Hand Quilted Zipper Pouch Tutorial by Laura Cunningham

Today we are excited to have Aurifil Artisan Laura Cunningham at the Auribuzz blog. She has written a fabulous tutorial on how to make one of her signature hand quilted zipper pouches. It is the perfect project to try out Aurifil 12wt thread or Aurifloss. Take it away Laura!

Pick a few of your favourite prints and cut them into 2’’ squares, if you wish to fussy cut this would be a great opportunity to showcase some treasured prints. Lay them out in front of you, 7 squares times 5 squares. And as soon as you are happy with the layout, sew the squares into rows using a 1/4’’ SA. 

Press seams carefully. For a neat result press the seams of the first row to the right, the second row to the left etc. Next, lay two rows of squares on top of each other, right sides together. Make sure the seams are neatly nestled into one another and hold each seam in place with a clip. Now, sew the rows together using a 1/4’’ SA. Press and repeat for the next rows.  

Now, press your panel and place it on top of a piece of batting, right side facing up. Any batting would do really and this project is a great way to recycle some left over pieces you might have from your last quilt. Just make sure your batting is a couple inches wider than your panel.

Thread your needle, I like to use Aurifil 12wt for hand quilting as it doesn’t tangle or snap and the texture it creates is remarkable. Knot off the thread at the other end and have fun quilting your panel. 

I like to quilt little x’s in different sizes and rotate each of them ever so slightly. I like to think of my panel as a canvas where I am creating the night sky, keeping the stars together in constellations and leaving some out all together…

But of course, you could embellish your panel with anything really, like lazy daisies, french knots, straight kantha stitches etc. There are no rules! Also, please don’t worry about the back of your panel, as all knots and travelling thread will be later covered by the lining of your zipper pouch.

After hand quilting your panel, baste down the edges onto the piece of batting. Therefore you should increase your stitch length and sew along the edges with a 1/8’’ SA. Trim your panel-batting piece into a neat rectangle measuring 8’’ x 11’’. Now repeat all previous steps to create a second panel for the other side of your zipper pouch. 

Next, gather the following materials: one 9’’ zipper, two pieces of lining measuring 8’’ x 11’’ and two pieces measuring about 2’’ x 3’’ for the zipper tabs. 

Take one of your zipper tabs and fold in the 2’’ end onto the wrong side by about 1/4’’ and press well. To stop the fabric from fraying, fold it in again by 1/4’’ and press again. Place the tab on top of your zipper with the folded edge adjoining the zipper end and clip it in place. Now, sew along the edge of your zipper tabs using a 1/8’’ SA and finally trim the edges of the tab to the same width as your zipper. Repeat for the second tab on the other side of the zipper.

Now place one of your lining pieces in front of you, right side facing up. On top place the zipper, zipper teeth facing up. And finally place the quilted panel on top, right side facing down and hold it all in place using binding clips. Next, sew along the top edge using a 1/4’’ SA. 

Now, place the second lining in front of you, right side facing up. On top place the zipper (that is now attached to the first piece of lining and panel), zipper teeth facing up. Finally place the second quilted panel on top, right side facing down and hold it all in place using binding clips. Again, sew the zipper in place using a 1/4’’ SA. Open your fabric-zipper sandwich with the zipper in the middle and a piece of quilted panel on each side with the respective lining underneath. Give it a good press and topstitch along the edge of the quilted panel, using a 1/8’’ SA. 

Open the zipper about two thirds. Next, lay the pouch in front of you so that the lining and outside panels are right sides together and pin it all in place using binding clips. Make sure the folded zipper tabs are pointing towards the lining in order to get a neat result. Now, sew around the perimeter of the pouch with a 1/4’’ SA, leaving out an approx. 3’’ opening at the bottom of the lining. Clip the corners and turn the pouch right side out. Close the opening either by hand or machine and tuck the lining into the pouch.

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Laura is an indie sewing pattern designer and regular contributor to Love, Patchwork and Quilting Magazine. For her, it’s normally all about nifty, little pouches with a modern twist, that are easy to make in no time. Instant gratification guaranteed. But she also has a deep love for improv and hand quilting, especially when it includes a lot of pink!


  1. I am in the middle of getting my quilt/craft room set up, and this will probably be one of my first projects. I love to quilt but life has gotten in the way for the past few years. This is the perfect little project to get my feet wet with almost instant gratification! Thank you Laura for sharing your talents and imagination with us! There are so many reasons to love Aurifil, and introducing us to artisans such as you is one of the most important.

  2. Another great tutorial of yours👏👏👏 Will try to make it exactly according to your instructions…
    Thank you for being so kind and generous in sharing 😘🥰👍 Iris

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