Nine Days Without My Bernina… and Counting

The good thing about being without my Bernina right now is that work has been really hectic, so I’m perfectly happy to just rest and recharge in the evenings. I was on zoom calls today from 9 am until 4:30, with no break. Tomorrow is a little better.

I took my sewing machine in for a servicing on January 11. That means I’ll be without her for another week or two. I’m actually feeling a little enthusiasm for creating coming back to me. I think I might be ready to get moving again once I have her back at home.

I ran across a wall hanging on Instagram a few days ago that has my creative juices flowing. It’s similar to this sea glass wall hanging I made last summer. I’m thinking I’d like to make one to hang in my sewing room.

It’s the same concept, but a different color approach. Here’s a snippet of the one made by @hasmeinstitches on instagram.

I thought it would be cool to use some Kaffe Fassett shot cotton for the background, so I ordered a couple of pieces so I would have some color options.

I’m thinking the darker one will give me the effect I want, but I didn’t want to have it arrive and have it be totally wrong and not have options. So two different pieces are on their way to me.

I’m thinking I’ll cut the colorful pieces from various color ways of the brassica fabrics I have left over from making greeting cards.

The variety of colors will give me lots of options for arranging the colors on the background.

I’m not sure if I’ll make this a rectangle or a square. Thinking I might go with a square this time. I’ll have to look at my walls and see where it will fit the best and then make it accordingly.

That’s really the extent of my creative work since I’ve been without my machine. I didn’t get anywhere near firing up my old Singer on the weekend. I actually had opportunities to hang out with friends instead so went that direction instead. And it was a good decision.

I finished my bird jigsaw puzzle after our walk tonight.

I really enjoyed putting this together. It’s been a lot of years since I have done jigsaw puzzles. It’s been fun to have this on my kitchen table and spend a little time on it each evening. And it’s been a really good ten minute break from work a couple times during the day. It’s so hard to sit at my desk all day without a break.

I enjoyed it so much that I went online to buy another puzzle this evening and I ended up buying four more!

I had to buy the bottom one with the leaves because it looks like a Philip Jacobs fabric design! It might be a hard puzzle to put together, but I think I’ll enjoy it.

And now I’ll have enough puzzles that I’ll be able to trade with friends. I do have a few friends who are avid jig saw puzzlers so I think I’ll be set for puzzles for a while. Or at least until my interest in them fades.

Looking at these puzzles, you might get the idea that I like color!

I had planned on taking the boys for a nice trail walk on Sunday but decided to go on Monday instead. I had a couple things going on Sunday and didn’t want to feel rushed. It was a fantastic walk. It wasn’t too terribly cold but it was quite foggy. The fog made it feel a little eerie, which was accentuated by the fact that the we didn’t see very many other people out there. I like being in the woods alone and feel safe with my boys. But it did feel different than it does when the weather is clear.

We walked a total of six miles. At about the 2.5 mile mark there is a side trail where I let the boys run off leash. We walk in a half mile and then back to the main trail the way we came in. The trail gets steep at the turn around point and when it’s wet out the trail is muddy and slick. So we turn around before it gets too steep. And six miles is a good walk.

The boys love the part of the walk where they get to run free. In that mile of walking, I’m pretty sure they run at least three miles. And it’s all with pure joy.

With my schedule of meetings today, my poor dogs were bored out of their minds. Rico handles it pretty well — he just goes to sleep. Bender doesn’t handle it as well. So when I used the last of my peanut butter for my sad little lunch, I gave Bender the jar to lick out.

I think it kept him occupied for about 90 minutes! I finally took it away from him when he started chewing on the plastic.

I have a quilt guild zoom meeting tomorrow night. I think I’ll get all the pieces for my octopus franken bag cut and prepped so I can start right in with sewing it when I get my machine back.

I got quite a few Frankenbag photos sent to me in the last few days. This first one is from Paula Florence. She really went all out with this one and included a divided slip pocket, a zipper pocket, some embroidery on the inside, and a zipper placket. I love her fabric choices… love that dark turquoise paired with the purples. It feels very rich and noir. Paula said the zipper pocket was easier than she thought it would be. So if you’re thinking about making one, be like Paula and dive in!

This next bag was made by Judith Tompkins. This is the third Frankenbag Judith has made. It’s for her daughter who is a teacher and likes to use it for taking her school supplies to work. Judith said she likes the Frankenbags because they are a good respite from the time commitment required to make a quilt. And they have provided her with the freedom to let her creative juices flow. Plus, making them has helped keep herself occupied during the looooong pandemic. That’s the same things I like about making them!

I just love her really fun bright and graphic fabric combined with the bold black and whites. It’s such a perfect bag for a teacher!

The next bag tonight was sent to me by Ute Drury who lives in Germany. I love her bold colors and really fun black and white pops! She’s also added a zipper pocket and a zipper placket. I just love that I’m seeing more and more zipper plackets. If you’re going to get over your fear or zippers, you just have to do more zippers!

She also made this little cross body bag… it’s basically a mini Frankenbag! I love how she switched it up and made it her own!

Next up is this bag from Sharon Hancock. This is her third Frankenbag and she used blocks that were made for her by her old quilting group. She cut them up, stitched them back together, added some lace and buttons to come up with this fun bag. She’s include all kinds of pockets and a zipper placket (not from my tutorial). She added D rings on the sides of the bag so she can add an adjustable shoulder strap later. I love that she added her own features and included elements from others patterns and designs. That makes it even better!

The final bags tonight are from Lynne Hummel. I just love the large print she used on this first bag. It’s such a great use for those big blooms! She also included a zipper pocket and a slip pocket on the inside.

Lynne also made this Frankenbag. She used a small piece of Philip Jacobs Carp and Petals fabric in he centers. It’s such a great fabric. I have a modest piece of it in my stash and I wish I had many more yards of it. I would love to make a shower curtain from it. I really like Lynne’s quilting on this bag and the turquoise accents are so good with that carp fabric. And of course, the black and white lining with pops of turquoise make me happy!

Thanks to everyone who sent photos.

31 Replies to “Nine Days Without My Bernina… and Counting”

  1. I love reading your blog and seeing what you’ve been creating. Also seeing your lovely dogs. The picture in the foggy wood is gorgeous.

    I need my sewing machine servicing too, but I have a few projects on the go and keep making excuses not to take it in. I’m sure I will regret it if the machine stops owing to unreachable dust bunnies.

    I am slowly building up my stash of KFC fabrics to start my first Frankenbag. Here in the UK some of the black and white fabrics are not easy to find. I get excited when I find them on etsy, only to realise that they are posted from the USA. The last time I did that, I was charged Β£28 postage and import duties for a piece of fabric that had cost Β£7 in the sales πŸ™„ Ah well. Experience is something you get just after you need it. I have found a Tula Pink black and white stripe I will have to pretend is KF. I hope she wont mind.

    Enjoy your day and creating. Hope the Bernina is soon back with you.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m a little horrified to think of the lint my service tech will find in my machine. I’m glad I don’t have to be there as he opens it!

      Regarding black and white fabrics… feel free to use any black and white fabrics you like with the Kaffe fabrics! They work really well!



  2. My bird puzzle arrived last night. The Amazon driver and I leaned toward each other across the snow-covered front steps to exchange the goods. We never use the front door, so why shovel? Mother Nature will take care of all the snow in a week or so. I dare not open the box yet – I’ve got a senior recital to accompany in ten days and a bunch of practicing to do to get the young man’s music ready.
    When I started making masks in mid-2020, I saved a bunch of scraps. I think a mini-Frankenbag is in order. Thanks for the idea.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love the bird puzzle and all your new ones. It would be fun to have fabric like the birds! Love the fog showing through those big beautiful trees too. Bender could do a Skippy commercial! So many talented ladies – I love seeing all those Franken bags. I am going to start one since we will be having freezing weather for a week.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You need to pull out that little Featheweight. You will love it and she is a workhorse. Yes only straight stitching but an amazing machine. I love mine and so convenient to take to sewing get togethers. She and I have the same year birthday. If you look at the serial number and go to the featherweight website it will tell you what year it was made. So cool. Enjoy. I see Kaffe bandanas for the fur babies made on it. Funny I took my Bernina in yesterday for servicing and she said 3 weeks. I must have looked sad because she ask me if that was ok, like I had a choice. LOL

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My Singer isn’t actually a Featherweight… but I wish it was! It’s larger and isn’t quite as portable.

      Rico would be so sad if I put a bandana on him. Bender would rock it!

      My Bernina servicer has a really quick turn around time compared to other service places. It’s nice to not have to wait months.



    1. Oh, the library is a good idea. I wonder how many of those puzzles are missing pieces!

      I’m looking forward to trading puzzles with friends now that I’ll have a few in my collection.

      The four that I’ve ordered will keep me busy for a while!



  5. Love those new puzzles. They’ll be a nice diversion from sewing. I seem to have lost my sewing MOJO – haven’t sewn a stitch since before Thanksgiving. Yesterday I looked thru patterns and set a few aside as possibilities for my next project. I’m hoping to drum up some enthusiasm and energy to start something new. I can hear my Kaffe stash calling me!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m hearing a lot of people say they’re lost their inspiration to sew. I know I’m certainly feeling it. I don’t even have much desire to buy fabric… which is sooooo odd!

      I feel like I need something new… but can’t decide what, and then I think of all my unfinished projects…. and that certainly doesn’t spark any joy in me.

      Hoping it comes back soon! Keep trying!!!


      1. Thanks for your reply Anne. I WANT to sew, but just can’t seem to focus. It calms me to know I’m not the only one. Maybe February will be better.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Nice post & photos! I put my Bernina in for servicing in December- 3 weeks backup here in KS! Used my featherweight during that time, had to watch videos to remember how!
    I love puzzles and online, jigzone, the pieces make a satisfying click when they go together. Perfect for ipad.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I occasionally do jig saw puzzles on my iPad but I enjoy the tactile part of a paper puzzle.

      I’m lucky that my Bernina servicer has relatively short wait times. There are other sewing machine service cos here that keep your machine for months.


    1. I saw that but didn’t love the pattern. I’ve been thinking about making a coat but I don’t love the idea of making something that actually has to fit a particular body. That doesn’t bring me joy!


  7. No, your Singer isn’t a Featherweight but it is a great sewing machine. I recently gave one away to a disabled veteran who wanted to teach his daughters to sew. Turns out he sewed when he was in the service but I cannot remember what it was that he sewed, parachutes maybe? Anyway, that is a sturdy machine that will sew through most anything and usually does a superb job of straight stitching since that’s all it does. There is very little you can do to it to hurt it. You should give it a whirl.
    My dog loves peanut butter also but I suppose most dogs do!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. My Janome sewing machine is still in from Dec 23rd and he said maybe by next Tuesday. I do have my Viking that’s 45 years old and a real workhorse so I’m still sewing. But I, too, have not been feeling up to much for a month or so. I ‘m still thinking about that Aboriginal Bag and that may get me going! My dogs always loved peanut butter and it was great for doggie pills.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bender is epileptic and has to take a lot of drugs. I’m really lucky that he’s a really good pill taker. I would be in a world of hurt if I had to give Rico all those pills. He is NOT a good pill taker!

      I’m seeing so many people that are suffering from a lack of inspiration. I hope we all get it back! Maybe playing with some Aboriginal fabrics will help you. They are pretty fantastic!


  9. I really enjoy reading what projects you’re working on and the photos of your dogs. You may already know this, but you can send a digital copy of a photo to a site that will make it into a puzzle. And I thought this recent photo of the dogs and the foggy trees would be challenging for any puzzle solver. And would make a good gift for your friends that do puzzles. And no, I’m not in the puzzle making business. 😊😊😊

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hello. I understand how it is to be without a machine for a period of time.Β  This makes me smile because when I was without my machine, I got so desperate that I went to my local quilt shop, and they let me use one of their shop machines to piece a quilt I was making.Β  I was so grateful.Β  Also was so happy to get my machine back! I know your creative juices are feeling stifled.Β  Here’s to hoping you get your baby back soon! Take good care.Sandra

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha! hopefully just a little over a week now. We’re close to the two-week mark. I have a couple things I’m going to work on today to prep for when my machine is back. that might help my spirit a littl.


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