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.

Or…

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

Or…

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.

Thinking About New Projects… Buying Lots of Crap

I’m not completely out of my creative slump but I’m making some progress. So I’ve been thinking about my next project and buying stuff I think I’ll need for the direction I’m going.

I bought this book several years ago and just love the stuff that’s in it.

I’ve followed this woman on Instagram for a few years. The stuff she makes is relatively simple, or maybe she just makes it look simple. But it’s all really nicely made and she has lovely taste in fabrics… although she tends to use a lot of neutrals. But I find her stuff really attractive.

Here’s a couple of bag patterns that are in this book. Simple. Incredibly well made. Impeccable.

I bought another bag pattern from her that wasn’t in the book. It’s similar to the one with the blue print above. I’ve never made it but want to.

Earlier this week she posted a link to a YouTube tutorial she did for a very simple tote bag. I decided that I’m going to make one just to see how it feels when it’s done. Here’s her tutorial.

I’m going to make it out of some denim I have on hand and will line it with a piece of fabric a friend of mine gave me a few months ago.

She said she uses the Pellon SF101 fused to the outer body of the bag. It’s a woven fusible interfacing. It should be a little more rigid and structured than the non woven fusible interfacing I use in my Frankenbags. So I bought some online today and picked it up at the store this evening. I think I might use it on the outer bag and the lining because I like that extra structure.

I also did some other online shopping this week. First, I bought some 1/2 inch metal snaps and some rivets.

That’s a lot of snaps and a lot of rivets! I’m guessing they may last me the rest of my life. I really like snaps. That click when they’re all nestled together is so satisfying. And I love the finished look that rivets give an item. So expect some rivets in my future. There’s just something about the look that the metal hardware brings to a bag that I love.

I also spent some time looking at various types of straps and webbing to use for bag handles. I couldn’t make myself pull the trigger on any of these because they don’t feel very high end to me. And I want something that feels a little nicer. Also, I’m hesitant to buy webbing online because you just have no idea how it feels, how substantial it is, or what the actual color is.

So I had an idea… biothane. If you’re not a dog person, you may not have any idea what biothane is. It’s a synthetic leather type material that’s used for dog leashes and harnesses. It’s also commonly used for horse bridles and lead lines. It’s water proof and cleans easily with soap and water. It should hold up really well to washing.

It’s a lovely material. It’s soft and pliable and comfortable in your hand. And it’s really durable. I have a feeling it will make really nice bag handles. At least I hope so since I just bought 100 feet of it! You can buy it in any color in the rainbow but I went with the brown to mimic the feel and look of leather.

I’m guessing I’ll probably use this with more practical fabrics, like denim and maybe some canvas, and not with KFC fabrics for this type of tote. But you never know. If I like it I might have to end up buying it in every color they have!

The snaps and rivets should be here tomorrow. The biothane won’t be here for a week or so. I might just use some black nylon webbing I have on hand for this first one. Maybe wrap the webbing with some of the denim. I probably won’t be able to wait until the biothane delivered.

I had an idea the other day for a fabric combo for a Frankenbag that I’m going to make for a friend. She loves teal and pink together. So this fabric came to mind immediately.

My friend also loves Aboriginal fabrics. So I’m going to dig into my stash this weekend and see if I can find a combo of some KFC fabrics and Aboriginal fabrics that will work with the pink and teal color way. It might really be fun. Or it might really be awful. I’m going to hope for really fun! I’m planning on doing more of the curved blocks I did a few months ago, like in this bag.

In fact….. just picture this bag but in pinks and teals instead of purples and greens. It will definitely be bold. It will be interesting to see what fabric combo I land on.

We’ve had lovely weather this week but it’s getting hot again this weekend. We’re supposed to hit 100 again on Sunday. So it looks like I’ll be spending Sunday at home… but I might get out early and play some pickleball before it gets hot.

Rico has his regular herding lesson tomorrow morning.

I might actually do the tune up on my Featherweight tomorrow! A friend of mine said it should take an hour or so. That sounds like a good project for a hot weekend. I’m itching to get going on making a lap quilt for my friend who gave me the machine!

Quick Finish For a Birthday Bag

It was another beautiful day here in Portland. I’m loving the weather now that it’s cooled down a little. It was so nice that Bender and Rico were content to hang out in the back yard all day as I worked.

We had a nice 3.5 mile walk after dinner. We all needed it because we didn’t get an afternoon walk today. The weather was just perfect.

Last night we saw a coyote near the end of our walk. It was a REAL coyote this time… not one of those yellow lab coyotes. It was standing right in the middle of the road about three blocks away from my house. By the time I got my phone out to get a photo, it had moved into the yard on the corner.

That’s a really terrible photo, but I swear that little gray smear is the coyote as it ran up that hill. Although I’m not particularly scared of coyotes as it’s really unlikely one would come after us with two big dogs, there’s something really creepy about seeing them in the dark!

We took our walk a little earlier tonight so were home before it got dark so there wasn’t much worry about coyotes.

Once we got home I hit my sewing room to finish up the blue birthday bag. I didn’t have much left to do so it didn’t take very long. (I’m adding the link to my Frankenbag tutorial here as I get comments on nearly every post asking me for it.)

I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. It’s definitely a totally different feel than the dark bag I finished a few days ago.

The back side actually is different from the front side. Honest.

I just love that blue ferns fabric for the lining. It seems more periwinkle to me than my photos show. It’s a gorgeous blue… and I’m not typically a blue person.

On this bag the white zippers are perfect!

Here’s some detail for your perusal.

Oof. That photo of my tag is pretty blurry.

Oh, and this is a good time to point out that I’ve started sewing my tags on by machine rather than by hand. I just set my machine for a zig zag stitch with a zero stitch length. I like the way it looks.

I went and played pickleball last night… the first time in nearly two weeks. The hot weather had kept me home. It was fun but I felt like I played like crap. I definitely felt pretty rusty. I’m going to play again tomorrow night and am hoping I’ll be a little more in the groove.

I’m happy that my shoulder was not irritated by playing! That’s some good news. But I did ice it last night and will put ice on it again tonight just to be sure.

There was one photo from my brunch with my friend Anne on Sunday that I forgot to share… and I love this photo. That’s me with Finley. She’s my friend’s youngest dog. She’s a pistol and she has a soft spot for me. She had me covered in mud after jumping in the pool and then jumping in my lap…. thirty or forty times!

She’s a Pyrenean Shepherd. You can read a little about the breed here.

The last thing I’ll share tonight is this mammoth strawberry that I picked yesterday! Look at that gorgeous thing!!!

Now if I could just grow more than one at a time…

Well, Shit Balls

But before I get into that, let’s talk about something good today.

First of all… it was cooler today and it was fantastic! I think it only got up to about 87 degrees. I did take the dogs for a walk before work and it was so nice we walked for 3.5 miles! That’s the first time in more than a week that we’ve been able to do a walk that long. It was a great way to start our day.

Now for the other stuff…

I had to run to the post office tonight, only to find that I couldn’t accomplish what I went there for.

I have other post offices I can go to but I find that when one machine is out of order, they are often ALL out of order. I’ll give it another try tomorrow night.

Now some good stuff. When I got home I took the boys for our evening walk. We actually started at 8:30… the earliest evening walk we’ve had in over a week. It was really nice outside.

When we got home I hit my sewing room to work on the lining and pockets for the blue bag I started this weekend. I did end up getting the slip pocket, zipper pocket and zipper placket completed.

That’s the good news. Now comes the shit balls part…

As I was sewing the slip pocket on to one side of the lining I noticed that the top hem of the pocket was at the bottom of the bag. I had already sewn a line of stitching, so decided that it would just have to be that way and I kept going… topstitching two lines of stitching all the way around the pocket, with two vertical lines up the center to divide the pocket.

Once it was all sewn together, I realized my mistake.

I sewed the pocket on upside down, so that the opening is at the bottom. I had actually positioned the pocket correctly, I just sewed around the sides and top instead of the sides and bottom. So once I got all the other pieces finished I sat down with my seam ripper.

That’s a lot of stitches to pick out!

I know this probably comes as a huge surprise, but using my seam ripper is not my favorite part of the creative process.

Luckily, it all came out much easier than I thought it would and I got the pocket sewn on the correct way before I called it quits… I didn’t want to keep going and make an even bigger mistake.

Here’s some detail to enjoy.

Isn’t that blue ferns fabric pretty!

And speaking of pretty fabric, today I received a small order that I placed a few days ago.

Most of this is stuff that I tend to use over and over again and it was all on sale. Then there are two pieces that I just love and wanted more of… the spiral shells in the foreground just because it’s so magnificent and I just used a piece for a bag lining. It’s one I definitely want to have in my stash.

The one in the upper left is Philip Jacobs’ Dorothy in his original color way. I’ve wanted a couple of yards of that but the store where I bought it is out.

I had my first tomato harvest today and ate them with my big salad for dinner. They were so good! The first home grown tomatoes of the summer are always very special to me!

I’m also really happy that the crocosmia plants that I picked up in a neighborhood “free” pile are blooming!

I also have some onions blooming. These were red onions that I had in the house a couple months ago that started growing, so I just stuck them into one of my planters to see what they would do.

I met my friend Anne yesterday morning to go on a quest for local peaches. And we found some. Along with a bunch of other fruits and veggies. Luckily, we bought them from a farm stand that also serves strawberry and black berry milk shakes!

So of course we had to take time to enjoy one.

After the farm store we stopped in at a nursery on the way back and picked up some plants and some fertilizer. They had some really gorgeous hanging baskets.

That first one mush have been almost five feet across!

And look at this gorgeous cone flower they had! COLOR!!!

On the way back to Anne’s place we stopped and got some take out eggs Benedict. We ate them in the shade of a big tree surrounded by hot dogs.

Rico and I felt obligated to give Brody the pug some love and attention after our brunch.

Did I mention it was HOT?

I have some Frankenbags to share with you tonight. It’s been a while so I have a few!

First up is this one made by Lisa Kerns from British Columbia, Canada. She said she found making this bag fun and creative. I love her very scrappy approach and all that bright color. And look! A Zipper placket!

This next bag was made by Beverly Rose. I love her combo of blues, purples and pinks. And her swirly quilting is a lovely touch.

This bag was made by Jane Bers. Here’s what she said about making this bag:

“I loved doing it and using scraps from a batik quilt I made 10 years ago! Plus a paper pieced block for the front! I knew those scraps would be put to good use some day!!  I am officially hooked on making this bag and my friends and relatives will be getting them for Xmas.”

I’m a big fan of batiks and these fall colors make me think of my mom who loved colors like this.

Next up is this made by Rachel Snee. Here’s what she said: “I finally got around to making my first Frankenbag, starting with an experimental improv skull block I made.  It’s for my daughter who loves pink and green, and she’s very happy with it.”

That skull is pretty damned amazing for being improv! Nice job!

This next bag comes from Margaret Douglas. It’s a fun and scrappy bag. I love the black and whites and all that color!

These bags were made by Janice Quinn. She said she’s having a lot of fun making these bags. She started simple to get the hang of it and has taken off since then! She plans on making a lot more in the next few months. The last photo shows her next bag in process. Of course I love all of her bright color and I love that she’s learning as she goes!

Thanks to everyone for submitting photos!