OK… I’ll Sew

Another stressful and busy week at work has left me tired and uninspired in the evenings. Bender was trying his best to lighten my work day yesterday during zoom call.

But today was an especially stressful day and I decided to get out and take the boys for our evening walk before it got dark and before the rain settled in for the evening. I just couldn’t stand the thought of sitting around the house for hours with nothing to do. A friend called me part way through our walk and that was nice to have that conversation. We were so occupied that I walked 3.5 miles. Which made six miles today!

Once I got back I did a little more work and then decided to get into my sewing room and get a little bit done. I got the panels done for the denim bag that I started a couple weeks ago.

First, I attached the handles to the upper section of the bag body and topstitched on the handles to reinforce their attachment to the bag, and I topstitched along both sides of the seams joining the denim to the pieced panel.

Then I added the large bottom panels to each side of the bag. Then I fused an interfacing over the entire bag panel to give it structure and body since there is no batting. I also got the lining cut and got some light interfacing fused to the back of it. I’ve been wanting to try interfacing on a bag lining to give it some oomph. I thought this was a good bag to try that on.

I really like this stage of making a new idea into an actual item. It’s a learning process and I find things along the way that I want to change. Here’s what I’ve learned on making this so far.

  1. the proportion of the pieced panel is off. I won’t know for sure until I get the gussets in the bottom and get the side seams sewn, but I’m thinking it needs to be at least 1.5 inches taller. I’ll adjust that with future bags.
  2. I’ve been constructing this with 1/4 inch seams, which just isn’t enough with the thickness of the denim. So on future bags I’ll adjust to allow for 1/2 inch seams. However, I WILL use 1/2 inch seams on the sides and bottom of this bag.
  3. I’ve fused interfacing to the back of the pieced panel and to the entire bag panel once it was finished. I may put the interfacing on the bag pieces prior to sewing them together next time. I got some distortion in sewing and pressing and I’m wondering if the interfacing fused to each piece will help keep it all true.
  4. the pieced panel seems like it needs more dimension. So I may actually use some batting on just this section in future bags in a quilt as you go fashion to give this more texture and interest. Might add some different quilting. All up in the air, but it needs something.

I think that’s all I’ve thought of for now, but I’m sure I’ll have more adjustments as I go on. I am planning on putting the panels and lining together in a different sequence than I usually do to see if it’s easier than the way I’ve been doing it. I’ll share more of that once I give it a try.

I took last Friday off to recover from some overtime at work and got up at oh-dark-thirty and met some friends at 7:30 am for a hike along the Molalla River. I walked 4.5 miles with my friends, and when they left, I continued on and walked a total of 9 miles!

Here’s a video of part of our walk. It lets you see the kind of country we were walking through. There were three of us with a total of nine dogs, all border collies. They all had a wonderful time.

It was a gorgeous day. I just love it when the early morning sun comes shining through the trees.

And in the 9 miles I walked, I only saw one other person that wasn’t with my group. I just love being out there and having the trail all to myself… except for these two kiddos!

What a gorgeous morning…

I entered Rico in an agility competition this weekend and he did an excellent job! with the pandemic, he hasn’t done much in the way of competitions. We were just starting out when the pandemic hit. So this is just his second competition since January of 2020!

He earned his first ever qualifying score! And he took first place!

This was the first agility competition in our area that required either proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID test for you to enter. Masks were required on the property, even outdoors when you were around other people. We were allowed to remove our masks when it was our turn in the competition ring.

It was fun to see so many people that I haven’t seen in such a long time. I was amazed how easy it was to recognize people with their masks on.

I’ve had a little flurry of Frankenbag photos sent in by my blog readers over the last week.

This first one is from Rebecca Caisse. The fabrics are really fun and I like those various pops of blue. This looks like a great vacation bag!

Next up is this bag made by Pam Herrick. Of course, I’m a big sucker for all that crumb piecing, and I love the way she did those black strips on the front. I love the batik panel on the other side, and the lining is pretty wild!

This next bag is from Judy Perkins. I just love the saturated reds and oranges in this one. And there’s something fantastic about the little pops of green in this bag. Yummy!

Next up is this bag from Sarah Nelson. Sarah said her daughter embroidered the cat pillow probably 30 years ago and frequent display caused wear and tear so the linen background began to disintegrate relegating it to a drawer. Inspiration struck and she appliqued it to a background to create her bag. What a great way to use something her daughter made that was so well loved and well use.

This next bag was made by Sharon Pepping. She said she couldn’t decide what color way to use for her bag, so she made each side a different color! It’s like having two bags!!! You can carry it and show which ever side makes you happy! I love her fabric choices and I love all that saturated color!

Next is this bag made by Rayna Lusby. I love the way she used those big blooms, and that black and white swirly fabric at the top of the bag and on the handles is so wild! I love it! And I have to say, I really appreciate it that everyone is really going for it with their linings! Look at how this one just makes this pretty bag sing!

This next bag was made by Diane Rossy. She entered it in the fair and took first place!!! How cool is that? I just love her fun and vibrant fabrics! And you know I love that graphic black and white fabric! what a fun, really fun award winning bag!

Next is this bag from Valerie Wootton that came in just under the wire for me to get it in this post! She said she didn’t put a pocket in her lining. Instead, she used a purse organizer that fits perfectly in the bottom of the bag. What a great way to reuse something! I love Valerie’s soft purples in this bag. The little geese make me so happy. I also love how the two sides of her bag are different… but they are perfect together.

Thanks to everyone who has sent photos of their Frankenbags. If you’ve sent me a photo and I haven’t posted it here, please let me know. It’s been a little tough to keep track of what I’ve posted and what I haven’t.

20 Replies to “OK… I’ll Sew”

  1. Congrats on 1st place for your Collie RICO. I love all the bags the ladies present. All very beautiful. Hmm 9 miles walking. And not fatigued. Just wondering. But you enjoy it. The scenery is beautiful. Thanks for your post..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was definitely ready to be done with our walk by the time I got to the car! A good walk does wear you out but it’s also invigorating to be out in the wilderness and solitude getting some physical activity. it’s really good for me and the boys… emotionally and physically!


  2. Hi Anne. I’ll be curious to know what you think about adding some light interfacing to your denim bag lining. It’s the one major change I wish I’d made when I constructed my first (and so far only) Frankenbag. Thanks for sharing your process and the way you think out loud to us as you go. Love the woodsy sunrise photos!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah… I’ve been thinking about the interfacing for the linings for a while now. I’ll definitely share the results and how I like the feel and fit. I’m thinking it will be good.

      Thanks for reading! I really like that way you referred to what I do as thinking out loud! That’s sort of what it feels like.



  3. It was interesting to read your thoughts on the making of your denim bag. I’ll be interested in hearing the final outcome and what did and didn’t work. And those dogs (kids?) of yours … I really enjoy seeing and hearing about them. Obviously as seen in your walk, they really pay attention to you and keep checking to make sure you are along for the walk. Border Collies are just too smart!


    1. Thanks for following along on my bag. it’s fun to figure stuff like this out. I do enjoy that process.

      Border collies are bred to work with their handlers. So they are very focused on their people. It’s a really nice trait to have in a dog when you like to hike with the dogs off leash!



  4. I look for a new post everyday–love what you do. I haven’t had much luck w fusible interfacing (pellon.) What brand do you use?
    My sis lives in Portland (I’m in Colorado) & I’ve walked some of your trails w her. Love you site. Thanks! Linda


    1. I’m using Pellon products. The interfacing on the front and back of the bag is Shapeflex. For the lining I’m just using a med weight fusible interfacing that’s left over from making masks.

      Portland is a gorgeous place. And this time of year it’s especially pretty!



  5. Love your walking area. My county, in eastern North Carolina, has the largest black bear population in the country.… Every year a black bear festival is held and people from all over the country play us a visit. So, guess I’ll stay inside and read, bead and sew. Love the emerging denim bag… haven’t made a Frakenberg (?) yet, but one day…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We do have bears here, but I’ve never seen one! I did see fresh bear tracks on the beach a couple months ago!!! I’d sure be carrying bear spray if we had more of them!


  6. I agree with Karen – when I watched your video it tickled me to see your pups keeping track of you each time they looked back. I don’t have pets right now, so really enjoy your doggy adventures.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They are pretty good at checking in. It always amazed me that with a bunch of dogs on the trail, they will run and play with each other, but always return to their family unit. Partway through our hike I broke off from my friends because they were heading back to their cars. And all the dogs just naturally and happily went with their own families!



  7. What a great post. Congratulations to Rico!!! So smart! And your video was so pretty with all the trees and ferns and Bender checking on you constantly. He’s a Mama’s boy for sure ❤️.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bender is definitely very focused on me. Rico has a little more independence, but is still a good dog on the trail. He does get behind sometimes when he finds something amazing to smell!


  8. Thank you for sharing my bag on your blog. I love seeing what everyone else is doing. I shared Rico’s success with my two mutts and they were impressed and hopefully inspired to be good trail dogs. If a rabbit is in sight, all bets are off.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha! Yes! It’s very nice to have dogs who are reliable off leash! I love it the way they feel free to run down the trail but are always checking in. I NEVER would have let my Jack Russells off leash like that!


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