So Much Rain and a Green Frankenbag Finish

It poured over night last night and for most of the morning. I’m pretty sure it must have rained three inches. My rain guage was completely full by noon.

The beer is there to show you how big that dog dish is.

We were lucky to get a bit of a break for a somewhat damp afternoon walk and then our evening walk was dry and almost 60 degrees! It was freakishly warm. We have a lot of rainy days coming up. But it looks like today may have been the most significant. Looks like the weekend might be pretty nice.

After our evening walk I dug in and finished this gorgeous green batik Frankenbag. Oh man, how I love those greens!

I wasn’t sure how the green batiks would work with the KFC scraps, but I really like it. The reds really pop with all the green. There’s a reason… check your color wheel!

Here’s the other side of the bag.

It was really a good idea to use that lighter faux leather with these green batiks. And it works really well with my favorite tag.

And the obligatory detail photos.

When I’m constructing the lining, pockets, and zipper placket, I get everything cut and fused and sit down and do as much sewing as I can. Here’s everything all prepped and ready to sew.

And here’s another photo of the lining with the zipper placket attached. Next step is sewing the side and bottom seams, and then the gussets.

It’s nice to be able to look at this and know that it’s right, even though it feels so wrong!

And I used the self stick adhesive tape to place the zipper for the pocket and placket and it worked perfectly! It was so much easier to place the zipper for the pocket and I got a better installation. It was also easier to get the placket all ready to assemble. I will use this on all upcoming bags. I like things that make processes more efficient and give a better finish.

The best thing happened this morning during one of my Zoom calls… this squirrel ran up the tree with a peanut butter bottle on his head!!!

It was the most amazing thing! It just might be the best thing that I’ll see this week.

I called Bender’s neurologist first thing this morning. She called me back late this afternoon. We talked about Bender’s seizures for a few minutes. After a few minutes of conversation she decided that DOUBLING one of his medications was the way to go. It was a big boost to this same medication that started his 5-year seizure free run. So I’m feeling hopeful that this will get us a few more years of a normal life for this kid.

And Rico had to get in on the photo action too!

My next project will be another bag made from the scraps from my Ice Storm quilt because an acquaintance of mine wants one. I sold the other one to a co-worker. But on this one, I’ll use some darker grays to surround the lighter blocks to make it a little more practical.

Second Thanksgiving and A Green Batik Bag

I had a great Second Thanksgiving with my friends today. And we changed the name to Spring Giving. It will be an annual event from here on out.

But first… I was able to get this lovely green batik bag with KFC trip quilt scraps quilted and the body constructed this evening. And I LOVE it!

This just reinforces that green is a good color to have as a favorite color! Here’s the other side of the bag.

And here’s a view with the fabric I will use for the lining. I really like it.

I’ve been using the darker faux leather more recently because I prefer it with most of the bags I make. But it didn’t feel right with this bag. So I pulled out some of the lighter brown too.

I definitely like the lighter one on the left better. It can read a little orange with some fabrics, but I think it was the right choice for this bag.

Here’s some quilting for your viewing enjoyment… all done with a light gray thread.

Gray thread for quilting is just a little magic in the way it takes on the color of whatever fabric it’s on. I use it all the time.

So now… about Spring Giving. We had a really delicious turkey dinner with all the trimmings today. The only thing we were missing was cranberry sauce.

Oh, and friends! We all really love turkey dinner! Really. Love. It!

It was really good to see everyone. These are the three friends that I made Frankenbags for.

We opened all our gifts immediately! It was a bit of a free for all. Everyone was happy with their bags.

After dinner we took the dogs out for a run. Not everyone got to go out so we had a relatively small group. I think we only had nine dogs out with us.

Here’s my boys taking off for a nice run!

There was a good deal of rain today. We were all pretty wet once we were done with our walk.

My friend who owns this property is a dog trainer and that’s now she makes her living. She recently built that nice big red arena on her property so she can teach in her own facility. Rico and I will be taking an agility class there starting in late March.

After our walk we enjoyed way too much dessert and then I headed home so I could avoid driving on country roads in the dark in the rain. We were able to take our evening walk around 8 pm.

I have a BUNCH of Frankenbags from blog readers to share with you tonight. So let’s get going!

First up is this bag made by Sue Everett. I really like this bag… the bright fabrics, the graphic black and whites. the strong lines. It’s just a really fun bag. Unfortunately, something odd happened with Sue’s email and some of the photos didn’t come through. she used a striped zipper (that I can share with you) and used fusible fleece on the lining too, to add even more structure. Beautiful bag.

Next up is this bag made by Christie Protheroe. She made this all from upcycled denim, which can be really tough to sew with. And look at that gorgeous pineapple block. That jeans pocket on the inside is so cool! Christie makes a lot of different stuff from upcycled denim. It’s not easy to work with. I wonder if she goes through as many needles as I do when I sew on denim.

This next bag was made by Cindy Blakeslee. She said she wanted to give a Frankenbag a try so used scraps, but she thinks she made the piecing too complicated. She is planning on making another one using her batiks and some faux leather handles. Cindy said she makes a lot of quilts and enjoyed making this bag because it was a nice break. I love that plaid lining!

The next bag comes to us from Elfi Read. If you look carefully you’ll see that the big block is a junkyard dog… It’s so cute!!! It’s just such a fun bag. And I love orange. It gets a really bad rap, but it’s an amazing color! And you’ll also see Elfi’s special walking partner who makes that bag look even better!

Next up is this bag from Lynne Hummel. I love the colors on this bag and the diagonal lines are are really good. Lynne has made a few of these bags and this is the first time she’s added a zipper placket. Looks like she did a zipper pocket too. The placket and zipper pocket really elevate this bag. I love it!

This next bag was made by Susan Stewart. I love this bag… the way she fussy cut those blooms and constructed the blocks on one side, and that adorable Timna Tarr noble menagerie rabbit panel. She made this bag bigger than the pattern. It was a gift for her friend Lois in northern California. It’s pretty adorable.

Next up tonight is this bag made by Lyndia Thomas. She used these beautiful and graphic Hawaiian fabrics. I’m not familiar with these fabrics but I really like them. They are so strong… really make a statement. Nice bag!

Last up is this bag made by Rebecca Caisse. I love the colors in this bag. The reds and pinks with the greens is so good. And those bold black lines are so good. She did a wonky log cabin block, strip piecing, crumb piecing, and a braid. I just love how all these bags are complete individuals. This is a great bag!

And this JUST in from Instagram from Suzy Jasper. She made a Frida Kahlo bag out of an old collage project. It’s just so cool!

And I just found this bag but can’t find an associated email. This was made by Dana Ligon. I don’t know what she told me about her bag, but I love the way she used that big Kaffe print as the focal point.

And I found another one from Susan Stewart. She made the one above with the bunny. On this one she used some of those succulent panels like I have. And I love her color combo on this bag. Mine was so monochromatic, but here’s has all kinds of colors and they work so well! And look at that incredible pop of yellow on the zipper pocket! Love it!

I hate to say that Bender had another seizure late last night. So that was two seizures in one day. He’s been fine today. I’ll be calling the neurologist first thing tomorrow.

A Nice Saturday and a Green Frankenbag

I took Rico for his sheep herding lesson early this afternoon and he did a really great job. We worked on a new exercise to help him learn how to drive the sheep across the field in front of me. It’s called a cross drive. The dog’s natural instinct is to bring the sheep to you. So it’s a big job to teach them to drive the sheep away from you or back and forth in front of you. I’m so happy with how he did.

After our lesson I drove to the park we usually visit and let the dogs have a good run while I walked two miles. We were able to avoid the rain and the boys were worn out once we got back in the car. As I was leaving I checked my phone to see how the traffic looked and it advised me to take I-205 from Vancouver into Portland, rather than taking our usual 1-5 route because traffic there was bad.

On the way to I-205 I realized that I was really close to one of my favorite quilt stores — a little shop in Vancouver, WA, called Fiddlesticks. I’m pretty sure I haven’t been in there since the pandemic hit, so I decided to stop in.

It’s a lovely little shop and they have a really nice selection of batik fabrics. And I love a quilt shop where the owners and staff are friendly and conversational. Hi!

See all that blue fabric on the counter? Most of it is gorgeous indigo batiks and she’s cutting it all for me! I was so happy to see such a nice selection of these colors! I was feeling a little anxious knowing I had depleted my stash! Here’s what came home with me today.

Once I was on the road again the rain had settled in and it continued to rain well into the evening. As I was waiting for it to ease off enough for us to get our evening walk in I hit my sewing room and started working on some panels for a new bag. I had decided that I wanted to make another one from the left over strip tubes from my KFC trip quilt. And last night I pulled some really lovely green batiks to pair with the scraps. Here’s the first panel.

I don’t know if you know that green is my favorite color. These gorgeous greens give me a physical reaction. I just love them!!!

Once I got this panel done the rain had slowed down enough to get outside. We had a nice three mile walk as I talked to a friend. We didn’t see another soul while we were out walking. And it was so gorgeous out there.

When I got home I whipped up the second panel for this bag.

Here’s a view of both panels with the batik I’m going to use for the lining.

That’s the same fabric I used for the little storage basket I made a few nights ago. It’s what’s left of a wide backing I bought many years ago and ended up giving to a friend for a quilt she was making. It was just so perfect for her quilt… I had to do it. It was actually one of the very first quilting fabrics I ever purchased. It was probably around 2012 or so when my friend, the one who introduced me to Kaffe fabrics, was visiting and we went to a quilt show here in Portland. I purchased this wide backing, a layer cake, and a few fat quarters of fabric.

And that’s how it all started.

Tomorrow I’m having “Second Christmas” with some friends. For a number of years now we’ve all gotten together for Thanksgiving. And we love the meal so much, we would do a “Second Thanksgiving” pot luck some time before Christmas. We missed it this last fall, so we’re celebrating Second Christmas instead. We’re going to have a full turkey dinner with most of the trimmings and we’ll exchange gifts. I’m responsible for mashed potatoes and I’ll make the gravy once the turkey is done (I make really good gravy!) We’re having the meal at a friend’s place who lives out in the country and as a nice piece of property so the dogs will get a chance to have a nice run. There will be a total of 15 dogs there!!! And five people! We have a lot of dogs!

I dropped into JoAnn’s on Friday because their Pellon products were 50% off. I bought an entire bolt of the fusible fleece I use and a half bolt of mid weight fusible interfacing.

That should last a few months.

I was reminded this morning of this photo from five years ago. All my good boys taking a nice nap in my sewing room.

That’s Bender and Rico, and my magnificent Forrest. God, I miss that dog. He was so fantastic. Rico would have been about 4 months old in this photo.

Bender had another seizure this morning. I told a friend of mine a few days ago that I was pretty sure he would have another one this weekend. He just seemed sort of agitated as the week went on. I was not surprised to see it happen. I’ll call his neurologist on Monday and see what our course of action will be.

Something Out of My Ordinary

I mentioned the other night that I was thinking of making a knitting caddy for a friend of mine. I’ve looked at a few patterns and tutorials and struck out tonight to figure it out for myself because I find noodling out a pattern entertaining. My brain gets a kick out of figuring out how something is made.

I had some basic measurements for the size I wanted to make, so I hit my sewing room, grabbed some rulers, and started cyphering.

The really beautiful thing about my notes is that they are incredibly detailed and specific so when I want to make another one of these it will be so easy. NOT!

But truthfully, this was a pretty easy little thing to make.

My friend that I’ve made this for wanted it to be pink and green. So the first thing I did was dig out some blocks that a friend gave me and sorted out a few that were mostly pink and green. Then I cut those blocks into smaller pieces and reassembled them with some crumb piecing.

Here’s some of the crumbs in process.

Here’s the crumb pieces with the fabric used for the background and lining.

I made these crumb blocks into a little strip that was sewn into the front and back panels, trimmed out the gussets and quilted each piece. The panels measured 17 x 10 inches. I cut out 3 inch squares for the gussets. I quilted with vertical lines because I thought it would be easier to keep the shorter lines straight. I like the look of this too.

I used fusible fleece on the panels but didn’t use a backing fabric on the quilt sandwich. I figured this didn’t need that extra structure and stability.

I made the handles out of the same background fabric and used some fusible fleece to give them some body. Since it’s not in my very detailed notes, I’m noting here that the handles are 13 inches long. If I was to make another one of these, I might just use some fusible interfacing in the handles. These are a little hefty for this caddy.

Then I assembled the lining, including some medium weight fusible interfacing, and sewed the whole thing together and ran a line of top stitching around the top of the caddy.

This measures about 10 inches wide, 6 inches deep and 6 inches tall.

The lining is simple… no pockets in this baby.

It’s the exact size I wanted it to be, but it feels bigger than I thought it would. And it holds a lot!

These photos don’t represent the true color of these fabrics. That’s one of the downsides of being a late night sewer… it’s really hard to get good photos of your project. I will take some photos tomorrow to get a better representation of the colors.

I have no idea if I’ll ever make another one of these. But I really like being able to figure out how to make something for a specific purpose. I’m thinking I should make a few fabric baskets of some kind to organize some of the piles of stuff in my sewing room. Might be a good idea to make some baskets to hold all the scraps I’m generating.

Another Bag Done — Two Per Week

I finished up my Ice Storm left over Frankenbag tonight at about 11:30. I almost put it down before finishing, and then decided to push forward and sew the lining into the bag, do the top stitching at the top of the bag, and stitch down the zipper plackets. I even took a minute to sew on my tag.

I really like this bag. It couldn’t be further away from my normal color palette. A friend of mine said there’s something really soothing about it. And it’s probably true that most of the stuff I make is far from soothing! But I’m ok with that. It’s been fun to make something so different.

And at the rate I’m making bags, I am averaging about two per week. I doubt I’ll keep that up for long. But that is a leisurely pace for me. I don’t feel like I’m spending every spare minute in my sewing room obsessively producing.

Here’s the other side of the bag.

And the finishing touch I love.

The lining and pockets feel absolutely creamy to me. I love the lighter batiks I used there.

This probably won’t be a terribly practical bag with all those light fabrics. It’s not one you’d want to put on the floor of the bus!

I tried using some fusible webbing instead of pins to attach the zipper to the pocket opening while I sewed it all together. I like the way it held the zipper in place nicely and I didn’t get the puckering you get with pins. I only had the webbing in a big sheet. I’ve already ordered some of the kind that comes in a roll that you stick to your fabric and then peel the paper off.

And I’m happy that after doing about 8 of these zipper pockets, I’m getting better and better at them.

Look at that beautiful opening!

For me, the best way to learn is to do. And the more I do something, the better I get at it. I like that!

I love this view of the lining all in one flat piece. It’s somewhat complicated and the placket always feels so wrong, but it’s so right!

I’ve made quite a few changes to how I make these bags since I made the tutorial. I’m giving some thought to how to share those improvements. I don’t want to make another tutorial, but I like the idea of sharing how my design has morphed over time. I might just make one post with the changes, and then link to it from the original tutorial.

So what’s different:

  1. I now use a fusible interfacing on the lining. I like the way it adds body to the lining and makes the bag feel more substantial. I also think it will be more durable and the pockets won’t stress the fabric as much.
  2. I’ve increased the size of the slip pocket and I’ve made it into a divided pocket. I also use fusible interfacing on the slip pocket. Again, it’s more substantial and should be more durable.
  3. I’ve added the zipper pocket and would like to provide a link to the tutorial I used, as well as info on how I place the pocket on my lining.
  4. I’ve changed how I put the placket in place. Rather than measuring awkwardly to place it, I draw a line on the lining once it’s fused that will later be used to position the plackets. So much easier to do it this way! And the drawn line is hidden when you stitch the placket down at the very end.

I think that’s all the changes I’ve made. But I’ll give it some thought to be sure.

It was another cold day here in Portland on Wednesday, but we didn’t have the wind that we had yesterday. I don’t mind the cold when we have the sunshine. Here I am after our walk tonight. Bundled up like I was last night, but not nearly as cold on our walk.

You know it’s cold if I’m wearing a knit hat. I’ve made many, many, many knit hats over the years. But I tend to run warm and it’s rarely cold enough for me to be comfortable in a knit hat.

I got a call from Bender’s neurologist this afternoon. She wants me to give it a little more time before we increase Bender’s Potassium Bromide. So we will move forward and hope he doesn’t have another seizure. If he does have another one, she will likely increase his dosage. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that he’s done with seizures for a good long time. But I’m guessing he’ll have another one in a week or two. Damn.

A Brisk and Sunny Day and Some Soft Grays

After the record breaking warm weather we’ve been having, today it all turned and although the sun was out, it was much cooler with a little wind. I actually wore a parka and gloves for our afternoon walk. I haven’t worn more than a fleece or light jacket for weeks.

Getting bundled up for our walk in the dark tonight felt like I was getting ready to make an assault on Mount Everest! My long parka. A fleece hat. A fleece neck gator. Fleece gloves. All I needed was a Sherpa!

After our cold walk I hit the sewing room to quilt the panels from the Ice Storm bag I started last night. I just love how the quilting transforms these pieces. I always wait to pass judgement on a panel I’ve made until I see it quilted.

Here’s both panels quilted with the gusset corners cut out.

Once the panels were quilted I whipped up a couple of handles and got the body of the bag constructed. If the quilting transforms the panels, this step really makes it feel different. Now it looks like something!

And the other side…

This bag is just so crazy different from the stuff I usually make. But I’m loving these soft and romantic colors.

Here’s the bag with the fabric that I’ll use for the lining. I think it’s a good fit.

I should get a good start on finishing the up tomorrow night.

A friend of mine who is an avid knitter sent me a photo of a little project caddy she liked. It’s basically a little quilted box with some handles that you can keep on your coffee table to hold your current knitting project. I’ve been checking out Pinterest to find a pattern and found this one that would work… but I would do two handles, rather than the one basket type handle. This will at least give me a base for the size. I can figure out how to construct it once I understand the proportions. That might be my next quick project.

We’ve got a few cold days and nights coming up. We’re going to be down in the teens a couple of nights this week. That happens at least once each winter here. But it’s usually short lived.

Anniversary of Our Ice Storm and a New Ice Storm Project

It was a year ago that the Portland area was hit by a huge ice storm. You can see a post I did about the storm here.

At the time of the storm I was working on a light toned scrappy trip quilt. Someone commented that the quilt looked like the ice storm. So I named it my Ice Storm quilt. This quilt is really not a color palette that I would normally get excited about but I love the way it turned out. And it does feel like ice!

So this one year anniversary of that storm feels like the perfect time to dig out the strip tubes that are left over and do something with them. So I fashioned them into two panels for a Frankenbag this evening.

I basically followed the same piecing as on the indigo batik bag I finished last week. Here are some of the pieces on my cutting table.

Then I added strips to each of these pieces, measured, trimmed, and sewed them into two panels. One turned out darker…

And the other one turned our lighter. . .

I think I actually prefer the top darker one. But it will be cool that the two sides of the bag have very different feels.

I will make the quilt sandwiches and get these quilted tomorrow night.

I had today off for the Presidents Day holiday. So the first thing I did was sleep in. then, after breakfast, I ran off to my roofing contractor to sign paperwork, make a down payment, and get them on their way to my place to tarp my roof. they are so busy, they can’t actually put my new room on for a couple months. So they were planning on coming by on Wednesday to put up tarps to keep the rain out of my living room. Then I got a call that they had a team available today and they hightailed it over and got the job done.

They put a section on the front of the house and a section on the back. It looks terrible, but it makes me feel so much better!

After the workers were well on their way, I confirmed that they didn’t need me for anything and hopped in the car to run to a local fabric store that I love that just got a new shipment of Australian Aboriginal fabrics. A little snow squall came through while I was driving. I was so surprised to see snow! Snow is usually a really big deal here.

I have four wheel drive and a lot of experience driving in snow, so I feel pretty confident on slick roads. But I do worry about the drivers in Portland who have very little experience with it. Luckily, the roads weren’t much more than just wet.

And now to the good part… Fabric! I bought a ridiculous amount of Aboriginal fabric… all half yard cuts.

That’s 28 half yards of fabric! I even bought two half yards of the same one. Hmmm. I wonder how that happened. It’s all so gorgeous!

The store posted a photo of all these fabrics on Instagram a few weeks ago and I’ve been thinking about them ever since. So it was inevitable that I’d get my butt out there at some point in time. Look at how gorgeous they are stacked up on my ironing board!!!

I also bought a yard of gray batik to use for the lining for the ice storm bag.

Back to work tomorrow. Luckily, it will be a short week.

Another Succulent Batik Bag Finished

I didn’t have any plans today except to meet some friend for some dog agility training at 1:30. Rico had a wonderful time! You can tell by all the tongue spray all over his head!

But before that, After breakfast I took the dogs for a nice 4 mile walk. We had threats of rain all day but it didn’t materialize into much. It was actually a gorgeous day with a lot of this stuff going on.

When I got home from our agility training with friends, I got the boys leashed up again and off we went for a 2 mile walk while the sun was still lighting the sky and there wasn’t any rain going on.

When I got home I fed the dogs and myself, and then hit the sewing room. All I had to do on this bag was cut and fuse the interfacing to the lining, make a slip pocket and a zipper pocket, and construct the zipper plackets. I probably spent around two hours on finishing this up this evening.

That’s what I’m considering the front of the bag. And look! I sewed the tag on the correct side of the bag! This is the back of the bag.

Here’s the tag just because I love the though and finish it gives my bags.

And here’s some photos of the lining pockets and zipper placket. Click on each image for a larger picture.

I just love these rich batiks on this bag. I want to make more using batiks!

I now have six of the more involved bags finished. Three of these will be gifts. The rest… I don’t know what I’m going to do with them. Maybe just feel them and look at them every now and again.

A friend of mine asked me this evening how many bags I’ve made. I’m pretty sure this puts me over 37. It’s entirely possible that I’ve missed one or two! But that number should be close.

And I’m not the only one making these bags. I’ve received photos of some more Frankenbags this week. First up is this bag made by Gail Brady. She made this as a gift for her sister and said that it was fun and challenging to make. Well, I love this bag! I love the bright colors on the outer bag and her quilting looks fantastic! Very nicely made Gail!

The next bag tonight was made by Lorna Clark. And I just love the muted and mossy colors of this bag! And like the bag above, it looks really well made and the quilting is so nice! She made this for herself and said she will enjoy using it.

The last bag tonight was made by Tina Hadden. Tina is pretty new to making Frankenbags but I think she’s hooked. She’s made a number of them and I’m pretty sure she’s making more! I love this bag. First off, I like the handle on the side. I may do that on the menagerie animal panels bag I’m making for myself. And I LOVE that pop of color that the spiral shells fabric at the top brings to this bag. Tina also made a zipper placket but she made it narrower! I love it when people customize my design!! It also look as though Tina may have finished her inside seams with binding. That’s a lovely affect!

I’m thinking I may take the boys for a nice hike tomorrow. I need to look at the weather report in the morning, before I decide for sure.

I also have to contact the roofing company about replacing my roof. That will be fun little project!

Quick Post on a Saturday Night

I took an earlier evening walk tonight before it got dark, so hit the sewing room a little early and got the panels to my second succulent Frankenbag quilted and got the bag body constructed.

I’m pretty happy with how this is turning out. I just love those fabrics! Those pops of yellow and orange are everything.

Here’s the other side of the bag.

I’m considering this the front of the bag. I really like that bigger and darker border on that succulent block.

Here’s more of a view with the fabric I’ll use for the lining.

I will probably try to get the lining done and finish the bag tomorrow. I’m meeting some friends for some dog training so my time will be limited.

Here’s a view of the quilted panel… just because I love it!

Someone asked me the other night what color thread I use for quilting. She wondered if I used colors that match the bags I’m making. I actually almost always use a light gray thread for my quilting. I find that it almost disappears once it’s on the fabric. Which I love! So for now, I’ll stick with the gray.

I took Rico to his herding lesson early this afternoon. he really did a good job. I’m working on training on my whistles. Initially, I’ll need a whistle for a lie down, walk up, Away to me, Come by. Away to me it to move in a counter clockwise direction. Come by is to move in a clockwise motion. So far, I’m only working on the down and the walk up. I have to learn the other whistles first… before I start trying to train the dog on each whistle.

The whistles are hard!

After our herding lesson, I stopped by a fabric store up in that area that has a good selection of KFC fabrics. I wanted a piece of the black Roman glass and figured they would have it. So I bought a yard of that, and a few other pieces.

It’s the one between the two greens. Three of those are out of print. So I usually invest in some I know may be hard to find in the future.

After the shopping spree, I took the dogs to the field with the creek I usually hit on Saturdays. They had a blast. I walked about 1.5 miles but they probably ran five miles or more!

I took some Advil PM about an hour ago in anticipation of a good night’s sleep. I am doing all I can to keep my eyes open.

Time to sign off the get a pill into Bender and then fall asleep on the sofa!

Winding Down and Being Productive on a Friday Night

Another stressful week, accentuated with the stress of needing a new roof and a good dog with health issues, and THANK GOD IT’S FRIDAY!!!

A friend of mine messaged me earlier today and asked if she could join us for our evening walk. She owns Ernie the border terrier, who I just LOVE!

I almost always talk to someone on the phone during our evening walks. It was fun to have someone along for company and for live conversation. And Ernie and my boys thought it was incredibly fun to be out there walking together. Ernie definitely thinks he’s one of the big boys! He’s so freaking cute and totally a boy!

I’ve been thinking I wanted to make a bag using some of those Timna Tarr animal panels, so last night I cut a couple of them out and started playing with some fabrics to go with them.

I decided I’m going to make this bag for myself with two animals I love. The sheep are obvious. But for years, I collected pigs. There were a good number of years where I didn’t get a gift that wasn’t some kind of pig item. I really loved realistic pigs, but I got a lot of cutesy, cartoonish pigs. I had to put a stop to the insanity and stopped collecting. when I moved to Portland I saved only my most favorite pigs. You can still find a few of them around my house. There are several on my mantel.

I haven’t quite gotten the fabrics I want and need to make this bag, so I’m going to ruminate on this for a few days. I also might drop by a fabric store tomorrow to pick up a few pieces I know I don’t have but want for this. There is a store near where I take Rico for sheep herding that carries a lot of Kaffe fabrics.

So, with that project on the back burner, I decided that I would start working on the panels for another bag featuring a succulent panel. I selected one of the succulents and dug into my batik fabrics and here’s my initial fabric pull.

Gah! I just love those batiks!!! The colors and variation are so good!

Here’s the two featured blocks for each side of the bag.

… and a few pieces on the design wall as stuff starts to come together.

And two finished panels! I really was productive! It only took me about two hours to get these made.

I’m guessing I’ll get these quilted tomorrow and get the bag body put together. And then start working on the lining if I feel up to it. I will include a double slip pocket, a zipper pocket and a zipper placket. I wonder if I’ll ever make another Frankenbag without a zipper placket.

It was another beautiful day today. Bender was sleeping on a raised bed on the patio when Rico climbed onto the bed and curled up next to him. They were definitely enjoying the warmth of the sun.

We have Rico’s regular sheep herding lesson tomorrow, then we’ll have a nice field run. Sunday we’ll meet some friends for some dog agility training. And the best news… Monday is Presidents Day so I get an extra long weekend! Yay!!! I’m thinking of a forest hike on Monday. Will have to keep an eye on the weather. It’s supposed to rain Monday, but it doesn’t look too bad.