You Know, I Actually Like This

I wasn’t thrilled with this bag after I got the panels done, but now that it’s all done, I really like it.

I will make another one out of these fabrics. I have some ideas on a few things I want to do to make this better.

Have I said how much I love these little tags? Well, I do!

And here’s a look at the lining and the pocket. I made the pocket a little bigger and sewed a dividing seam down the middle.

I’m still amazing by the photos of Frankenbags I’m receiving from blog readers. I got this one today that was made by Andrea Segura Smith. She made the bag from blocks left over from a quilt.

I really like this one! And interestingly, I was just thinking earlier today about combining blues and yellows into a bag. Aren’t those striped sashings fantastic!

Here’s the other side of this one.

I just love how comfy and squishy this feels. That’s what I had in mind when I made my first one. And look at those indigos with that pretty yellow.

Here’s the lining.

And then I got some photos from Birthe Aust. She has been very busy! I warned her that she’s on a slippery slope of obsession if she keeps this up!

Here’s the first bag she made from KFC fabrics.

I love that she left that big print intact and combined it with those thin strips of crease. I love the vertical lines on this.

Here’s the back.

Again, I love that big print! I also love the purple and the little pops of turquoise!

Here’s the second bag Birthe made from Aboriginal fabrics.

I love that there’s so much blue in it!

Here’s the other side of this one.

More blue, with really wonderful pops of yellow and green! Love it.

Here’s the third bag she made from black and white fabrics. I just love this one. That wonky flying geese unit makes me smile… and I want to make one of those. It will be fun to draw my own paper piecing template for that part.

It’s all black and white except for this fun pop of color.

This is a really fun little take on the Frankenbag!

Thanks to everyone for sending photos. I’m really enjoying seeing what you’re all coming up with!

A Little Gardening and Black Bag Progress

I got the panels for the KFC black Frankenbag quilted over the last couple evenings and sewed them together this evening.

That’s supposed to be the back of the bag, but I like it better than the front. So, I’m changing this to the front. It really only matters in my head! But I am liking this better as it progresses. I will make another one out of these fabrics and will do some different things in the piecing to make it different. Some ideas rattling around in my head.

Here’s what was the front of the bag. Now I’ll consider this the back.

I pulled out the black faux leather I bought a month or so ago and whipped up some handles. This bag really needs black handles.

Here’s a photo with the fabric I’ll use for the lining.

I got my garden in today. I stopped doing ground gardening when I moved to Portland. I have terrible dirt here and I got tired of all the garden maintenance throughout the summers. So I switched to growing a few things in containers. What I really want is tomatoes. Everything else is just window dressing.

Several years ago I had my yard guy pick up some metal stock tanks and we planted some tall bamboo in them, hoping it would eventually shade my patio on summer evenings. The bamboo failed to thrive after several years, so we dug it out this spring and planted trees instead. We put some good dirt in those tanks and I had him pick up another larger tank, and he got them all ready for planting on Monday.

In the large tank I planted four tomato plants and three pepper plants.

The tomatoes are all cherry varieties. It’s really hard to grow regular size tomatoes up here. I do have pretty good luck with the smaller varieties.

The peppers are one jalapeno and two sweet varieties.

In one of the smaller tanks I planted mixed lettuce. In the other one I planted ever bearing strawberries.

A friend of mine kept me in fresh garden lettuce all last summer and it really made me want my own. And I’ve always wanted strawberries. The guy at the garden store told me that I would actually have strawberries this summer! I’m really looking forward to that.

My yard guy mixed some fish fertilizer into the dirt and someone found it irresistible and ate some dirt last night.

So I have fences around all the tanks to keep bad dogs out. He’s going to be in real trouble if he helps himself to strawberries or tomatoes!

I got a few more photos of Frankenbags from blog readers. This first one is another one from Kris Cook. She said she has been saving the last of this cherished Anna Marie Horner fabric and decided to make this bag for her sister. She said it shows how much she loves her sister!

It’s really a beautiful piece of fabric. Kris made this bag a little smaller, at her sister’s request.

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

And here’s the lining. She added an extra pocket with makes this really functional.

This next bag is from Lynne Hummel. It’s a fun combo of batiks and black and white prints. And you know how much I love a graphic black and white fabric!

Here’s the other side of this bag.

I really love this black and white swirly fabric.

This next bag was made by Rose B. She said she had fallen into a quilting slump and this bag may have saved her.

That makes me so happy! I know that I was getting a little bored in my sewing. I’ve been having a lot of fun with these bags. They allow me to try different things without much risk. And they are quick and easy to finish.

Thanks again to everyone who has sent me photos. I’m having a blast seeing them and you’ve all given me a ton of ideas!

I Just Remembered Some Black Scraps

I got up this morning and after a good breakfast and a nice cup of dark coffee I took the boys for a 4.5 mile walk. It was a gorgeous morning and it felt really good to get out and stretch our legs.

While we were out walking I remembered that I had a packet of scraps left over from this black KFC quilt that I made last year.

So I dug into them tonight and whipped up the panels for another Frankenbag.

These bag panels are every bit as chaotic as the original quilt!!! You can’t even see the wonky log cabin block in the front panel!

Here’s the panel with the wonky log cabin block. Can you see it?

And here’s the back of the bag. Also chaotic. But actually less chaotic than the front panel.

I’ll probably get these panels quilted tomorrow night.

After our walk this morning, I threw the dogs in the car and headed west on a quest to see some crimson clover. And I found some.

You see field after field of crimson clover in farm country around Portland every spring. I’m not sure it they grow it for seed, or if it’s a cover crop. It’s absolutely gorgeous. And it was covered with bees. I could hear the buzzing the minute I got out of the car.

It was such a gorgeous drive. The sky was so clear and blue with dramatic clouds. And the countryside was so amazingly green. This is such a fabulous time of year here.

My snowball bush is in full bloom and it’s having a really good year.

The blooms are so big! Look at this monster. It’s nearly 6 inches across!

Here’s a picture to give you an idea of how big this bush is. Bender is there for scale.

It’s really a monster.

Another blog reader sent me photos of a Frankenbag she made. This one is from Michele Pintarch. And it’s a really fun one!

I love the way she used that big piece of the green shaggy… and the wide pieces of onion rings. It’s really fun. More ideas flying around my head!!!

And look how fun her handles are!

Here’s the lining. She added a magnetic snap and a key fob to one of the pockets, which is a really good idea!

Dang. Back to work tomorrow.

Paperweight Frankenbag is Done

I didn’t get much sewing done today as I had to work this afternoon. But I did manage to finish this paperweight Frankenbag.

I’ve been thinking I would keep this bag for myself, and that’s exactly what I’m going to do.

Here’s a picture of the zipper placket. It turned out quite nice.

Here’s the other side of the bag.

I’m still planning on making a tutorial for the zipper placket, and maybe the zipper pocket.

Another reader sent me some photos of the Frankenbag she made. This nice little star bag is from Joyce Ruff. She said she had to make the bag a little bigger to get the entire star to show. I really like that big bold block featured so prominently!

Here’s the other side of her bag.

I like the way she did her crumb piecing by color. And then there’s that black and white!

I have a completely free day tomorrow. It feels like it’s been a long time since that’s happened. I am going to go out for a drive in quest of fields full of red clover. It’s an annual thing for me! I’ll post pictures when I have them.

Oh, and there’s this…

My Brain Hurts a Little

After our evening walk I hunkered down in my sewing room to see if I could finish the lining, pockets and zipper placket on my KFC Paperweight Frankenbag. I got close, but didn’t quite get it all done. I also documented all the steps with photos so I could write this up into a tutorial. It’s going to take some time to write that up so that it makes sense.

I did a lot of on-the-fly design as I put this lining, pockets and zippers together, and it sort of made my brain hurt. Luckily, all I have left to do is press and topstitch around the top of the bag, and then stitch down the zipper placket. I’ll finish that up tomorrow.

As I was walking my dogs this afternoon I had a brainstorm that it would actually be easier to do the initial attachment of the zipper placket to the lining before the bag lining was sewn together and attached to the bag body. So I figured out how to do that as I put this all together. It worked pretty well. And it means that there will only be one additional line of seaming showing at the top of the bag… it will be a little easier to hide that one row of stitching among the lines of match stick quilting.

Here’s a look at the pockets on the inside of the bag. One zipper pocket and a divided slip pocket.

I also figured out that zipper pocket as I made it. It turned out pretty well, but I will change a few things when I make the next one.

I sewed the zipper pocket on so that it’s a zipper AND a slip pocket at the same time. So it will do double duty. So many pockets!

This pocket is part of what made my brain hurt. I really figured this out as I made it. I really didn’t want to make a fancy zipper placket so tried to figure out an easier construction. It was easy to put together, but I used a light fusible interfacing on the pocket and it ended up being just too much. I also screwed up and ended up with the interfacing as the inside of the pocket, rather than a piece of fabric to line the pocket. But I’ve noodled out in my head how I will fix this in the next bag. In my sore brain it seems like it should work. But that’s what I thought when I made this one!

Take a look at this zipper placket once it was constructed. This part didn’t so much make my brain hurt.

I like these metal zippers and have been wanting to try them instead of the nylon zippers I use for my zipper pouches. But they present some challenges. First, you can’t sew over a metal zipper. So that affects how you construct things like pockets and plackets where you WANT to sew over zippers. Second, the zippers are a little stiff. I’m guessing they will loosen up over time and be more smooth to open and close. I have four more of each size to use up. I like the look of them, but I’m not sure I’ll buy more.

I received some more photos of Frankenbags made by blog readers. This first one was made by Debbie Fraser out of some lovely warm batiks. This one really makes me want to dig into my batiks! Maybe that’s the next bag I’ll make. I’ve been noodling some ideas out on how to use my batik scraps. Oh, and I love that vertical quilting. I want to try that too.

This next bag was made by Josephine Abbot. I love the way she incorporated that New York Beauty block. I’m pretty sure I have a few of those made from KFC fabrics and batiks laying around somewhere. I wonder if I can find them. They’re left over from this wall hanging.

Those KFC oranges, pinks and yellows are so pretty against that indigo background!

Here’s the other side of this bag. What a great use of eclectic scraps!

Thanks to Debbie and Josephine for sending me photos of their bags!

My snowball tree is in full bloom right now and it’s pretty spectacular! Some of the blooms are as big as my two fists together.

So, of course, I had to put some on Bender.

I’m happy to report that Rico’s sore feet were better in just a day or two. We’re all very happy about that!

Odds and Ends and a Zipper

I’ve had a busy few days and finally found a little time this evening to get into my sewing room and take a stab at putting a zipper placket in the first Frankenbag I made. There are some things very wrong with this bag that made it a good one for a first try at a zipper.

So I did some measuring, made a few notes and had an idea of how to construct the placket. Then I started cutting fabric.

Here’s the finished zipper placket.

I’m pretty darned happy with how this turned out for a first attempt. There are a few minor things I’ll change in the next one I do. But overall it turned out pretty well.

I left the zipper long so that there’s enough length to allow the bag to be opened wide.

Here’s the zipper and placket before I attached it to the bag.

I sewed each half onto the bag with the zipper facing up above the top of the bag. Then I folded it down and topstitched it down. This folding down and top stitching enfolded the raw zigzagged edge of the placket for a nice finished appearance.

Oh, man. There’s some really messy stuff on the top of that bag! And that’s why it’s my prototype! The handles don’t even line up! the good thing is that I learned a lot in making this bag!!! If you’re going to make a mess, you might as well learn something along the way!

I’m going to finish up this bag below tomorrow night by making the lining, adding a zipper pocket on the interior and a zipper placket at the top. I’ll probably make a bit of a tutorial in the process.

I received a really fun package in the mail earlier this week from Wanda at Exuberant Color. She put together some of her older Kaffe Fassett fabric scraps for me. It was so much fun to open the package and go through all the gorgeous fabrics.

Wanda had told me that there were probably a lot of fabrics in there that I’ve never even seen before, and she was right. I don’t think I’ve ever seen this one. But it’s so pretty!

I just love this next one! It’s like a mini Uzbekistan design. The colors are so much fun on that off white background.

This next one is kite tails. I’ve only ever had it in one color way. I would love to have a lot more of this in every color way!

It’s going to be a lot of fun to make something out of these scraps! Huge thanks to Wanda. She’s been an inspiration to me since I found her blog a few years ago.

I got some new fabric in the last few days. This package of batiks arrived today. It was a really cheerful package to open!

I bought these yard cuts on sale online. I want to make some Frankenbags out of my batik scraps and I don’t have a lot of batik pieces that are big enough to use for linings.

I also picked up these Aboriginal half yards at a local shop that I love. They have a nice selection online and I can pick them up at my convenience.

Finally tonight… my blog readers have been really busy making Frankenbags this week! I have a lot to share with you.

Sylvie Dupont made two bags. Here’s the first one in lovely blues and greens with really fun pops of purple and yellow.

Here’s the other side.

And here’s a really bright and springy one that Sylvie made.

I really love that great big daisy! And here’s the other side and I love that pink horizontal strip!

This next one was made by Brenda Tonyes. I just love her fabric combo! Those deep and bright reds with the pops of purple… so good! And I love her leather handles.

And if you’re paying any attention, you know how I feel about that black and white Jumble. IT’S FABULOUS!!!

Here’s the other side. There are so many things I love about this.

First of all, the fish are so amazing! And I love that white and black squiggly fabric going across the width of the bag. And those little blocks at the top with the diagonal strips of Jumble… it all just works so wonderfully together!

Brenda told me that she saw one of my bags on Instagram and she immediately started buying KFC fabrics so she could do some improv and crumb piecing. She said she’s having a lot of fun trying new things.

This makes me so happy! I think life is so much more interesting when I’m learning and trying new things! It’s so much fun to see others doing the same thing.

This next one was made by Lori Schaeffer Taylor. I love that big fussy cut bloom! That’s a great idea for incorporating into a bag.

And I just love the paper weight and Roman glass strips! Those fabrics are some of my favorite KFC fabrics.

Here’s the other side.

I just love that green shark’s teeth strip down the middle! And that diagonal quilting has me thinking…

The final bags tonight were made by Susan Cook. This first one is a really fun one made from dog fabrics. Of course this is going to catch my eye!

This is such a fun little bag! I love the wavy quilting with the topsy turvy dogs. It looks like they’re riding along the waves!

Here’s two more bags Susan made.

I love those deep and rich purples! I need to sew more with purples.

And look… she’s put in a sipper placket!!! Here’s a better look.

This looks like it may have been put in the same way I made mine tonight. I think the zipper is a really nice addition.

Thanks to all of you who sent in photos of your bags! I’m having a blast seeing what everyone is making! So many wonderful ideas out there… you’re all keeping me behind in the things I want to make!

We started our winter radio fundraising drive this morning at 7 am. I was on the air asking for member support from my sewing room!

My cutting table is serving as a makeshift radio studio. The next ten days will be demanding and stressful! I will certainly be ready for my week of vacation later this month!

Corgi Bag is Ready to Ship

I finally had enough oomph left at the end of the day tonight to do a little sewing. So I sewed the lining and finished up the corgi bag that I’m making for a friend in Utah.

I really like the way it turned out. It’s amazing to me how some quilting and a few seams makes something look like something.

Here’s the other side. Not sure which is the front and which is the back.

My friend sent enough corgi fabric to use it for the lining. I made the pocket out of one of the batiks used on the outside of the bag. I like this bag a lot more than I thought I was going to.

And you know I’m loving this little tag!

Still haven’t landed on the best way to attach these tags. I think I liked it the other way better. I’ll keep working on the best method.

I had a fantastic weekend at a sheep herding clinic down in Molalla, Oregon. It was three days of dogs and sheep and friends that I haven’t seen for months. I think I was in heaven!

We really lucked out on the weather. It was cool all weekend, but the only rain we had was on the drive home Friday. I wore my parka all weekend! I’m so glad I threw it in the car at the last minute.

Rico was such a good boy and did an amazing job at the clinic. We really pushed him to do things that were difficult and he really rose to the occasion.

Unfortunately, he wore some holes in the pads of his front feet on Saturday, so his herding training on Sunday was very limited. Basically, he had blisters on his feet. Poor guy was in so much pain. He’s such a sensitive kid.

Luckily, he’s feeling sooooo much better today! Well enough to go for our walk this evening with his feet wrapped. He was very happy to get to go along.

And look how cute his is with his little pink shoes!

Bender went along on the weekend and got some special Bender time each day. He was pretty happy to get some one-on-one attention.

He would have posed on that tree stump for an hour if I’d asked him to. He is such an expert poser.

Back to the work week now. It will be a very busy and exhausting two weeks coming up. I have vacation scheduled for the last week in May and I’m really looking forward to it!

Next up for sewing is to figure out how to get a zipper placket in a Frankenbag. I have to put action behind some ideas to see if they’re going to work.