A Little Productivity and Some Better Weather

I had my dog agility class last night and didn’t get home until 10 pm and was so tired I just plopped on the sofa! And it felt good.

I go to class at my friend’s property down in Hopewell, Oregon, a little north of Salem. It’s absolutely gorgeous country. Lots of farms and field after field of grass seed, Hazelnuts, and vineyards. It was so beautiful last night… the sky was dark and the sun was shining on the trees a few hundred yards away.

If it wasn’t cloudy you’d be able to see Mt. Hood in the distance on the left side of that photo.

The training barn that my friend built this winter is open on two sides. So we get lovely views of the countryside as we’re training our dogs.

Here’s a more expansive view of the barn and it’s view.

On the left side of that photo you can see the tops of an orchard of Hazelnut trees. There are A LOT of Hazelnut orchards in the Willamette Valley. Some of them go on for miles. Farmers are doing away with other crops and are planting huge fields of Hazelnuts.

We took a quick stroll along side the orchard next to my friend’s property after class last night. Here’s a video snippet.

These trees are probably only a few years old.

There were more beautiful skies on the way home last night. Oregon has really amazing skies!

I met a friend for some pickleball practice tonight. I really wanted to get out because the weather was cool but gorgeous and it was so good to be outside!

I didn’t get home until about 9 pm and hurried and took the boys for a quick walk while I talked to a friend, then came home and spent a little bit of time in my sewing room. I wanted to get a little bit done on my crumb pieced bucket hat, but knew that all those bulky seams would be challenging to work with, so I didn’t want to finish the whole thing tonight. So I set out to finish the brim, and I got it done.

And I was right… all those bulky seams in that crumb piecing can be challenging to sew over. I’m glad I didn’t try to finish this hat while I’m tired!

It’s just amazing to me that I can make something so three-dimensional out of flat pieces of fabric!

Did you know that I’m a pinner?

I am a devotee… a true believer in the pin.

A little hint on making this brim, and it applies to the top of my Frankenbags as well. Did you know that when you want to fold a seam line back on itself, like on the edge of this brim, it all works better if you press that seam flat first? Well, it’s like magic.

After I sew the seam around the edge of the two brim pieces, I open it up and finger press that seam first.

I do the same thing at the top of my Frankenbags where the lining is sewn to the outer bag.

After finger pressing I give it a good press with my iron.

Once pressed I fold the brim carefully, making sure that seam is on the very edge, and then I press the hell out of it! Like pins, I’m a big believer in pressing. I think pressing as you go gives a much better finish.

And look at how sharp this edge is. That seam line is right on the fold!

I’m a big fan of making sure details like this are sharp! The details make all the difference in the finish of any item.

Once it’s all pressed nicely, I stitch the concentric rows along the brim.

Once all the rows are stitched, I stitch one final row right along the raw edge of the brim. This line of stitching will hold the layers together as I sew the front and lining cap pieces to the brim.

Here’s the front and back of the brim with the finished rows of stitching. There are a few wobbles in there due to stitching over all that bulk.

I’ll probably finish this up tomorrow night. I’m anxious to see how it all looks when it’s a finished hat.

I have some great Frankenbags to share with you tonight. Let’s get started! This first bag was made by Laura Hillaker. I’ve known Laura on Instagram for a good number of years now. This bag is simple in its piecing, but I really like the effect of the big blocks of fabric… and I do love batiks! Laura’s colors are really nice.

Next is this bag from Joyce Triezenberg. She’s made this from leftover batik quilt blocks and scraps. I love these colors. And that turquoise across the top is really good! The piecing and partial blocks is a really nice effect too. It feels very improvisational and I like that!

The next bag was made by Judith Tomkins. She said this bag is different from the other Frankenbags she’s made. They were all wild colors and crumb piecing. This one feels very sophisticated to me. Judith calls it her little black dress of bags! I love how the two sides of the bag are different, but similar. It all feels cohesive.

The next bag tonight was made by Sabine Muller Ruckreim who lives in Germany. She said this bag is her favorite. colors. I love the free form and random feel to her piecing. And look… she made a little pouch to match! Oh! I just noticed the curves! I love it!

Next up is this bag from Julie Robertson. I love her eclectic mix of fabrics and the nice scrappy feel. She did some fun quilting on this too. Julie said she stitched a good deal of profanity into this bag… and I know where she’s coming from!!! I’ve been know to do a little of that myself!

These final two bags were made by Julie Knaub. She made these bags as gifts for friends who both love birds. I really like those water color effect fabrics and all those gorgeous blues on that first bag. And the colorful birds scattered across the second bag are just wonderful! I think her friends will be really happy with these heartfelt gifts.

Thanks to everyone who sent in photos!

23 Replies to “A Little Productivity and Some Better Weather”

  1. Those are some gorgeous skies you’ve captured.
    I love l those Frankenbags, but especially love Laura’s quilting on her bag. Thanks to all, and especially you, for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Anne, I just love your bucket hats and color combos, but this crumb block hat is crazy gorgeous. I’ve never made hats but am inspired. I don’t trust myself with the sizing manipulation. May start with Serpentine hat. Thank you for adding color and beauty to everything you touch. You’re a terrific mentor!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. you should make one and see how it fits. It might be prefect.

      I’m liking this crumb hat, but it’s not easy to sew with all that bulk. I’m going to try to finish it tonight. wish me luck!



  3. Great pictures. Pressing makes a huge difference in everything that is sewn! My college tailoring class required the purchase of an inexpensive but mandatory iron. It was narrow and long and worn out years ago but I’ll never forget being graded by how well I pressed those seams in that suit coat lining! I currently own four irons, one just for seam, one smaller Oslo, one regular, one cordless.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I remember a friend of mine who made a royal blue corduroy suit when we were in high school — the kind with notched lapels and vents, etc… She made the entire thing and didn’t press any of it!!! I can still see it!



  4. It’s so beautiful there. If I ever moved I’d probably go that direction. What a fantastic barn! We are the almond capital of the world here, interesting they are moving to hazelnuts there. I work in ag so I find it interesting with the trends. All the bags are beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love each and everyone of your bucket hats, and the crumb one is the tops! When is Bender modelling this hat? Or is it Rico’s turn? I think I want to go back to Franken bag panels just after 3 bucket hats!! Love all of your followers bags; each bag is so unique. Thank you for all the eye candy and introducing me to the gorgeous KFC line of fabrics and most of all taking the time to share your great talents in sewing and tips. Like another follower was saying I wish I could move to Oregon, next door to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You might be very disappointed in me if you lived next door! I’m pretty boring!

      I’m thinking it might be time for me to make a bag again as well… I have 8 or so hats cut out, fused and ready to sew. I should mix them in with other projects.



  6. Wow!!!! The barn is huge and great views! I loved seeing the boys and sweet Bender, always at your feet ❤️, he must love you so much! The crumb hat will be too cool 😎 ! Yes, you have a beautiful state 🥰! Would love to be your neighbor too, on the other side….we could dog sit for you and love on the boys!❤️❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  7. In my life time I have probably tried to read 10,000 blogs ~ all to be deleted. I feel so thankful . . . what you write about is so interesting and varied. Topics like nuts, and where they are grown, grass seed, training your pups, sewing ~ I LOVE It ALL and picture in my mind what you are seeing. Another fan, that’s me!
    Gretchen from the Wasatch mountains ~ where, sadly, the growing season is about 7 seconds! The only nuts we have are the store bought!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww. You’re so sweet. I feel like I’m always scrambling to have something to write.

      OH, my beloved Wasatch Mountains! I was born in Ogden, grew up in the Uintah Basin, went to school at USU and lived in Salt Lake From 1984 to 2010 when I moved to Portland. I miss those mountains every day! Luckily, I have friend who know and send me photos on a regular basis!



  8. Hi Anne, Love your hats. If you ever hung wallpaper and I have hung a lot of wallpaper over the years, there is a little wooden tool that I used to press the seams flat after hanging. It is a small handle with a wooden wheel at the end. I was able to purchase 2 recently off amazon. The wheel I found is solid wood and the handle is yellow. I think they were two in a package for about $8.00. They work awesome for “finger pressing” the seams open. Just a thought and very reasonable. I gave one to a quilting friend and she loves her also. Thanks for sharing your talents and your sweet boys!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I gave one of those little rollers to a friend who loves paper piecing several years ago. I should have gotten one for myself!

      The finger pressing works really well for me. I use that technique a lot! Makes pressing so much easier!



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