Cross Blocks Zipper Pouch Tutorial

on March 7 | in Books, Contests & Giveaways, Sewing Tutorials + Patterns | by | with 88 Comments

This giveaway is now closed. Thank you!

Sandra Clemons, author of the new Scrap Patchwork, is here to share a little about the book and give you a free Cross Blocks Zipper Pouch tutorial! Sandra and C&T Publishing are also giving you a chance to WIN a copy of the book. (U.S. shipping only for the hardcover; international winner will receive an eBook.) Your comment enters you to win!

Hi. I’m Sandra Clemons. I’m new to Sew Mama Sew and excited to be here. I’ve started my business in April of 2014 as a quilt designer. Since, my quilts have been published in over a dozen magazines, such as McCall’s, Quiltmaker, American Patchwork, and Modern Quilts Unlimited. In February 2016, my first book Scrap Patchwork came out.

It’s a DIY book on making organized scrappy quilts. I talk about color and organizing your stash, and you’ve gotta check it out! You can also expect to see more of me this fall when my first fabric collection comes out with Michael Miller Fabrics; you’re going to love it.

From the publisher:

    Sew 13 scrappy quilts with color palettes so sophisticated, you won’t believe they’re from scraps! Blending the best of modern and traditional quilting, these projects pair fresh fabrics with classic block designs and trusted techniques. Learn to organize your fabric and choose winning color combinations. Each quilt features design notes to help you get the look you want when “shopping” your own stash. Ideal for confident beginners, these patterns will keep your waste to a minimum and your creativity to a maximum.

To learn more about me and my work, check out my blog. There I’m publishing a weekly block every Wednesday. Like me on Facebook, Instagram and/or follow my blog to keep up with the latest postings.

Today, I’m here to provide you all the instruction you need to make zipper pouch. To jazz up the bag, we add three 3” cross blocks to the front. This bag is so cute and adorable. In fact, my daughter has already taken the pouch and stuffed it with her little toys.

For the adults, we have other possibilities. We can use the bags to hold pens and pencils, cards, sewing supplies, make-up, snacks… They are great to organize and tidy your small stuff. I have them everywhere around the house!

Finished Size 8” x 11”.


  • 1/2 Yard Interfacing
  • 1/2 Yard Fabric: Brown Linen (exterior)
  • 1/4 Yard Fabric: Pink (interior + zipper end covers)
  • Fat Quarter of Lavender (block + strap)
  • 5” x 5” Scrap Fabric of Navy (block)
  • 10” x 10” Scrap Fabric of White (block)
  • 9” Zipper
  • General Quilting + Sewing Supplies

Note: I used a Pellon 809 interfacing for both the interior and exterior. I wanted my pouch stiff, though you don’t have to have it as stiff as mine. To soften the bag, only apply interfacing to the exterior fabric; it’s your choice.

Cut Interfacing:
– 4 – 8” x 11”

Cut Exterior Fabric + Strap (brown):
– 1 – 8 1/2” x 11 1/2” (back)
– 2 – 1 1/2” x 3 1/2” (front)
– 2 – 3” x 11 1/2” (front)

Cut Interior Fabric + Zipper End Covers (pink):
– 2 – 8 1/2” x 11 1/2” (interior)
– 2 – 1 1/2” x 2 1/2” (zipper end covers)

Cut Lavender (block + strap):
– 1 – 2” x 14 1/2” (strap)
– 9 – 1 1/2” x 1 1/2” (block)

Cut Navy (block):
– 6 – 1 1/2” x 1 1/2”

Cut White (block):
– 6 – 1 5/8” x 1 5/8”; cut diagonally once (A)
– 3 – 2 3/4” x 2 3/4”; cut diagonally twice (B)

Here are all of the pieces for the front exterior of the pouch.

Make the Block:
Sew with 1/4” seam allowance. Finishes 3” x 3”.

1. (We’ll chain piece the three blocks in these steps.) Stitch together two B triangles to each side of four purple and two navy squares. Press seams away from the white triangles.

2. Stitch two purple squares to each side of the navy square. Make two. Stitch two navy squares to each side of the purple square. Press seams away from the center square.

3. Join the rows together by taking the rows with the white triangles on each end of the row made in Step 2. Match the ends of the crosses of the same print. Make two crosses with the purple squares on the four corners and one cross with the navy squares. Press seams towards the center rows.

4. For each cross, stitch together four A triangles to each corner to complete the block. Make two purples crosses and one navy cross. Press seams towards the white triangles for the purple crosses and away from the triangles for the navy cross.

5. Stitch together the three cross blocks in one row. Press the seams towards the center block.
6. Join the small brown rectangles to each end of the rows. Press seams towards the brown rectangles.

7. Add the large brown rectangles to the top and bottom of the cross blocks. Press seams towards the brown rectangles. This is the front exterior.

8. Iron on interfacing to front and back exterior, and front and back interior units. Center the interfacing to the wrong side of the fabrics. The interfacing is 1/4” short on all four sides; this is intended to reduce seam bulk. Optional: Add your personal label. Place it on the interior fabric.

Make the Strap:
Choose to iron on fusible interfacing on the wrong side of the handle. I did for my Zipper Pouch Square-in-a-Square. However it was so stiff, I had to place the end next to each other, instead of on top of each other. For my other pouches, I left the interfacing off and I like the soften feel of it. Click here for more details about how to make a strap.

Prep the Zipper:
1. Fold the zipper end cover fabric in half by its length, then fold the ends into the center fold. Make two.

2. Trim down the length of the zipper. Then place zipper inside the zipper cover fabric.

3. Top stitch the zipper cover fabric to secure it in place. Be sure to stitch through all layers. Place the zipper covers over both ends of the zipper.

Make the Bag:
9. Lay the exterior front fabric right side up and place the zipper, face down, on top of it, lining up the edges. Keep the zipper open about halfway.

10. Lay one piece of lining fabric on top of the zipper, right side facing down. Pin and stitch the three pieces together along the zipper edge. When you are close to the zipper tab, stop stitching to move the zipper tab towards the stitched area. If you have a zipper foot, then this is the time to use it to get nice and close the zipper teeth. If you don’t have one use your quarter inch foot.

11. Fold the exterior front unit away from the zipper, while keeping the interior fabric under the zipper. Edge stitch the exterior unit, which will stitch over the seam allowance of the exterior unit, zipper and interior unit.

12. Turn the two units down and away from the zipper. The wrong sides are now together.

13. To sew the opposite side the zipper, lay the exterior back unit wrong side down over the unsewn side of the zipper. Place the interior fabric under the three units, wrong side facing down. Pin together only the unstitched exterior back unit, interior unit and zipper edge.

14. Fold over the exterior back unit away from the three units. Edge stitch the exterior along the zipper.

15. Although the images don’t show it. It’s best practice to trim away the zipper end covers.

16. Open the bag with the zipper in the center. The two interior units are right sides together on one side, and on the other side the exterior units are right sides together. The zipper is inside of the fabric pieces.

17. Add the strap by placing it inside the bag, which is inside out. Place and pin the strap to the exterior back side and underneath the pull tab of the zipper when it is closed.

18. Pin and stitch along three sides of the bag, leaving the bottom of the interior unit open about 4”. Make sure the zipper is halfway open.

19. Finish the bag by reaching inside the bag and unzipping the zipper all the way, grab and pull the exterior fabric through the hole. The zipper will be upside down, but you can push the zipper slider all the way open.

20. The interior and exterior units of the bag are right sides out. Work out all the corners of the pouch to make a nice point.

21. Turn under the bottom edge of the lining a 1/4” with the folded edged tucked in towards each other. Pin in place.

22. Stitch along the folded edges to close the bottom, making sure not to stitch the exterior pieces.

23. Tuck the lining back into the bag and you’re done.

Add the Zipper Tassel:
Click here to see how to make a zipper tassel for your pouch.

There you have it. There are other version of this bag to check out over on my blog. Now that you have all the ingredients to make your very own pouch, it’s your turn to make it blossom.


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88 Responses to Cross Blocks Zipper Pouch Tutorial

  1. Colleen says:

    this book sounds as though it could really get me out of the muddle I am in. I have been quilting for 3-4 years now and I seem to spend too much time choosing/buying fabric for my projects and end up feeling really inefficient about the whole process. Thanks so much for the free project.

  2. Allison CB says:

    Awesome little tutorial!! Love it! Very cute!

  3. Buffy says:

    Great tutorial, seems every step is well documented! I am obsessed with pouches so I cannot wait for the weekend to have some time to make this one.

  4. Jessica Thomas says:

    wow! looks like the perfect size for my sock knitting project! can’t wait to give it a go!

  5. Tammy says:

    Love the pouch,the book looks like a must have! Thanks for sharing the pattern!

  6. Hope says:

    So cute! Thanks for sharing!

  7. Pallavi says:

    This is a very informative tutorial for beginners like me!! Thanks!!

  8. jenny says:

    thank you for this comprehensive tutorial.

  9. Carmen N says:

    What a fun little pouch! I’d like to make a dozen for all my knit/crochet project bags

  10. Anne says:

    Thanks for the great tutorial…really cute pouch.

  11. Lesley says:

    Love the tutorial and the cover of the book. Looking forward to going through the book, one way or another 🙂

  12. Yvonne beyer says:

    Cute bag and a great tutorial. Thanks!

  13. Michelle says:

    Just when I thought my bookshelf had nary a place for another quilting book, yours tops the list of must-haves. I am the every-quilter who stores the someday scraps but sheepishly lacks the confidence to utilize them; your approach makes even the tiniest blocks seem doable and efforts are rewarded with utilitarian quilt products. Thank you!
    How does one enter the free drawing for your delightful book?

  14. Jamie says:

    Such a cute zipper pouch! I’m going to make one this weekend!

  15. Charlotte Lunsford says:

    Great tutorial. Love the fabric at the end of the zippers!

  16. Denise W says:

    This looks to be a very promising book full of ideas for me to use this ever growing scrap situation here. Love the pink quilt on the front. Thanks so much for sharing with us!

  17. Beth says:

    Congrats on being published! And thank you for the pouch instructions – that will be handy to carry the necessities to the pool in the summer!

  18. Doris McCarty says:

    I love how you did the tutorial. It makes it so e say to follow. Thank you for the chance to win the book!

  19. Beth K says:

    Great pouch. Thanks for the giveaway!

  20. Alicia says:

    Great tutorial. Looking forward to trying it. Thanks for the chance.

  21. Melanie C says:

    Love this little zipper pouch!!! My daughter would have stolen it too 🙂

  22. Rebecca says:

    Nice. I think i could tackle a zipper here. The book looks great!

  23. Kathy Eyre says:

    Cute little bag and thanks for the tutorial. Hope I can win a copy of your book, and congrats!

  24. Sandy Ross in WA says:

    Cute pouch with the scrap blocks. Thanks for the chance to win the book.

  25. Anita says:

    A great tutorial, and it looks like a wonderful book!

  26. Reena Kaplowitz says:

    Thanks for the great tutorial and please pick me for that fabulous looking book!

  27. DebbieKl says:

    Very nice! I definitely have scraps that need using up!

  28. Renea says:

    Thanks for the tutorial for your cute little pouch. And thanks for the wonderful giveaway. This book looks really fun.

  29. Mara says:

    What a cute pouch, will definitely make a few of these!

  30. Karen B says:

    I love the little bag, the instructions look complete and I think they would make a great gift for a friend.

  31. Katy says:

    I love this cute zipper pouch!!

  32. Amanda B. says:

    What a cute little zippered pouch! I love the fabric combination.

  33. kim t. says:

    Looks like a great book! Love all of the colors and the detail in the tutorial.

  34. Gill says:

    Thanks for a great tutorial!
    I love scrappy!

  35. Lynne Dardanell says:

    I love zippy pouches! Have been making them left and right using scraps – thanks for sharing!

  36. Vicki in MN says:

    That looks like a fun book to have in my library!

  37. Marilyn says:

    You book looks fantastic! I love all ideas for using up scraps of fabric – waste not, want not!

  38. kiriaki says:

    nice tutorial, thanks for sharing

  39. Erica says:

    Welcome, very cute! I’m not a super experienced sewer or quilter, but I think I could do this.

  40. Samina says:

    These little bags are so useful for so many things. I like the nice decorative touch the quilt blocks make.

  41. Louise M. says:

    Great photos and clear instructions, thanks!

  42. Amy L says:

    This bag is so versatile. You can dress it up or make it whimsical. The instructions look easy. I will be trying this one. Congrats to Sandra on her book!

  43. Alis says:

    Love the little cross blocks… I can see how they would look terrific in a scrappy quilt.
    Great prize, ….you can never have too much scrappy quilt inspiration!!!

  44. Chris says:

    Thank-you for the tutorial. This looks like a fun book with some great ideas.

  45. Beth T. in OR says:

    Thank you for the clear tutorial! I’m heading over to your blog right now–I’m sure there is more I can learn from you, about sewing and the use of scraps and color.

  46. Cathie says:

    Love the pouch. The book looks great too.

  47. HeatherK says:

    Darling pouch! Can’t wait to try this next time I’m looking for an easy gift. Thanks!

  48. Rachel R says:

    Super cute! What a fun way to jazz up a zip pouch!

  49. Diane Finn says:

    I love the x block featured in the quilt

  50. Toni says:

    I love your blend of traditional with a modern twist!

  51. Beth Strand says:

    Well, that just jumped into my “must make ” list! Adorable!

  52. Andi M says:

    I love to collect scraps and fat quarters. First, organizing all of that would be so helpful. Second, these projects look so fun and pretty!

  53. Lisa Marie says:

    The book looks and sounds great! Thanks for the tutorial!

  54. Brenda says:

    What a great little bag! I don’t think I can ever have too many — there is always another project to tuck into its own bag, another outfit to match, another group of treasures to stash. I’d love to with this book — I’ve always loved scrappy quilts the best and heaven knows I have plenty of scraps! I could certainly use the organizing help and advice!

  55. Allison C says:

    Such a cute little pouch!

  56. Gloria says:

    This book is right down my alley! I love a scrappy look and am always on the lookout for new tehniques. Thanks for the give-away.

  57. Sue says:

    Oooooh! This book looks wonderful! I would love to get my hands on it. Scrappy quilts are my favorites!

  58. cynthia says:

    love it!

  59. Diane B says:

    Sandra, thank you for the Zipper pouch tutorial, it’s so cool. I’m not a fan of stitching triangles but your tute is so easy and the pictures are just what I need to follow it to a T. The zipper tips are aces!
    Congratulations on the book and we all need to use our scraps, it looks like a fresh approach.

  60. Karen Caves says:

    Looks like some fun projects to be made.

  61. Tina says:

    Thanks for the chance. I’m always looking for ways to use my scraps!

  62. Lee says:

    I love the tutorial – thank you!

  63. Dawn Jones says:

    The zipper pouch is so cute, and the book looks like a great addition to anyone’s library. Thank you for the chance to win.

  64. Julie says:

    I love this zippered pouch! Can’t wait to make it!

  65. Linda L. says:

    Very cute pouch.

  66. Annie in CA says:

    Great tutorial and the book looks great! I would certainly love tips to use my scraps to their full potential! 🙂

  67. Laurie says:

    Adorable zip bag and fun color choices!

  68. karen in CA USA says:

    I would like to get better at coming up with good palettes from my scraps!

  69. Kelly P says:

    This zippered pouch is darling! I’m headed to my sewing room now. . .

  70. Patricia Cash says:

    Thank you for the pouch tutorial. Hope to win your book, if not will buy it.

  71. Irina says:

    What a lovely pouch and the tutorial is so clear to follow! I’d love to see the rest of the book!

  72. Kathy E. says:

    Thank you for the Cross Blocks Zipper Pouch tutorial! It’s lovely! I am always looking for new ways to use up my scraps….it’s hard for me to throw any of them away!

  73. Janie says:

    Great tutorial. Thank you so much.

  74. Stephanie says:

    What a cute pouch!

  75. Licia says:

    This is a neat idea! I like to make quilt blocks and am always looking for ideas to use them, other than in actual quilts. Also, I like that it looks like you did a but of quilting on the patchwork rather than incorporating it without any stitching. Looking forward to seeing your book! Thanks for sharing.

  76. LINDA says:


  77. Laura says:

    Cute bag! I’m still so afraid of zippers, but some time soon I need to bite the bullet and give a zipper a try. Thanks for the chance!

  78. Krista Wells says:

    Lovely pouch and great tutorial.

  79. Tonia Jeffery says:

    I love that it is to help minimize fabric waste.

  80. Ashley says:

    Such a cute pouch. Zippers intimidate me but you make it look easy!

  81. Claire Ross says:

    Thanks for the tutorial . Love the look of your book x

  82. QuiltShopGal says:

    Super cute zipper pouch and great tutorial. Thank you.


  83. Debbie Price says:

    What an adorable little bag! I love projects that use up all of those little pieces of fabric, which I have tons of. I would love to win your book. If I don’t win, I will buy it soon! I am now following you on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest, and have your blog marked. Hope you have a wonderful day!

  84. Sarah J. says:

    I love making zipper pouches and the patchwork on this one is lovely- certainly a way to make it extra special! Thanks!

  85. Anne in tx says:

    Cute pouch. Vcant wait to check out your scrap quilts book.

  86. jackie says:

    looks like a FAB book!!!!

  87. Kate says:

    Thanks for the chance!

  88. Jessie Hansen in NM says:

    I don’t usually think much about the pictures in tutorials other than “that’s what you do next!” but the photo of the mini blocks before you put the corner pieces on is funny to me. It’s like the first one is screaming because he is scared and his corners popped off! HAHAHAHAHA!

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