About CrispyKristin

Quilter, pattern designer, and mother to three little troublemakers!
Feb 21

52 zippers week 8: small and mini dumpling pouches

February 21st, 2017|

If you’re new to my 52 zippers project, you can read the backstory, see all the zipper pouches, and download basic zipper pouch instructions here.

For this week’s zipper pouches, I wanted to make something very quick and easy. I’m leaving for QuiltCon suuuuper early tomorrow so I had to make these up before I left! Last week I made a dumpling bag. It’s a free tutorial from Michelle Patterns, and I made the larger size (the mustang one, pictured below, for size reference). This week I made the mini one! And an even mini-er one!

I will give you one tip for these smaller ones: basting glue for the zipper was essential. I can’t imagine trying to sew those tiny curved seams with the zipper shifting around!

For the outside of the small one I used Anna Maria Horner’s Echinacea from Pretty Potent.

I lined it with Jennifer Sampou’s Shimmer.

For the outside of the itty bitty baby one (so ridiculous!) I used Mini Muu Little Birds by Lecien. I shrunk the smaller dumpling pattern to 75% of the size when printing. I’m tempted to try an even smaller one!

And I lined it with Amanda Jean Nyberg’s Good Neighbors.

Zipper pouch specs:

  • Outer pieces (2): Used the template, backed with fusible woven interfacing (Pellon SF-101). For the small one, I used a directional fabric, so instead of cutting out the template on the fold, I added 1/4″ to the “fold” edge and cut two pieces, both with a flower standing up instead of upside down. I sewed those two pieces together and then proceeded with the tutorial.
  • Lining pieces (1): used template, Pelon SF-101
  • Zipper tabs : none
  • Zipper: 10″, 12″

See you back here next week with another zip pouch!

Feb 18

52 zippers week 7: Dumpling pouch

February 18th, 2017|

If you’re new to my 52 zippers project, you can read the backstory, see all the zipper pouches, and download basic zipper pouch instructions here.

For this week’s zipper pouch, I wanted to make something very quick and easy. I’m headed to QuiltCon next week and I haven’t started getting ready yet. Eeek! So I chose something easy from my zipper pouch Pinterest board, a dumpling bag. It’s a free tutorial from Michelle Patterns. It was super quick and easy–I think I was done in less than an hour, including choosing the fabric! My only regret is that I didn’t quilt the outer pieces. They are a little puffy and I think that quilting them would have lent them a nicer finish. I chose to start with the larger size, but next week I’m thinking I’ll make the smaller one.

I used this Mustang fabric from Melody Miller/Cotton + Steel that is a favorite. I cut two outer pieces instead of one so both horses would be upright (described more below).

I lined it with more Melody Miller/Cotton + Steel from the same Mustang line called Rose Border.

I’m not totally sure that this will be the final use of this pouch, but for now it’s holding my Clover Wonder Clips. I like that the pouch opens really wide so I can just reach in while it’s sitting open on the table.

Zipper pouch specs:

  • Outer pieces (2): used template, backed with fusible fleece. I used a directional fabric, so instead of cutting out the template on the fold, I added 1/4″ to the “fold” edge and cut two pieces, both with a horse standing up instead of upside down. I sewed those two pieces together and then proceeded with the tutorial.
  • Lining pieces (1): used template, backed with fusible woven interfacing (Pelon SF-101)
  • Zipper tabs : none
  • Zipper: 14″

See you back here next week with another zip pouch!

Feb 12

52 zippers week 6: mini plus quilt using Quilter’s grid interfacing

February 12th, 2017|

If you’re new to my 52 zippers project, you can read the backstory, see all the zipper pouches, and download basic zipper pouch instructions here.

For this week’s zipper pouch, I wanted to make a mini first aid pouch that I can throw in my everyday bag. Of course my mind first went to a plus quilt. I decided to do all low volume fabrics with just one red plus on each side, and of course a red zipper! I used Kona Tomato for the red plus, which matches the red zipper just about perfectly.

I pieced these teeny squares without going insane by using Quilter’s grid. Quilter’s grid is a lightweight interfacing with a pale 1″ grid drawn on it. I talk more about how to use it in an old post where I made a watercolor quilt from several years ago. The nice thing about the grid is that you’re not limited to 1″ squares. You can also use 2″ or any size square and just use the grid to keep things aligned. I totally want to make a whole quilt of this! But probably using bigger squares…

I backed the plus panels with some fusible fleece because the back was very stiff from all the seams and would have made the lining weird.

I lined it with this red and white plus fabric from Anne Kelle’s Remix line from Robert Kaufman.

The pouch is definitely on the petite size, but it’s perfect for holding a few pieces of gauze, a few bandaids, tweezers, antibiotic ointment, and Benzalkonium chloride wipes. I use these wipes instead of one of the various antiseptic sprays or foams in my portable first aid kits because I have had them leak so.many.times. I get them on Amazon.com; they’re $5 for 100. They are sting-free, which makes everyone happy.

Zipper pouch specs:

  • Outer panels, pieced with Quilter’s grid interfacing and backed with fusible fleece (Pellon 971) after piecing (2): 6.5″ w x 5.5″ h. Little squares were 1″ cut, 1/2″ finished.
  • Quilter’s grid interfacing (cut): 12″ w x 10″ h
  • Lining pieces (2): 6.5″ w x 5.5″ h
  • Zipper tabs : none
  • Zipper: 6.5″

See you back here next week with another zip pouch!

Feb 5

52 zippers week 5: adding a D-ring and wristlet strap

February 5th, 2017|

If you’re new to my 52 zippers project, you can read the backstory, see all the zipper pouches, and download basic zipper pouch instructions here.

For this week’s zipper pouch, I wanted to make a small pouch that my daughter could use for her money. She (and I) love bunnies so I included a fussy-cut strip of Mochi by Rashida Coleman-Hale/Cotton + Steel. I decided to just use a strip of it instead of making the whole pouch out of it so as to put the focus on just a few bunnies. That way there is a lovely row of perfect bunnies and moons, instead of a bunch of half-moons at the edges. The lining is the same Mochi print. The blue is Essex yarn-dyed linen in Peacock.

Like last week, I added a D-ring, and this week I also added a small strap, called a wristlet strap. Both of these are very easy and cute additions, and I’ve written up another handout to show you how! Download it here, free for a limited time.

Zipper pouch specs:

  • Outer pieces, interfaced with woven fusible interfacing (Pellon SF101):
    • (2 top): 6″ w x 2.5″ h,
    • (2 fussy cut strips): 6″ w x 1.75″ h,
    • (2 bottom): 6″ x 1.25″
  • Lining pieces (2): 6″ w x 4.5″ h
  • Zipper tabs : none
  • D-ring: 5/8″
  • D-ring tab: 2.5″ x 2″
  • Swivel clip: 5/8″
  • Swivel clip strap: 2.5″ x 12″
  • Zipper: 6″

See you back here next week with another zip pouch!

Jan 28

52 zippers week 4: sewing a snack bag with PUL (Polyurethane Laminate)

January 28th, 2017|

If you’re new to my 52 zippers project, you can read the backstory, see all the zipper pouches, and download basic zipper pouch instructions here.

For this week’s zipper pouch, I wanted to make something fancy, but my parents are in town and I totally ran out of time. So, instead I sewed a snack bag with Cotton + Steel/Rashida Coleman-Hale’s “Petite Plus” fabric on the outside, and a black and white chevron PUL fabric for lining that I got from Jo-ann Fabrics (regular price $14.99 a yard, found in the button aisle). I plan to make similar snack bags for each member of the family, just with different exterior fabrics. My daughter is already bugging me to sew hers!

If you aren’t familiar with PUL fabric, it is a cotton fabric that is laminated on the “wrong” or reverse side with a polyurethane. This makes it mostly waterproof, except at the seams of course, unless you sew french seams. I’m not terribly concerned about the pouch being completely waterproof as I don’t plan to fill it with things like applesauce (ew, and ha!) but I wanted it to be water resistant so I could put things like grapes inside. The PUL is in theory much safer to put next to food than other water-resistant fabrics like oilcloth or laminates.

I’ve read a bunch about making snack bags out of PUL online but I’d never felt the fabric in person. It is quite soft and has a very drapey hand–it’s not stiff at all. It is thicker than a quilting cotton, and has a little stretch to it. It was relatively easy to sew with, except it was a little slippery. I used Clover Wonder Clips to keep it from being too shifty. I didn’t have any problems with the laminated side sticking while sewing and causing stitch problems, but if you do, I suggest using a Teflon presser foot on your machine, similar to how you’d sew with vinyl. I didn’t find myself being terribly careful with the iron, but I did always iron it on the cotton side, not on the laminated side.

For this zip pouch I also added a small D-ring so it could be clipped to a backpack, and it’s a little easier for my kids to open with something to hold onto. Next week I plan to have another handout sheet including the D-ring addition and a wristlet strap. So stay tuned!

I used a very pale pink zipper and a little piece of Kona Pearl Pink for the D-ring tab that matched the zipper perfectly.

I also used a 6″ zipper with no tabs and no trimming. The pouch turned out to have pretty dented corners, but I’m ok with that this week. I’m looking forward to keeping this in my handbag with a snack as I often leave the house forgetting to bring food with me.

Zipper pouch specs:

  • Outer pieces (2): 6.5″ w x 6.5″ h, interfaced with woven fusible interfacing (Pellon SF-101)
  • Lining pieces (PUL)  (2): 6.5″ w x 6.5″ h
  • Zipper tabs : none
  • D-ring: 3/4″
  • D-ring tab: 2.75″ x 2″
  • Zipper: 6″, uncut

See you back here next week with another zip pouch!

Jan 19

52 zippers week 3: Reverse applique letters and scrap fabric zipper pull

January 19th, 2017|

If you’re new to my 52 zippers project, you can read the backstory, see all the zipper pouches, and download basic zipper pouch instructions here.

For this week’s zipper pouch, I wanted to make a pouch out of Liberty Tana Lawn. I also have been wanting to make a mini pouch to hold a few tea bags in my handbag. I love having a few packets of peppermint tea with me just in case, and the plastic zip-top bag I keep them in right now is ugly. So the idea for a Liber-tea pouch was born. (Ha! I usually don’t like puns but I find this one amusing).

I used the font “Berlin Sans FB” at 120 pt. for the letters. I reverse appliqued them using the freezer paper technique, but using a much smaller seam allowance and starch to make it more secure. (Trace the letters onto freezer paper, cut them out, iron the freezer paper to the wrong side of the fabric, snip the fabric within the letters & clip the curves right to the edge, and then tack down the snips: brush the snips with starch and set them over the edge with a stiletto and my Clover mini iron.) I hand stitched around the edges of each letter to tack them down, and I embroidered the letter centers with a bit of cream thread.

I will say that this was extremely putzy and fiddly and probably took me close to two hours. If you’re not a putzy person, I would not recommend doing it this way! I would just embroider the letters, or do a freezer paper stencil combined with fabric paint.

I didn’t put zipper tabs on this pouch because I find that on little pouches, the tabs take up too much of the zipper, which would make me have to make the whole pouch larger. I am testing a new zipper method and I still don’t have it perfected, but I hope to be done prototyping soon and will post instructions when I have it down.

I lined this pouch with a bit of indigo linen. I had a tiny sliver of the beautiful Liberty fabric left over and I used it to make a zipper pull. It is just a strip about 1/4″ x 4″, put through the zipper with a lark’s head knot. The edges are still raw, and frayed a little at first but have mostly stopped now.

Zipper pouch specs:

  • Outer pieces (2): 5″ w x 4″ h
  • Lining pieces (2): 5″ w x 4″ h
  • Zipper tabs : none
  • Zipper pull (approximately): 1/4″ x 4″
  • Zipper teeth length, including bottom stop: 4.25″

See you back here next week with another zip pouch!

Jan 13

52 Zippers week 2: How to add a flange to your piecing

January 13th, 2017|

If you’re new to my 52 zippers project, you can read the backstory here. In my previous post there are instructions on how to make a basic zipper pouch.

For this week’s zipper pouch, I decided to use this super cute cat print that I’ve been seeing everywhere lately. I bought it months ago, but I obviously couldn’t cut it up into small pieces! It’s Sushi’s Antiques in Navy. The line is From Porto with Love by Sarah Watts/Cotton + Steel.

This bag I made to fit 8″ x 8″ zip-top bags or quart sized zip-top bags. I use these bags to kit up small EPP and hand piecing projects. I am trying to kit up several projects for the summer over the next few months; this pouch will be a great place to stow them.

I only had a fat quarter of the cat fabric, and when I cut the fat quarter into quarters, the bag was not quite long enough. So I added a 2.5″ strip of Essex yarn-dyed linen in Denim to the bottom. I wanted to use this lovely royal blue zipper and thought that adding a little accent of the same royal blue (Kona Surf) to the body of the bag would look good. I lined the bag with a little blue calico print.

I am testing a new zipper method so I only added a zipper tab to one end. I hope to be done prototyping soon and will post instructions when I have it down.

To add a flange, I cut a 3/4″ strip of Kona Surf. I folded it in half and pressed it, and then glue basted it to the top edge of the Essex strip, lining up all the raw edges. I then lined up the cat fabric on top of that just as if I was piecing it normally, right sides together with the Essex and raw edges aligned. After stitching all the layers together with a 1/4″ seam I pressed the seam towards the cat fabric and then topstitched near the edge of the cat fabric.

Zipper pouch specs:

  • Outer pieces (2): Cats: 11″ w x 9″ h, Flange: 11″ w x 0.75″ h, Linen: 11″ w x 2.5″ h.
  • Lining pieces (2): 11″ x 11″
  • Zipper tabs (2): 1.5″ x 2″
  • Zipper length: (if you’re using two tabs) 9.75″

See you back here next week with another zip pouch!

Jan 6

52 Zippers week 1: Basic lined zipper pouch instructions

January 6th, 2017|

In 2017 I have a few lofty goals. One of the bigger ones is to undertake a project I’m calling “52 zippers”: this year, every week I will sew a new zipper pouch and post about it. I have kind of the perfect storm of reasons for doing this–I have too many zippers, too many cute fabrics that I’m not using because I don’t want to cut them up, lots of fabric embellishment ideas that I want to try out but not on a whole quilt, and of course a lack of organization.

My other thought is that while I know many people have mastered zipper pouches, I think it is a common thing to fear the zipper. I’ve written up a set of basic lined zipper pouch instructions, which you can download for free! As the year goes on I will be adding more modifications and techniques to add to the simple zipper pouch. Look for more handouts to come! These handouts will be free for a limited time; at the end of the project I’ll be compiling all of the handouts into a comprehensive zipper pouch pattern.

I’m going to start out the year with the simplest pouches and get more complex as the weeks move on. My handouts, plus any measurements, modifications, or tips I give in future posts will be enough for you to create or recreate any zipper pouch you please!

To start off the project, my first zipper pouch is about as easy as they come with no exposed/raw seams. My 8-year old son is very into magic tricks lately and  I wanted to make him a little zip pouch to store his main deck of cards so they stop being spread all over his desk.

He had a lot of fun digging through my stash and picking out fabrics! He chose a red-orange plaid that was from a thrifted men’s shirt and a tiny orange houndstooth from Jennifer Sampou’s Studio Stash line. He also chose a 6″ dark red zipper, which looks great with the fabrics!

The sizes of the pieces I used for this pouch are as follows:

  • Outer pieces: 6.75″ w x 4.5″ h
  • Lining pieces: 6.75″ w x 4.5″ h
  • Zipper tabs: 1.5″ x 2″
  • Zipper length (cut):  5.5″

I used no interfacing on this pouch.

See you back here next week for the next zipper!

P.S. I get my zippers online from Zipit on Etsy. I order 14″ zippers, which are not much more expensive than the short ones, and trim them to the size I need. She also sells extra zipper pulls, so if you cut off more than a few inches of zipper, save it and add a new pull and you’ve got another zipper!

Dec 30

UFO Saturdays 2016 recap

December 30th, 2016|

It’s the end of the year and everyone is writing their year-end recaps and their goals for next year, so here goes!

Next year I have three main goals as far as sewing and quilting goes. And they are pretty big ones! But go big or go home, right? I’m going to talk about just one of them today and the other two later.

My first goal is to finish any and all sewing/quilting projects that I started before 2017. Yikes!

So in 2016 I only had one major goal: to spend most Saturday nights working on old UFOs and post progress on Instagram with the hashtag #ufosaturdays. My goal was to finish the nine UFOs that I chose by the end of the year.

While I didn’t finish all nine (or really, even get close!), I made great progress on quilts that probably would have gone untouched all year if not for this project. I think it was a success! I might have grumbled at first, but every week I wound up getting into the project and would often continue working on it a fair bit over the following week. For me the biggest problem is almost always getting started, so having something force me to get started worked out swimmingly.

I plan to continue UFO Saturdays into 2017, as I think I’m ending 2016 with more UFOs than I started! (I started a bunch of quilts this year.) I am very eager to have a much clearer mind and less of a project backlog. While I am perfectly happy to have a handful of recent WIPs around, things have gotten way out of hand the last few years.

Today I’ll post my progress on the nine quilts I worked on this year, six of which are going to roll over to next year. Next Saturday I’ll post the rest of the UFOs for next year! I think the grid is going to have to be 16 quilts instead of 9 this time. Eeek! I’m just hoping that once I do my tally it’s not actually 25!

This was my original Instagram post from January 2016 with the nine UFOs I chose to focus on:

From top left, here’s my progress for the year:

1. Scrappy kaleidoscope

I scrapped (ha!) the original plan of doing an all-over kaleidoscope because I was getting tired of making the scrappy triangles and designed a new layout. I re-cut the new pieces I need, and finished all of the scrappy fabric triangles. All I need to do on this one is actually sew the block components together. It’s a bit stalled because I’m still torn about the accent triangles–I think they look too busy but I’ve ripped them out twice now with the same thought. I’m pretty sure I’m going to wind up ripping them all out for the third time. I have a couple of ideas for what might work for the new accent color, and so one night I’ll just put on a movie and rip, rip, rip!

2. Spoolin’ around

This one I made amazing progress on. I spent probably 40+ hours cutting out close to 700 different strips from my fabric stash. Each spool in this queen-sized quilt is going to be different and is going to be a fantastic snapshot of my stash! I’m super excited to finish! I’m done about 87/692 blocks, and I plan to do some every day once my machine is back from the shop. Now that it’s just mindless piecing, this one will finish up quickly.

3. Improv kaleidoscope

I finished the top for this one earlier this year. I signed up to take Chawne Kimber’s “Improv hand quilting” class at QuiltCon 2017 and I’m waiting until after the class to start improv hand quilting this one. I’m counting this quilt as done for this project.

4. Plaid crazy

I did work on this but only a handful of times over the year. I’m happy with the direction it’s going but it’s very messy and time consuming (though super fun!) so I don’t pull it out as often.

5. Bunny mini

Done! And gifted to my daughter.

6. Orca bay

So this one I decided I was just not excited about anymore. I took the blue string blocks and repurposed them into what I’m now calling my Stalagmite quilt. It will eventually be a gift for my middle son, who loved the cave exploring we did this summer. I am still undecided as to what to do with the red plaid string blocks from the original Orca bay plan, but since my son’s favorite color is red there’s a good chance they’ll wind up on the back of this somehow. I’m done 100 out of either 200 or 400 blocks for this quilt (it will probably be 400, as that will make it a twin).

7. Hot crossed nine patch

This top is made from blocks I got in a block swap many years ago. I already had finished the top. I decided I just didn’t love it and passed it along to our guild’s charity committee. So I can cross it off my list as done!

8. Bali wedding star

This quilt has definitely been around for just too long. (I started dyeing the fabrics for it in 2011.) Last month I finished all of the blocks at retreat! But right now the outer edge is scalloped and I don’t think I like that. To straighten the edges I need to dye some more background fabric, find the templates for the outer pieces, and piece them together. So it’s definitely waiting for a day where I have most of the day to work on it. But it’s getting so close!

9. Corduroy/denim

This quilt was originally going to be just one quilt with corduroy on one side and denim on the other. I decided to split it into two quilts and finished the denim top much earlier this year. I plan to tie it with a flannel backing but have stalled because my back is kind of dreading sitting on the floor and tying it. The corduroy quilt requires a zigzag machine and most days I’m just waaaay too lazy to feel like dragging that out. 🙂 But this is the year I’ll conquer it! It is my oldest UFO and that will be fantastic to get done.

That’s it for now! Stay tuned to see the list of all the quilts I started but then stalled on this year. More UFOs on the way!

Dec 23

How to reattach a zipper pull after you’ve cut it off

December 23rd, 2016|


It’s almost Christmas! And that sometimes means last-minute Christmas sewing. My go-to last minute gift is nearly always a zipper pouch. They sew up quickly and are pretty easy. But when rushing sometimes I do things that I wish I wouldn’t have. Like cutting the pull tab off a zipper. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been partway through a zip pouch, trimmed the zipper, and then realized what I’ve done while staring at the dead zipper.


I have tried and tried to push the tab back onto the top of the zipper. Let me save you the effort. It doesn’t work. At all. I thought that once the zipper pull was off then the zipper was garbage. But this year I came across a tip to get the zipper pull back on! The trick is that you need to put it back on the BOTTOM. Hurray!

Now, this will only work to save the current project if the zipper is still longer than what you need, but at least the zipper can be saved for another project if the fix winds up making it too short. And I’m guessing this only works on plastic-teeth zippers.

The first step is to cut off the metal zipper stop at the bottom of the zipper.

Then, spread the teeth at the bottom of the zipper by pulling gently on the zipper tape on either side. You only need about an inch or two.

Then, slide the pull off of the short bit that you cut off. Take the zipper pull and slide it up onto the spread teeth of the bottom of the zipper as shown below. I found that trying to get the two ends in at the same time worked the best, but you might find that doing one at a time works for you. This is a little fiddly and will take a minute. Just keep easing the pull on. It helps to pull on the zipper tape at the sides to coax the pull back on.

When you do get it back on, chances are the teeth will not be exactly aligned as they were before and it’s going to look a little wonky. That’s ok! Slowly slide the zipper pull up to the top of the zipper and it will realign all the teeth as it goes.

When you get up to the top again, the top edge might not be straight anymore. Simply trim the two zipper tapes so they are even again. Woohoo!

I hope everyone has a fantastic holiday! I’ve got some fun plans for the new year, so stay tuned!