Since this is a gift-giving time of the year for many people I wanted to do another post this week and share some of the small things I made my first year (2017) as a new FMQ-obsessed crazy person!  (If you haven’t turned into one already, you will!) I made bookmarks, potholders, mug rugs, pillows, and a lot of zipper bags. Nobody escaped my quilting rampage. There’s so much more to FMQ than just quilts!!

No matter where you are in your journey you should embrace your efforts and find ways to use them! We are our own worst critic but others really are impressed that we are doing this amazing, fun thing called FMQ. And they appreciate the gift! And if you really are too uncomfortable with your stitching right now, do some wavy lines or try using a ruler, and remember a busy fabric and matching thread hide stitching! So pick out a fabulous fabric–your stitching will just be texture and look terrific! My first gift was a potholder with just wavy lines because that’s ALL I could do in the beginning!

And NOW… Here are all the small things I made as gifts!!

BOOKMARKS! Fast, fun to make. Quilt them as one big piece, then cut into individual bookmarks. I used my sewing machine to do a satin stitch on the edges and catching the ribbons and tassels in the stitching, too. I did these early in 2017.


On the two bookmarks on the left, I painted a metallic fabric paint on two of the leaves. On all three the upper leaves were just raw edge pieces I stitched on. Someone gave me this curtain fabric with the tassel trim and challenged me to make something with it. I did.


More early practicing turned into simple bookmarks. These were very early pieces in my journey, as you can see by the simple stitching!! You don’t have to be great at FMQ to create something cute!


POTHOLDERS! I used Insul Brite, an insulating product, but one layer was not effective, so I later sandwiched it between two layers of cotton batting. These were all done early in my FMQ journey in 2017, too. Great practice for different designs and a fun way to use scrap fabric! I like contrasting thread and variegated thread so the stitching shows up, though much of it was not as good as I’d have liked. The colors make up for it though!


PILLOWS! I made the Yankees one for my husband. I found the vintage panel on eBay and just quilted around the works and designs. Wool batting made it nice and puffy. Nobody said you have to MAKE your own thing to quilt! Panels are an excellent way to make something quick, and they are great practice. Lots of panels can be found on eBay for wall hangings, quilts, etc.


I made this pillow as a wedding gift. I sketched the design on paper first and then just looked at it as I quilted this freestyle.


A sampler pillow. I did the words on my domestic machine “A house is made of walls and beams, a home is made of love and dreams.” Solids with variegated thread added a lot of interest. This was a gift to me! haha. Why not? I’m special, too.


ZIPPER BAGS!! All sizes of bags are very useful, they’re fast to make, and are great FMQ practice. With nice fabric and a fancy zipper pull even the most homely and simple FMQ practice piece can be transformed into a really neat bag! I realize not everyone can sew or put in a zipper. As you look at these pieces keep in mind your practice pieces don’t have to become bags!


My FIRST bags using very early practice pieces! This first bag was made without using stitch regulation, the second was done on my Q20. These are kinda cute though, right? Right.


Two black evening clutches about 7″ wide. I used a black sateen with wool batting. Wool batting (especially Dream Wool) really is puffy and helps your quilting show up.  The zipper pulls help make these fancy!


A small makeup bag; the zipper pull is a ribbon with a small cat. All I did here was trace around the fabric pattern and do some swirls across the top. This could be a mug rug just as easily, just continue the yellow border all around!


This is Moda Grunge fabric; it’s a big briefcase size bag with a heavy zipper and leather cord on the zipper pull. I should have put handles on this! The quilting is very simple and fast, and gender neutral (this was for a guy). I actually made three of these, one with handles (but forgot to take a pic of it, sorry.)


Denim bags here. I had scraps of denim so I sewed them together allowing the fraying to become part of the design. Waste not! ha. On the first two I used gold thread, and on the last one, I used a variegated thread. These are large bags for an iPad or sketchbook.


This is an iPad case I made for a young girl. The center of this piece was a practice piece! I added more fabric around it to expand it to the size I wanted for the case. Again, this could be anything, a personal mug rug placement, wall hanging, whatever!


The following are a bunch of zipper bags in various sizes, mostly for makeup and travel. I used scrap fabrics for these!









I made these bags this year using scraps left over from a lap quilt! (I’ll post that quilt soon.)



There are a lot of videos and blog tutorials on how to make zipper bags. Just google “how to make quilted zipper pouches” (or bags) and you’ll find lots of resources. Since others have done such great videos and tutorials I didn’t feel the need to do one myself. Besides, I’m too busy quilting more things!!!  ((And see my first blog post, “How I Got Started”  Oct. 8, 2018 post, for other bags and things I made using my early practice pieces!)) 


Here’s a table runner I made recently. 


And this is a practice piece I did this year using different color threads on Moda Grunge fabric. This could be anything I want it to be! Yes, I continue to practice!! I’m always trying new things. If something goes wrong I just tell myself it was good practice and a good learning experience, and I move on. I haven’t made a lot of things this year due to some health issues which prevented me from quilting for about a total of 6 months, but I’m doing fine now and will be quilting like a crazy person again!


I hope this has inspired you to make your own gifts and show off your FMQ! I’d love to hear what you make! Happy quilting, and happy gift giving!!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

© 2018 Beverly Guhl