Current Projects: Zipper Pouch & 60 Degree Triangle Quilt

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve had my new sewing machine – a Janome MC7700 QCP. So far no huge complaints. Here is the first project I’ve completed on it – a quilted zipper pouch.

Patchwork Zipper Pouch Side

Using some scrap strips (mostly Joel Dewberry’s Heirloom collection for Free Spirit), I tried out the quarter-inch piecing foot with the guide and didn’t pin or glue baste. My piecing seemed fairly accurate, although my strips weren’t all square, but I was just experimenting and wasn’t too worried about that.
Patchwork Zipper Pouch Tilt

I used an aqua colored zipper purchased from the Etsy shop Zipit. This was my second experience with this vendor, and both orders were shipped promptly and contained the correct items. Prices are extremely reasonable – I chose 25 9-inch zippers for $11.25 and beautiful brass zippers with donut pulls and off-white tape. These would be perfect to use for my new cache of fabric accented with metallic gold accents.Patchwork Zipper Pouch Opened

One thing that didn’t work well was the zipper foot. When I tried using it to sew together the zipper, lining, and quilted exterior – the needle just stayed in the same place and created a huge knot. Not sure why, perhaps the layers were too much for it?

I ended up using the Accufeed foot for most of the pouch’s construction, including the zipper. This worked much better than the zipper foot. All I had to do was make sure to move the slider away from the foot, but this was made easy because the Accufeed presser foot lifts up extra high.

Patchwork Zipper Pouch Close up

Quilting with the Accufeed foot is an absolute dream. I tried simple straight line quilting, and besides my own meandering – it has excellent stitch quality and no bunching, puckering, or shifting.

I can’t wait to try the foot on a larger quilt!

Patchwork Zipper Pouch Floral InteriorThis pink, coral and purple floral print was in the remnant section of my local quilt shop Stitch’N Quilt.

As far as the sewing machine’s performance, it operates rather smoothly. It did struggle going over the zipper teeth and the thick layers at the seam while sewing together the exterior, interior, and zipper tab material. That was disappointing, as I was hoping a machine this expensive could handle a heavier duty project. It did perform superior to the Brother SE400, but on the merits of handling the layers alone – the vintage Singer 201 2 tackled layers the best.

One night I did try free motion quilting on the Janome 7700 QCP, and was pleased with the stitches. As recommended by the owner’s manual, I set the tension to “auto” and dropped the feed dogs. That was about it. As evidenced by my crash course in longarm quilting, I am no expert – but at least I have a home machine that can handle it.

Carolyn Friedlander Botanics fabric 60 degree triangle wideOn another note, I have cut out all 31 of the Carolyn Friedlander Botanics fat quarters in the bundle. Using 8 1/2 inch triangles, each fat quarter yielded 6 – so I have 186 right now. James and I decided the dimensions of the quilt for our queen size bed should be approximately 90-92 X 108 inches to comfortably drape off the ends and tuck in at the head.

Carolyn Friedlander Botanics fabric 60 degree triangle stackYep, this is what 186 triangles stacked up looks like.

Too bad it’s not enough. I calculated that in order to make a quilt large enough, the rows would need to comprise of 17 X 19 triangles. That means I actually need 323 triangles and am short 137. Yikes!

Carolyn Friedlander Botanics fabric 60 degree triangle pilesWhat will likely end up happening is that I will pull various shades of gray fabrics (no pun intended) to cut out the remaining triangles. During the cutting process, I noticed that many of the prints are low volume and lighter in color. I wouldn’t mind adding in some medium and darker fabrics to the mix.

At this point, I am getting the feeling this quilt is going to take forever to finish – but hey – one step at a time, right?

Today I am participating in Work In Progress Wednesday hosted by Freshly Pieced.

See you next time!

– Jennifer

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