What a Week! And a New Idea

Work has been crazy busy the last week as we had a fundraising drive running on our radio station. We wrapped that up last night and I feel like I can take a breath.

I haven’t done any sewing at all in the last week or so. Just too busy and too tired at night to focus. But I have been thinking about a new project that I’m getting pretty excited about.

Over the last year I’ve purchased a good number of low volume white/black fabrics and haven’t used any except for a couple of small projects.

They are really fun fabrics and I’ve just loved a lot of the quilts I’ve seen using them.

I’ve seen some really cool quilts recently that combine these low value fabrics and bright Kaffe Fassett Collective fabrics. The low volume fabrics tend to brighten and lighten up the KFC fabrics in a really cool way.

So I pulled out some of my low volume fabrics the other day and mixed them up with a selection of Philip Jacobs’ brassica color ways that I had sitting on the dresser in my sewing room.

I have to say, I really love this combo! I would add more fabric designs for variation, but I think this is a good start!

So once I saw these fabrics together, I started thinking about a design. I’m kind of riffing off of one that I saw online, but is more complicated than I want to make.

So after thinking about this for a few days, I sat down with some graph paper and drew out my idea. I’m thinking I’ll combine some big quarter square triangle blocks made from KFC fabrics with 16 patches made from KFC fabrics and low volume fabrics.

Here’s what I came up with. This first one is with the blocks set in straight rows.

And then I thought it might be more interesting if the blocks were set on point.

I might actually like it better set in straight rows, but I’m not sure. I’ll have to play with that once I have the blocks done. I do like the secondary stars and squares that appear when you put the blocks together.

I’ll use a good number of different fabrics in this to give it a really scrappy feel. No idea when I’ll start this. I already have a good number of quilts in progress! Just what I need… one more unfinished project!!!

The heat has finally gone away here in Portland and fall has definitely arrived. We’ve had some rainy days and some really gorgeous fall days. It’s really nice to have cooler weather. I actually had to turn my furnace on the other day.

And of course I took advantage of a cool day to torture my dogs a little.

I found this gorgeous bloom on my Rose of Sharon on the patio yesterday morning.

This plant was given to me by a friend earlier this summer. She said it probably wouldn’t bloom this year, but this is the second bloom so far and there’s another bud that should open in the next few days. It should be covered with blooms next year.

A friend of mine recently bought a property down in Canby, Oregon, and she’s got a newfound obsession with fancy chickens. This means she’s going to have a lot of chicken feed bags. These are sturdy plastic bags that have nylon thread running through the fabric for strength.

I’ve seen some really fun and simple tote bags made from these feed bags. So my friend gave me the one she had that was empty and my plan is to make a bag to develop a simple pattern. I’ll want to cut it to take advantage of the cute little chick picture, and I’ll have plenty of fabric left over to make handles and maybe an inside pocket. I won’t line these bags in the beginning since they will be utilitarian. But I may change the design over time.

I’m taking Friday off to recover from a crazy work week. I’m hoping to get the dogs out for a nice hike and will probably actually spend some time in my sewing room!

38 Replies to “What a Week! And a New Idea”

  1. I love your quilt idea with low value fabrics. I might have to try something like that in the future.

    I have made a few tote bags with feed bags–I also have chickens, but they aren’t very fancy! The Purina bags are thick, so I would advise changing to a denim needle before sewing. I found a few online tutorials to help me learn how to make them, I’ll put a link below. They are a lot of fun to make and you’ll get addicted!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love the fabrics for your quilt idea. I have made many totes from dog food bags, even one like the IKEA bag. They are great for laundry, toys and yard clippings. Small ones make great gardens harvest totes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve wondered about using dog food bags. The ones from my dogs’ food are a really heavy plastic, but they don’t have any threads running through them. I’ve worried that all the needle pierces would encourage tearing. Maybe I should try a bag from the next empty ones I have and see how they work.


  3. Oh how I have missed your blog over the last week or so! Nice to have you back. I have made totes from my dogs’ feed bags to use for groceries. Even made one for a friend. I really need to make more now that you have jiggled my brain, so to speak. And those dogs … so funny … although they do have an expression that says you are actually torturing them. Don’t think they can complain about their great life though. Hope the next week is kinder to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re not the only one to say you use dog food bags to make totes. The dog food bags I have are a nice heavy plastic. So I’ll save the next ones to see how they sew up! They would make fun gifts for my doggie friends.

      and the photo… Bender will pose happily all day long. Rico just HATES it! They are so very different!



    1. I keep trying to convince myself to finish up some unfinished projects. But starting something new is so fun! I might make up a few blocks for this just to see how it comes together. then put it away for a few years!!!


  4. Be careful of the feed bags. Don’t use a good sewing machine as the bags are hard on the machine. A friend was making them and her sewing machine went out of whack and she needed a repair.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I too have used bird seed bags for totes. So cute. Was begining to wonder if you were ok since we’ve all become so used to your frequent blog entries. The dogs are adorable and so patient with Mom dressing them up. LOL.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I have these periods with work that are really intense and exhausting. And when they happen, about all I can do is work and sleep. But now I’m back and feeling some creative juices flowing!

      These boys are ridiculous! Bender will pose all day. Rico just HATES it. Poor kid.



  6. Oh I love your pups! They are so adorable! Love that chicken feed bag idea. And what’s not to like about the Kaffe/low volume combo? Enjoy the weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I was worried about you also (not seeing your blog) and breathed a sigh of relief today! Just want to let you know that I’m using your idea to make cards and have made over 100 already … With many more to come! Where did you get the cellophane bags for your cards and also the stickers? It all makes the cards look very special. So glad you’re back!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I worry about you sometimes too! Good to hear from you as well!

      I got the bags on Amazon. Here’s a link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06WVFLLLZ?psc=1&ref=ppx_yo2_dt_b_product_details

      These bags hold 10 5×7 cards and envelopes very nicely.

      I also made another 100 cards, and have another blank 100 cards standing by. I was a little obsessed with it.

      I also got the stickers on Amazon. I had to provide the artwork. They seem a little pricey to me, and there are a lot of options on Amazon to buy stickers. But this is where I got mine: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08XP27ZX3?psc=1&ref=ppx_yo2_dt_b_product_details

      Thanks for checking in!


  8. Thank you for all info! I’m really looking for the cello envelopes (for want of a better word) that are open on one end and a 5X7 card and envelope slide right in and protect from others handling. I had my first sale today and sold 4 paks containing 4cards/a pak. I’m having a great time making these cards and Lord knows I have lots of Kaffe.


  9. Love your quilt idea with low value fabrics and KFC but love the dogs best.
    Enjoy your blog immensely keep them coming


  10. Love your creative process! Look forward to seeing your pattern and quilt progress.
    Upcycled Feed Bags – I’ve made a few! I have a horse and a friend with a menagerie of farm animals. I initially used the bag material for the straps but found that 1″ webbing (Amazon) looks and works better. I’ll send you some pics.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have moments of ambition. I don’t post about the time I spend laying on the sofa watching TV!!! But hey… that’s a great idea for a blog post!!! Watching TV and scrolling through Pinterest!


  11. Dear ‘AgileJack’,

    Your graph paper design is Road to St Louis and thought you might like to see one I made for a friend’s 60th birthday about 8 years ago.

    Love your incredible patchwork bags etc.

    Thank you for the inspirational creations.

    Best wishes,

    Meryl Elwell Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 1 person

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