Bindings Do Not Bring Me Joy

After finishing a radio drive, taking two work days off, and trying to catch up during this short week, work has been really hectic this week. I’ve been stressed and tired at night without much oomph for sewing.


I’m slowly chunking away at the bindings needed before I can take six quilts to my long arm friend who is trading quilt tops for quilting. Well, I actually haven’t touched them all week since cutting them. But I finally forced myself into my sewing room tonight to get moving.

I got two bindings marked, sewn and pressed.

Those are rolled up and tied with a fabric scrap. All ready to put into a package with the quilt top and finished backing.

I find making bindings to be quite tedious and annoying.

Marking all those corners — annoying.

Pressing yards and yards of fabric strips — annoying.

Seeing them done and ready to go away — satisfying.

It’s not the kind of sewing that brings me much joy. It’s an annoying task that has to be done. I would rather it was done by someone other than me.

But I’m making progress. Four more to go. I’ve promised myself that I will finish these six bindings before I finish the last ten blocks of my Wensleydale quilt top.

We have a special visitor here this week. Meet Jefe (pronounced HEFF-ay). It means boss.

He belongs to a co-worker who is traveling to celebrate a sibling’s graduation. Jefe is, I think, ten. He’s tiny, probably a Yorky. He’s almost completely blind and very deaf. He’s really easy to have around and he’s really sweet. My boys pretty much ignore him.

Oh, and he LOVES food! And he sleeps a lot! He and Bender had a nap together this afternoon. Jefe is snoring next to me on the sofa as I type.

For being as blind as he is, he’s doing a good job of exploring my large back yard. He’s sort of developed his own path and can make his way around and back to the patio pretty efficiently. He does occasionally make a wrong turn and run into something, but he’s not moving very fast so it doesn’t do much damage.

He’ll be here with us through Wednesday. It’s fun to have a little dog in the house, and it’s nice to have a dog who likes to snuggle. Neither of my boys are snugglers.

Spring continues to get more and more beautiful here. On our walk this evening the smells of different blooming things was almost overwhelming at times. The lilacs are in all their glory right now and they smell so amazing in the evening. This Is my lilac.

This pale pink lilac is one I see on our walks. I’ve never seen another one like this. It’s the most pale color of pink and the petals are large.

Here’s a closer view.

It’s so gorgeous! I would love to have one of them in my yard.

Here’s two plants I stuck my nose into on our walk tonight. Both smelled so amazing!

What an amazing time of year here! And today was a perfect day. But we have some hot weather coming. It’s going to be close to 90 degrees this weekend, and the highs will be in the upper 80s for each of the next ten days. It’s way too early in the year to have temps like that. It doesn’t bode well for the summer. I guess I’d better get my air conditioner fired up.

The sunset during our walk last night was pretty spectacular.

I wasn’t able to get a great photo on my street because of houses. But I did get this photo of my house with the sunset.

And this photo made me think of Wanda at the Exuberant Color blog who posted some photos earlier this week of trees during the golden hour…. how they change when the sun hits them in the evening.

We actually got rained on during our walk last night. But the low sun was shining on the tops of these trees.

I love walking during a lovely sunset.

One more day of work and I get another weekend. I’m going to look at my calendar tomorrow and plan some days off before the end of June. Maybe a nice long weekend over Labor Day weekend. I might even go to a two-day sheep herding camp.

A Thursday Night Productive Jag

Boy, I got a lot done today and tonight.

I worked the early shift today and have to work the early and late shift tomorrow, so I took a couple hours off this afternoon to step away from my desk.

I decided to take advantage of this time and whip out another quilt backing. So I grabbed a quilt top and some yardage and started measuring the cutting. I decided to make a backing for this quilt… the one that I have a love/hate relationship with.

I’ve had a piece of fabric in my stash just waiting for this quilt. So I measured it, cut it up and put it Bach together with another strip of fabric that appears in this top.

That strip of Kaffe’s Lake Blossoms will connect the two large backing pieces. Both of these fabrics are in the quilt top.

And look at this fabric. I mean COME ON!!! Definitely one of my favorite Philip Jacobs designs with Kaffe’s gorgeous color way.

This went together quickly. It feels good to have it done.

This strip of fabric looked so pretty on my black wooden sewing chair.

Once that project was done I decided to pull out my Ice Storm quilt as I thought I needed to fix the backing I made previously.

When I made my KFC trip quilt I messed up the backing. I had to go get it from my long arm quilter and add a strip of fabric down the center. I thought I had to do the same for this quilt. It’s the same pattern and size.

But after measuring the quilt top and backing several times, it seemed like the backing was, indeed, the correct size. It took me a minute to figure out why this one didn’t need to be fixed.

When I made the backing for the KFC red trip quilt I sewed the backing into two horizontal strips. For the Ice Storm quilt I sewed the backing into two vertical strips. Here’s an illustration of how the two quilt backs were pieced.

I finally convinced myself that the backing of the Ice Storm quilt was correct by laying the top and backing out on my guest room bed.

So that’s another project that’s almost ready to get quilted.

After our evening walk I dug in and finished putting the borders on my starburst quarter log cabin quilt. And I was reminded every inch of the way why I don’t make larger quilts. I really hate wrestling with all that bulk.

I had previously put the borders pm top sides of this queen quilt. So the remaining two borders went on quickly tonight. And it’s done.

This is going to be a really lovely quilt when it’s all done.

And the really good news about this one is that I don’t have to piece a backing since I’m using a wide backing.

I still need to wash and dry that wide backing. I don’t typically prewash my quilting fabrics, but someone recommended washing the wide backs because of potential shrinkage.

So, that makes five quilts that are ready for the long arm quilter. I still need to make binding for all of them.

I’ll pick out one more from my done pile to have quilted. I have a couple ideas but need to look at what’s there.

More blooming happening in my yard. My lilacs blooms are finally starting to open.

My snow ball tree is also starting to bloom.

It rained all day today but our walk this evening was cool and dry.

Rico was a bit of an emotional mess last night. After his trauma with the thunder on our walk and the fly stuck in the house, we had some storms roll through early in the morning and he was very attentive and concerned about far off and mostly imperceptible thunder. He started waking me up at around 4:00. I had to finally kick him out of the room so he’d let me sleep. And then he JUMPED the doggy gate to get to me!

I felt bad for him. And Bender was unphased by it all. He seems fine this evening. We’re all looking forward to a god night sleep.

A Sudden Burst of Drive… Surprised Myself

I was at work early this morning so cut out a little early at the end of the day. I decided to hit my sewing room before dinner and I can’t believe what I actually picked up.

I decided to dive in and make the backing for my starburst jumble quilt. This turn of events and sudden burst of enthusiasm surprised me. It was unexpected.

It didn’t take very long to get this made. Including measuring and getting the fabric cut, I was done with this in about an hour.

I really like that pink and orange jumble with the rainbow fabric. I inserted that strip of fabric between two lengths of the rainbow fabric to make the quilt back long enough. The stripes go across the width of the quilt.

I’m thinking I’ll use that jumble for the binding.

After dinner and our evening walk I had to run by the post office to drop off a sheep herding trial entry for the end of this month and then stopped at the grocery store for a few things.

It was after 9 pm when I got home and I hit my sewing room AGAIN and surprised myself… again! I decided to whip up the backing for this quilt.

It was another quick project and I was back out on the sofa at around 10:30.

I actually cut my pieces of fabric carefully so the rows of flowers would line up on the two sides of the backing. I think the problem is that the fabric isn’t printed square. It bothers me a little but there’s nothing I can do about it now. I’m guessing no one would ever notice it.

I do like the combo of these fabrics. Both fabrics appear in the quilt top.

I feel pretty damned good about getting those two backings made tonight. I don’t know if you remember, but I really hate making quilt backs. So this is a big deal!

On our walk tonight it started to rain. Lightly at first.

But the sky was pretty black in the southwest and we could her thunder in the distance. It’s interesting, but it rains here nine months out of the year and we rarely hear thunder and see lightning. In the thirteen years I’ve lived in Portland, I bet I haven’t heard thunder more than six or seven times.

So we headed for home. Poor Rico was worried about the thunder. He’s sensitive and just doesn’t like it. And I was worried about the lightning I saw to the south.

By the time we got home we were all a little wet.

So that makes two nights in a row that featured a little excitement during our walk.

Here’s what happened last night.

Yup. That’s a coyote. I first noticed it strolling across the opening to a cul-de-sac… about 40 feet away from us. He was very nonchalant and unconcerned. He kept walking as I took his picture. And as I was shooting the video he stopped and looked… making sure we weren’t following.

The homes in the video back onto a golf course and I hear coyotes on the golf course pretty regularly at night. It’s not terribly uncommon to see them out and about during the day.

It always startles me when I see one… and I get that burst of adrenaline. It’s just so odd to see a wild animal so up close.

Poor Rico is being driven crazy by a big fat fly that made its way into the house today. It sounds like a small airplane flying around the room and he is not happy about this development. He can’t find a place to get away from it.

I’m pretty annoyed by it too.

He just found a place to settle down behind the sofa. I hope he can sleep there.

Oops. Now he’s up and moving again. Fly must have found him.

I’m Still Here

Several people have contacted me over the last couple of days asking if I’m ok since I haven’t posted here for a week.

Rest easy. I’m ok, just really busy and exhausted. Our spring radio fundraising drive started last Thursday and it’s a really busy, stressful and tiring time. I’ve already had several early mornings, weekend work days and more are on their way.

Our drive ends on Saturday and I’ve already blocked of my calendar to take next Monday and Tuesday off to recover.

In the mean time, we’ve had some gorgeous weather and spring appears to be here for real this time. It got up into the mid 80s late last week so I had to take the quilt off my bed. Today it’s been cloudy and cool enough that I had to turn on my furnace this morning.

So, what’s been happening in the last week besides work, occasional pickleball and our daily walks? The only thing that stands out is that we were on the road Sunday morning at 5:30 headed for Olympia, Washington for another try at a sheep herding trial for Rico. He did a really great job! I took the opportunity to do some valuable training.

It was a nice dry day and didn’t have to do very much driving in the dark. when I drove up a month ago I drove in the dark for at least the first hour! And, of course, the boys got a nice field run before we headed home.

I have video of Rico’s runs but I haven’t had a chance to edit them yet. No one wants to look at 20 minutes of that! But everyone wants to look at more photos of my boys!

I haven’t done a damned thing in my sewing room for the last week except hand out in there when I’m on the radio. So that room is pretty much covered with paper right now.

Here’s some of the spring that popping out all over the place.

The tulips have finally started to show up.

I just love tulips. I always think back to the first spring I was in Portland and the tulips were so gorgeous. I’m sad to see that they are already fading a little.

The magnolias have been pretty spectacular this year too. I shared a photo of a pink/purple one a couple weeks ago. Here’s the white star magnolia in twilight.

And I’m laughing because I didn’t notice the cat in the photo when I took the photo! And neither did my dogs!

The dogwoods are just starting to bloom. But they are not yet in their prime.

The Rhododendrons are starting to bloom. They all have different blooming times so the season last nice and long.

I had never seen rhodies before I moved to Portland. And I love them! I have a purple one in my back yard and it is one of the last to bloom.

Here’s another variety.

Isn’t that color amazing!

Even the ones without color are spectacular!

And then there’s this thing. I’m pretty sure this is some kind of Daphne. I didn’t notice it as I walked until I SMELLED it. The most gorgeous aroma! I really wish you could smell this photo.

The azaleas are starting to look pretty amazing too. These peachy/orangy pones are my favorites!

This house had a number of them.

Azaleas aren’t my favorite spring plant. But this one was pretty

I just love this patch of candy tuft and flax that we walk past on our walks.

A bit of a close up….

My apple tree is in bloom right now too. These blooms have the most delicate aroma.

This little flower bed was so pretty.

Although today was cooler than it’s been, my boys were definitely a little parched on our long afternoon walk. Luckily, a park on our way has a doggy drinking fountain!

And my boys know it’s there! They love taking a quick break to wet their long tongues.

Off to bed soon. I have to be on the air at 7 am! Once these early days are over I hope to finish up those last ten Wensleydale blocks! I’m itching to start something new!

Down With the Old… Up With the New

It was a ridiculously meeting-heavy day at work today so I was stuck at the desk in my dining room all day long. I did get out to toss the ball for my boys a couple of times, and then right back to the grind.

After dinner we took our evening three-mile walk and ended it with a glorious sunset.

I was pretty tired after my work day so I lounged on the sofa for about an hour and then decided to hit my sewing room to get a little bit done before I fall asleep on the sofa.

I took my sunburst jumble quilt off my retractible design wall, measured it and wrote it all down clearly so I know how big to make the backing.

Then I folded it up with it’s backing and put it in my pile of quilts that need backings to be made.

With that done, I sorted my Wensleydale blocks by value and started putting them up on my design wall.

The thing I love most about my retractible design wall is that I can raise it up to do the lowest blocks so I don’t have to break my back to do the bottom rows.

And then I just lower it to do the higher rows.

Here’s the 50 blocks I have done up on this design wall.

I’m really glad I did this before I made the final ten blocks I need to complete this top. My plan was to make ten dark blocks. But after seeing these blocks all up, I decided that I need five dark and five more white blocks.

I’m really loving this quilt! It’s fun to see it all up on the big design wall. This isn’t the final lay out. I’ll have to agonize over that for several days before I throw my hands up and say, “To hell with it… it’s good enough!”.

Several people have asked me about my design wall, so I decided to write a little about it again.

My friend bought this retractible design wall for me at a quilt show many years ago and had it shipped to me from California. I don’t remember the name of the maker, but I’m pretty sure they’re not making these any more.

It has two separate design walls that roll up into the wooden box that hangs on the wall over the closet doors in my sewing room. So I can use both roll-up walls at the same time. The fabric is a heavy flannel with a plastic backing. You can just roll one up, blocks and all, and then roll it down again. Well, that’s the theory. I never do that because it sort of makes a mess out of your blocks! But I could have left my finished quilt top on the back wall and used the front one for these Wensleydale blocks.

Here’s a video that shows how the walls roll up.

My sewing room is a pretty small room. So the best thing about this design wall is that it hangs over the closet and just rolls up out of the way when I’m not using it. I don’t have a wall that I could dedicate to a design wall.

Each wall is big enough to accommodate a generous throw size quilt. But not large enough for a queen quilt. So to accommodate a queen size quilt I made my portable design wall. This blog post shows how I made that and how I use it in combo with my retractible design wall.

Poor Rico has has some stomach issues the last couple days. He wouldn’t eat yesterday morning and had no interest in his dinner either. He as a bit of a sensitive stomach so I always have ground turkey in my freezer and rice and canned pumpkin in my pantry. The ground turkey and rice make a bland meal that’s good for bad tummies, and the pumpkin helps firm up loose poops.

So after our walk last night I dug some turkey out of the freezer and browned it up. I also cooked a big pan of brown rice. I was happy to see that Rico was VERY interested in a few pieces of turkey once it was cooked. I didn’t give him a full meal last night because I didn’t want to be up in the middle of the night with an emergency run outside.

He was very happy to eat his breakfast and lick the bowl clean this morning. And, his poops look a lot better this evening.

He’s a little horrified that I’m telling you about his poop. He thinks that’s a private topic.

Bender, on the other hand, will eat literally anything.

What a happy damned dog.

A Little Herding, a Little Conversation, A Little Wensleydale Sewing

Rico had his weekly sheep herding lesson down in Molalla at my friend Trudy’s place today… where we helped with lambing a few weeks ago. It was a new experience for him as he got to work in a great big field with hills and valleys, lots of trees and sheep he’s never seen before. And he did a great job.

Here’s a little bit of video from Rico’s working today.

I’m so happy with how his driving is coming along. That’s when he moves the sheep away from me. He’s looking so good and it’s so fun to see him so cool and collected, and to see all this training coming together so nicely.

I have him entered in another sheep herding trial next weekend. It will be fun to see how he does.

When we got home a co-worker came over with her dog for a play date. We had some unexpected, frank and very interesting conversation. It’s a coworker I don’t know very well and don’t have much opportunity to interact with. It was really good to get to have this conversation. I’m looking forward to more.

After grabbing an early dinner since we missed lunch, I headed out with the boys for a three mile walk. It was warm but cloudy. I had on a long sleeve t-shirt with a sweatshirt over the top and it was too much! We definitely have a change in the weather on the way.

I had really hoped we’d actually have a little bit of spring before summer arrived.

After giving the boys some dinner I sat down on the sofa and found myself nodding off. I kind of went with it for a while and then decided I needed to get my butt up and sew three more Wensleydale blocks before I was out cold. Why three? Because that would put me at 50 blocks done.

So I hit my sewing room and sewed up the final three lighter batik blocks that I kitted up last week.

I pulled the rest of the blocks off my design wall and stacked them up in sets of 10 so I can keep track and know when I have 60 blocks.

So, that means I have ten more blocks to sew. I think I’m going to toss all these blocks up on my retractible design wall tomorrow to see if I need to make more dark blocks or more light blocks. I’m pretty sure it still needs more dark blocks to go with all these light blocks I’ve been making.

I’m going to remove the paper from six blocks that are waiting… as soon as I finish this blog post. I calculated the other night that it takes me about four minutes to remove the paper from one block. I’ll finish these up as I watch some pickleball tonight.

I was tidying up my living room last night and realized that I had never taken some Australian Aboriginal fabrics out of the box they were delivered in. I bought these online a couple of months ago.

I have no idea where I’m going to put them. The plastic bins that hold my Aboriginal fabrics are already too full.

After a good night sleep and a walk with the boys in the morning, I’ll be off to play a couple hours of pickleball!

Lucky 13 — Just 13 More Wensleydale Blocks to Go!

What a crazy weather day. The sun was shining when I got up this morning. The rest of the day included downpours, ice balls, rain, rain and more rain, moments of sunshine, and a high of about 45 degrees. I had to check the calendar to confirm that it really is April 20 as I type after midnight. I wore a parka and gloves for our evening walk!

But even with all that, we had this too.

That’s sort of magical.

The good news is that the forecast tells me we will have a day of 80 degrees with sun in about a week. I can hardly believe it’s true!

After our evening walk I headed down the hall to my sewing room to dig in and make a few more Wensleydale blocks. I was having so much fun seeing these new fabrics come together that I made four blocks!

I keep saying it, but one of my favorite things about this quilt is that every block is completely different! It also makes It more fun to make… I don’t thrive on making the same block over and over.

Here’s all four blocks.

This means that I’ve made a total of 47 blocks! It’s hard to believe I’ve made so many of these. I timed myself the other night and it takes about a half hour to sew a block. By the time I finish the final 13 blocks, I’ll have 30 hours of sewing time in these blocks. That doesn’t really seem that bad.

I’ve been noticing the last few days that I’m getting little flaps of fabric folded over when I sew my lines on the paper templates. I’ve also been seeing pins getting stuck on the edge of the sewing machine bed as I sew. I finally realized tonight that the legs on my extension table had adjusted themselves and my table was too low. The bed of the sewing machine was sitting up above the top of the extension table about a quarter inch.

So as I was sliding my paper template with the fabric on the back under the needle, it was catching on the edge of the machine and getting folded over.

My extension table has little legs that are easily adjusted by turning the little feet. I’m guessing they’ve lowered over time from all the vibrations.

I took a few minutes and adjusted this before the last block I sewed tonight.

I don’t know why I didn’t think of this sooner. I’ve never had issues with the fabric folding over when I’ve paper pieced in the past. That last block went together so smoothly!

Oh, and that extension table? It’s an amazing thing. They are custom made to fit your machine. Really a fantastic thing if you don’t have a sewing table that your machine sits down into.

I’ve had mine for years and I just love it. One of the best purchases I’ve made. This is where I got it. They even make them for Singer Featherweights!

Something I noticed in a drawer of my sewing table tonight was this block of styrofoam I have where I put all my broken needle and pins. I’ve been sticking sharp stuff into this for quite a few years. It’s a great way to keep all those sharp items away from fingers.

I even use this to store different needles that are still good for use. I just write on the block what the needle is and then stick the needle in.

Now I’m gonna sit back and remove some more paper from blocks as I watch some late night TV.

Twelve Kits and a Mess of Paper

My budget has been submitted! It was due on Friday, but a last minute critical thing we had to handle took up my entire day on Thursday so I got an extension on getting this wrapped up. It feels good to have it done and I’m looking forward to working on something else.

I stepped away from work today right at 5;00, hurried and grabbed a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and headed out to play pickleball. I played from 6:00 – 9:00… and there were few enough people there that I played the entire three hours. I’m really happy to say that I’m getting better and better! It was really a fun night.

By the time I got home it was around 9:30 and I was tired and it was raining. Big surprise there. So my boys didn’t get an evening walk. But they settled in nicely and have been snoozing since then.

I hit my sewing room for a few minutes to cut some KFC fabric strips for the centers of my next twelve Wensleydale quilt blocks.

Oh, yum!

I cut enough for twelve more blocks and combined two fabrics for each block.

Then I pulled out the indigo batiks I cut the other night and put together a dozen kits for the next set of blocks.

After three hours of pickleball, that’s all I had energy for. So I headed for the sofa. And sitting on my coffee table were the 18 blocks that still needed the paper removed. So I sat down in front of the TV, pulled up a pickleball tournament on YouTube and cracked away.

I got the paper removed from ten of these blocks and iced my foot at the same time.

This felt like a good accomplish this evening. I don’t have much to give after all my physical activity.

I just love looking at the back of the blocks.

I have a little more spring to report. The flowering pear trees in my back yard are in full bloom and they are beautiful.

I have these trees all over my yard.

More blooming things are showing up around the neighborhood. The magnolias are looking good!

Those blooms are as big as my hand!

My lawn is finally greening up. I don’t think my front lawn has ever looked this good.

Bender met a new friend on our afternoon walk today.

This never happens.

Oh my god… I’m so tired! G’night!

Aboriginal Fabric 16-Patch Half-Way Complete

(I’m back from tech issues! This post is from Friday night)

It was cold again today in Portland. Crisp and cold. Our snow is still fluffy and many of the roads are icy. They have cleared the freeways, for the most part and traffic is flowing again.

My visiting friend lives in a place that got around 14 inches of snow over the last few days. People there are already back to normal. So she’s having a hard time adjusting to what happens in Portland with about a third of that amount. She had a store and restaurant that she was ready to go to today. I suggested that we should call first to see if they were open. And, as I predicted, they were both closed! She thought this was astounding. Yup. Snow storms are very different here.

The good thing about the cold weather after a snow storm is that the snow on the ground stays nice and fluffy, which is good news for dogs. I didn’t get them out for a walk today because we were out and about and because the roads were too slick for me to be walking on. So we played in the back yard instead.

I think they enjoyed themselves.

That Rico takes his play very seriously. Bender, on the other hand…

We stayed home a good portion of the day today, but we did venture out. We want to the grocery store and then dropped by the mall again to buy some curtains for my bedroom. There weren’t very many people out and about and some of the roads were really icy and slick.

Once we got home we hunkered down and decided that we were going to get the first five rows of the 16 patch quilt all sewn together and in one piece. And we did it!

I just love seeing all these blocks sewn together. It takes it from a bunch of blocks to something really fantastic! We made a big old piece of amazing fabric!

My friend went through the blocks and made sure all the seams were going the same direction in each row… alternating direction in each subsequent row. This insures that the seams will nest nicely and the corners will be perfect!

Case in point…

Look at all those beautiful corners! Thanks to Wanda at Exuberant Color for her fool proof tutorial! Here’s a direct link to Wanda’s tutorial for making a 16 patch.

A little more eye candy…

We pulled the remaining 5 rows off the design wall after clearly marking each row.

I pinned all these rows and my friend pressed them all. We took turns sewing. I actually love pinning all these seams. I pin every place where two seams meet. I absolutely love the feeling when those nested seams make that little soft click when they nest. It’s almost mediative to me. And I love all the precision that nesting makes possible.

While we were at the grocery store today we bought everything we needed to make rock fish tacos for dinner. They were pretty tasty!

I don’t have a recipe. I basically pan fry the rock fish with some Penny’s Northwood Spice rub. Then I add pickled onions (lots of recipes for these online), some simple coleslaw with a vinaigrette, and a little cheese in a corn tortilla. We topped these off with some home made hot sauce my sister in law gave me. So tasty!!! And enough fish left over that we can have another dinner of rock fish tacos!

Tomorrow we are planning on heading out again on a more adventurous post storm trip… Battle Ground for Rico’s weekly sheep herding lesson, and we’ll be getting ready for his competition on Sunday!

Too Tired to Finish

I’m so close to having this Aboriginal Frankenbag done, but I’m just too tired to do the final finishing. All I have left to do is sew in the lining and top stitch the top of the bag. The handles are from the darker faux leather I purchased.

I like to have a nice finish at the top of the bag… even sewing, nice pressing, and even top stitching. If you go to all the trouble of making a nice bag and then make a mess of the final piece that is the most visible, all the care is for naught. I’m so tired from a stressful week of work that I decided to stop at this point and finish it up tomorrow night when I’m more fresh.

Here’s the back of this bag:

That’s the lining under the bag. I just love that print! This fabric is left over from a backing I made for my Social Distancing quilt. That blog post shows the lining. This one shows the quilt top.

I just love these Aboriginal fabrics. The designs are so intricate and free form, and the colors are amazing. I might have to keep this one. But then I say that with every one I make!

Look at some of the fun little details in these fabrics.

I switched up the quilting on this one a little. I still did the match stick quilting at the top of the bag because I like the structure it brings. But I did the body of the bag with straight line quilting, spaced about 3.8 inch apart.

Tomorrow (Friday) is Bender’s eighth birthday! I can’t believe that I’m already seeing his face turn white. He felt very special today as he was the only dog who got to go with me on our two walks. Rico tweaked his back at our agility lesson last night and had to stay home by himself. He was not happy about this situation! I will cook a peanut butter, carrot and honey birthday cake for him tomorrow night. Rico will get some too.

Facebook fed me this memory of my Parson Russell Terriers Forrest (left) and Skeeter yesterday. Look how cute they were! This photo was taken shortly before Bender was born. We were anxiously waiting for news that a boy border collie was born and would be on his way to us!

I lost my magnificent Forrest about 3.5 years ago when he was 14.5 years old. I loved that dog like I’ll never love another dog. Skeeter is living with a friend of mine on Vashon Island, Washington. She has a pretty amazing life and is thriving.

I went out this afternoon to check on my apple tree and was happy to see some really healthy looking buds.

This tree can be really hit and miss on how much fruit it produces. Two summers ago I was buried in apples. I just couldn’t keep up. I was making a batch of apple sauce and a dehydrator full of apple slices every evening and still couldn’t keep up. Last year I barely had any apples.

I had my yard guy prune this tree way back a few weeks ago. But he left me a couple branches that are the ones that usually bear the most fruit. So I’m hopeful that I’ll have a reasonable amount of apples this year.

Look at the amazing weather we have coming up. It would normally be raining at this time of year. I actually had to water a portion of my lawn this afternoon.