah has moved on to other things now she will always be an honorary helpmate.

I also really wanted to make something with these Cori Dantini Christmas panels from her Merry Stitches line by Blend Fabrics. Each bag has a different panel on each side – house, santa or snowman.

I also embroidered little felt holly labels (compete with button berries!) for the inside. They are all lined with this Dashwood Studio fabric.

It was lovely to have enough time to make some handmade Christmas presents this year.
I finally seem to have ‘caught-up’ after a frantic year. In fact I’m feeling thoroughly rested and relaxed at the moment!
I hope you are too 🙂


  1. Gorgeous presents. Last year I showed my then 15 year old daughter to make pouches and she made 13 of them as Christmas presents, I think she is better at it than I am now. It really is a great way to use up small pieces. I particularly like the embroidered notebook cover. x

  2. The hexie pouch is really eye catching, great idea to use samples and orphan blocks this way – I'll check my stash in the morning and see if I can use some up too!

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