Scrappy Black and White

I haven’t had much time for sewing the last few weeks. I’ve been busy with work and my weekends have been consumed by dog training seminars. And a friend of mine flew into town for a weekend on the Southern Oregon Coast with my brother and his wife.

I finally have a free weekend before work gets crazy for a couple of weeks. So I sat down at the sewing machine tonight to make a project that I assembled the fabrics for a week or so ago.


I’ve been wanting to make a quilt-as-you-go zipper pouch from some of my black and white scraps. And I had some nicely sized border collie fabric to feature on the pouch.

I really like how it turned out. I love color, but I love graphic black and white too!

I sewed the pieces onto batting and quilted each scrap of fabric as I added it to the piece.


I had several black and white fabrics already cut for linings, so I selected the one with dog paws. So perfect!


My Lovely Paper Pieced Mountains

It felt so good to drive through the mountains last weekend that I decided to dive in and sew up some of the mountain paper piecing templates I purchased a few weeks ago.


I wanted basic blues for the mountains, and a darker sky to make it look like a moonlit night. So I dug through my batik scraps and supplemented with some blue batik yardage. I added the green pieces at the bottom in an improv manner. I needed the panel to be a little taller and I wanted it to look more like a full landscape.


I just love the darker blue dots for the sky. It feels like one of the bright snowy nights I remember from my childhood.


The template package came with a bunch of different little mountain designs in each of three sizes so you can sew a lot of them and never make the same one twice.


This paper pieced panel will be used in a zipper pouch, but I’m going to have a hard time deciding what fabric I’ll use for the body of the bag. Here are some options:

Taupe linen, gray chambray, blue chambray...

Three options in blue batik… light, dark, and way too busy!

Various orange batik options… Bright, lighter, and more mellow.

Yellow and beige batiks… It think these two are out!

I do have a few favorites in these options (see the underlined options above), but I’m nowhere near decided.

I still have to make a panel for the other side of the pouch and then I’ll have to make a decision.  Can’t wait to see how this works up.

Rico’s First Sheep Herding Clinic

I had been looking forward to this last weekend for a couple of months — Rico’s first sheep herding seminar in Central Oregon, near Bend. It was actually a handling seminar, so it was more about me and all I don’t know about sheep herding. Rico is such a natural!

I met Heather in Hubbard on Friday afternoon and we started our caravan drive across the Cascades.


I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed the drive. It’s been ages since I’ve been in the mountains. It did my soul good to get above sea level and see some vistas.

It rained most of the trip, but the sun did come out. It was a pretty quick drive with only a few slow downs for construction and slow drivers. (That’s Heather in front of me.)


We made it to Terrebonne, where our Air B&B was located, at about 5:30. Our third friend showed up about a half hour later. We gave the dogs a quick break, then headed out to dinner.

The Air B&B was fantastic! Two bedrooms with two securely fenced dog yards. It was much less expensive and so much better than a hotel. I loved that I could just open the front door and let the dogs out to potty! It was incredibly quiet and we didn’t have to live with the noise of our neighbors.

We were back at the Air B&B by about 8:00 and I was hoping for a good night’s sleep in preparation for a busy day of herding.


I didn’t get any video or photos of Rico herding, but we spent a good deal of time in this pasture. This is my friend Heather with the instructor, and Heather’s young dog Navarre. I just LOVE Navarre.

Rico was such a good dog all weekend. I feel bad that he has so much amazing natural talent for herding and I’m no inept as a handler. There’s so much to learn about herding. I feel like I’m holding Rico back with my lack of experience.


My friend Heather did get a couple photos of Rico and me getting ready for our turn with the sheep on Saturday.

The clinic was held on a working farm, surrounded by huge fields that we were given access to for walks and dog pottying. We spent a lot of time in these fields over Saturday and Sunday. The dogs had an absolute blast running and playing! It’s so much fun to have them in a place where they can really open up and run full speed.


Saturday morning was rainy and really windy. It cleared up and calmed down in the afternoon and we ended the day with a sliver of sunshine.

The forecast for Sunday called for rain and wind all day. Luckily, the wind was much milder than on Saturday, but it did rain most of the day. Every good Oregonian has solid rain gear, and I’m glad I didn’t leave mine at home. They say that in Oregon, there’s no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate gear! My rain gear got a work out at this clinic!

Rico only worked in the round pen on Saturday as the instructor wanted to work on my skills. Sunday, we moved to the larger pasture, and Rico really rose to the occasion and made me so proud! It’s so amazing to watch him work sheep. His instincts kick in and he just seems to know what to do. There’s nothing like watching a dog do what they were bred to do.

Bender really enjoyed his field runs. I’m so glad we had access to these fields so he could have some excitement this weekend too. Both boys were so good.

I loved being in that country side! It was so nice to be up at a higher altitude. The rolling hills covered with juniper trees and sage brush made me feel like I was back home. The fresh air and views were so good for me!


We drove home past Mount Hood and even got to drive in some snow at the summit. It rained the entire way, so we didn’t get any views of the spectacular Mount Hood.

The dogs are still tired a day after we got home. Nothing better than a tired dog!


Using Up More Scraps

I took today off work to recover from our weekend of sheep herding in Central Oregon. I had a nice sleep-in and then spent the day sewing. I’m itching to move on to some new projects, so I planned to use up the scraps I cut up last week.

There were enough scrap strip pieces left to make three pouches. So I pieced the six panels and selected fabric for the bodies of the pouches.


I really like the red lotus leaf and LOOOOVE the black spots. The turquoise guinea flower looks better in person than in the photo, but it’s not my favorite. Sometimes you just don’t know how a fabric combination will look until you get it all put together.

I was on the phone with a friend tonight — the friend that introduced me to quilting and to Kaffe Fassett fabrics — and she offered to send me some strips from a KFC strip set that she’s had for awhile. So, more scraps are on their way to me!

I’ll probably make more of these pouches because there are some fabrics I want to try for the body of this design. I probably have a few more of these in me.

I do want to try some pouches with paper pieced panels. I recently purchased these paper piecing templates of snow capped mountains. 


I’m thinking I’ll make them from batiks, but I’ll also take a look at the KFC scraps my friend is sending and see if there’s something there that will work. I can picture these in a pouch made from my lovely blue chambray that I love so much.

I’ll probably give this a little bit of thought and then dig in later this week.

Pouch Mania

I’m having so much fun making these pouches out of gorgeous Kaffe Fassett Collective Fabrics. I keep trying out different fabrics for the body of the pouch and want to make 20 more! Each one is better than the last!


These are made based on my zipper pouch tutorial. I just changed the orientation of the bag to vertical instead of horizontal. This post has a brief description of how I pieced the panel.

I’ve sold every one that I’ve made, and have orders for a few more. Luckily, I’m not tired of making these yet!