Tired But Somewhat Productive

I didn’t get a ton of stuff done this weekend but I’m still totally wiped out tonight. Probably because I went and played pickleball this morning from 9 am to almost 12:30! And my body is feeling it tonight!

Yesterday I took Rico to his weekly sheep herding lesson and we worked on shedding again. We had a really good lesson. After our lesson I met my friend at the field with the creek to let the dogs run. Rico love’s my friend’s dog Jolene. He thinks she’s very cute and she tolerates his attention.

When I left in the morning I had seen a sign for an estate sale near my house. I just LOVE estate sales so made a point of stopping by this one on the way home and I’m really glad I did! I found a bunch of wool fabric and I think most of it is actually Pendleton wool. I got 13 yards for $39!!! This is such a steal! I’ve coveted Pendleton wool for some time but could never make myself pay the high per yard price. Here’s what I got.

It’s a big stack nearly 13 inches high! I’m not sure what I’m going to make out of this wool but I have wanted to make some wool bags. I’ll have to look at examples and see what I want to do.

When we got home I hurried and took the dogs for a more substantial walk, partly for MY exercise. We had to stop for a photo op.

And later on the same walk Bender thought better of messing with this cat.

After pickleball this morning I came home and gave Bender and Rico baths. They were both pretty disgusting and needed baths really badly. They both smell so good tonight.

After dinner I took the boys for our evening walk and then hit my sewing room and finished up this bright green bucket bag.

That lining is fun with this brighter green.

More frankenbags tonight. Let’s get moving!

These first two were made by Cheryl Sjoblad as part of a quilt guild challenge. I love all those bright colors with the black and white. And the rivets she added are really a fun touch.

Next up is this bag from MzzzMa on instragram. She said this bag turned out bright. Well, she’s got that right! I love those diagonal lines and the pops of yellow are tremendous!

This next bag was made by Karen Trude. I just love the black and white checkerboard fabric at the top — and lots of graphic black and white everywhere! And who doesn’t feel happier looking at polka dots? and I have to admit that I kind of have a thing for flying geese.

This next bag was made by Cindy Clark. She mad the bag smaller than my tutorial instructs. I love the dark Australian Aboriginal fabrics she used and a smaller version is a great idea! This is the 12th Frankenbag she’s made!

Next are these bags from Sandee Henricks. She’s really been busy. There’s Christmas everywhere! I love that great big poinsettia block and I love that she’s using up those orphan blocks.

Next up are this bag made by Andrea Cline. I love that big old NY Beauty lock and the bright colors on the other side of the bag are so good! And look.. black and white AND polka dogs for this lining!

Andrea also sent photos of the students from a summer camp she taught and their bags. They started with some crumb piecing and used a pattern called Mod Dog from Modern Quilt studio. Take a look at this bag made by a student. I just love it and had been thinking about incorporating this block at some point.

Here’s the class showing off their Frankenbags!

That class looks like a blast!

Another week of work and I’ll be on vacation. I really need some time off. A friend of mine is coming to visit for two weeks! I haven’t seen her since before the pandemic hit. I’m really looking forward to seeing her and to having some time off.

I Actually Accomplished Something

It was hot today. Well into the 90s. Another hot day tomorrow and then cooling down nicely on the weekend. At 11:13 it was still 77 degrees!

I decided we should get out and walk and weather the heat a little early so we could get something done tonight. It wasn’t too bad but it was warm. It would have been nice if there was a breeze. Oh! And two people told me they had just seen a coyote, just down the street from where I saw one a couple weeks ago. We didn’t see it but we didn’t miss it by much.

Once I got home I headed right for my sewing room. I really wanted to lay down on the sofa and watch some TV but I forced myself to dig in and be productive.

I have three bags cut and basically ready to construct and I decided to dig in on this one because I haven’t made a purple one yet.

Not sure what I would call that color. Maybe a faded eggplant or plum. It’s a subtle purple.

I decided to go with this pretty Australian Aboriginal fabric for the lining. It’s sort of peach and pink with little bits of that purple here and there.

It’s an unexpected and fun pop of color with that purple. And I chose the gold snap because of the touches of warm golds in the lining.

There’s one trick I use on my bags that I learned from a mask pattern back when the pandemic first hit. When I sew the seam coming up to the opening in the lining, I sew a line of stitching from the end of the line to the edge of the seam allowance. This picture is from a Christmas ornament post, but it shows you what I’m talking about.

The little blue lines of stitching are the brilliant tip. They make that opening almost close itself. If you’ve never tried this, you should! It’s the best thing I learned from all the masks I made.

I also can have a tendency to sew right past where I intended to leave an opening in my lining so I came up with this little visual trick to keep me on track. I put an X of two pins in the section that will be the opening as a reminder to not sew there.

I really hate picking stitching from all that interfacing! Better to do it correctly the first time.

I got a fun delivery today. A nice sized package of fabric arrived on my door step early this afternoon.

That’s all aged muslin that I found online. Those are all one yard cuts except for the red one, which is 1.5 yards. I have no idea what I’m going to do with all of this. But I’ll probably come up with something fun!

I had a day full of meetings today and my dogs were pretty bored. Except that this kid did keep himself nicely occupied off and on chasing a squirrel in the back yard.

He did a really good job of alerting all our neighbors of the danger.

After work tonight I finally took a few minutes and assembled this wind spinner. I’ve had it in the garage for a few months.

I have four spinners in my back yard and I just love them. This one is right off the patio so I’ll really get to enjoy it.

My yard guys came today. They are so amazing! They are quick, they do a great job and they see things and take care of things that my other yard workers have never done. These guys are definitely keepers!

We Mustered a Little Productivity… But Not Much

I’ve been busy recently. It seems like I don’t have much time in the evenings to spend in my sewing room. Maybe it’s because I’ve been tired and don’t have the stamina to stay in there until 11 at night. Sounds like it’s time for vacation… which IS coming up in a couple weeks! Yay!

So, here’s what I accomplished tonight. I cut out the bag fronts, linings and straps for three shoulder bucket bags.

That’s not much, but it’s something.

I’ve used up almost all of that green and orange batik my co-worker brought me from Africa. I’m going to save what I have left to make a bag for her. That would make a nice holiday gift and I think it’s something she’d use.

I started my day today with a 90 minute meeting that featured a long presentation. So I grabbed my hexes and did a little sewing as the meeting went on. I didn’t get much done but keeping my hands busy helped my head focus.

The stitching on these looked really good! I guess that time away from hexes was good!

Our temps have dropped a little so we’re able to get our evening walk in before it gets dark. There were some really pretty skies again tonight.

I mean come on! Look how miserable Rico is! Poor guy is so dramatic when I ask him to pose for a photo.

But this photo, he was so groggy! He had just woken up and his tongue was stuck like that!

That big old nose is pretty magnificent!

And speaking of sleeping hard…

I was looking at Bender the other day and was amazed at how white his face is getting. He’s really starting to look old. He’s just nine!

Another long meeting to start my day tomorrow. I have my hand sewing on my desk and ready to go.

And Just Like That… the Weekend’s Over

It’s Sunday night and I haven’t been in my sewing room all weekend. I really did intend to make at least two more shoulder bucket bags, but I guess it wasn’t to be.

Friday night I went and did some grocery shopping and then prepped all the ingredients for the same chickpea salad that I made a few weeks ago. I chopped all the fresh herbs and veggies except for cucumbers and cherry tomatoes and made the dressing.

Saturday morning I met my friends an an indoor Pickleball facility for a two-hour clinic. It was a lot of fun and the teacher was great! He’s sort of a pickleball legend here in the Portland area. And he was really good teacher. I got so much out of the clinic.

Here’s a video of the indoor facility where we had the clinic.

After the clinic I hightailed it home to let the dogs out and assemble my salad so I could be at a friend’s place for a pot luck BBQ in two hours.

Once I got home all I had to do was dump all the different containers into a big bowl, chop the cukes and cut up the tomatoes, then add the dressing and stir, and my huge salad was ready to go. I did manage to get the dogs out for some play before I left them alone again.

The BBQ was to celebrate the anniversary of a friend of mine and there were so many of my friends there! It was great to get to see so many people… some I haven’t seen for many months. My friend who gave me her mom’s Featherweight was there too.

Once I got home I got the dogs lighted collars on and my reflective harness and we headed out for a 3 mile walk. We started when there was still a little bit of daylight, but it was pitch dark when we got home.

Since I had so much fun at the pickleball clinic yesterday, I decided to get up early and play pickleball at open play again this morning. A friend of mine met me there at 9 am. I finished my last game at 11:30.

… and I’ve been exhausted all day!

Even so, I did manage to get a few things done. I cleaned up all the pots on my patio… pulling weeds, trimming plants, and trying to get rid of the nasty lemon mint that comes up everywhere. My friend gave me the lemon mint in a pot several years ago and I should have thrown the entire thing in the garbage the minute she left. I’ve never seen a plant that spreads like that one does. It’s growing in nearly every one of my pots, and I’ve even found it growing in the far back end of my yard. The only good thing is that it smells really good.

After that I watered and fertilized all my potted plants. And after talking to a friend at the BBQ last night that is a master gardener, I decided to dig up my jasmine plant and replant it because it wasn’t thriving. I watered it earlier in the day in preparation of this job. So I popped the plant out of the ground and then dug a LARGER and DEEPER hole and loosened up all the dirt in the larger hole, then replanted the plant. I built a little berm around the plant so the water wouldn’t just run off the top of the soil. The berm will act as a little dam that will hold the water at the base of the plant so it can soak into the ground.

Yes, the soil in my back yard is like concrete. That fact and Bender and Rico are the reasons I don’t do more gardening and stick to my pots and stock tanks.

I took the boys for their only walk of the day after dinner since it was quite warm today. The skies were so amazing!

Now, a little about sewing, or at least fabric. After posting photos of my shoulder bucket bags on social media a friend messaged me and said she wanted several for gifts. She wanted the gray one I made last week and asked if I could make her two more. So here’s what I landed on, because she LOVES this lining fabric.

So many people LOVED that orange bag I made last week with that same lining fabric. It’s so funny how so many people respond to the same item.

I did find a good selection of this aged muslin online last week and ordered way too much of it. I just love it.

I’ve received a ton of Frankenbag photos from blog readers the last week. So let’s go!

Oh, and because someone always asks, you can find my Frankenbag tutorial here.

This first bag is from Janice Quinn. She said making these bags is really addictive and she loves a project that she can start and finish in a day. I love the large pieces of fabric she’s used, and the purples and teals are really great together! And look how pretty her back drop is!

This next bag was made by Liz Arbaugh. First off, I love the colors she’s used on the outer bag. It reads purple, but there’s a lot more going on there! I just love her little fussy cut flowers. She said she made these panels in a quilt-as-you-go method, and I love the quilting that goes different directions. I just might have to make one like this before too long. She also said she tried to get one of her labradoodles to model the bag, but they didn’t want to get up off the AC vents!

Linda Kisley finally made this next bag after ogling all the bags I share here for months. This one is for a friend’s birthday. Linda learned some important things while making this bag:

1.  You don’t need to use an entire motif if it’s very large.  A partial motif is nice too

2.  The bottom 2-1/2 to 3 inches won’t show – it’s on the bottom

3.  If you’re bordering a motif or quilt block and they are on the edge of the bag side or top, make these a bit wider so you don’t lose too much of them when trimming and squaring up

4.  Pay attention to where the handles go – on the outside of the bag (I couldn’t let this one go)

5.  Don’t forget the zipper placket when assembling the lining. (I was really sad about this)

6.  These bags are not haphazardly pieced.  There is a lot of thought and attention to detail that goes into the selection of fabrics and design.  It is an art, and one in which I am not proficient, but hope to improve.

I love her bag! I don’t think I have any of that agate fabric in that color way. I like the fussy cut piece, but I LOVE the more organically cut piece! And the lining makes me envious. I would love to have some of that cogs fabric in my stash. Insert sad face here.

Next up is this bag made by Marion Wolf. This is her third and she’s loving the darker colors with the woven stripes. And I agree with her. The stripes work really well on tis bag. I’m not sure I could bring myself to cut mine up since they are out of production and nearly impossible to find.

This next bag was made by Sherrit86 on Instagram. She said she’s been wanting to make one for a while. She made this from fabrics left over from a quilt. Well, I love this one! Those saturated greens with the pops of purple and turquoise… those diagonal pieces. Yummy! And guess how I feel bout that bold black and white sharks tooth. Well, you know I love it!

Next we have some bags made by Nancy Pendergast. I love those deep reds, oranges and pinks in the first one. And those little pops of green here and there are what really makes this fun! She was so excited to make another one that she sent me photos again today. The second one is definitely a little more conservative than the first, but I like the kind of neutral low volume feel of it. She said it’s really fun to get back into sewing and I just love hearing that!

And at the end, I leave you with this guy, who follows me literally everywhere I go.

Tuesday Night Finish and My Inspiration

It was another warm day today. It’s been quite a summer. It was the type of day where the dogs were happy to hang out all day long on the patio and in the shade of the trees while I worked.

Bender was out cold on that bed for at least an hour. One of the effects of the drugs he’s on is that when he sleeps, he sleeps really hard! He wasn’t actually sleeping in this next photo but he laid in this position for a crazy long time!

He came in the house today with this teeny tiny feather on his back. I suspect fowl play.

After our walk this evening I hit my sewing room and whipped up another bucket shoulder bag.

That lining fabric is one of the batiks that a co-worker brought me from her vacation in South Africa. It worked really well as a lining. It’s a pretty beefy batik so this bag is a little more substantial than the other ones I’ve made. It feels sturdy.

It makes me sad when I see a nice bag with a bland lining. A nice pop of excitement for a bag lining is a wonderful thing!

And I’m happy to announce that I actually put the snaps on the correct side so the fabric I like the most is the front of the bag. What an accomplishment!

Here’s some detailed photos because I like the details.

It’s been fun seeing the plants that are growing in the pots my neighbor gave me when she moved last fall. One of the hostas she gave me is blooming right now and it’s spectacular!

There’s still a lot of buds that need to open up.

So now… onto some things that give me inspiration. I check out Instagram pretty much every day. I curate my Instagram feed a lot more carefully and intentionally than my other social media feeds. I don’t follow very many of my friends. I don’t follow any news organizations. And I don’t follow celebrities.

Instagram for me is a place to find inspiration, to see beautiful things that people have made, and to see things that make me smile. It’s a place to get away from the realities of the day.

I wanted to share with you some of my favorite Instagram accounts with a brief description of what they do that I love. I hope you can check them out.

  1. This woman makes amazing embroidered pieces of vegetables. They are realistic and absolutely gorgeous!
  2. This woman makes gorgeous and fun hand embroidered Converse high top athletic shoes. Seriously, you have to check her out!
  3. This is Tiina from Finland who I’ve mentioned before. She does amazing crumb piecing and makes gorgeous quilts with amazing color combos. She is wonderful with color.
  4. This is SotakHandmade who did the tutorial for the bags I’m currently making. She does really lovely and quick videos that show how she makes her bags and pouches. Everything she makes is impeccable and she makes it all look so easy.
  5. This account shares amazing photos of the Pacific Northwest, from Northern CA, Oregon, Washington and up into Canada. Some really amazing landscape photography can be found here.
  6. This is Sue Spargo who does amazing hand appliqued and embroidered pieces from wool, among other things.
  7. This woman makes gorgeous small paintings that I love. She uses lovely bold colors and her designs are Southwest in feel. She actually inspired me to try some small acrylic paintings and I was really happy with what I came up with. You can see my paintings here. The first few small landscape paintings in this blog post are the ones inspired by this woman.
  8. This is an artist in Salt Lake who is married to a former co worker and friend of mine. He makes amazing sculptures from canes that he makes from fimo clay. He actually has his pieces in art galleries. he’s also an amazing painter. He painted a gorgeous portrait of my Forrest (the dog memorialized in my tattoo).
  9. This is Alice Loves Drawing. She does really fun pen and ink drawings, combines them with water colors, and does really approachable tutorials on how to draw different flowers. \
  10. This is Sheepishly Me, a woman who runs a working sheep farm in Canada with her husband. She shares to man fascinating videos about lambing, taking care of her sheep, and other things from her farm. I love this account.
  11. This is Portraits by Hercule. He draws really funny and crude portraits of animals that people submit to him. When an animals private parts are exposed in the photo, he draws underpants on them! This account makes me smile every day!
  12. This last one is Haiku Quilts. She makes impeccable bags, pouches and other things that involve simple piecing, beautiful fabrics and amazing Sashiko embroidery.

That’s just a few of the many Instagram accounts I follow. I’ll keep track of other accounts I love and share them occasionally.

Finally Got Around to Making a Few Stitches

Phew. Things finally calmed down enough for me to get into my sewing room tonight.

I had a brain storm the other day as I was thinking about this grayish aged muslin I bought a couple weeks ago. It’s an odd color… sort of gray, sort of blue. I had tried a few fabrics with it for the lining and didn’t like them. Then I thought of this fabric… and it worked!

The fabric is Kaffe’s moss flower and those gray/blues are almost exactly the same. And it actually brightens up that drab gray. I’m so glad I thought of this!

It’s ridiculous how much I love those little tags!

This next photo is the back of the bag. I had intended it to be the front of the bag because I liked the wrinkle patterns better. But I put the snap on the wrong side of the bag, so that decision was made for me.

That makes five of these little bucket bags completed. I counted tonight and I think I have ten or 11 left to make. I have no idea what I’m going to do with these bags but I’m enjoying these quick projects. They will make nice gifts.

Here’s some more combos that I finalized tonight.

I have a BUNCH of Frankenbags made by my blog readers to share tonight. If you’ve sent me photos and you haven’t seen your bag here, it’s possible it’s been lost. I get quite a few emails and tags on social media!

These first bags tonight were made by Cyndy Thomas. She recently did a demo of my tutorial at the Yellowstone Quilt Festival and used her bags to demonstrate different stages of the process. She said she had a ton of fun choosing fabrics, doing the demo and making these bags. I love how they’re all different. I love the chicken panels on the first one along with the bold piecing. And the one with the Timna Tarr panel reminds me that I’ve never done anything with those panels I bought a few months ago. You all better get busy if you want to keep up with Cyndy!

Next up is this bag from Susan Morris. I love all the paperweight and Roman glass fabric she used. Those are some of my Kaffe favorite designs. She made this into a really handy travel bag by adding the sleeve on the back of the bag to slip it over the handle of her roller bag. Pretty ingenious!

This next bag was made by France Banakos. This is her first attempt at making a Frankenbag. She said it was a great way to build up fabrics for a true scrappy Frankenbag! But you know, a whole cloth type of approach really works with that fabulous shoal fabric! Those fish really shine when you leave the fabric pieces large.

This bag was made by Kaye Snyder. She said this is her first Frankenbag and it took her forever! But she can’t wait to start her second bag, and I promise the second one will go faster! I love the big bold blocks she used, and you know that black and white is always a hit.

Up next is these bags from Marie Talbot. I love the bold piecing and big black strips on the first one. And look… she made a little zip bag to go with it! And that technique on the second bag always makes me smile.

This next bag was made by Kathy Rockey. She made it as a gift for her 94-year-old friend. She didn’t have time to piece and quilt, so she used my basic bag construction and totally freelanced the rest. She skipped the quilting and added some outdoor fabric to add stability. She added some embroidery with her friend’s favorite flower in the center.

Susan Batty made this next bag. She said she had a blast making it. I love all her bright prints combined with the black and white fabrics. That’s twice today that I’ve seen things made with that black mosaic circles fabric at the top of the first photo and I love it! I’ve had a piece for a couple years and have never used it. I’m getting all kinds of ideas!

This next bag was made by Susan Conant. This is her latest Frankenbag. She said she’s addicted and loves it made with KFC fabrics. And I have to agree! It’s definitely a happy bag and makes me think of summer.

And the final bag tonight (PHEW!) comes from Jacki Sutter. She actually made her bag with Susan Batty (above). I love her deep and saturated fabrics (right side of photo) and that little black and white print in the center is so fun!!! That makes me want to pull out some of my black prints and have some fun!!!

And finally tonight… Sheryl Karle sent me this photo of a painting she did of my Bender in the daisies, and look how amazing it is!!! She based this on a photo of Bender that a friend of mine took when Bender was a year old.

I’ve always wished I could paint, but it’s just not a talent I posses.

Thanks to everyone who sent photos of their work. It’s so much fun to see what others are up to!

It’s Been a Few Days

I’ve been busy. Haven’t actually done any sewing since I finished that green bucket bag. And being busy, I’ve been tired at night so am spending plenty of time on the sofa.

So here’s something that happened the other day. The biothane I ordered to make handles arrived with a loud THUD on my front porch.

Here’s the entire roll of 100 feet. That roll of biothane is almost 15 inches across. And it’s really heavy!

I’m really happy with the feel of this product. It’s soft, pliable and flexible. And it has a really nice texture.

It will be interesting to see how it sews up. It’s not terribly thin. I think it will sew similarly to the three layers of my faux leather handles.

I bought the 3/4 inch width. It will be good for handles for my Frankenbags. It may be a little thin for a single shoulder strap. I might end up buying some in a little wider width. I won’t buy it right away… not until I know how it sews up.

I did take a few minutes a couple of days ago to look at some lining options for the aged muslin I have left. Some work, some don’t.

There are a few options for this orange-ish fabric.

I wasn’t sure which one of these I liked, but as I look at these photos, I think it’s the bottom one. It’s Kaffe’s millefiori and I think the color way is antique, but I wouldn’t bet my life on it. The others feel a little too matchy-matchy.

Here’s some other combos I’m thinking about.

The last two, the orange and purple, are batiks that a co worker brought me from her trip to South Africa. They are batiks but they are heavier and more textured than my other batiks. She gave me two yards of each one. This seems like a good use for them.

Rico had his weekly sheep herding lesson this morning. He did an amazing job, as usual! I didn’t get any photos of him sheep herding, but here’s one of him calmly heading down the road to the big field where the sheep are.

When we were done I noticed that the sky was amazing so Rico posed for a couple photos.

Not too bad for a dog who hates to pose!

I have a friend and her husband coming for dinner tomorrow to celebrate her birthday. This is the friend I made this bag for.

I’m going to grill some salmon on my barbecue, gonna make some crispy baked potatoes and a Waldorf coleslaw that my friend loves. It has apples, walnuts and celery in it. It should be a simple but easy dinner. I’m going to serve a simple desert of vanilla ice cream with fresh peaches on top.

I spent most of today getting my house in order and doing my shopping.

I’m planning on going to play pickleball tomorrow morning and then the rest of the day will be all about getting ready for my dinner.

A Quick Make and a Big Damned Mess

It was so nice this evening that I headed out for our walk at around 7:30. It was nice to have a day that was not 100 degrees.

When I got home I thought I’d whip up a quick bucket bag. So I hit my sewing room and chose an army green piece of the dyed muslin I bought on Saturday. Then I tried a few options of fabrics for the lining and the choice was obvious.

That’s Kaffe Fassett’s Paperweight in the Algae colorway. It’s one of my all time favorite Kaffe fabrics.

It might be possible that I say that about fifty or sixty Kaffe Fassett Collective fabrics.

Here’s some more of that gorgeous green!

And the full bag… scrunched and un-scrunched.

I’m loving these bags. I love the cotton for the outer bags, but the linings are just so much fun! This one whipped up so fast.

I have to confess something. It’s possible you’ll think a lot less of me when I tell you what I’m about to tell you.

My sewing room is a mess. I mean… it’s getting a little out of hand.

This dresser holds most of my KFC fabrics. Except for the 4,000 pieces that are piled on top of it.

Oh my god… What a mess! It makes me feel uncomfortable to look at it!

And this… this is my sewing table. This ridiculous pile of fabric is starting to cramp my sewing style. It’s way past time that I do something about this

This last photo is of my cutting table. It’s not too bad. Most of these fabrics were combos I was thinking about for bucket hats. Remember bucket hats? They’re so last month.

That’s way too much crap to have sitting on your cutting table.

So I’m thinking I should do something about this. I’m taking Friday off and this could be a nice project for that day.


I could pull out the Featherweight my friend gave me and get her all tuned up.


I could just sew.

Speaking of sewing. I have some Frankenbags to share with you tonight. First up are these bags from Val McClosky. She said she got a lot of compliments on her first bag (the one with the NY Beauty block) and made the second one when her best friend wanted one of her own. Nice job Val!

Next up are these bags made by Sandee Henricks. Sandee has made a good number of these bags. I love the big blooms on this first bag and the bee panels on the second one are so cute. She’s even made some key fobs to go with each bag. That’s such a great idea.

This next bag comes from Connie Collins from Ontario, Canada. She said she finally dived in and made one for herself. She completed a quilt project earlier this year and had eight blocks leftover. She didn’t know what to do with them, but when she started to read my blog, she knew exactly how they would be used. I’m glad you dived in Connie!

This next bag was made by Janet Costello. She said she’s a bag freak and really wanted to make a Frankenbag. She used vinyl on the bottom of her bag. That’s such a good idea! I love her bold crumb piecing. Lots of fun colors here!

Next up tonight is this bag from Madeline Aron. Here’s what she said: “Friends who receive these bags LOVE them. Thank you so much for sharing your pattern & encouraging me to find my scrappy side.” I’m so glad you dived in! I just love this bright and vibrant bag!

This next bag was made by Ellene Place. You know me… I love all that graphic black and white! And that little bag was supposed to be a Frankenbag but Ellene cut it wrong. What a happy little accident.

This last bag tonight was made by Gretchen Callison. She made this bag for her mom’s birthday gift. Her mom likes patchwork but Gretchen thought she might not like it on a bag. So she took a more whole cloth approach. She also changed up the handles because they are eight feet tall. What a great gif this will be!

Thanks to everyone for sending photos!

Two Bag Sunday… and Other Stuff

I got up early this morning and headed out to play pickleball before it got too hot (It got up to 100 again today!). Apparently I wasn’t the only one who had that thought because there were a lot of people there! I was on the court at about 9:00 and played until 11:30. I had so much fun, but I’m really wiped out tonight.

It was hot by the time I got home at noon so I sat in my living room for awhile after lunch and saw an Instagram post from a local quilt store… they had gotten a new shipment of Australian Aboriginal fabrics and the picture showed some really fun colors. So I hopped back in the car and headed out.

Score! And it looks like there are some pinks and teals in there… hmmm. Wonder what I’ll do with those.

While I was at the store I heard a woman say, “Look at that cute dog collage!” And when I looked up, this is what I saw.

I said, “THAT’S MY DOG!!!” This is a collage portrait of my Skeeter (who is now living with my friend on Vashon Island, WA) made by a woman named Rosemary Burris, an amazing fabric collage artist. The picture of Skeeter was taken on her birthday by a friend of mine who is a wonderful photographer. You can check out Rosemary’s work here.

Once I got home I hit my sewing room and whipped up another bucket bag. I chose this mauve-ish color and paired it with a fun sheep fabric I’ve had for some time. The pink noses of the sheep match the mauve fabric perfectly!

Look at how cute that sheep fabric is!

Here’s some images of the finished bag.

The temperature had dropped enough by 8 pm that we were able to get out for a 2. 5 mile walk. My boys were so bored today! They really don’t get much activity on days when it’s this hot.

When we got back from our walk I hit my sewing room again to whip up another one of these quick bags. I decided to use some striped denim that I’ve had for a couple years and combined it with this amazing fabric.

I bought this fabric a few years ago with no specific project in mind. I just knew that I loved it and wanted some in my stash. Here’s a better picture.

Isn’t that gorgeous?!?!?!? I just love it.

Here’s the finished bag.

Holy cow! I just love this one. And with that special lining fabric, this one will be staying with me and I will be happy every time I use it.

Here’s some more photos.

And I have to admit that I’m kind of liking these fabric handles. They seem really appropriate for these casual and functional bags.

I’ve had a couple people ask for clarification on how I made the handles.

The handles are made by wrapping fabric around nylon webbing. I cut a length of nylon webbing to 27 inches. Then I cut a piece of the fabric 27 inches by 3 inches. Next I folded over 1/4 inch along the length of the fabric and pressed it.

Then I wrapped the fabric around the nylon, making sure that the folded and pressed edge lined up with the edge of the webbing. Then I topstitched it along each edge, and another line of stitching down the center.

Here’s the finished denim strap that shows the three lines of stitching.

I didn’t use my walking foot on the mauve strap and that was a mistake. It turned out a little wonky. I did use my walking foot on the denim one and everything stayed in place much better. So if you have a walking foot, I recommend using it for this step.

I struggled a little getting the snaps put on the mauve bag. I knew I needed a block of wood to provide a solid surface for pounding. I was using a mouse trap (a new one!) that was in my cupboard and it was breaking apart. So I texted a friend and asked if her husband had some blocks of wood. He put some out for me and I walked over and picked up a lovely block of wood.

I used this to apply the snaps on the denim bag and I got such a nice finish! This will stay in my tool box.

100 degrees again tomorrow, then 93 Tuesday. After that the temps drop down into the 80s. I’m about done with all this hot weather. And so are Bender and Rico.

A Hot Saturday and a Quick and Dirty Bucket Bag

It was pretty hot today. I took Rico for his herding lesson this morning at 11. He did such a good job, but boy does he get hot!

We have to be sure and give him lots of breaks when he’s working the sheep so he can run 100 yards away to take a dunk in the stock tank.

While we were up in Washington for Rico’s lesson, I decided to stop at a quilt store called Fiddlesticks. I was there a couple months ago and saw some really cool muslin that is dyed and has wrinkles and creases, and is heavier than a typical quilting cotton. I didn’t buy any at the time because I had no idea what I’d do with it. But I loved it and think about it occasionally. So today I bought a bunch of half yards.

It reminds me of waxed canvas, but not quite as heavy. I think it will make some fun utilitarian bags lined with some bright prints.

I bought a full yard of this one because it’s my favorite color.

All that creasing and wrinkling isn’t printed on. It’s from the dyeing process. I just love it.

It was hot enough today that I spent the remainder of the day in the house until later in the evening. So I dug in and finished up this quick little bag made from Svetlana Sotek’s tutorial that I shared yesterday.

Here’s the finished bag.

That denim is doing funny things on my computer! If you’re seeing the odd wood grain like pattern to the fabric, it’s an optical illusion! It’s basic denim.

I went back and forth on where to put the tag… above the snap, below the snap, off to one side. Here’s what I decided on.

Here’s the lining and I really like it! I love the little peeks you get of the lining as the bag moves.

This bag worked up really quickly. I could probably easily whip out a couple of them in the evening after work. It’s not fancy, but it’s generous in size and should be very functional.

I think it might have taken as much time to get the snaps on as it took to make the rest of the bag! I used some scrap fabric to successfully install some snaps before I tried them on the actual bag.

The snaps didn’t come with any instructions so I looked up a couple YouTube videos to see if they could help me figure it out. Once I got the right pieces ready for each side and had the right tools ready to go, it worked really well and quick. And I just love the metal hardware. Let’s see if I can remember what goes with what the next time.

Since I haven’t yet received the biothane I ordered for handles, I made this handle by wrapping a strip of the denim around a piece of white nylon webbing that I bought several years ago to make leashes covered in fabric.

It worked really well, I just folded over and pressed one long edge of the denim strip. Then I wrapped it around the webbing and top stitched two lines along each edge.

I really like the way this interfacing makes the denim feel. It’s sturdy and has some substance to it, but it’s still flexible and not stiff.

I actually cut my interfacing pieces to 18×18 and fused them onto the back of the denim and then cut the denim.

I did it this way because the denim is 50 inches wide and I can’t get the full width on my cutting mat. Rather than wrestling with all that bulk and trying to cut it straight, I just did it this way and it worked well.

This bag would be a great bag to take with you on a day of fabric shopping! It’s comfy on your shoulder and would nicely hold everything you bought that you couldn’t live without.

I’ll definitely whip up a few more of these.

Bender and Rico had a pretty boring day today. it was so hot that they didn’t get outside after Rico’s lesson. So we got out for a walk around 8:00 tonight. It was really nice out.

Coyote sightings tonight = zero.

When we got home I let the dogs out into the back yard, forgetting that the sprinkler was running, and Bender came in a few minutes later soaking wet!

He can’t help himself. He just loves water!

I did manage to pick my sad little apple crop yesterday. Here’s the entire crop.

I have my first load in the dehydrator. I’ll load it up again tomorrow.

I’ll probably only get three loads in the dehydrator. Last year I probably did a dozen loads. Everyone is having terrible apple crops this year. I’m glad I still have some dried apples left over from last year.

It’s supposed to hit 100 degrees here in Portland tomorrow. I’m planning on getting up and playing pickleball in the morning before it gets hot. Then I will probably hunker down in the house and make a couple bags.