A Little Herding, A Visit With a Friend, and a Little Blue

I got up this morning and met a friend up in Battleground, WA, to do a little sheep herding. Rico was a really good boy and did a great job. We even got the sheep out of the pen and moved them into the big field. He hasn’t gotten to do very much of this type of work.

It was warm outside today. Rico took advantage of the water tank but kept his eyes on his sheep!

We had to stop quite often to give him a chance to cool off and let the sheep cool off. We’re not ready for this heat yet!

Rico would keep working if I asked him too. But it’s important to give him breaks and let him cool off.

He did get to meet a puppy today and run around with his girlfriend Jolene.

A friend of mine dropped by this afternoon to return a piece of dog agility training equipment that she had borrowed from me. We sat and talked for at least an hour and it was really wonderful. She is a 2nd grade teacher and had all kinds of fun stories to tell.. including one where a student took the computer into the bathroom where her father was showering… the entire class got a view of him completely naked!

Then I got into my sewing room for a while and finished up this bag. I had finished the panels and body construction yesterday. So all I had to do today was make the lining and get it all sewn together.

I’ve been wanting to make one of these Frankenbags in blue KFC fabrics. So I pulled out the scraps from my KFC blue sixteen patch quilt. Then I added those vibrant orange fabrics to wake it all up.

I just LOVE those pops of orange! I find it very exciting! And look at this lining! I pulled out several pieces from my stash as possibilities, but when I saw this in my drawer, I knew it was the one to use!

Like I’ve said before, I think the lining really matters! Nothing better than a surprising and beautiful lining in a bag!

I had a few more reader submissions of Frankenbags. Here’s the tutorial if you’re interested in making your own.

Ulla Eriksson made two bags and adjusted the size so they would fit in the basket of her bike.

I love those little blocks on the blue and white bag. And I love the earthy and freeform feel of the brown and green one. I also love it that people are using my tutorial as a base and are adjusting it for their own use.

Diane Rieders-Levine made this fun pink and purple version with that crazy sharks tooth. I just love what it does when you cut in into strips. I have recently purchased a few yards of that. I’m going to have to dig it out and show it off!

I love the warm reds and improv piecing on this bag. I can’t tell what the lining is but there’s a nice pop of color there!

This bag was made by Regina Decker. I really like how she used that big piece of the Kaffe embroidered flowers on this bag. That’s an unusual fabric with a really big design and I think Regina did a nice job of showing it off well. And the other side of her bag has some fun pops of color and shapes. Nice job Regina!

Tamy Roberts send me these photos of her blue KFC Frankenbag. Hmmm. She may have been my inspiration for my blue bag! I love the deep blues she used with the lovely pops of green, pink, red and oranges. There’s a lot of fun stuff going on in this Bag! And that lining… you KNOW I love that!!!

Thanks to all of you for sending me your photos! I just love seeing what everyone is making.

I had planned to get together with a friend tomorrow to do some agility training, but it got canceled. I think I may head out to the Banks Vernonia trail again in the morning before it gets crowded and hot. Then I’ll have the afternoon to get more sewing done. I’ll visit a friend at her new house in Canby later in the afternoon. Then back to work. My vacation has not been long enough. I’m very happy that I still have four weeks of vacation accrued!

8.5 Mile Hike and Another Bag Done

I was itching to get out and get some fresh air and movement today so I took the dogs out for an 8.5 mile walk on the Banks Vernonia trail. The weather was perfect and we loved every minute of it.

The trail is a rails to trails path, so most of it is paved and the dogs are on leash. But there is a side trail we take where I let them off leash and they LOVE it! And it’s a lot easier for me to walk when they’re running free.

The last time we were on this trail there were a lot of trees down on the trail from the ice storm we had in January. But today it was all cleaned up. It was a nice walk. But this sign freaked me out just a little.

We didn’t see any bears, but we did see some wildlife. This first guy was huge! He contracted when I took the photo. Before he shrunk he was about six inches long!

In case you don’t know, that’s a banana slug. They are pretty gross!

Then there was this guy. Funny, but salamanders freeze when you get close to them. I’m pretty sure he thought we couldn’t see him.

Here’s a little closer look.

I had an early dinner after our hike and then hit the sewing room and quilted the red and yellow Frankenbag panels I made last night. Then I took a quick break to run to Joann’s to pick up ten yards of fusible fleece that I bought online (It’s on sale right now if you need some!).

Once home I hit the sewing room and finished up this bag. I just love the black and white jumble with this… and that red Jupiter is pretty fantastic too!

Here’s the back of the bag.

So, how do I decide what is the front and what is the back? Whatever panel I like the best is the front. It really doesn’t matter except in pocket and tag placement. I like the pocket to be on the back side and the tag to be on the front.

Speaking of the pocket, here’s the double pocket in this bag.

And of course, this tag puts a nice little bow on the whole thing.

A lot of people ask me where I get these tags, so here’s a link to the Etsy site. They have a lot of tags to choose from and their service is really good.

I keep getting photos of Frankenbags from blog readers. Here’s the latest batch.

Here’s one sent in by Viveka Berg. I just love all those wonky log cabin blocks… and all that color is pretty wonderful! And I really like the checkerboard quilting.

Here’s two bags from Ann Green. She made one smaller and one larger. I love the way she incorporated those cat panels. I have some of the dog print by the same designer and had it out the other night and was thinking about hos to incorporate it into a Frankenbag. I also love her bright colors contrasted with the blacks.

This last one is from Golda Zewi in Turku, Finland. I just love that big and bold modern block on the front of this bag. I think this is the first one I’ve seen that uses a modern block like that. The color blocking is really powerful too. And I love the crumb piecing on the back of the bag and that one orange piece just makes me so happy!

Thanks again to everyone who has sent in photos of their Frankenbags. I’m having so much fun getting to see them!

A Normal Feeling Visit and So Many Frankenbags

I left my brother’s place in Coquille, OR, Wednesday morning around 10:30 and arrived home around 3:00 in the afternoon. It was the first time I’ve visited my brother and his wife in more than a year-and-a-half. I typically go down there a couple times a year.

Tuesday day was my vaccine full potency day, so we figured this weekend was a good time for a visit.

They live on a lovely piece of property a few miles out of town with views of the neighboring hillsides and 15 acres of quiet and private property. Their yard near the house is a couple of those acres and includes several different gardens on different levels, an orchard, and several small sheep pastures.

Here is a picture of my boys in front of one of their gardens.

They also have a really lovely walking trail through the trees up on the hills above their house. It’s so nice to get up there and do a few laps to get some miles under your belt.

Rico was very interested in their sheep but didn’t make himself obnoxious about it. Bender seemed to develop quite a special relationship with them! They did this over and over!

We didn’t do much during the three days I was there, but it was really relaxing and so nice to feel normal for a few days. I was worried that I’d feel weird about being indoors with other people, but it felt like the most normal thing — I’m so glad we’re all vaccinated! I was so relieved and really enjoyed my time there.

We mostly hung out around the house except for a trip to the ocean each day. It was so good for us and the dogs really love going to the beach.

We really lucked out on the weather and had the beach nearly all to ourselves each time we went.

Being at the beach is always a great opportunity to pose with my boys. I wish the quality of this photo was better.

There were A LOT of outtakes in getting this photo taken. Those dogs just wanted to run!

Here’s one of my favorite photos from this beach visit.

We did a little drinking… Here we are having some beer and enjoying the weather and the view before we made fish tacos for dinner.

Here’s my first taco. It was a really good dinner! Fresh fish, home made tortillas, and lots of fresh things from the garden.

We followed dinner with some scotch and Yahtzee… a family after-dinner tradition!

I did finally get into my sewing room this evening and whipped up the panels for another Frankenbag. I was too tired to get much beyond this point.

And this one…

I’ll probably finish this up tomorrow. I’m going to go for a hike in the morning and get my car registered after that. Then I’ll do some sewing.

I’ve been getting so many reader submitted photos. So much creativity out there! Here’s what’s come in the last few days.

Cherry Naylor has been busy again! I love this one with all the different black and white prints. And the pops of green are so wonderful!

And Lynne Hummel has really been cranking them out. I love the purple in this one and the tiddlywinks lining is always a winner! Lynne added a nice zipper pocket too.

Sheila Plock has been busy making bags and I just love the fabrics she used for this one. I had a very similar stack of fabric on my cutting table a week or so ago. You might see this show up in my done pile soon!

Tammy Anderson made this wonderful scrappy and eclectic version. I just love this! I’m betting there are a lot of memories among those blocks and fabrics.

Laura Hillaker made this colorful and springy version. I love the way she incorporated the selvedge. That’s a really fun addition. I also love how she used the large pieces of fabric to show off the prints.

Kris Cook sent photos of this bag she made from wonderful blue and orange fabrics. And I just love her lining! You can’t go wrong with blues, yellows and oranges! I do want to make a blue version. I think I’ll pull out all the blues left over from my blue 16 patch quilt and make a bag or two. There should be some fun fabric combos there.

Deb Dolby really let these huge blooms sing in her version. Aren’t these colors gorgeous? That What a fun way to show them off.

Nina Talbrant sent these photos of her bag. She said she participated in a Swedish quilting guild virtual sew along where some of the participants made Frankenbags. I love her scrappy approach. It feels like a well loved and comfy quilt.

And finally, one of my favorite that anyone has made is by Brit Inger Johnsson. Aren’t these colors just fantastic? And I love how she did quilting horizontally and vertically. Ooh. I just love this one!!! It makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up.

I just love it that everyone is really going for it with their linings! The lining is so important!

Thanks to everyone who has sent in bags! I can’t wait to see what else comes my way.

Bringing Back Some Fun Tutorials and a Bit of Vacation

I’m without my sewing machine for a few days so I want to bring back couple of tutorials that I did in the past. I have so many new blog readers recently that I thought some would find these projects fun to do… and they make great gifts.

The first is a tutorial for a zipper pouch. I have made a LOT of zipper pouches in the past. I developed a few tricks over time that I really like. These pouches are all about the inset panel. That’s where the fun happens. This tutorial shows you how to construct the pouch… not how to piece the panels.

Some of these panels are improv pieced, some are paper pieced… do whatever floats your boat! But make a pouch or two!

I’ve adapted this pattern for a lot of different sizes and shapes of pouches and have added zipper pockets over time. It’s nice to have a few tricks and techniques that you can apply to a lot of different pieces.

The other tutorial that’s fun is for a drawstring knitting project bag with a zipper pocket on the front. I’ve made a number of these. I use one for my small knitting projects. I have another one that I use for my “covid kit” in my car — it holds hand sanitizer, gloves, masks, disinfectant wipes, all in a neat package.

Here’s a few I made on this pattern.

I carried this Frankenbag with me on my travels this week and it’s been pretty much perfect! It’s holding a couple of books, my iPad, computer and phone cables, my cosmetic bag, and some dog toys. I can’t be the only one who carries dog toys in their tote bag!

It’s really functional and already feels like it’s going to be an old favorite.

Four or five people have sent me photos of Frankenbags they’ve made. I’m struggling with really slow internet and it’s taking soooo long to upload photos, so I’ll work on getting those posted in the next blog post. Thanks to everyone who has sent all your fun photos!

We took a trip to the beach today and we’re all exhausted tonight! It was a beautiful day. The forecast called for rain, but we lucked out and actually had some blue sky.

You can see the dogs’ tracks all over the sand! We walked five miles on the beach. The dogs must have run 20!

It felt so good to get out and move around a little and it always feels great to see and hear the ocean. Here’s my brother and his wife leaving me in the dust as I stopped to take photos of the dogs.

As usual, Bender is an excellent poser.

Rico… not so much.

We had to scramble over some rocks to avoid the surf at one point. My brother led the way.

Seen in one of the little nooks and crannies in the rocks. . .

Do I look happy to be at the coast?

More adventures tomorrow.

Frankenbag #20

I finished up this red and yellow Frankenbag tonight. I’m pretty sure this is the 20th one I’ve made!

It’s pretty hard to go wrong with KFC fabrics in the red and yellow colorways. And I love that these blocks came from different sewers. It makes this bag very special to me.

I had thought that first photo would be the back of the bag, but that large block with the yellow crackle border is just too good. So I changed my mind. The only difference it makes is where I place the pocket on the inside. I feel like the pocket should be alongside the back of the bag, not the front.

Here’s the other side, what I thought would be the front, but I’m calling it the back.

Still pretty good. But missing the POP of that larger piece of yellow crackle with those magic turquoise pieces.

I used the orange crackle for the lining with a yellow crackle pocket.

And of course, the tag! Holy hell. I just LOVE these tags!

I’m thinking something with some purple in it might be up next…

Sheila Plock has been going a little nuts making Frankenbags. She posted photos of three more bags today. She’s really on a roll! You can click on each image for a little bigger view.

I’m really loving how much fun Sheila is having making these bags. And I love to see her using gorgeous and fun fabric for her linings! Don’t forget to use something fabulous for the lining!

She’s getting close to rivaling me in her production!

And her bags remind me that I’ve wanted to do something with some purple. And I might make another red and yellow one, but include some black and white jumble. It certainly worked in this quilt that I made in 2019.

We had some rain showers come through this afternoon but it cleared up nicely for our evening walk. We were all happy to get outside and stretch our legs.

One more day of work and then I have a week of vacation! I’m really looking forward to it.

Ready to Assemble

I got the red and yellow panels that I made last night quilted this evening. I would have assembled the bag body, but I needed to make handles first and I felt too tired to get those sewn so decided to stop with the quilting.

Here’s the two finished panels with the handle fabric.

I just love the way the quilting makes this all feel so cohesive… like it’s just one big piece of crazy fabric!

And i love the views I get of these panels as I’m quilting them.

Look at all that color! So fantastic. Those little pops of turquoise here and there are pretty amazing!

I tried out a few fabrics for the lining and decided to go with this orange crackle. I’ll use the yellow crackle for the pocket.

I’ll probably get this all done tomorrow night. It will go together quickly from here on out.

I got a couple more photos of bags from a blog reader today. These are from Bonnie Carpenter. (Click on each photo for a larger image)

I just love both of these. Look at all those thin strips on that first one, and the quilting is kind of insane! And the second one is so good! I love that black and white sharks tooth… I was so glad when it was finally produced in black and white. It does such crazy things when it’s used for sashing. And the bubble quilting on that second bag is pretty cool too. Maybe I’m going to have to branch out and do something other than straight line stitching! Might have to dig out my stitch regulator! Thanks for sending these in Bonnie!

It was really cool today. I actually had to turn my furnace up. I haven’t had my furnace up for a few weeks. There were even a few nice rain showers and and some hail that came through. It’s been such a dry spring here. Our rainy season should continue through May and into June. We haven’t had much rain to speak of for well over a month. I’m worried about what our fire season will look like if we don’t get some rain.

With all the storms we had today, the skies were gorgeous on our walk tonight.

I call that large sequoia in the center of this photo “Jack’s Tree” after a friend of mine who lives on the east coast. I think of him every time I walk past it and often send him photos of it to let him know I’m thinking of him.

Jack was very concerned about Rico with the toy on his head from last night. He texted me that I should google a certain phone number, and it turned out to be the phone number for the Oregon Humane Society!!!

So I took these photos of the dogs for Jack to show him how happy they are.

You can just see all the happiness on Bender’s face. Look how relaxed and natural he is.

And poor Rico. Hahaha! He just does NOT like to stop and pose. He looks like he’s being tortured!

He’s so sensitive. Such a big, beefy and confident guy, and he feels all the feels. He’s so sweet.

Blocks From Everywhere!

I’ve been thinking about digging into the blocks my friend gave me a few weeks ago to find a couple of panels for a bag that would be in reds, yellows and oranges. So I dug in and selected a couple of blocks that I thought would work.

Here’s the first one. It has mostly KFC fabrics in it.

Here’s the second one. Also mostly KFC fabrics.

Then I remembered that there were a few small simple blocks that were in the scraps that Wanda sent me so I dug those out.

A couple of weeks ago I ran across some panels of 2 inch squares of KFC fabrics that I had sewn a couple of years ago… intending to put them into zipper pouches. I thought these would work well for these panels.

Once I had all these pieces ready to go, I looked through my stash and selected a few fabrics in red, yellow and orange to compliment these blocks. And here’s what I came up with: the first panel.


And the other panel.

This really is a true Frankenbag with pieces from all over the place. I really like having pieces in these panels that were made by friends. It makes them special. I also like that it reads in the red family, but there are a lot of fun little pops of color everywhere.

I’ll probably get this quilted and get the outer bag body sewn together tomorrow night.

I received more photos of Frankenbags from blog readers today.

These first photos are two bags from Lynne Hummel. I really love all the indigo in these bags. It’s such a great neutral color to use with so many different prints and colors. I also like the strong horizontal lines on the center top photo. And, of course, there’s all that graphic black and white that I love so much. And that thin little yellow line in the photo on the top right? Well, it’s sort of everything.

Lynne also added a zipper pocket on that bag at the top.

This next bag is from Linda Lock. I just love those big and bold pieces on this bag. And the floral handles are pretty fun too! I also really like how it’s all askew! That makes it so interesting.

Thanks to Lynne and Linda for sharing photos of their bags!

As I was walking the boys tonight the sky just got prettier and prettier. Rico was not happy that we had to stop to take a photo.

Holy cow. I really live in a gorgeous place!

I made up for Rico’s agony when we got home by putting a toy on his head.

Look how happy he is with this situation!

Something That’s Not a Bag!

I didn’t spend a ton of time in my sewing room tonight. I finished up the lining on this green bag and I have to say that I love it.

I’ve never been too terribly in love with that Kaffe design with the little flowers, but I really like it in this bag. I just love the little pops of color.

Here’s the finished front and back of this bag.

… and the back…

I made a point of getting the tag sewn on tonight, rather than waiting like I have with other recent bags.

I mark the center of the bag with a pin, and then use clips to hold the tag in place while I hand sew it on.

I also took a few minutes to sew the tags on my paperweight bag and the dark bag I finished last night.

Look how pretty those fabrics are close up!

I also decided that I’m going to start working on the blocks for my Secret Purple Ruffled Feathers quilt. This quilt only has 20 big blocks in it. I made one block tonight, which makes five blocks done.

If I can make a few of these a week, this quilt top will be done in no time.

I got photos of a couple more Frankenbags made by blog readers. This first one if from Cherry Naylor. I love how saturated these colors are and the piecing is really fun!

And look… she’s combined wavy quilting with some straight lines. That a really good idea!

Here’s the other side.

That’s some fun crumb piecing there!

Poppy Maclean also sent photos of a new bag she made and it’s so wild!!!

It’s almost psychedelic! I love this in so many ways!

Here’s a view from the side.

And this third one from Tamy Roberts.

I love that this has a lot of blue and green, but also has those fun pops of color. And those little patches of onion rings make me pretty happy!

Here’s the other side.

There’s all kinds of fun angles going on in this one! This looks like it will be someone’s favorite bag!

Thanks to Poppy, Cherry and Tamy for sending photos!

Just a Little More Bag Obsession

It was pretty warm outside today so I spent a good deal of time in my sewing room and I got a lot done. I finished the lining on the black bag that I showed in my last post.

Man, I just LOVE that red spiral shells. It has become one of my favorite KFC fabrics.

Each one of these is easier and quicker than the last.

I like this one better than the other black one that I made. That’s really why I made this one. I wanted to do it differently for a different effect, and I achieved it.

Here’s the other side.

I really do like the addition of the black and white fabrics to this mix. I also really like the chunks of larger prints here and there.

I lined it with the dark blue guinea flower and made a divided pocket out of dark paper fans.

I just counted and I think I’ve made 17 of these bags. Including this green one that isn’t done yet. I pulled out the stack of quilt blocks my friend sent me a few weeks ago and build another green bag around them.

I intentionally put that orange in there because the last one had that shock of orange in the orphan block and it really brought the panel to life.

Here’s the other side.

I’m going to line it with that green jumble that’s bordering the larger block in the image above.

Here’s the two panels together. I like seeing them side by side.

I’ll probably get the lining on this done tomorrow night.

I ran across Jennifer Condon’s account on Instagram the other day that has given me all kinds of ideas for panels for bags. She does really amazing improv piecing that is very free form and irregular.

Take a minute and check her out.

I took the dogs for a nice long walk after breakfast this morning. I decided to do 4.5 miles so we could take a shorter walk after dinner.

Even though we were out earlier than we usually are, their tongues are hanging out! We were about three miles into our walk at this point and were heading toward home.

Along the way I ran across this odd thing.

It was sitting on top of this tree stump. It was about as big around as a silver dollar and about 3/4 inches high. I think it’s some kind of spider egg sac. I asked people on Facebook what they thought, and I have a lot of wise cracking friends.

Some thought it might be come kind of fungus. Some agreed that it might be a spider egg sac. I won’t share the wise cracks here.

I’m very sad that the rhododendrons are starting to fade. I saw this gorgeous light pink one on our evening walk tonight. the blooms were huge!

Once again… the weekend isn’t long enough. But this is my final week of work before my week of vacation! I can’t believe it’s gotten here so quickly. I’m really looking forward to a vacation.

Black KFCs Without the Chaos

I knocked off work about an hour early today since I have to work tomorrow and started cracking away at some new Frankenbag panels made from my black KFC scraps. I wanted to do something that felt less chaotic and where you could actually see the different elements of the panel.

Here’s the front of the bag. I think I achieved what I set out to do.

Isn’t that large block of the spiral shells fantastic!?!?! I just love that fabric. I have a big piece of it that I will use for a quilt backing some day.

I didn’t think I was going to like the black and white with these dark fabrics but I actually love it. It certainly gives the bag a different feel.

Here’s the other side of the bag.

In making these panels, I wanted to use some larger pieces of the KFC prints that are so fantastic. I love the way those larger pieces work here.

And those little blocks at the top with the diagonal lines of Jumble? I stole that idea from Brenda Tonyes, one of my blog readers who sent in photos.

Here’s both panels together.

I’m going to line this one with that gorgeous blue guinea flower fabric. I’ll probably finish this Saturday.

A friend of mine here in the Pacific Northwest named Karin Haderly posted some photos today of a Frankenbag she made for her mom out of some batik blocks and scraps left over from a quilt.

I love that circular quilting she did. I need to try that some time but I have no idea how to do it. I’m guessing there are tutorials online somewhere.

Here’s the back of the bag. She took these photos in the snowball tree especially for me!

Take a look at all those corners on those gorgeous batiks. Karin is kind of a rock star quilter. She makes absolutely gorgeous and intricate paper pieced quilts that are waaaay above my skill level. She invited me up to her house a few summers ago to spend the afternoon learning how to do paper piecing. I learned so much that day. She helped me build a few skills and gain confidence in striking out on paper piecing projects… but not as complicated as the ones she makes!

Karin also has border collies and shares my love for Kaffe Fassett Collective fabrics and Philip Jacobs the person.

Speaking of border collies, take a look at this handsome lad. Rico is just the sweetest boy.

And here’s Bender in a babushka. It really works on him.

I’m feeling confident that I’ll actually have a strawberry or two from my garden this summer. It’s going to be fun to watch these grow. I’m hoping the squirrels and birds leave them alone.

And apples… it looks like I’ll have plenty of those too. Hopefully not too many to keep up with.

I’m looking forward to the weekend.