Working Out An Idea — Denim Bag Edition

I’ve been thinking about making a denim bag for a few weeks now. The design has been morphing in my head. I’ve made some sketches and keep changing how I want to approach this.

Last week I made a quick trip to the fabric store and bought some denim since I don’t have any old jeans on hand. And tonight I decided to start cutting and make a prototype bag.

A few nights ago I made a couple of pieced panels that will go into the bag. I used the same Brandon Mably fabrics that I used in the curvy pieced bag I made recently. I sewed the strips onto a paper foundation in a wonky fashion.

These strips will be a horizontal panel in the denim bag body.

I went back and forth on what I was going to use to give this bag some body. I thought I might use fusible fleece, but decided tonight that it would be too thick with the denim and would be a real nightmare to put the bag together.

So I decided that I would use some Shapeflex that I had on hand to give the pieced panels some oomph. I cut the Shapeflex to the same size as the panels and adhered it to the back of the piece. Then I top stitched along each seam line.

I wanted to attach the handles differently than I do with my Frankenbags. Here’s how the handles will go in. This is all just pinned now. I cut the handles six inches longer than the handles for my Frankenbags to accommodate the handle placement.

I made the bottom section of this panel by sewing together three vertical pieces of denim. I pressed the seams open and top stitched on both sides.

I got ahead of myself and sewed that seam between the pieced panel and the strip at the top of the bag before I had the handles made and in place. So I decided the best thing to do was to completely rip out the seams and start over and place the handles correctly.

Not my favorite activity.

The proportions of this bag aren’t looking quite right to me. I’ll look more closely at it tomorrow and may cut that top piece a little taller. I cut these strips to around 2 3/4 inches. I will play with some different sizes and see what works. The pieced panel may be a little too narrow as well. But I’ll know for sure when it’s all put together. It’s hard to know before you see it finished.

I’m considering this to be a prototype and anticipate that it won’t be exactly what I had in mind. I always like to get something actually made and then adjust where necessary to make future bags look and function correctly.

I’ll probably fuse another larger piece of Shapeflex to the bag panels to give them a little stability and to hold it all together. I’ve also wanted to try using some fusible interfacing on the lining of a bag, so I’ll do that with this bag as well to see how it works.

Maybe I’ll actually end up with something that I’ll be able to use.

After an absolutely gorgeous weekend, it poured rain almost all day today. My poor dogs were so bored with being office dogs.

We did actually have a brief break in the rain this afternoon so we stepped way for our usual two mile walk. We had pretty good luck but did get wet during the last half mile.

And then the boys took another snooze.

I have a busy work week coming up. So many meetings and a big fundraising campaign starting on Thursday. Better get some sleep!

So Tired I Forgot This Blue Sixteen-Patch!

I was so tired when I did my blog post last night about the five quilts I picked up from my long arm quilter that I only posted FOUR quilts!

Here’s the one I forgot to post and it’s the one that I like more than I ever thought I would.

I had wanted to make a sixteen-patch quilt for some time but was pretty intimidated by the thought of matching all those corners. Then I tried the amazing tutorial from Wanda at Exuberant Color and it made it all so easy!

Blue is not one of my favorite color, but I just love the beautiful blues in this quilt. It just makes me so happy!

Take a look at these corners of these blocks! It makes me pretty happy to see this all so precise! All thanks to Wanda!

And while you’re looking at that, take a look at that binding. That’s Kaffe’s shirt stripes in blue and I just love it!!! It gives a fun variation around the quilt with little pops of color. It’s a pretty spectacular design!

This is the first time I’ve used the Kaffe Fassett Collective wide backings and I couldn’t be happier with it. The colors are so vibrant and the fabric is soft and velvety –the texture is really something. I will definitely use more of these wide backings in the future. It will be fun to see more and more designs appear in the wide back.

We spent today at a sheep herding clinic down outside Mollala, Oregon. It was a beautiful day weather wise and it’s always great to spend time outdoors with dogs and sheep and with friends that I haven’t seen in months. Rico approves!

Why is he in that tank? Dogs get really hot when they’re working hard in the field. So they need a good cool off and most sheep dogs are more than happy to jump into a water trough!

We’ll be going back tomorrow for a second day.

Before we headed home this afternoon we took a nice hike on the land next to my friend’s place. It was nice to get out and stretch our legs before getting in the car.

And tonight I’m going to share more photos of Frankenbags from my blog readers since I’m not too tired!

This first bag is another one from Una Walker. The fabric is what she calls a primitive linen that she did a combination of Gelli printing, stenciling and airbrushing on. I just LOVE this bag. The colors and fabrics are so pretty. And the bag had that soft and squishy feel that I envisioned when I first started making Frankenbags. It’s just so wonderful!

This next bag was made by Kelly Thibeault. I love her crumb piecing and the fun and larger patches of fabrics in the center photo. And those orange squares are really a spark! And a really good lining! I appreciate a good lining!

Next up is this bag from Jane Dawson. I just love the fun animal prints she’s used in combo with the bold black and white fabrics. This is a really fun little bag!

Next is these three bags made by Barbara Ryan. The photos show the fronts and back of the three bags. Barbara included half rectangle, Seminole band, wonky Log Cabin, and nine patch blocks. She combined batiks with quilting cottons. I love that Barbara made three very different looking bags! It’s fun to see that she really let her creativity go!

These next two bags were made by Marion Hughes. I love her colorful and fun crumb piecing. And the crumb pieced pockets are such a nice touch with the neutral lining. I also love that she’s made more than one bag! I love seeing people have so much fun that they make more than one!

Big thanks to Una, Kelly, Jane, Barbara and Marion for sharing photos of their beautiful bags!

A Good Day — I Picked Up Five Quilts from My Long Arm Quilter!

My log arm quilter texted me yesterday to let me know that the five quilts I left with her on Aug 24 were done and ready for me to pick up. I’ve made 20 quilt tops during the pandemic and these are the first that have actually be finished.

Here’s the first one. This is an Aboriginal fabric quilt that will go to my brother and his wife.

I just LOVE how this turned out. It’s always exciting to see a quilt top turned into a finished quilt.

Look at all these amazing fabrics! The colors and designs are so amazing!

The photo below shows the quilting. The design is called Malachite. It’s basically a squiggly sprial that was quilted using a light gray thread. It’s pretty perfet.

Here’s a look at the backing. It’s pretty special too!

The next quilt is this one that will be a holiday gift. This is so happy and cheerful!

I really love that border and the binding! What a great choice!

Oh man… look at that border and binding!

And the quilting was done with a dark yellow/golden thread in a floral pattern. I love the way this turned out.

This next quilt is a scrappy batik wedge quilt. It’s quilted with a musical instrument design. it’s for someone who just started their first job as an elementary music teacher. It’s hard to find the musical instruments.

These photos show the quilting a little better.

It’s a fun and casual quilt, which I love!

Last up is another Aboriginal fabric quilt. It’s almost exactly the same as the other, but there are some different fabrics here and the backing is different.

Good grief! That’s so gorgeous.

I’m in the middle of making another 100 greeting cards with the Philip Jacobs brassica on them. I will easily get them done this weekend. However, I provably get much done in y sewing room as I’ve got another weekend of sheep on tap. I’m really looking forward to some time outside and just having a grand old time with the dogs and some friends.

I spent a few minutes last night playing with the Philip Jacobs print scraps. I found a design that I’m having some fun with. But it just drives home the fact that I don’t have the patience for all that handwor

It would be fun to do a set like this but it’s really slow!

I’m going to give some more thought to my new denim bag this weekend. I’d like to get some measurements taken and have a good idea of what I have to to do make this bag.

I have a few photos of Frankenbags to share, but I’m really tired and I have to go to bed so I can be on the road tomorrow morning before 7 an.

100 Brassica Cards are Done and Packaged

Wow! That went fast! I got all 100 Brassica cards assembled and packaged up.

I’m getting really fast at making these! It’s amazing how quickly you can move when you figure out a system.

Oh, and my stickers arrived today and I love them! They are a very nice touch to these packages of cards.

And these cards are so gorgeous! I love the variation in each card within a color way. I’m really glad I went with different color ways of the brassica.

Here’s a clear view of one of each color way. I’ve packaged these cards into sets of ten cards — one card from each color way.

Look how gorgeous those are!!! I love it when the fabric happily works that hard!

Here’s each set of cards by color way. The variation within each color way is so incredible.

I also got labels put on the Aboriginal card sets I finished up the other night. They look so cool!

Here’s a closer view…

I also took a minute to put these little stickers on the sets of smaller colored cards with KFC fabrics.

Stickers everywhere!

Here’s all the 5×7 cards I’ve made in the last few days. There’s another box of the smaller cards.

Note to self… put the stickers on the top of the card pack… not the bottom.

Today was a gorgeous day following our weekend of rain. I was actually cold in the house this morning, but it’s way too early to turn the furnace on.

I took the boys for our regular walk this evening on our regular route. And I noticed something that I’ve never noticed before… boulders! A perfect opportunity to take a photos of my boys. How could I walk past that spot literally hundreds of times and not notice those boulders?

That’s a pretty damned cute photo!

Unbelievably, I don’t have any photos of Frankenbags to share tonight!

So what’s up next for me? I really want to make a Frankenbag using the octopus fabric. And… I’ve promised myself that I’m going to start working on one of my many UFOs.

It will be interesting to see if that actually happens.

A Lazy, Rainy Weekend and More and More Cards

After our very hot and very dry summer, it was incredibly refreshing to have two days of significant rain this weekend. I actually had to wear a jacket to walk the dogs this evening!

The sun did peak out a little today. And we had some really nice showers.

I didn’t get a ton done this weekend. I was, in fact, a little lazy. But I think I needed it.

I did accomplish SOMETHING this weekend. I finished up more than 80 cards made with Aboriginal fabrics and got them all packaged up. Here’s cards showing the different fabrics I used for these cards.

Good grief! Those fabrics are so amazing!

I divided all the cards up into sets of ten and packaged them in cellophane bags.

I ended up with eight packages of ten cards and had a few cards left over for me. Here’s a close up of one of the packages.

I ordered some stickers that should be arriving in the next day or so. They will be a nice finishing touch on these packages.

I decided that I’m going to make some card sets from ten different color ways of Philip Jacobs’ brassica. Tonight I got all the fabric cut and prepared with Heat and Bond and ready to be cut for cards.

I was anxious to see how the cards would look so I finished ten cards out of this gorgeous purple color way.

Oh my god! Look at that fabric! And I have to say, I prefer it cut randomly rather than fussy cut. I love how graphic it is and I think the patterns are crazy interesting! GAH! Here’s a close up of one so you can enjoy this spectacular fabric!

I’ll work away on these cards over the next couple of nights. And then I want to get to some unfinished quilts.

But I’ve also been thinking about a new bag idea. I want to make something that has exterior pockets that are sort of constructed as part of the bag body. I made a few drawings and measurements earlier today. I’m not quite where I need to be to start cutting and sewing.

I’ll probably make this out of either denim or some linen that I have in my stash. My plan is to make the body plain and give it a pop with a KFC pocket lining and bag lining. I still have some figuring out to do. I’m also thinking of using some of the faux leather I have on the bottom section of the bag. I need to get my ideas organized and drawn out.

I took the dogs and met a friend this morning to do some dog agility training at a really lovely barn down in Canby, Oregon. It was so great to get outside and just have fun with the dogs. Can you tell that Rico enjoyed himself?

Rico is a sweetie pie, but he’s also a slobber puss! I’ve never had a dog who has a mouth as wet as Rico’s! That means that a lot of flotsam and jetsam sticks to his tongue, his face, and his toys. Oh, and it’s usually all over my hands!

I got a lot more photos of Frankenbags made by my blog readers over the last few days.

This first one was made by Sally Ekhardt. I love the bright colors and how she made the front and back different color stories. It’s just so happy and cheerful.

This next bag is from Niki Sager and I love it. It’s such an interesting combo of colors and fabrics. This makes me want to dig into my stash and see if I could duplicate this color story. I love it!

Next up is this bag made by Diane Levine and I just love it! It’s so fun to see others strike out and make what I had so much fun with. And look at her fun lining! It’s got all the colors of the fabrics on the front of the bag. So cute!

This next one was made by Linda Allen. She appliqued that great big bloom on the front of the bag! It’s so much fun with the scrappy treatment on the back of the bag. And that lining… well, it’s one of my favorite fabrics and it’s great as a lining!

The next bag was made by Eve Nicholls. She made this all with hand sewing. It’s made from figgy “needle cord,” or a fine wale corduroy as we Americans call it. Not only is it hand sewn, but it’s hand quilted too. I think that cat might be as impressed as I am!

Up next is this bag from Anita Goodson. I love the way she left that big bloom intact. And I love the cool feel of her colors. This bag reminds me of a glacier.

This next bag was made by Aimee Kaneko. She had seen the bag I made with corgis and wanted to use some corgi fabric she had on hand… and she has a cute little corgi. I like the way she combined the corgi fabric with other fabrics. It’s bright and very eclectic. And look at that pupper!

This next bag was made by Susan Marocco and it’s so much fun! I just love the way she used that octopus fabric! It’s so organic and the movement is amazing! I’ve been wanting to use some octopus in a Frankenbag, and now I’m sorry Susan beat me to it! And if you look closely, you’ll see a lot of hand quilting is this bag too. What a fun bag!!! And all kinds of ideas are flying around in my head!

The last one tonight was made by Una at Woolywalkers on Instagram. I just love this bag and natural and soft look and feel of the fabric. She made the bag from fabric left over from a chair project. I love how soft and squishy this bag looks. This is really the comfy look I had in mind when I made my first Frankenbag.

Thanks to everyone who sent photos! I’m having so much fun seeing what you all are making!

It’s All In the Presentation

I took a few minutes this afternoon during my lunch break to package up the colored KFC fabric cards I’ve made over the last few days. I sorted them all out so each design was distributed well in my stack, and counted off sets of ten cards. Then I got each set packaged in a cellophane bag with a pretty little “thank you” sticker on the front.

I ended up with thirteen sets of ten cards with only one lonely little card left over.

It’s always fun to see something packaged up nicely. It really elevates an item when it’s packaged in a way that says someone cares.

After our evening walk tonight I decided to dig in and see what I had in the way of scraps of my border collie fabric. And I found a bunch of pieces that were almost the exact size I needed for the front of a 5×7 card. Look how fun these are!

I made enough cards to put them into three sets of four cards. Got them packaged too.

These will make a really nice gift for someone who loves border collies!

These went together so quickly that I dug in and made some cards from Aboriginal fabric scraps. And wow… I Love these!!!

I have a lot of Aboriginal scraps to play with. These will be fun to make as more colors and designs make their way onto cards.

I’ve developed a pretty good process for making these cards but was having some frustrations getting the paper to peel off the Heat and Bond. It was taking a lot of time to get the corner to separate so I could pull the paper off.

While I was making these Aboriginal cards I had a brainstorm. I cut slits in the Heat and Bond with my rotary cutter before I fused it onto the fabric with my iron.

I made the slits about every two inches. I thought that would insure that at least one slit appeared on each piece of fabrics once they were cut.

Here’s the Heat and Bond being adhered to the back of the fabric.

These slits are a complete game changer! These last cards tonight went together so much faster! And I’m not shredding the corner of the fabric trying to get it to separate from the paper. I just love little things like this that make a task easier and more efficient.

I’ve received photos of more Frankenbags in the last few days.

This first one was made by Niki Sager. I LOVE her fabrics, and those strips of fussy cut row flowers in the first photo are so wonderful. I just love the serious red in this bag! And there’s a really nice lining! You know how happy a lining makes me.

This next bag was made by Connie Newton. How much fun is that mini black and white cow print on the front of the bag? That little detail just makes me so happy. Connie made this bag from scraps that her friend gave her. It will be a gift for that friend.

This next bag came to me from Helen Pettit from Bordertown South Australia. I love her wonky improv blocks and I love that she really committed to purple! It’s such a great color.

This next bag was made by Helen Proctor-Brown from Esk in Queensland, Australia. Here’s what she wrote about this bag:

“I was very taken with your Frankenbags… the colours, the randomness and the freedom such a simple idea can provide. So when my granddaughter asked me to make a bag with the Superb Fairy-wren on it, it was an opportunity to try out your method. But, what to put on the reverse? Then she rang to tell me that while she was taking a photo of the Sturt’s Desert Pea, her fella got down on one knee to ask a special question! So, there you have it! Superb Fairy-wren appliqued on one panel and a pieced Sturt Pea on the other. “

I had to Google it, but a Sturt Pea is a flower, and Helen’s version of it is pretty spectacular!

I just love this bag… the little bird and it’s quilting, the bold and graphic Sturt Pea, and the story. What an amazing gift this is going to be!

And finally, the last bag tonight comes with a really touching story. It’s amazing to me how our creative endeavors are such a part of our lives… the joys and the sadness.

Karen Huntoon sent these photos of a bag she made during a difficult time. Here’s what Karen wrote to me:

“I wanted to thank you so much for sharing your pattern for the frankenbag. Friday I received the news that my best friend’s cancer has taken a turn for the worse and we will lose her by Christmas. I couldn’t focus on anything. The only thing I could do is sew random pieces of fabric together. I did that for eight hours Friday. It was so calming and meditative. I am calling this 1st bag my “bag of grief” It will sit in my quilt room and hold all the little notes I write about how I am feeling.”

This bag is made even more beautiful by all the love and pain that is woven among its threads. What a wonderful tribute to Karen’s friend and a testament to the role our creative endeavors play in our lives.

Thanks to Karen and Helen for sharing their stories, and for everyone who sent photos. I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to hear from so many people from far and near. Isn’t the internet a wonderful thing!

On Another One of My Jags

You might not know this about me, but I tend to go on creative jags. I find a new project that is fun and I get completely obsessed with it. And when I’m obsessed, I tend to think I want to make whatever I’m making forever.

I once made a little fabric wallet that had one snap on the closure. Instead of buying a package of five snaps. I went out and bought at least 50 snaps in various colors because I was sure I would need them at some time. I think I made five of those little wallets. And I’ve never used another snap.

Right now, I’m on a fabric greeting card jag. Over the last few nights I’ve adhered a piece of beautiful KFC fabric to around 120 colored cards that I bought a few years ago. I finished up the last 30 cards tonight.

That’s all 120 or so cards. I need to count them more accurately.

But regardless of how many there are, they are really amazingly pretty for something so simple.

Here’s the last few sets that I made this week.

At the end, I wound up with about 20 blank cards that were pink, yellow and orange. So I dug into my stash and found a piece of fabric that worked with those colors: Kaffe’s Belle Epoch in yellow. Look how different all these cards are! It’s so amazing!

Here are the cards I made last night.

I just love them! Now I do need to get an accurate count so I can divide these all up into sets and get them into packages.

So, true to how I operate when I’m on a jag, I was sure I would need many more blank cards so I did some online shopping and had 300 more cards delivered.

I ordered 100 blank white cards and envelopes, 100 blank craft cards and envelopes, and 100 photo frame cards with envelopes.

And as I was cleaning out my sewing room, I found a bunch of blank off white cards that I’ve had for a while.

My quick math in my head tells me that I have around 400 blank cards. That should be enough to satisfy my jag.

I did actually buy the craft cards because I was thinking they might look really cool with some Aboriginal fabrics.

But not all my Aboriginal scraps will look good on those brown envelopes. So I’m guessing you’ll see some of those fantastic fabrics on white envelopes. I’ll probably whip up a few tomorrow night.

We have a little pupper visiting this week. My friend’s dog Jolene is keeping my boys entertained while her people go on a driving vacation around Oregon for a week.

Jolene is a teeny tiny border collie and is a very nicely trained sheep dog. She looks like a chihuahua next to Rico! She gets along amazingly well with my boys since they do know each other quite well. They all enjoyed some watermelon after dinner.

Jolene has been joining us for our walks and she has blended in really well. She’s a good walker and, for the most part, we manage to stay pretty untangled… although the three leashes do end up braided as we walk.

Jolene will be with us until Friday evening.

Cranking Out Greeting Cards and a Little Organization

I’m on a bit of a greeting card jag. I’ve made 45 4×5 1/2 inch cards in the last few days.

I had purchased these blank cards a few years ago thinking I would paint some designs on them. I lost interest in that project pretty quickly so I had a lot of cards left over — two packages of 80 cards each!

I did paint a few cards initially, b ut not very many and I have around 80 cards left. I’ll probably make a few more of these. I plan to package them in sets and give some as gifts and probably sell a few.

I just love the way these KFC fabrics cut up into smaller pieces. Each card is unique.

It’s interesting to see how each fabric looks so different on different colors of cards.

I love that spiral shells fabric in that color way. It gives me chills!

And this coleus. Ooh. It’s like a cold and deep lake!

These cards are really quick and easy to make. I’m using up scraps and am adhering the fabric to the cards using Heat and Bond. I cut the fabric so that I’ll have a 1/4 inch border on each card. So if the card is 4×5, I cut the fabric to 3.5×4.5. I had purchased the medium weight Heat and Bond to make my sea glass wall hanging. I thought it was too thick and stiff for that project so purchased some light weight. This is a good way to use that up.

The final thing I did during my vacation was to organize and clean my sewing room. My neighbor is moving and has been getting rid of a lot of stuff. I’ve snagged a couple of storage pieces that helped in this organization project.

I’ve been wanting to clean out the closet in this room for a long time. It’s been full of boxes that I brought here when I moved 11.5 years ago. It’s been bothering me that I haven’t been able to use that closet for my sewing supplies.

So when my neighbor offered me a large stainless steal shelf unit, I jumped on it. I moved some stuff from a smaller shelf in the garage and put it on this larger shelf and got some other stuff up off the garage floor. That freed up the smaller garage shelf so that is now holding all of these boxes …

The next thing I snagged from my neighbor was an Ikea stacked wire drawer unit. And then I moved the same smaller unit from the closet in my guest room.

These drawer units are holding quilt tops, all my interfacing products, some blocks for quilts that are in progress, and some sets of fabrics that I’ve set aside for eventual quilts.

With this closet freed up I’ve been able to get a lot of stuff up off the floor and off the counter tops.

I also cleaned off my sewing table, my chest of drawers and my cutting table. Here are some before and after photos…

This chest of drawers is full of fabric. Mostly KFC fabrics. It feels so good to have all that crap put away!

Here’s the sewing table and cutting table.

M cutting table is a stainless steel restaurant counter. It was such a great buy. I’ve gotten so much use out of that. The bins underneath hold mostly batiks, with a couple bins of Aboriginal fabrics and some odds and ends.

It feels so good to have this room cleaned and organized. I actually feel like I want to be in there.

After two weeks of vacation, the boys are wondering why we’re spending so much time at home. We joined some friends in Oregon City last night for some dog agility and saw this amazing sunset!

Facebook reminded me yesterday that Bender was freaking cute when he was five months old!

I’m so glad it’s the weekend. Tomorrow, my plan is to move my office from the guest bedroom to the dining room. I need a different view as I work so I’m going to give this set up a try.

Testing Out an Idea for Greeting Cards

I received a message yesterday from an old friend who had purchased some KFC fabric greeting cards from me a couple of years ago. She had used up all her cards and wanted more. So I dug into my supplies and had enough cards to make her 17. I quickly got them all done and packaged up for shipping.

And then today I started thinking about different ways to make fabric greeting cards. These insert cards are pretty expensive and I feel like I lose so much of the image of the fabric since the border is so wide.

So an idea came to me… What about using Heat and Bond to fuse pieces of fabric to blank 5×7 inch greeting cards. I immediately dug in and made a quick four cards and I LOVE how they turned out.

I just love this fabric cut in a random way like this. Someone on Facebook commented that it would be great to fussy cut the fabrics for the cards. But I really like the random and abstract look of these cards! I find the random cuts much more interesting than a fussy cut.

I was so happy with how these turned out that I hit the sewing room again tonight and made more of these 5×7 cards… until I used up all the blank cards I had on hand.

Then I remembered that I had some smaller colored cards that I had intended to paint on. These had been sitting in the closet unused for at least two years. These are about 4×6 inches… and I LOVE these fabrics on the colored cards!

Look at all the variation in this one fabric!

And oh my god… THIS ONE!!!!!

How amazing is that??? GAH!

I finished up with some pretty pink.

I’m definitely going to be making more of these!

It’s been year since the terrible fires we had last summer. We’ve been so lucky this summer and have not had to deal with fires close to Portland. We’ve also avoided all the terrible smoke that others are suffering around the west.

There was some smoke in the air today, however, and the light looked odd all day. But it didn’t seem to affect the air quality index. But it did make for a pretty sunset tonight.

We’re all keeping our fingers crossed that we don’t see fires again this year.

And wow! I’ve received so many Frankenbag photos since I headed out on vacation. I’m going to slam through them here so I can go to bed!

This first bag is from Maddy Pepe. And I have to say that this is one of my most favorite of all the Frankenbags made by my readers. I just love orange and think it gets a really bad rap. It’s an amazing color. I love how Maddy combined her fabrics. This makes me want to make an orange quilt. It’s just soooo good!

This next bag is from Andrea Cline. I just love her bold black and white piecing! And I love those peaks on the bag. Wow! Love this one!

This next two bags are from Anita Goodson. I love the purples and turquoises together and have been wanting to try this combo. I also love the doggie lining on the second bag!

Next up are these two bags made by Eileen Kane. I love that all black and white bag. I’ve been wanting to make an all black and white one. And the pop of color on the lining is fun. And I love the black and white checkerboard on the second bag… especially on the back of the bag.

Next up is this bag from Del from Hawaii. It’s so scrappy and comfy!

This next bag was made by Susan Stewart. I love all the red and the pops of black and white are great!

Next up is this bag from Jacqueline Frances. I just love the diagonal lines on this bag and the colors are so bright and fun. And that lining is one of my favorite Kaffe fabrics.

These next two bags were made by Sharon Galli. I love the dark fabrics in the first bag. And I love how Sharon incorporated her hexis in the second bag. She also did some fun quilting on both these bags.

This next bag was made by Mary Beth Henke. I love the limited fabrics she used on the wavy design. And that tag on the lining is just so good! I can’t stop laughing about it! I always say that I weave a little profanity into everything I make!

This bag was made by Britt Inger Johnsson. She’s made a few bags before this one. I love the dark tones in the first photo. And her reds are so bold an saturated. She’s also added more pockets and a zipper placket. I need to make more with zipper plackets!

This next one was made by Laurie McClennon. I love how scrappy this little bag is. What a great use of scraps!

This one if from Cherry Naylor. She’s been a Frankenbag making machine! This one is really fun! I’m seeing that green floral all over the place right now. Quilters are using it in some amazing ways!

This is another bag made by Birthe Aust. She’s been really productive too. I love the fabrics she’s used here. She’s probably able to make these in her sleep now!

This next one was made by Ingrid Cruz. She used one piece of fabric for the body of the bag and constructed it according to my tutorial. It’s really nice to see that gorgeous print all in one piece!

Next is a bunch of sports fan bags made by Sharon Marcum. What a fun approach to team fabrics. Someone is really going to love these!

This next one was made by Debbie Adding. This is just so cool! It feels like a moonlit night. It’s so dark and moody. And that NY beauty block is pretty spectacular! Love this bag!

And finally, this last one was made by Sylvie DuPont. And I love it. The deep reds combined with those graphic black and whites is really striking. And a little fussy cutting of that onion rings is pretty good!

Thanks to everyone who sent me photos of their bags. Phew! It feels good to be all caught up!

I’m Baaaaaack… and I Finished My Ice Storm Quilt

I’m writing this on the last night of my vacation. I’m back at work tomorrow morning.

I had a great vacation for a vacation where you don’t really go anywhere. I did mostly day trips and didn’t do any sewing to speak of… until yesterday.

I did manage to finish my Ice Storm quilt top this afternoon. It went together nicely and I’m really glad to have it done.

Here’s a couple close ups so you can see the fabrics in more detail.

I am a bit annoyed that I didn’t just take my sewing machine in for servicing while I was on vacation since I didn’t do much sewing. I really did think I’d get more sewing done, but I was busy enough that I didn’t have the inspiration.

Here’s how I went about my stay-cation.

The first day, I took the boys for an 8.5 mile walk on the Banks Vernonia trail. The weather was perfect… cloudy and in the mid 60s. It was a great way to clear our minds and dive into vacation.

The next day, I actually had to work a couple hours because I had committed to a meeting with a couple dozen people from across the country before I set my vacation. But later in the day I took five finished quilt tops and backs to my long arm quilter. They will all be holiday gifts.

They’re all pressed and bundled up nicely with their backings and binding. My long armer was impressed with how organized I was.

Since I was out in that neighborhood, I took the boys for a quick dip in the river. They were not expecting this outing and had a blast!

There were so many good sticks at the river!

The next morning I met a friend of mine and her dogs on the Washington side of the Columbia River. The weather was gorgeous and the dogs had a blast! We were there early to beat the crowds. And after the swim I walked the dogs for three miles on a path on the dike along the river.

they just love swimming and this beach on the river is a great spot for that.

The following day we headed out early for the coast and it was a fantastic day! We got to the beach about a half hour before low tide, and it was so low that we were able to walk north onto Cannon Beach… a beach that we don’t always have access to. We walked a mile onto that beach before we headed back south to our regular beach.

There are some really amazing rock formations on that beach. And with the low tide we were able to get really close to them.

There were a lot of pelicans in the air and diving into the ocean. And there was a group perched on one of the rock formations.

We walked about seven miles on the beach, and then headed south to find some ice cream. About an hour later, we drove past the same beach and the parking lot was nearly empty so I decided to take the boys for one last run before we headed home. It was a little rainy so I put on my rain coat. It was a little blustery on the beach.

At the left of that photo, just of Rico’s right shoulder, is a line of tracks that were really big. Here’s a close up photo of one of them next to my foot.

My brother is pretty sure that’s a black bear track. And bears have been seen on that beach in the past. I was thinking it was the rain that cleared off the beach, but maybe it was actually a bear!

Friday found us back on the Banks Vernonia Trail. We tried a new section of trail and found a great swimming hole for the boys. They were so excited!

In the evening I met some friends to do some dog agility training.

Saturday was sort of low key. I took Rico up to Battleground, WA, for his regular herding lesson. Then we came home and did some stuff around the house.

With everything I was doing, I was still feeling a little bored and a little stir crazy and didn’t want to fritter away my second week of vacation and feel like I had done nothing. So I called my brother to see if it was ok if I made another visit, since I was just there in July. They were on board, so I hit the road after lunch on Sunday and headed out on the four-hour drive to Southern Oregon.

I got to my brother’s place at around 5 pm and we celebrated my arrival with a nice cold beer in the cool sunshine. The dogs love it at my brother’s place. There are sheep to bother, and several securely fenced acres where they can run and run.

On Monday we had an easy morning and then headed out to the coast. It’s only about a 25 minute drive from my brother’s place to the beach. And the beach was perfect! Only about 6 cars in the parking lot. the sky was blue with a few clouds, and the temps were prefect with just long sleeves.

Here I am with my boys. It’s nearly impossible to get them to look at the camera!

The water was the most amazing color of blue! We had another nice low tide and were able to walk nearly three miles north on the beach. We decided to turn back before we hit a cliff to the north because the tide had turned and we didn’t want to get stranded.

It was so gorgeous! And it does my spirit good to be at the ocean. And the boys just love it. We walked over six miles and they must have run twenty!

After our beach trip we had a beer in the sun before dinner. And after dinner we celebrated with a family tradition… Yahtzee and Scotch!

I know you’re probably thinking I live a pretty exciting life!

The next day we decided to hit the beach again and found a tide that was even lower than on Monday. So we walked all the way to the cliffs on the northern end of the beach.

By this point, we had walked about 3.5 miles and Bender and Rico were slowing down! I was so surprised that they just stood here and let me take a bunch of photos. That never happens!

Here’s a photo of me with my brother. He’s the middle child of five, and I’m the youngest. He’s one of the main things that convinced me to move to Oregon 11.5 years ago.

Those boys spent a lot of time in the water on this beach visit.

After the beach we headed south to Port Orford which is a deep water port where they use cranes to put fishing boats into the water. We were hoping that we might see some whales, but weren’t so lucky. It was really windy there, but so gorgeous!

On the way home we stopped and picked up some fresh rock fish for tacos. Once home, my brother started working on his home made corn tortillas and we started all the prep work for the fixings.

Here’s my first taco and my sister in law, who is also Ann Ibach, but without the “e”. I won’t tell you how many tacos I ate, but they were so good!

On Wednesday I hit the road for home. I’m so glad I decided to take that short trip. It was so good to be around my brother and his wife and another couple of ocean trips did me good.

Thursday was spent running errands and getting a few things done at home, and meeting friends for dog training in the evening. Friday found us back on the Banks Vernonia trail for a 7.5 mile hike.

On Saturday we had our regular herding lesson except that it was in a different place. So while we were there, we took the opportunity for a nice hike on some land owned by a logging company.

It’s not actively being logged now. These logs all came down during last winter’s ice storm. They were blocking the trail in several spots earlier in the summer. In the last month or so the land owners went in and cleared the entire trail.

I love getting out on a trail like this and being the only person out there!

On Sunday I hung out around home, took the boys for a walk, did a little sewing on my Ice Storm quilt, and met some friends for a pot luck BBQ in the evening. It was so nice to be around friends and enjoy some really good food and drink. And with my friends, we’re always encouraged to bring our dogs.

Rico fell in love with my friend’s elderly pug.

Look how happy Rico is, and look at that pug’s face! Poor thing.

Rico couldn’t keep his eyes (or his tongue) off that poor pug.

Today I took the boys for a nice long walk after breakfast, and then dug in and finished the Ice Storm quilt top. After dinner we took a nice long walk while we talked to a friend on the phone.

Back to work tomorrow. Vacation is never long enough.