A Little Frankenbag Construction

I’m doing a very quick post tonight because I have to get up waaaay too early in the morning.

I decided after our walk tonight that I would quilt the Aboriginal fabric Frankenbag panels that I made a couple weeks ago. So I finished making the quilt sandwiches and got to stitching.

GAH! Those fabrics! I just love working with them.

I got both panels quilted up pretty quickly with just straight line quilting so I went ahead and made the handles and finished constructing the outer bag.

Unfortunately, I realized that I had twisted one of he handles when I basted them on, so had to fix it before proceeding. It was actually a good time to find this mistake.

Here’s the front and back of the bag at this point.

I laughed as I was working on this tonight because it’s been so long since I made one of these, I had to consult my own tutorial a couple of times!

I plan on starting on the lining tomorrow night. I will add a large slip pocket and a zipper pocket. This bag will also have a zipper placket.

A number of people have asked me about the fabrics I used on my night time tree ornaments. Here are the selvedges from each fabric for those of you who would like to purchase some. Click on the images to get a larger view.

I received some photos of Frankenbags from Chris Protheroe. I love the cool and icy feel of this blue bag. It feels perfect with the snowy weather we’ve been having. And that turquoise on the lining is really pretty.

On the second bag she didn’t want to cut the squares out of the bottom corners for the gussets so she added a strip along the sides to square off the bag (last photo). I love it when people adjust my pattern! She used celestial fabrics by Dan Morris. It’s not available any more so she’s pretty picky about what she uses it for! I think this was a great way to use it! I’m not familiar with these fabrics, but they’re really pretty and rich.

Thanks to Chris for sending photos.

Time to go to bed!

More Snow and Some Finished Feathers

I woke up to another two inches of snow this morning. Then it didn’t snow again until this evening.

I took my boys for a walk this morning because my afternoon work schedule made a walk tough.

It was cold but beautiful. It didn’t get much above freezing today.

The snow started again around 7 pm. . . about the time I was heading out for a walk with my boys.

It’s so beautiful out there at night when it’s snowing. I can’t believe that other people don’t want to be out in it.

When I got home from our walk I putzed around the kitchen a little then decided to hit the sewing room and finish up the Ruffled Feathers blocks I started last night. I now have 9 blocks done. I need 20 for the quilt top. So nearly half way done.

I do love these fabrics together. I’m always surprised by how much purple is in there.

I call this my “secret purple” quilt.

I receved photos today of a Frankenbag that was made by someone I went to high school with! This bag was made by Linda Remund-Ivie. I just love her bright and vibrant colors. That fun cat panel is by Laurel Burch.I love the way it makes up the entire side of the bag. And that lining! It’s so pretty good!

It’s so funny to run across someone from high school and find out you share a love for KFC fabrics!

I have to be up early in the morning to do a little fundraising on the radio. Time to make the donuts!

Wrapping Up Our Holiday Weekend

I woke up this morning to about an inch of snow. This is a HUGE deal in Portland, OR.

People have been freaking out about this storm for days. Often times, anticipated storms turn out to be nothing, sort of like this one. Other times, they turn out to be something quite substantial. Portland is just not set up to deal with snow. They don’t have the infrastructure to clear roads, so we are at the mercy of the weather to melt snow so we can all get back to normal. They don’t even plow the freeways!

We took a three mile walk after a late breakfast and the weather was gorgeous! Although it was cold and we really had to bundle up.

After our walk I decided to dig in and finish the seven night sky tree ornaments that I started last week.

I knew that if I didn’t get them done now, I’d never get them done. So now they’re in a bag in my sewing room closet with all the other ornaments I made this year that didn’t get given away.

I hope I can find them next year.

After I got those done I hit the kitchen to make broth out of the turkey carcass that I brought home with me after Christmas dinner yesterday. I have several friends who will make sure that I don’t leave after dinner without the bird’s remains. I just love turkey soup and it breaks my heart when people just toss their carcass in the garbage.

And my friend who sent this one home with me left a ton of meat on the bones, so I had enough for the soup and I have a large bag to enjoy in sandwiches this week.

After I got my stock simmering I decided to make a test quilt label that I can put through the washing machine to see how well the printing holds up. I attached it to an old quilt sandwich that I use when setting up my machine for FMQ.

This is the label right after I fused it and zig zagged it to the quilt sandwich.

This next photo is the label after being put through the washing machine with some clothes.

It looks exactly the same to me, which is really great news! I’ll keep putting this back in the washing machine again and again to see how long this will last. But I’m thinking I have a new method for making quilt labels! And it’s so easy!

However… I probably will use a little bolder font in the future as the thinner one gets lost.

I decided the boys and I needed to take a lovely night time walk in the snow so we headed out around 7 pm. It was so pretty. There was just a thin layer of snow on the roads and a gentle snow was falling. It’s cold out, but not something you can’t dress for.

Rico and Bender didn’t seem to mind! They do love their walks.

When we got home I had a nice bowl of homemade turkey soup. It was so good and I just LOVE any kind of home made soup. I have enough in the fridge for a few lunches and put four big containers in my freezer. I LOVE having a freezer full of home made soup. I pretty much live on it during the winter. Right now I have the turkey soup, some split pea soup, pinto beans and ham, chili, chicken tortilla soup, and some beef stew in my freezer. Yum!

After dinner I felt like I wanted to do a little sewing so I sat down and made four of the geese units for my Ruffled Feathers Quilt. These will be blocks number 8 and 9 when the outer fabrics are sewn on. I need 20 blocks for the top. The blocks are BIG!

Here’s the first seven blocks of this quilt top.

I received a gift package from my friend who introduced me to Kaffe Fassett Collective fabrics the other day. She’s the friend gave the Arboretum quilt kit to. And she bought me a beautiful piece of Kaffe’s paisley jungle in tangerine to use on the back of my Arboretum quilt.

OMG! I just love that fabric!!! It’s one of my all time favorite Kaffe designs and color ways!

She also sent me a really pretty bird seed bag!

That’s going to make a really fun tote bag! And it’s not as huge as the farm stock feed bags.

I have a few more Frankenbags to share tonight! Some people have been very busy getting ready for holiday gift giving!

This first one is from my friend Eliza Claire. She’s done a simple stripe design out of Kaffe’s mosaic circles and some Tula Pink fabrics. And then she went bold with the lining using Philip Jacob’s geodes in yellow! Pow!!!

She also made this bag for a friend using a patchwork goat on the front. She said it was a lot of work to make that block. But it’s really cute! She used a really bold orange lining and made the handles out of a really yummy blue cork!

These next bags were made by someone who asked that I not use her name. She’s probably in the witness protection program. They were made all from previous project leftover pieces. I just love those rich and earthy batiks. And that bold horizontal stripe on the second one is a really nice idea.

These next bags were made by Maddie Pepe. She’s been busy! I just love the colors in the first one, and the black and white fabrics with this are soooo good. That stripe is so fantastic! Ooh. That wonky block on the second one is from a pattern I just bought last week. I’ve seen a quilt made on that pattern on Pinterest for several years and finally learned the name of it. That may be in my future soon! And the last one is so good the way it lets those huge prints sing! that single bloom in the last photos is so spectacular! Nice work Maddie!

Back to work tomorrow for a very hectic week. Here’s hoping it’s a successful one!

Finally… Christmas!

December tends to be a very busy month for fundraisers. I know it’s OUR biggest month of the year. And that means a lot of work and stress. So when Christmas finally arrives, it’s a chance to take a breath before we’re back at it for one final big week.

If you celebrate Christmas, Merry Christmas! If you don’t, all our happiest season’s greetings from me and Rico and Bender!

I was really happy to get to spend Christmas Eve and dinner today with friends. These are the friends I made the blue KFC 16 patch quilt for.

I made the label for it this afternoon. I had planned on making another label with my sewing machine, but for some reason the letters ended up almost 1/2 inch tall and I couldn’t figure out why. So I looked for a tutorial for printing labels on my inkjet printer and found one. It was really quick and easy. Now, I just hope that the ink won’t wash off.

It didn’t take long to make the label and have it affixed to the quilt. I love the way it turned out!

My friend saw this quilt top when I posted it on Facebook earlier this year and went on and on about how much she loved it. Her favorite color is blue. Here it is in their family room tonight.

She promised me they would actually USE it!

I cooked dinner and had some friends over last night. My family always had our big celebration on Christmas eve. So I’ve had a tradition for quite a few years to have friends over on that evening. Since I only had me and two other people, I was able to pick out all the red and green from my Fiesta Ware to make a pretty table.

I made that centerpiece from Douglas fir boughs and berries from heavenly bamboo shrubs in my back yard!

I made a ham, au gratin potatoes, roasted cauliflower, a really good spinach salad and a cranberry apple crisp for dessert. It all turned out great and I think it’s the first Christmas dinner I’ve ever made where everything was cooked in the oven! It was really easy and my kitchen was really clean by the time my company arrived.

Even though the last couple weeks have been stressful at work and terribly rainy, I’ve managed to keep walking my dogs. On our walk on Christmas Eve, we did a full five miles in the morning because I thought it was unlikely that we’d get out again later in the day. We had rain for the first mile and then sunshine for the last few miles! It was a beautiful walk!

We did actually get out again after dinner for a nice two mile walk to wind down before bed.

I’ve also made a few things since my last blog post. I worked on some more of the night time snow ornaments, but didn’t finish them.

I plan on finishing these up tomorrow, or else I may never get them done!

I also made a bunch of key fobs from some of my KFC scraps.

I’ve been wanting to make some of these for some time and finally purchased 50 pieces of the hardware and a crimping tool last week. They arrived yesterday. I had made the fabric portions and was just waiting for the hardware to arrive and got them completed pretty quickly.

If you’re looking for something that is a quick, easy, and inexpensive gift that you need a lot of, this is a great option.

I’m planning on taking a long weekend next week to recover from my stressful month. I’m hoping the weather will cooperate. There are tons of tutorials on Youtube for making these, but this is the one I used.

We have snow in the forecast for tomorrow. It looks like it won’t amount to much. But my plan is to sleep in and then I’ve love to walk my boys in a lovely snow storm. And then I’m going to spend a relaxing day watching movies and sewing.

I’ve received more Frankenbag from blog readers over the last couple of weeks. This first two were made by Birthe Aust. She might have made as many of these as I have! I just love this blue one with that big blooms on one side and the scrappy piecing on the other. And I love her bold black and white fabrics on the second one.

This next bag was made by Mary Griffiths. I just love her bold bloom on one side and that shoal fabric on the other. Such a fun combo of fabrics!

This next one is from Poppy Maclean. Don’t you just love Brandon’s Shoal fabric in black. Every time I see something made from it I get very sad that there is none of this in my stash and that it’s nearly impossible to find. . . and is really expensive. It’s a fun addition to this bag. And look at that fun doggie lining! So much fun!

Again, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Seasons greetings to everyone near and far! And have a happy and safe new year!

A Bit of Inspiration and A Busy Weekend of Dogs

I had a bit of inspiration tonight and watched a little TV as I formulated an idea. Then I hit the sewing room and came up with this little ornament.

I made this one a little bigger than the previous ornaments I made. I cut the top black section to 4.5 inches wide and 3 inches high. The bottom white was cut to 4.5 wide by 2 -1/4 inches high.

This ended up being 4.5″ wide by 4-3/4″ high… leaving that extra 1/4 inch for the seam allowance at the bottom. The larger seam allowance at the bottom makes it easier to close the opening. This little image shows what the seam allowances and opening look like. The little blue stitch lines make it so much easier to close the opening!

I fused the trees on using Heat and Bond and used the same fabric for the trunk. I used my regular 1/4 inch foot to stitch around the edge rather than using my quilting foot. It was much easier. Remember to baste your ribbon for hanging before you sew the front and back together. (This is a different type of ornament, but it shows you how to baste the hanger. I put the two ends right next to each other now.)

Here’s the finished front before it’s sewn to the back.

I’ll make a few more of these. I have enough black and white pieces sewn to make seven more.

I had a really busy weekend. Rico was entered in the his first American Kennel Club agility trial since the pandemic hit. He was pretty excited to be out there. We had a few runs that were pretty much a mess. But we were able to pull it together and get some nice stuff done.

Here’s a video of one of his runs on Saturday. We didn’t earn a ribbon, but he did such a good job! He did even better today, earning his first AKC qualifying run ever and a first place!

Unfortunately we didn’t get any video of that run.

I had to be there and ready to run at 9 am on Saturday, then did three of our four runs in quick succession. We were done with those three runs by around 10:30 am.

Then I sat in the car a while, listening to the radio. All of a sudden the radio just stopped. I !tried to start my car and nothing. The battery was dead. So I called AAA and they said they would be there before 12:45. The problem was that I had a sheep herding lesson at 12:15!

Amazingly, they showed up at 11:45, tested my battery and gave me a quick jump and I made it to my herding lesson with a few minutes to spare.

We were ready to go again this morning at 9 am and Rico was CRAZY in our first run! It was a bit of a mess as he was so excited he couldn’t think, but he pulled it all together on our second run. That’s the run we got the ribbon on. Here’s the sticker with info about his run to prove it’s official.

We had another herding lesson today but not until 2:30, so I had some time to kill between our last agility run and the time I needed to leave. So I took the boys up the hill at the show site to a big field where they can run free. It was sooooo wet and soggy, but they had a blast. They are always happier when they get a good run!

Bender ended up with a muddy face!

Of course, we had to post on something!

OMG. Poor Rico looks so tortured! And look at all that standing water. So soggy.

There’s a remote control airplane field in this area. There was no one there today because of the weather so my boys posed awkwardly on the runway.

You wouldn’t believe how long it took to get that terrible photo!

Back to work tomorrow!

It’s Been A While — Another Frankenbag In the Works

I had a quilt guild monthly Zoom meeting tonight so I took the dogs for their evening walk at 5:00, got home and grabbed some dinner and then retreated to my sewing room with my laptop and got logged into the meeting.

The first thing I wanted to do was finish my holiday cards. I had about ten more to write.

And I got them all done and ready for the mail. I just love getting cards at Christmas time. I put them all on the closet door in my entry way when they arrive in the mail. I love walking past them and enjoying them all month.

I get a lot of Christmas cards with dogs and sheep on them!

Once done with my cards I looked around and thought of a few things I could work on during the meeting. Nothing really grabbed me. But I’ve been thinking I really need to make a few Frankenbags for holiday gifts, so I pulled out my Aboriginal scraps and got to sewing.

It took me longer than the meeting lasted, but I finished the front and back panels for the bag and got them fused to the fleece.

I’ll get these quilted tomorrow night and then start on the construction. This one will have several pockets on the inside and will have a zipper placket.

I got my “Christmas” tree up over the weekend. I haven’t had a green tree, either real or fake, for quite a few years. I purchased this new LED birch tree and I love it.

You can set the lights like they are in the photo, or you can make it all one color in any of the colors you see on the tree, or you can set them to all white. So there are a lot of options. I’ll put a few decorations on this little tree this weekend and will put up a few other little holiday decorations around the house, but I’m not going crazy this year.

I purchased my first LED birch tree five or six years ago. It was looking pretty ratty so I set it up on my patio with all my other lights and it’s giving me joy there. This very well may be its last year of service.

A friend of mine has offered up her dog training facility for me to use to do some agility training with Rico. So I dropped by there Sunday afternoon and again last night for some training. The boys had a nice run in her field while we were there.

Rico is entered in an agility trial this weekend. He’s looking good but he doesn’t have much experience in the competition ring. I’m guessing it will be an exciting ride!

He also has two sheep herding lessons this weekend. It will be good to have some variation to our repetitive days.

I’ve gotten a few Frankenbags sent to me by readers over the last few days. This first one is from Beverly Rose. I just love the combo of purple and turquoise, I’ve wanted to combine those two colors for awhile. Might do this combo as a holiday gift. And how cute is that polka dot lining! Who doesn’t love a happy little polka dot?

This next bag was made by Ann Baird’s mother. She didn’t give her mother’s name. I just love the lighter blues in this one and those little peaks of Brandon Mably’s octopus fabric is so good! I’ve been wanting to make something from that octopus fabric but haven’t been able to decide on fabrics to go with it. I really like these lighter blues as an option.

The last bag tonight was made by @bksblingandbags on Instagram. She said she grew up on a dairy farm and had a love/hate relationship with cows. But she’s knocked it out of the park with this cow! What a great use for that little panel! And that black and whit cow looks so good with the pinks and reds. I’m going to have to see if I can find those panels for sale.

Thanks to everyone for sending photos!

One more day until the weekend!

A Homebody Saturday

Rico’s weekly sheep herding lesson was canceled for today. So I planned to spend a nice and rainy Saturday at home.

After breakfast we took a nice long 5 mile walk. I knew the rain would start in the afternoon so a second walk was unlikely. We walked at a good clip!

The boys were happy to start the day with a nice long walk. The got to pose on a stump. They thought it was somewhat lame.

We really lucked out on the rain. We didn’t get more than a sprinkle at any time during our walk. But it rained most of the afternoon and evening.

When we got home I cleaned up the kitchen and made a big pot of split pea soup. It turned out really good and made a nice early dinner.

After I had the soup on the stove I hit the sewing room to finish up some little tree ornaments I started last night. Last night I got them to the stage where they were ready to sew together. I had 16 ready to quilt today. Here’s a few of them.

Once I got them all quilted I sewed a back onto all the fronts, got strings basted in place, and got them all trimmed, turned inside out and pressed. Then I started stuffing them and sewing them closed. I got a lot of them done.

I have five more to stuff and sew closed. I will probably get them done tomorrow. Then that will be it for ornaments this year. I have no idea what I’m going to do with the more than twenty I’ve made so far. So it’s probably time to stop!

I’ve gotten photos of several Frankenbags in the last few days.

This first one was made by Debra Gabrielson. I just love her color combos. It feels so rich. She made this bag from leftovers from a quilt she made several years ago. What a great use for those leftovers!

Next up is this bag from Sheryl Karle. I love the way she combined turquoise and orange in this bag. And that graphic black and white stripe is great! A nice bold lining too!

Next are two bags from Cherry Naylor. She has made A LOT of these bags. I just love how she used those great big blooms on this one. And the bold pinwheels on the back are fantastic!

Next is a bag made by Cindy Clark. this is her third Frankenbag. And more orange! I tell yah, it’s a great color. People need to be more ok with Orange! It gets a bad rap but I love it!

Next is this one made by Bibi Eriksson. She’s from Orsa in the north of Sweden. I love her fabrics and colors, and I love how she’s used that striped fabric! And this bag looks so well made. I may be wrong, but I’m guessing Bibi is a member of the Swedish Quilt guild.

Last up tonight is this bag made by Deb Solomon. I love the huge prints she’s used on her bag, and those little peeks of green on the side are so good! And I just love that black and white lining!

Thanks to everyone who shared photos of their bags! I might actually whip one up tomorrow. I have to get moving on my holiday gifts.

More Little Tree Ornaments — But Different

I was day dreaming during one of way too many Zoom meetings today and came up with a new idea for some holiday ornaments. More trees, but different approach.

I had an idea to make these using Heat and Bond to affix the trees to the fabric and then do some free form quilting over the top. Here’s the result.

The first one I made was the bright green one with the really pointy trees. I sewed it all together before I decided that I should do some quilting. But at that point it was too late.

I’m not feeling very confident that these trees will actually stay attached to this ornament. The Heat and Bond was basically absorbed by these batik fabrics! I’ve never seen that happen.

So on the next two I fused a piece of fleece to the back of the appliqued piece and then did some quick quilting. Here’s a close up.

Haha! That quilting is sort of a mess! You can tell this is the first one I did.

And here’s the second one.

The quilting is a little bit better, but it’s not going to win any awards! Good thing I don’t care about awards!

I like these little ornaments better than the ones I made earlier. They feel sort of vintage and rustic to me. And I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I like the muted colors! I’m sure I’ll make some more out of brighter colors.

To make these appliqued trees I fused some Heat and Bond to the back of some batik scraps and then used a ruler to draw the trees on the paper backing. I rounded the corners on these when I cut them out so it would be easier to quilt the points.

And I had a brainstorm on what to use for the hanging strings. Several years ago I bought a good selection of colors of faux leather cord to use with wooden beads as zipper pulls on pouches. So I dug out a pouch I made to hold all those small spools and found this perfect green for these little trees.

I’ve hardly used any of this stuff. Most of it is still in the plastic wrapper. this next photo shows the zipper pull made from some of this material.

I love using up scraps on small projects like this, but it looks like a bomb went off in my sewing room!

I did a little grocery shopping tonight and used this pig feed bag tote for the first time. That’s $96 worth of groceries in one bag!!! These bags are big… and it was really heavy! Good thing it’s sturdy.

A friend of mine sent me a gorgeous bouquet of flowers for my birthday last week. I’ve had them for a week now and they are still gorgeous.

I trimmed the stems and changed the water tonight. I’m guessing they will last at least another week. She sent me flowers last year from the same place and they lasted forever. It’s so nice to have fresh flowers in the house when the days are so short.

We had an absolutely amazing sunset tonight. I stood and watched it for quite some time.

I have a three hour meeting first thing in the morning. Yikes.