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Yesterday I shared the gift I made for the BAM holiday gift exchange. Today I'm showing off the lovely gift I received from Cheri.

First, she made this adorable Hanukkah gift bag to wrap my gift in. As I declared at the party, this could have been the gift! In case you missed my earlier tutorial post, I'm on a quest to make a bunch of reusable Hanukkah gift bags.

I opened the gift and was a little perplexed. Thankfully it came with an introductory note explaining that it is a magic wallet for quilt blocks. It fits blocks up to 8 1/2" unfinished. I had just the project (that I've been working on for over a year -- wow!) to store in my new wallet.

Here's the inside view. Maybe you've seen the money wallet version of this type of wallet.

(I realize now I didn't follow the directions, but it works no matter which side you place them on.) I put my blocks in...

...closed my block wallet...

...reopened and VOILA! My blocks are nice and secure in my block wallet. Sounds like this is the perfect project to take with me to the next small quilt group meeting. :-)

Thank you so much, Cheri!

I'm participating in the 31 Day Blog Writing Challenge with Cheryl of muppin.com.

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Today was our holiday part at Bay Area Modern Quilting. There's an annual tradition of a gift swap among members. In 2017, I made this apron for Gerre. And last year I made a pair of fabric trays for Joelle. This year I was assigned to make for Mary, and she indicated that her favorite colors were purple and teal and that she'd like "anything." I knew immediately that it would be fun to create something for her and decided her "anything" would be a bag, making it a twofer as it fits the requirements for the November Travel Handmade Bag Making challenge for the Aurifil Artisans.

I started with a fabric pull, including a zipper that coordinated. I spent a fair amount of time pursuing bag patterns and considering what I'd make. In the end, I settled on the Noodlehead Open Wide Zippered Pouch in size large. There are quite a variety of zipper pouch tutorials out there, but I just love this one so much! It's a great pattern, can be made with just one or two exterior fabrics, or tricked out with piecing or appliqué. Unlimited options!

I like making this size bag with fusible fleece on the exterior panels, but I didn't want to make a run to the store. Instead, I used a remnant of Quilters Dream Deluxe batting from this quilt. This thicker loft batting gave the bag great structure. Since I was quilting with batting, I made my panels a little oversized and trimmed down to size after quilting.

I had considered piecing the exterior panels, but decided on a split panel with the floral on the top and the teal Christa Watson fabric on the bottom. However, the floral was just a couple inches too narrow for this so I was able to use the polka dot to fill in. I ended up trimming off the floral size to leave a better ratio of the polka dots instead of just 1-2" per panel.

One my exterior panels were pieced I auditioned thread colors for quilting. I like having a variety to choose from.

I settled on these three: Light Lilac (#2510), Violet (#2520), and Dark Turquoise (#4182). I love that quilting with 50wt doesn't compete with the pattern on the fabric.

I chose three different motifs for the quilting. Here's a view from the back.

I used my walking foot for the organic, wavy lines in the teal sections, tried out a new-to-me motif from Leah Day's 365 FMQ Designs in the polka dot sections, and used one of my favorite motifs, spirals, for the floral sections.  I didn't have backing fabric on my quilt "sandwich" since the lining would cover the back of this quilted panel.

After quilting, I appliquéd the square of polka dot fabric to the front panel.

Then I chose a lining fabric, stitched it all together, added the tab of fabric on the end of the zipper.

The gift exchange is so fun every December. People made a variety of delightful gifts -- coasters, table runners, aprons, placemats, bags! Tomorrow I'll show you what I received. :-)

I'm participating in the 31 Day Blog Writing Challenge with Cheryl of muppin.com.