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.

One More KFC Scrappy and Reader Makes

I finished putting this Frankenbag together tonight. And I like it a lot more than I thought I was going to.

I think the black and white jumble, crease, and the swirly background fabric help these crazy fabrics make sense.

Here’s the other side of the bag.

And I love the black and white crease lining on this bag. I think it works much nicer than a bold print would have.

And that pocket made out of jumble. Well, it’s kind of fabulous!

Two of my blog readers made bags from my Frankenbag Tutorial and sent me photos of what they made. It was really fun to get to see them. I asked them if I could share them here and they were on board!

Poppy MacLean made this one that includes what looks like stack and whack KFC orphan blocks and some fun checkerboard piecing on the other side. I love all the color on this one! Those pops of orange are pretty fabulous!

Sharon Osborne also made one from KFC scraps. She included a really fun paper pieced plant in a pot, with lots of orphan nine patches. That green jumble is really bold and I love it!

Here’s the back with some great little nine patches.

Sharon’s paper pieced plant reminded me of a book I purchased a few months ago that features some similar blocks.

She’s gotten all kinds of creative juices flowing for me! You will probably see a little potted plant in a bag very soon.

I’m thinking my next bag will include some border collie and sheep fabrics surrounded by a variety of black and white fabrics.

The crumb piecing will be made from the various black and white fabrics and the accent blocks will use the border collie and sheep fabrics. Haven’t decided yet what those blocks will be. I made some zipper pouches out of these fabrics a few years ago.

I have a lot of black and white fabrics. They are some of my favorites.

I celebrated my 11th anniversary of starting work at Oregon Public Broadcasting today. My job there is heading up the membership fundraising team. I’m so lucky to work with a group of really amazing people. I can’t believe how fortunate I am.

This job was the reason I picked up my life and moved to Portland from Salt Lake City. I’d had my eye on this job for quite a few years and when I got a call asking if I’d ever considered a move to Oregon, I jumped on it. I’ve never regretted the move. I can’t believe it’s been 11 years.

When I celebrated my tenth anniversary last year, sitting alone in my guest room office, I never had any idea that I’d celebrate the next one in the same way. I’m hoping for good things to come and that I’ll be celebrating with friends and co-workers in person next year.

Today was an absolutely gorgeous day here in Portland. It was in the mid 60s and sunny. A truly glorious spring day. My yard guy came by to plant the trees he brought by a week or so ago. But before that he wanted to dig the bamboo out of the stock tanks on my patio so we could get a clear view to position my new trees. The tanks were terribly root bound and the bamboo removal turned out to be a huge job. Five hours later he had gotten out four clumps.

This is really tall bamboo. We had hoped it would grow and fill in to provide much needed shade to my patio on summer afternoons and evenings. But it failed to thrive so we’re abandoning that hope after several years. I will use the stock tanks as raised garden beds this summer. I’m looking forward to fresh lettuce throughout most of the summer.

A friend of mine will come and pick up the bamboo and plant it in her yard. She is also bringing me a clump of smaller bamboo that I’ll put in a pot on my patio. My yard guy will come back tomorrow and we’ll finalize the location for my new patio shade trees and he’ll get them in the ground.

Cleaning Up This Mess

I haven’t felt great the last couple of days. I’m feeling the need for a vacation and I think I’m not drinking the water I need to be drinking. So I haven’t felt much like sewing .

I did get a little spurt of energy after our walk tonight and got into my sewing room and started cleaning up some of the mess that’s been driving me crazy.

I’ve needed to organize and put away fabric that I’ve purchased over the last few months. There was so much fabric stacked up on my sewing table that it was getting in the way of feeding fabric through my machine.

I also had stacks of the black and white fabrics I’ve purchased recently, as well as the new KFC fabrics that I’ve purchased in the last couple weeks that needed to be put away.

I started by cleaning out some drawers in the Ikea dresser that I use for fabric storage. I was able to free up the three smaller top drawers and got all of my black and white fabrics put away. This is all the new black and white fabrics I’ve bought recently, as well as the black and whites that I already had.

One of these drawers had a mess of batik scraps. One had Kaffe scraps. I can’t even remember what the third had in it. It feels so good to see all of this organized and put away!

I took all the new KFC fabrics and the stuff that was stacked on the sewing table and sorted it all out by color. This photo shows all that fabric plus the newest Kaffe fabrics that arrived today (my second order of the new stuff… because I just wanted more of it!).

I was able to clean out one large drawer in my dresser that will accommodate all these KFC fabrics. But in order to get all this organized and put away I need to combine it with the KFC fabric that’s already in the dresser.

So I’ll have to pull all of this out and then put all the fabric back in according to color, with a few exceptions. I keep all my spots and all my paperweight, Roman glass and millefiori in one place. I’m thinking I can get this done tomorrow night.

Maybe having this mess cleaned up a little will help motivate me to get back in there again!

We’ve had glorious weather the last few days. It definitely feels like spring here in Portland.

My yard guy has been here this week doing some serious pruning of my apple tree, which has gotten sort of out of hand. The yard feels so clean and neat with that tree trimmed up!

I also have him planting some new trees that will eventually provide some needed shade for my patio. Our previous attempt at using bamboo in galvanized steel tanks has not proven successful. The bamboo will come out and these tanks will be used as raised garden beds.

I’m hopeful and positive that these three new trees will provide some nice shade in a few years and make it so that I can use my patio on summer evenings.

Not Very Exciting, But Very Productive

Spent some time in my sewing room this evening and really got a lot done.

I finished eight blocks for my Ice Storm quilt and started on the final four strip sets.

Then I sewed another row of the scrappy KFC trip quilt together and sewed the first two rows together.

Today I got one of the final two packages of black and white fabrics I purchased online. This was a big package of 20 pieces. The one I’m still waiting for has six pieces.

Here’s all the black and white fabrics I’ve purchased in the last few weeks.

There are some really fun fabrics in this stack. It will be fun to see how they work up in a quilt.

Amazingly, I’ve only duplicated one fabric in all the many pieces I’ve purchased recently. I think that’s pretty impressive!

We went for a sheep herding lesson this morning and we had a really productive hour on the sheep. It was such a gorgeous day and so fantastic to be outside after a rainy day yesterday.

After herding I took the boys for a five mile walk around Washington State University. There were a lot of people out walking on this beautiful day. Take a look at this sky!

They’re pretty worn out tonight. Bender is too pooped to play.