Answering Questions About My Frankenbags, and Some Other Stuff

I’ve had several people ask me recently how big my Frankenbags end up being. So I took this picture to show you in context with me.

I’m not a tiny person. I’m about 5’8″ and am the size of the average American woman. This bag is a good size bag, but it’s not a suitcase.

This photo also shows how my 24 inch handles work. Someone recently said that they didn’t see how these handles could be considered shoulder straps. For me, these handles make the bag ride exactly where it should. If you’ve noticed, women typically have some curves. I like a bag that rides comfortably where my torso is smallest, at my waist, rather than riding on my hip, where I’m widest. These 24 inch handles make this bag nestle in right where I want it to. It also makes it comfy to keep my hand on the bag for security.

The other thing I like about this length of handle is that they also allow me to carry the bag by the handles without the bag dragging on the ground.

But the really good thing is that you can make your handles any length you want and they will be perfect for you.

I’ve been thinking about my next project and I think it will be another bag. A friend of mine mailed me some pieces of the Kaffe sunburst fabric in the dark colorway from her stash, which I am not able to find anywhere. So I’m going to combine it with some 2.5 inch KFC strips that the same friend gave me a couple of years ago. These are all older prints and they will be fun with this sunburst fabric. I pulled the darker strips out of the group and I like the way this combo looks.

That color way of the sunburst is really gorgeous! And I found that piece of Brandon’s Jolly, on the far left, while I was looking for these strips. I think it will make a great lining for this bag.

And speaking of looking for those strips… I nearly had to tear my sewing room apart to find them! In the process I went through nearly all my KFC fabrics and found some stuff that I’d forgotten about.

One of the pieces I found was a yard of the blue sunburst fabric! I had no recollection that I had this in my stash. Remember that I ordered more so I could line my last bag with it. Oy.

Well, now I have even more of it! That’s probably not a bad thing!

Another piece I found is this green colorway of Kaffe’s Jupiter.

It’s nearly impossible to find and has been out of production for years. I bought several yards of it a few years ago when I happened upon it in an online store. I’ve been rationing it in projects ever since. And the other night I happened upon some in a different online store and bought five yards of it!!! I’m so excited to be putting more of this in my stash. The colors are just so amazing. And green is my favorite color — this is just so good and it makes me very happy!

I also found this strip set. I don’t even remember buying this. It might have been from a Missouri Star daily special several years ago. I have an idea of what to make from this. More on this later.

In the last few days I’ve received more photos of Frankenbags made from my tutorial.

This first one is from Mary Jo Mix. This was Mary Jo’s first try at the Frankenbag and she said she had never done scrappy before. I think this is a really good first adventure in scrappy piecing! I love it.

This next bag is from Wendy Patrick. She has a vintage green button (shown in the first photo) that she will add to the bag along with the tassel in the last photo.

I really love how scrappy and random Wendy’s piecing is! The way she’s put the black and white fabrics in here and there is fantastic!

This last bag is from Sandra Jane Spear. She said she had a lot of fun and some not so much putting this bag together. While taking this outdoor photo she stepped into a nest of fire ants! And a few days later she sliced off part of her finger with her rotary cutter.

I love this bag… especially knowing how Sandra suffered to make it!!! And look at the work she put into piecing that interior pocket. She’s a rock star… a wounded rock star!

Thanks to Mary Jo, Wendy and Sandra for sharing their photos. If you’ve sent me a photo that hasn’t made it to my blog, let me know! It’s been a little tricky keeping track of all these photos!

The weather here in Portland has been pretty amazing the last few days. Really nice temps, a shower here and there, and absolutely amazing skies! This photo was taken during our afternoon walk today.

Last week I finally turned my air conditioner on. Yesterday, I had to turn the furnace on again! We’re all enjoying the long and light evenings! My favorite part of summer!

Blue Starburst Done and Way Too Much Fabric

I received a package of fabric in the mail today that contained some blue starburst fabric. I’ve been waiting for it to finish my blue starburst Frankenbag lining. So after dinner I dug in an got it all done.

Thanks to Wanda at Exuberant Color for suggesting that the sunburst fabric would be a fantastic lining. It really is perfect! But it’s not easy to work with! It’s printed quite wonkily (is that even a word?) on the fabric and takes some time and effort to get the pieces cut square with the little squares aligned nicely. I think these little squares are perfect for fussy cutting. A little harder to work with in larger pieces.

But they are so fantastic!

Here’s the other side of this bag.

Ooh! Look at that little peek of the blue sunburst lining!!! I love it!

And the double pocket made from Jumble.

And my favorite detail…

I’ve gone on a little fabric buying streak the last couple of weeks. This all adds up to about 28 yards of fabric. Mostly half yards, but a few yard cuts and several a little larger.

It’s all KFC fabrics. I did purchase a few pieces of non KFC black and whites that didn’t make it into this photo.

Look at this amazing piece! And I’m wishing I had bought a larger piece of this. It’s so fantastic!

I looked at all the bags hanging on the coat rack in my guest room and here’s everything that’s still in my possession. The rest have been sold.

In addition to these are the two I’m keeping for myself. This paperweight one because I just love it and the crumb bag because it’s the first one I made and has all sorts of things wrong with it.

And now I think I might spend a couple of evenings making some blocks for my Secret Purple quilt while I think about what bag I might make next.

Ending the Weekend by Completing My Purple Bag

After breakfast today I took the boys for a 4.5 mile walk while it was still dry. It was nice and cool and we had a great walk.

When I got home, I dug in and started making the panels for this purple bag. Then I got it quilted and constructed. I almost stopped before I got the lining done, but decided to keep going and finish it. I think this is bag number 23. I miscounted when I said I had made #20 a couple weeks ago.

I still need to put the tag on. I’ll sew that on tomorrow and take some better photos outside.

Here’s the other side of the bag.

I lined it with the green and purple jumble and made a purple spot pocket.

The colors in these fabrics are so amazing. While I was quilting this I got a view of the green strata under the lights of the machine and the colors were so vibrant and exciting!

And look how cool that stripe looks with the match stick quilting! GAH! I love this!!!

I received more photos from people who have made Frankenbags.

Here’s a cute little one from Amy Buehler who made this bag smaller than in my tutorial. It’s for her three-year-old grand daughter who will be visiting with her soon. She’s planning on having a different surprise waiting for the toddler each morning.

Here’s another one from Michele Pintark. I love these bright yet soft colored prints combined with that fun black and white fabric. I really want some of that fabric. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it before. This bag just looks like spring time… or rainbow sherbet.

Michelle made long cork handles and added a zipper pocket and snap closure. And I just love that fabric she used for the lining.

Here’s a bag from Jodi Smith. I just love her fabrics! Bright, saturated, bold. Really pretty. And I love Jodi’s diagonal quilting on this bag. That’s something I’m going to need to try soon!

And those pops of pink here and there are just lovely!

Here’s one more bag from Betty. And I’m sorry I didn’t get Betty’s last name. It’s a really fun and whimsical bag. I love the great big bloom and you know the black and white fabrics make me happy.

It looks like Betty added a zipper at the top of the bag along with a zipper pocket on the inside. This will be a really pretty and functional bag.

Thanks to Betty, Jodi, Michele and Amy for sending photos of your bags!

As we were walking this morning I realized that I the shirt I was wearing has been with me for over 20 years!

What an odd thing to think about.

And an added bonus during our walk was this guy.

He was about 6 inches long, not including his tail, and was just sitting there next to a mail box. Odd behavior for a rat. I’d be just as happy if we didn’t have these nasty little things.

On Saturday at our sheep herding lesson Rico worked these girls in a little pen. We were working on moving the sheep around tight quarters. It’s so different than working in a big field.

I think his brain hurt by the time our lesson was over. He didn’t exert a lot of physical effort, but he exerted a lot of mental effort!

And these raggedy looking sheep? They’re hair sheep. They lose their fleece every year so they don’t need to be sheared. But they look pretty rough while it’s happening!

After our lesson I stopped by a local quilt store that has a pretty good selection of Kaffe, Brandon and Philip Jacobs fabrics. They don’t carry much in the way of the newest fabrics, but you can sometimes find prints that aren’t available anywhere else.

So I bought a bunch of mostly older Philip Jacobs prints.

They’re all so pretty together. I might have to come up with an idea for a quilt using a lot of these. And I love some of the lighter shades here.

Phew. I feel so much better now that I have more fabric in my stash!

Blue Sunburst Body Done, and Now I Wait

I finished up the body for this blue sunburst Frankenbag after our walk this evening. And I absolutely love this bag! Definitely one of my favorites.

And the other side…

The side views are interesting too…

And now I’m going to have to wait to finish this because I’ve ordered something special for the lining. But in the mean time I’m planning my next bag…

I’ve been wanting to make a bag out of purples. I’m basing this combo on the coleus fabric at the very top. I will do some editing of these fabrics, but this is a good start. I may include a couple little starbursts here and there. There are a few that are purple and green.

I got some photos of Frankenbags from a couple more blog readers in the last few days.

Here’s one from Antoinette Todd. I really love this scrappy combo of fabrics. Its so casual and comfortable! And I do love those little pops of turquoise.

And here’s another one from Cherry Naylor. I really love that chips fabric. It’s so graphic. I also love how these fabrics are a little more primary colors. I also really like the bold vertical pieces in this bag, all broken up with the little HST block on point.

I think Cherry might be hooked!

Thanks to Cherry and Antoinette for sending me their photos!

I took a picture of the back of my hair the other night because it felt like it was getting really long. I haven’t had it cut since February 2020. That’s nearly 18 months!

I don’t remember the last time my hair was this long. And I’ve been getting really anxious to get it cut. And since I’m fully vaccinated and I have a neighbor who is a hairdresser who is also fully vaccinated, I asked her this morning if she could get me in today. She had an opening in the afternoon and this is the result.

It feels SOOOO GOOD to have it cut! And I love all the curl she was able to get out of it. She told me it will continue to get curlier as it adjusts to the cut. She cut a full three inches off of it and it’s still longer than it’s been in years. It will be interesting to see what I can do with it after I wash it.

She even trimmed my crazy eyebrows!

I’m happy to report that my strawberry plants are sort of going crazy! The biggest one is about as big around as a quarter and the pips are turning red!

I’m thinking I might actually get enough strawberries that I can eat more than one at a time!

Hello weekend!!!

Loving These Blue Sunbursts

I finished up the second blue sunburst bag panel this evening and I got the first panel quilted before I got too tired.

I wasn’t completely sure about this fabric combo, but I’m really liking how this looks. It’s always surprising to me how different fabrics look once they’re sewn together. That simple process of combining them all into one piece of fabric completely transforms what can seem like pieces that don’t make sense together into something that is cohesive and makes total sense. It’s like magic!

Here’s both panels together. They’re pretty similar. Small differences.

And here’s larger photos of each panel… just because it’s fun to just look at these fabrics!!!!

Haven’t decided yet which is the front and which is the back. Probably won’t know until I get the bag body assembled. Could go either way.

I might get this bag finished up tomorrow night.

I keep getting more and more photos of Frankenbags from blog readers. And I’m amazed at what people are coming up with.

Here’s one from Eve Nicholls. She made this from flannel blocks and lined it with linen. It’s all sewn by hand and hand quilted. Eve opted to not include batting because her fabrics were pretty thick and the bag had good body and structure without it.

I’m terribly envious of people who can do hand work and I wish I could do it. Unfortunately, my hands just can’t take it. I’ve got terrible hands, the result of a lot of repetitive work I’ve done over the years knitting, crocheting, and braiding dog leashes and toys.

This next bag is from Terry Perkinson. When I scrolled to the first photo in Terry’s email I literally gasped!!! There is just something about these bright and bold prints with graphic black and white fabrics that just knocks me out! In addition to that, I love the bold shapes and intersecting diagonal lines. And there’s a peek of a very fun orange lining! OOF! I love this one!

This fun summery bag was made by Dana Olness. To me it feels like a picnic on a summer day! And I love her very organic wavy quilting. I think I need to do a few more bags with wavy lines. And I have to say that bandana print lining is so sweet! I just love it that so many people are really going for it with their linings!

These last two bags are from Maureen Parsons. I love the scrappy approach and color combos of these bags. Plus, they’re made with batiks… and I LOVE batiks! Take a closer look at the green bag for the sweet little applique leaves. And what I really love is that it looks like Maureen is already using one of these bags! I just love it when people actually use the things they make. A large part of an item’s beauty is its functionality!

It was hot again today but not as hot as yesterday. I’m happy that it will be cooling down over the next few days, but there’s not much rain in the forecast. We really need some rain. it’s just way too dry and way too hot her for this time of year.

Our afternoon walks have us choosing the shady routes that take us past watering holes.

But I’m pretty sure these boys might walk through fire to get their walks!

Blue Sunbursts and Hot, Hot, Hot

I’ve been feeling a little like my creative juices are running low. I’ve even been thinking this might be a good time to take my sewing machine in for servicing. Then, by the time I get it back I’ll be itching to get going again on new projects.

But tonight I had a little inspiration and whipped up this panel for a Frankenbag.

I’ve been thinking for a few weeks about pulling out the blue sunburst fabric and using it in a bag. So last night I did just that and pulled some fabrics from my stash to go with it.

After having these on my cutting table for a day, I put some of them back in the drawer, then cut some strips and started putting it all together. And I do like the way the panel came together. I’ll make the second one tomorrow night.

Got some photos of a really cool bag from Amy Bell Buehler. And I just LOVE this bag! That little fish is so fantastic. And I love the earthy colors, fun crumb piecing, and those wonderful pops of turquoise here and there. This is just such a winner! Nice job Amy!

I’m having a bit of a hard time easing back into work after my vacation. I’m thinking I’m going to schedule another week off in July. I still have over four weeks of vacation available and am still feeling like I need some time off.

It was a hot one today. It got up to well over 90 degrees. So I took our mid day walk at around 11:30 this morning before it got too hot. We had to stop midway and rest, mostly because I was really hungry! These boys did not understand what this sitting thing was all about.

For our evening walk, we waited until 8 pm to get out and it was still 90 degrees! But it didn’t feel as hot because the sun was down and there was a light breeze. We still had to take a pass through the park so the boys could wet their whistles.

Tomorrow will be hot again and then the weather will get back into the mid 60s and cloudy for a few days. That will be a welcome change. It’s too early to be so hot.