Corgi Panels are Done!

I finished making the second corgi Frankenbag panel tonight and got both panels sandwiched and quilted.

I may be able to finish this up tomorrow night and have it in the mail on Friday. I’m anxious to see it come together in the bag body.

I have to say, I wasted a lot of this corgi fabric! There isn’t enough space between rows to cut it with a seam allowance and not destroy the adjacent row of corgis.

Here’s some close ups of these panels. I just love the way quilting elevates these panels.

I just love that long string of corgis on the right side!

The way those paw prints and dog bones show up here and there is really charming.

I put this Aboriginal fabric bag in the mail today. I was sort of sad to see it go. But I know it will be loved and appreciated.

I got tagged on Instagram this evening by Aussie quilter Julie who is @patchwork_gecko on Instagram. She posted some pictures of a Frankenbag she made and said that she had been looking for a pattern and found a forgotten panel that was quilted and waiting to be made into something. So she cut it in half, made handles out of some leftover cork, made the lining and voila! She had this Frankenbag done!

I love that she repurposed something that was forgotten into something that’s really cute and functional! Those panels are just perfect for this bag!

Every day of this spring is prettier than the last. The dogwood trees are in all their glory right now. I must have passed 50 or more of them on tonight’s three-mile walk. The yard in this photo had THREE of various sizes in their front yard!

Finally, a picture of Rico where he doesn’t look tortured. But Bender looks completely stoned!

A Corgi Commission

A friend of mine who has owned corgis for years saw the border collie Frankenbags I made recently and asked if I would make her a corgi bag. She said she had corgi fabric, so I asked her to take a photo of it so I could see if it would work. It looked fun, so I had her send it to me.

I was thinking I would use the same black and white fabric crumb pieces, but when the corgi fabric arrived it was clear that the fabric wasn’t black, but sort of a dark brown/olive green kind of color. And it looked terrible with the black and white crumb pieces.

So I started thinking of other ideas and ran a few past my friend. Here’s what I landed on.

I went with saturated batiks that are the colors of the little corgis. The fabric at the bottom (above) combines several of the corgi colors.

So I cut some strips and pieced up some crumb blocks because I really like that effect. Here’s the first side of the bag.

I just love that long strip of corgis on the right. I think it will all be fun when it’s quilted and assembled. I didn’t piece any blocks with the corgi fabric because it doesn’t lend itself well to piecing. I’m toying with a couple of ideas for the other side of the bag.

My friend sent enough fabric so I can use it for the lining too.

Several more blog readers sent photos of their bags in the last few days. There’s some really fun stuff here. I’m so amazed at what people are coming up with for their bags.

This first one was made by Jeanne Schoeffler. I just love the blues in this bag. Especially with that pop of orange right in the middle. And that black and white chips is pretty cool too. I need to dig out the piece I have and get it into a bag.

Here’s the other side of this bag. It looks like Jeanne used the same faux leather for her handles that I’ve been using. I like the way the handles look.

Oh! I just noticed the lining! I love it!!!

The next bag was made by Val Patenaude. It’s one of my favorites! She used some blocks that were left over from an Escher quilt she made. And I love the way she quilted it!

What a great way to use those left over blocks!

Here’s the other side of this bag.

I just love the relaxed and random feeling of this side of this bag. And the colors… well, they’re pretty amazing! And there’s more of that vertical straight line stitching. I really want to do this on a bag. It will likely be coming up soon.

Val said her quilting guild is doing a sew along day on zoom soon and they’re all going to make Frankenbags. I told her I’d love to see what they all come up with.

The third bag was made by Susan Conant. She did a really nice job of combining KFC fabrics and batiks. And I just love that white and black spot on the front.

Here’s the other side of this bag. I love that strip of bright flowers paired with the piano keys. And that big old pinwheel is great! I might have to include that some time soon.

Thanks to Jeanne, Val and Susan for letting me share the photos of their bags.

My lilac bush is in spectacular bloom right now. The smell around the yard in the evenings is so amazing! I wish you could smell this photo!

This lilac bush is huge. It’s probably 14 or 15 feet tall and about that far across. And it’s loaded with blooms this year. I am going to have it pruned after it blooms. It’s getting a bit out of hand.

I’m looking forward to a day off work Friday. Rico and I are doing a three day sheep herding clinic down in Molalla, Oregon. It looks like the weather is going to be fabulous and I’ll get to see friends that I haven’t seen since before Thanksgiving!

I’ll close with a cute photo of Bender balancing botanicals in the form of apple blossoms.

Just ’cause he’s so freaking cute!

A Couple of Sunday Finishes and a Little Sheep Herding

We got up really early this morning and headed off to the Olympia, Washington, area for a sheep herding trial. We were on the road at 6:30 am for a two hour and 15 minute drive. Rico did an amazing job. If you’re interested, you can see his two runs here and here.

It was such a beautiful day. The skies were amazing and we lucked out on the rain. It was really wonderful to be outside for a few hours.

That’s Rico and his girlfriend Jolene. They just love to run together!

I finished up a couple of bags today. First up is this bag made from Aboriginal fabric scraps. I’m pretty happy with how this turned out.

Here’s a different angle that shows that vertical stack of strips on the right side. I just love that piece!

Here’s the back of the bag.

I added a second pocket to the interior of this bag. I made the pockets a little bigger than in my other bags and I added a vertical line of stitching to divide the pockets into two compartments.

Here’s a view of the interior showing both double pockets.

And I still can’t get over how much I love my new tags! What a fun addition to a project.

I got a message today from a friend I used to work with in Salt Lake. He had seen the bright and graphic batik bag I made from cutting up my wall hanging. He asked if I would make one for his mom for Mother’s Day. She has macular degeneration and he said her vision is failing but she can see bright colors. So I told him I had a bag that is essentially the same bag that I could finish up for her.

It looks just like the other one! The only real difference is the lining. I used a salmon/coral color batik. The first one had a green lining.

He asked me to make “lots of pockets” so I did the same double pocket treatment as on the Aboriginal fabric bag.

And again… this little tag!

Another one of my blog readers sent photos of the Frankenbag she made. Dawn White put together a really fun and eclectic combination of blocks for her bag.

Here’s the other side…

I love that little house block with the wavy quilting. What a fun and bright little bag!

I think I’m going to work on putting a zipper placket into one of these bags next. I’m going to do a practice one on the first one of these bags I made. I had screwed up a couple other things on this bag so I figured this will be a good one to practice on.

Then a friend of mine wants me to make one for her that has corgis on it. She is sending me some fabric she wants me to use. It should be here any day.

This will be a short work week for me. I’m taking Friday off to do a three day sheep herding clinic next week. I’m really looking forward to taking a day off work!

Aboriginal Fabric Bag II is Underway

I put one of those Aboriginal fabric pineapple blocks I made the other night to use this evening. I made two bag panels, made the quilt sandwiches and got them both quilted, and got the body of this new bag assembled tonight.

Well, it’s another one that I just love. I think these Aboriginal fabric bags might be my favorite of all I’ve made. The fabrics are so rich and deep, but also really colorful.

Here’s the back. I chose to use strips of fabric to separate the crumb blocks and I really like how it looks.

I just love all that straight line quilting. It adds some structure to all those curvy and organic designs in the fabrics. I’ve gotten to where I can quilt one of these panels pretty quickly and accurately. Have I ever said how much I love my walking foot? I REALLY love my walking foot!

Here’s the front and back so you can get a better idea of how the entire panel looks.

I really love that stack of narrow strips on the right side of that panel.

I have Rico entered in a sheep herding trial tomorrow. That means it’s an early morning and we need to be on the road at 6:30 am. Have I mentioned I’m not a morning person? I had planned to stop at a quilt shop in Chehalis, WA, on the way home, but decided to skip it and head directly home. So I went online and purchased some batiks for bag linings on sale. From the look of my purchase, I plan on making a lot of batik bags!

I received photos from a few more women who used my Frankenbag tutorial. This first one is from Esther Wood. She said she wanted a nice springy feel. I think she got it! This bag reminds me of all the blooming trees and flowers in my neighborhood right now. Of course I love greens and yellows, but those pops of read just elevate the whole thing.

This next bag is from Ellen Trish Slade. I just love that big old star with the fussy cut bloom in the center. And that strip of strings on the right side is so much fun!

Here’s the other side of this bag.

I just love the big block on the right side of the photo above. Ellen said it was made from pieces left over from a piano key border. What a great use for those strips. She also made this bag four or five inches bigger than my bags. So this is a nice generous tote.

This last one is from Kris Cook. And there’s that vertical strip of flying geese again! I really want to use that in a bag soon! And the pops of turquoise… well, I just love those!

Here’s the back of this bag. I love this looser and swirly quilting. It makes this bag feel comfy and well loved.

Thanks again to everyone who has shared photos of their Frankenbags. It’s so much fun to get to see them.

I had a very simple yes delicious dinner tonight. I got some farm eggs from a friend on the weekend and I fried them up and ate them with some fresh asparagus.

I loooooove farm fresh eggs. Those chickens who keep themselves busy eating bugs and other fun stuff really know how to make a good egg!

It was a little rainy today so we only got one three-mile walk in. Here’s my cooperative and photogenic Bender again!

The weather looks a little better tomorrow, but it looks like we’ll do the sheep herding trial in the rain. But I’m glad to see the rain here for a few days. It was getting way too dry.

Odds and Ends on a Thursday Evening

I didn’t do too much sewing this evening, but did manage to make two Aboriginal fabric pineapple blocks that I will eventually use in a couple of bags.

I really like the random appearance of these blocks. I think they’ll be really fun in a bag.

I also want to incorporate some flying geese strips in some bags so I went online and found a paper piecing template that I’ll use to make these.

This really is my preferred method for making flying geese. I get such beautiful precise points this way. My geese are kind of a mess when I piece them the traditional way.

I sewed up the second bag body from the wall hanging I cut up last weekend. It’s pretty much exactly like the other one, but I’ll use this sort of coral colored batik for the lining on this one.

I want to make one of these Frankenbags with a zipper placket at the top of the bag. I’ve been noodling about the best way to do this and have been watching tutorials and looking at different patterns. I think I have it all figured out but need to make some measurements and do some cyphering to make sure my idea will work. I might make this bag my prototype for the zipper.

I will also include a zipper pocket and a slip pocket on the interior. I bought these metal zippers a week or so ago. And the fabric I ordered for the lining arrived a few days ago. So I’m ready to go, if I only had a plan! I really like this bag so I want to make sure it works well and looks good.

Several more blog readers have sent me photos of their Frankenbags. It’s so much fun to hear from these women who are so willing to share their work. And it’s wonderful to see that they are making so many of these bags and tailoring the fabrics and design for the ones they love. It’s all been fun and really inspiring!

Here’s a bag from Connie Jones. Of course I LOVE the bright colors. And look at the fun decorative stitching Connie added.

This one is from Lucinda Tooker in Canada. She made it from fabric that she resist dyed herself. She made the nine patches years ago and never did anything with them. This is a great use for those nice patch blocks.

Here’s the flip side of the bag. She also added a zipper pocket in the lining.

This fun bag was made by Diane Levine from blocks left over from her Losing My Marbles quilt. I just love this one… the colors are so bright and circles are such a graphic treat. I love it when people include circles in their quilts because then I can admire them!

Here’s the back of this bag. Who doesn’t love a happy little spot fabric?

I like her squiggly quilting too.

This final bag was made by Susan Cook. She made this bag from Japanese fabrics that were left over from a quilt she made many years ago and said she never imagined she would ever use those scraps. She has made this bag as a gift for her sister-in-law who is Japanese. She’ll be hand delivering the bag in a few weeks.

I really like that vertical quilting. I’ve been thinking about working that into one of my bags.

Linda sent me the nicest note about how she had sort of gotten into a quilting rut and was losing her enthusiasm, but has a newfound joy for making crumb blocks and can’t wait to make more bags.

I’ve had such a great time hearing from these amazing women. Thank you to everyone who has been so gracious and complimentary… and willing to share your work!

I sat on my patio this afternoon to eat my lunch, it was such a nice day. But I couldn’t help but feel like someone was watching me…

There are so many trees in bloom in my neighborhood. I had to stop on our afternoon walk and stick my nose into some apple blossoms… I could smell them from across the street. it was so lovely.

This tree is just down the street from my house and there are a good number of them around the neighborhood. It’s so gorgeous. The trees are just loaded and heavy with these big blooms.

I posted this photo on Facebook earlier today to ask if anyone knew what kind of tree it is. Apparently, it’s some kind of double bloom Japanese cherry. It’s pretty spectacular!

Jab One and a Scrappy Batik Finish

I am so happy that I got my first Covid 19 vaccine this afternoon! It seems like I’ve been waiting forever.

Oh my god…. I really need a haircut! And what’s with all those glasses? Why would I go out in public looking like this?

I’m feeling a little achy and tired tonight so I didn’t do much sewing. But I did manage to finish the batik Frankenbag that I started last night.

I chose a green batik for the lining. This is actually one of the first batiks I ever purchased way back when I was just getting started in quilting.

Batik fabric is wider than other fabric, so the piece left over for the pocket was a little bigger. I used it all and added a center vertical seam in the pocket so that it has two sections. Each section is big enough that I can put my hand all the way in to grab something. Each side would easily hold my big iPhone.

I really like this alteration to the pocket. I also just love green batiks! So I was happy that I had a half yard of this one.

I still have to hand sew the tag on this bag. I was just too tired to do it tonight.

Another blog reader sent me photos today of a Frankenbag she made from my tutorial. Lydia Ross is giving her bag as a gift and she included photos that she printed onto fabric! What a great idea, and what a fun gift!

Adding pictures is such a great idea. And look at those adorable owls. Someone is going to be very lucky to get this as a gift.

I’m so impressed with what you all have made! And I really appreciate everyone who has shared their photos. It’s really fun to get to see them all.

As I was wrapping up our walk this evening I noticed my neighbor’s dogwood tree. The sun was going down and the low angle of the light lit this tree up in such an amazing way.

The dogwood trees are just starting to bloom. They are one of my favorite spring bloomers.

Repurposing Some Pandemic Play

Several months ago I sat down one evening, kind of spontaneously, and started making some crumb blocks from my batik scraps. I didn’t have any particular thing in mind. I just kept putting crumb blocks together, ended up squaring them off, and added some improv piecing, wonky batik borders, and some black and white borders to make it all bigger.

Here’s a blog post about making this piece. And another one.

I liked this piece, but I didn’t love it. I thought it might make a fun wall hanging, but I wasn’t driven to quilt it.

And tonight I pulled it out and cut two 17×17 pieces out of it…

…and made it into this… and I love it!

And the flip side…

I think this is so much better as a bag than it was as a wall hanging!!! I feel pretty good about the decision to cut it up.

I will line it with this green batik. Nothing better than a nice bright green batik!

There’s still enough of this piece to make one more bag and some additional pieces for a third bag. I have no regrets about cutting!!!

A couple more blog readers shared photos of their Frankenbags today.

Judy Jaudan made this on on her Singer Featherweight. I’m envious of all the blues! I rarely make things out of blue fabric and that means I have very few blues in my scrap pile. But I need some!

Here’s the other side. I’m really going to have to use some of that striped fabric in one of these bags! And I love that little pop of pink!

The other bag was made by Sylvie Dupont. I love those pops of red, and onion rings is always amazing when you cut it into strips. And again, there’s some of that gorgeous blue that I’m so jealous of!

Here’s the back of the bag, made with some fun crumb piecing.

Thanks to everyone who has shared photos of their Frankenbags. You’re really knocking my socks off with what you’re making and I’m having a blast seeing your projects!

Tackling Pineapples

Several years ago I was in a quilt store in Wheeler, Oregon, on the coast south of Tillamook. They had a huge quilt hanging high on the wall that was made with KFC scrappy pineapple blocks. It was so amazing and it prompted me to purchase the pineapple ruler they had on display with it. I brought it home and quickly made ONE pineapple block. Then the ruler went in my ruler rack and the block hung on the closet door in my sewing room until I recently sewed it into this bag.

And then today one of my blog readers, Carol Scharp Allinson, posted these photos of a bag she made from my tutorial. Look at that big old pineapple block!

And here’s the back of the bag.

I love the deep and rich colors she used on the front of this bag. And I love that strip of spotted flying gees going up the side. I’m going to use that in the future! And the back is such a fun and eclectic mix of fabrics. It feels very lighthearted and fun. I am so impressed with the bags that my blog readers are making!

But what this bag has really done is inspire me to make more pineapple blocks! So tonight I dug out some batik scraps and started in.

I pulled up an online tutorial that shows how to use the pineapple ruler I bought in Wheeler. I promised myself I would read and follow it carefully because I get cocky and skip ahead and end up with gaps in my blocks. Not every row is trimmed the same way with this ruler!

I decided to make two blocks at one time so that I would cement the process with the ruler into my mind.

Ok. I got the first round done with no mistakes. But I know the errors usually show up in round 3.

I don’t know why this ruler seems so complicated to me. I guess one good thing is that it ensures that your block is nice and square on each row.

Woohoo!!! I got past row three with no mistakes!

Smooth sailing from here on out! Here’s my two blocks prior to the final trim.

I had to take a photo when one block was half way trimmed because it looks like a fish!

Here are both blocks with their final trim.

I feel like maybe I’ve gotten over my avoidance of pineapple blocks. And that’s good because I want to make some more out of KFC scraps and Aboriginal fabric scraps. I’m thinking the Aboriginal one will be really cool… I can just see it in my head.

That quilt store in Wheeler closed down a couple of years ago. It was such a cute little store and had beautiful batiks and a pretty good selection of KFC fabrics. It makes me so sad to see these local stores close. And we’ve seen a lot of them shut down in the last few years… most because the owners are ready to retire and are unable to find buyers.

I took Rico down to my friends place for a canine massage this morning. He tweaked his back a couple weeks ago and the massages seem to be helping him. When he was done I took him and Bender for a hike on BLM land. It was an absolutely gorgeous day and it felt really good to be outside and among the trees, hearing the birds sing.

When we got home a friend of mine came over to pick up that green Frankenbag I finished last night. She absolutely loved it! It was a little difficult for me to part with it, but I know it will be loved and appreciated.

We sat in the back yard and chatted for a couple of hours and enjoyed some cold beer. It was really nice to get to have a casual non-work conversation with someone on a gorgeous day.

Even Bender got in on the action.

A Saturday Finish and a Hot Spring Day

I finished up the green KFC Frankenbag tonight. And a friend of mine fell in love with it so it will be going to live with her.

I just love these green fabrics. The little pops of color all over the bag are pretty amazing.

Here’s the back of the bag.

I ordered some faux leather tags the other day and and they arrived today.

I just love this little tag! And I love how it makes the bag feel finished. Amazing what a little label can do for making something look like really something!

I was so careful and it’s still crooked! It’s making me nuts. I’ll cut it off tomorrow and do it again. I wouldn’t be able to stop thinking about it if I didn’t fix it.

After I finished this bag I sewed labels on all the other bags I’ve made recently. It looks really good on this Aboriginal fabric bag.

More tags on more bags…

Another blog reader named Sharon Rose Marcum sent me photos of a bag she made from my tutorial. And I just LOOOOOVE this one! Her bold use of colors and patterns has really inspired me!

You know I’m a sucker for black and white with bold colors. And these pops of yellow ant turquoise are pretty fantastic too!

And the pocket that’s different from the lining is so fun!!! I love this bag! Sharon did an amazing job! She really dived right in boldly!!!

We’re having a crazy spring in Portland. When I took the dogs for a walk this afternoon the weather app on my phone said it was 88 degrees! I had to stop in the park to let the dogs cool off half way through our walk.

It’s pretty rough to have two such photogenic dogs.

I have secured an appointment for my first Covid vaccine on Tuesday. It’s a relief to have it in the books.

I’m Seeing Green

Still on my Frankenbag kick, last night I pulled out some Kaffe Fassett Collective charm squares that I’ve had for years and started playing around. They’re in my favorite color way… GREEN! I simply cut them into strips and sewed them into long rows. They will make fun pieces to combine with other orphan blocks and crumb quilting.

I like the greens, but they felt a little flat to me. I felt like they needed a pop of color for interest. I wasn’t sure how I was going to achieve that.

And then a package landed with a WHOMP on my porch this afternoon. Inside was more KFC scraps shipped to me by a friend, and sne sent me a pile of nearly sixty blocks that she had made in a class at her LQS… All of them containing KFC fabrics! They are going to be so much fun to incorporate into Frankenbags and other scrappy projects!

And in that pile of blocks were two that were perfect to introduce a pop of color into my green strips. I got one of those blocks assembled into a bag front tonight.

I got some borders put on the other block that I’ll use on the other side.

Amazing the hard work a little pop of color will do! And if I’m focused, I might get the second bag panel made and both panels quilted tomorrow evening. Come on weekend!

I’m going to line this bag with this gorgeous Philip Jacob’s coleus.

We found a HUGE pine cone on our walk last night. So, of course, we had to balance it on Bender’s head!

Isn’t that just amazing?