Every year at my Gruber's retreat we exchange "happies". This year I made 11 (!!!) zipper pouches to share with my friends. (Included in that total: I made one to keep, plus another one for my friend/neighbor, AND I made one that was an inch too short, due to a cutting error. Hahaha! Although it wasn't funny at the time....)
I also spray painted the handles of these bow scissors, which I purchased at Harbor Freight. (I included a pair in each zip pouch.) I can't take credit for the cute scissor idea...I saw it on Instagram. (I used masking tape to cover the blades, then I used a generous layer of spray primer and a few layers of spray paint on the handles only. Once the paint is completely dry, remove the masking tape. From my experience, glossy paint works better than a matte finish. The glossy paint didn't ding up, but the matte paint did.)
The measurements are very similar to my two colored zip pouch pattern (available here
). In this version I used one fabric for the outsides (obviously), but I made it slightly oversized and I quilted it. After I quilting, I trimmed the panels down to the correct size. This is a great way to use up batting scraps! I used a layer of SF101 in addition to the batting, for added structure. I purchased the metal zippers from Zipit
Although assembly line sewing isn't my favorite, it was fun to see all the pouches together and it was fun to share them with my friends!
What are some of your go to gifts to give at retreat? What are some of your favorite things that you've received? (I'm always in the market for new ideas.)
These pouches are so cute!!! I love the scissor print!!!
I have really enjoyed making and gifting hexie coasters in the past. Besides being quick to sew together, they have an origami feeling to them which is fun, too!
oooh. Very snazzy! my go to is EPP hexie pincusions, I stuff them with scrap batting and fabric slivers from other projects. At some point I would like to try them with steel wool inside. I read that this will sharpen your pins (I am not sure if that is a myth or not though).
In my opinion, you can never have too many zipper pouches. I am sure you have already done pincushions😀. How about a vinyl pouch for rotary cutter, scissors, etc? Or a snappy pouch, or keychain/credit card holder thing? The possibilities are endless- and fun.
What a cute idea for those scissors, I have a pair, may have to dig out the spray paint :)
Pretty and practical! I'm not a fan of assembly-line sewing, either, but you made things easier for sure by sewing identical items. (I always lose time by changing my bobbin thread color.) That scissor project? Brilliant! Thanks for sharing!
Wow, what a great gift idea!
We do this (assembly-line gift-making) at Christmas time (never been on a retreat). One of us will get inspired and make enough to give everyone something at Christmas dinner and no telling who it will be. One year my dad engineered and made nutcrackers for everyone. I've done flour sack towels with four-inch quilt blocks on them and matching quilted potholders.
I LOVE these scissors (and the bags too, and would be unwilling to make 11 alike, so good for you!) I bet your quilting friends were very happy with their gift from you.
Great idea! I always bring treats from a local chocolate shop to share with everyone!
I love these. I've made them several years, for different retreat group friends. I've also made Block roll-ups (fabric rolled out from a PVC pipe to store blocks), Plastic Project Bags (11x14 or 15" bags for a project/book to be all together with colored zippers to match their sewing bags), Ms. Bobbins mug rugs (because everyone has a drink at retreat) and needle books. I LOVE doing the retreat gifts, but in one of my groups, a gal wasn't organized enough to do it, so we quit. The other group still does it and it's so much fun. I've received embroidered sewing sayings (we could make into something), embroidered towels, bags, kleenex covers, water bottle with a monogrammed cover a scissors bag, and multiple other "gifts". It's always so fun to see what creative ideas people come up with.
Those are adorable! Love the color choices! I officially need a zipper pouch in my purse, I think I'm going to have to make my first ever zipper pouch... The time has come!
This year we are gifting tissue box covers and pin cushions. We have been given mug rugs, name tags, bags, needle holders, thread. It is getting hard to come up with ideas. May I borrow yours for next year?
This is a lovely idea. loving the scissor fabric and the colour. We don't do retreats in the UK not for friends and family any way but it's a lovely idea. Thank you
Fun idea for the scissors!!
That is so cute! Love the bags lined up in a row. I have never been to a retreat but it sounds like so much fun. I may have to look into it! Great job!
Those puches are sew cute! I love the print and I can see why the assembly process could be hlpful for making all these! What a great idea to paint the handle of the scissors!!! So smart!! I love making little gifts!!!
I've done embroidered kitchen towels, and embroidered pillow cases and humbug bags. I love your pouches and you are right...nice to see them all lined up!
Amanda Jean ~ I laughed at your comment about your cutting error. I was making the Moda patchwork pillow this week and I was thinking of you and wondering how long it takes you to make that particular pattern (I believe I got the pattern from you). I find that particular pillow to be quite time consuming. You made 14 of these darling little zip pouches (quilted and darling I might add, oh, and the scissors on top of the pouch). How long did it take you to make these pouches? How long does one patchwork pillow take you to make? I get so frustrated with the speed and lack of efficiency in my work. I admire you so much. Would love to hear back from you if you have a free moment to respond! Hahaha!
The quilting and the metal zippers really make the pouches extra cute. I may have to try metal zippers sometime. I recently had a retirement party and gave small zippered first aid pouches with the cross on the front. since I retired from nursing it seemed appropriate and they were a lot of fun to make, plus I filled them with candy, because all nurses I have known love chocolate!
I absolutely love that you are heading to Gruber's for the retreat! I worked there when I was in high school. Have a great time and maybe someday I will meet you at one!
Great pouches. The scissors put this gift over the top. Thank you for this clever idea. Just this year I began retreating. I took get-acquainted gifts to a retreat I was invited to attend in June. I made stilletos from turkey lacers and beads, and "sewing necklaces" by stringing eye bolts on ribbon that looks like tape measure (Hobby Lobby). Put a spool of thread or bobbins on the eye bolt then secure them with a nut. I found both of these ideas on Pinterest. Next week I will retreat again with the same group. I have made portable design boards to give. See beeinmybonnetco.com (Lori Holt) for details. Thanks to Pinterest I now keep a notebook of ideas for retreat gifts and activities. Love your blog. Two years ago I stopped in Gruber's when I was en route to Grand Forks from Ohio (where I live). Fun shop!
Your bags are adorable! But the scissors!!! I saw these type of scissors being used everywhere in Japan. You have elevated them above utilitarian to ultra-chic!!!
These are adorable....but where is the pattern? Did you line them with iron on vinyl? Thanks...
Fun, fun, fun! I love making bags!
I too made stilettos from turkey lacers. It’s not a requirement at our retreats, but you know we all have to “keep up with the Jones’s”! We’ve received embroidered dish towels, pin cushions, candy, chapstick, first aid kits, mug cozies with our names, tiny scissors . This year I’m giving hand sanitizer. I wanted to make a pouch for each to hang on your purse but life got in the way! It is hard to come up with new ideas.
Like everyone else I love your gift ideas. More fun for me is calling them "happies." (I'm a retired English teacher.)
I've done the assembly line thing for gifts, but I can't manage to make exactly two of anything. Instead I cut bags in different fabrics from the same colorway. If everything else stays the same, I can use one thread color and zip through the process before getting too bored. I get lots of ideas from Pinterest, too.
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