Annie’s Hand Embroidered Pouch

On Easter weekend, a friend of mine flew into town and we drove down to Coquille, OR, to spend the weekend with my brother and his wife, Ann. This is the third year we’ve made this trip over Easter weekend. We usually just stick around the house, with a daily trip to the ocean and a quick stop for rockfish tacos at the Edgewater in Bandon.

Annie has recently gotten into making crazy quilt blocks with hand embroidery. She had made the embroidered panel below and gave it to me. I decided immediately that I’d sew it into a pouch.

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I thought about it for a few weeks, and decided that one of my blue chambrays, which I LOVE, would be nice with it.

Then I saw a video of someone sewing a pocket like this into the front of a zipper pouch, so I sat down with pen and paper and sketched out the dimensions.

I practiced on two pouches with this zipper pocket treatment first, so felt confident that I could pull this off and have it come out well with the embroidered panel.

The little woodland creature fabric is so cute! I saw it in the store and had to buy a yard. I had no idea what I would do with it. The paw print fabric is really fun too. The paws are sort of in a mandala print. A lot of fun detail and color.

Here’s the flat front of the embroidered pouch before the top zipper was sewn in.

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You first sew the zipper and pocket lining to the pocket front, fold up the pocket lining and sew it to the top side of the zipper, then add the sides, then the bottom, then you add the top strip and sew the top of the pocket zipper at the same time. All seams get a quick top stitch. It all goes together so easily and nicely.

Here’s the pocket lining.

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And the pouch lining.

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And I just love how the zippers go in with this more structured chambray fabric.

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I’m going to try some improv machine embroidery on some canvas panels. I’m also going to keep an eye out at estate and yard sales for embroidered linens to see if there’s something I could use in a pouch. I love estate sales and they almost always have some kind of embroidered linens.

I do know that hand embroidery is NOT in my future.

I’m planning on sending this to Annie for a project bag for her hand embroidery projects.

Scrappy Black and White

I haven’t had much time for sewing the last few weeks. I’ve been busy with work and my weekends have been consumed by dog training seminars. And a friend of mine flew into town for a weekend on the Southern Oregon Coast with my brother and his wife.

I finally have a free weekend before work gets crazy for a couple of weeks. So I sat down at the sewing machine tonight to make a project that I assembled the fabrics for a week or so ago.

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I’ve been wanting to make a quilt-as-you-go zipper pouch from some of my black and white scraps. And I had some nicely sized border collie fabric to feature on the pouch.

I really like how it turned out. I love color, but I love graphic black and white too!

I sewed the pieces onto batting and quilted each scrap of fabric as I added it to the piece.

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I had several black and white fabrics already cut for linings, so I selected the one with dog paws. So perfect!

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My Lovely Paper Pieced Mountains

It felt so good to drive through the mountains last weekend that I decided to dive in and sew up some of the mountain paper piecing templates I purchased a few weeks ago.

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I wanted basic blues for the mountains, and a darker sky to make it look like a moonlit night. So I dug through my batik scraps and supplemented with some blue batik yardage. I added the green pieces at the bottom in an improv manner. I needed the panel to be a little taller and I wanted it to look more like a full landscape.

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I just love the darker blue dots for the sky. It feels like one of the bright snowy nights I remember from my childhood.

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The template package came with a bunch of different little mountain designs in each of three sizes so you can sew a lot of them and never make the same one twice.

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This paper pieced panel will be used in a zipper pouch, but I’m going to have a hard time deciding what fabric I’ll use for the body of the bag. Here are some options:

Taupe linen, gray chambray, blue chambray...

Three options in blue batik… light, dark, and way too busy!

Various orange batik options… Bright, lighter, and more mellow.

Yellow and beige batiks… It think these two are out!

I do have a few favorites in these options (see the underlined options above), but I’m nowhere near decided.

I still have to make a panel for the other side of the pouch and then I’ll have to make a decision.  Can’t wait to see how this works up.

Rico’s First Sheep Herding Clinic

I had been looking forward to this last weekend for a couple of months — Rico’s first sheep herding seminar in Central Oregon, near Bend. It was actually a handling seminar, so it was more about me and all I don’t know about sheep herding. Rico is such a natural!

I met Heather in Hubbard on Friday afternoon and we started our caravan drive across the Cascades.

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I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed the drive. It’s been ages since I’ve been in the mountains. It did my soul good to get above sea level and see some vistas.

It rained most of the trip, but the sun did come out. It was a pretty quick drive with only a few slow downs for construction and slow drivers. (That’s Heather in front of me.)

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We made it to Terrebonne, where our Air B&B was located, at about 5:30. Our third friend showed up about a half hour later. We gave the dogs a quick break, then headed out to dinner.

The Air B&B was fantastic! Two bedrooms with two securely fenced dog yards. It was much less expensive and so much better than a hotel. I loved that I could just open the front door and let the dogs out to potty! It was incredibly quiet and we didn’t have to live with the noise of our neighbors.

We were back at the Air B&B by about 8:00 and I was hoping for a good night’s sleep in preparation for a busy day of herding.

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I didn’t get any video or photos of Rico herding, but we spent a good deal of time in this pasture. This is my friend Heather with the instructor, and Heather’s young dog Navarre. I just LOVE Navarre.

Rico was such a good dog all weekend. I feel bad that he has so much amazing natural talent for herding and I’m no inept as a handler. There’s so much to learn about herding. I feel like I’m holding Rico back with my lack of experience.

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My friend Heather did get a couple photos of Rico and me getting ready for our turn with the sheep on Saturday.

The clinic was held on a working farm, surrounded by huge fields that we were given access to for walks and dog pottying. We spent a lot of time in these fields over Saturday and Sunday. The dogs had an absolute blast running and playing! It’s so much fun to have them in a place where they can really open up and run full speed.

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Saturday morning was rainy and really windy. It cleared up and calmed down in the afternoon and we ended the day with a sliver of sunshine.

The forecast for Sunday called for rain and wind all day. Luckily, the wind was much milder than on Saturday, but it did rain most of the day. Every good Oregonian has solid rain gear, and I’m glad I didn’t leave mine at home. They say that in Oregon, there’s no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate gear! My rain gear got a work out at this clinic!

Rico only worked in the round pen on Saturday as the instructor wanted to work on my skills. Sunday, we moved to the larger pasture, and Rico really rose to the occasion and made me so proud! It’s so amazing to watch him work sheep. His instincts kick in and he just seems to know what to do. There’s nothing like watching a dog do what they were bred to do.

Bender really enjoyed his field runs. I’m so glad we had access to these fields so he could have some excitement this weekend too. Both boys were so good.

I loved being in that country side! It was so nice to be up at a higher altitude. The rolling hills covered with juniper trees and sage brush made me feel like I was back home. The fresh air and views were so good for me!

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We drove home past Mount Hood and even got to drive in some snow at the summit. It rained the entire way, so we didn’t get any views of the spectacular Mount Hood.

The dogs are still tired a day after we got home. Nothing better than a tired dog!

 

Using Up More Scraps

I took today off work to recover from our weekend of sheep herding in Central Oregon. I had a nice sleep-in and then spent the day sewing. I’m itching to move on to some new projects, so I planned to use up the scraps I cut up last week.

There were enough scrap strip pieces left to make three pouches. So I pieced the six panels and selected fabric for the bodies of the pouches.

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I really like the red lotus leaf and LOOOOVE the black spots. The turquoise guinea flower looks better in person than in the photo, but it’s not my favorite. Sometimes you just don’t know how a fabric combination will look until you get it all put together.

I was on the phone with a friend tonight — the friend that introduced me to quilting and to Kaffe Fassett fabrics — and she offered to send me some strips from a KFC strip set that she’s had for awhile. So, more scraps are on their way to me!

I’ll probably make more of these pouches because there are some fabrics I want to try for the body of this design. I probably have a few more of these in me.

I do want to try some pouches with paper pieced panels. I recently purchased these paper piecing templates of snow capped mountains. 

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I’m thinking I’ll make them from batiks, but I’ll also take a look at the KFC scraps my friend is sending and see if there’s something there that will work. I can picture these in a pouch made from my lovely blue chambray that I love so much.

I’ll probably give this a little bit of thought and then dig in later this week.

Pouch Mania

I’m having so much fun making these pouches out of gorgeous Kaffe Fassett Collective Fabrics. I keep trying out different fabrics for the body of the pouch and want to make 20 more! Each one is better than the last!

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These are made based on my zipper pouch tutorial. I just changed the orientation of the bag to vertical instead of horizontal. This post has a brief description of how I pieced the panel.

I’ve sold every one that I’ve made, and have orders for a few more. Luckily, I’m not tired of making these yet!

More Scrappy KFC Pouches

I’ve been having fun using up the scraps from my hexagon quilt. In fact, i stayed up way too late last night to make this one!

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I just LOVE the combination of the bright colors with the gray guinea flower. That gray fabric is so amazing! Really makes those bright colors sing.

I also used up a bunch of unused gray triangles in this pouch. I love the softness of the colors. Not a typical look in my work.

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Now I’m sad because I’m almost out of these fun scraps!

Jewel Frames Quilt — All Blocks Done

Over the last two evenings I’ve finished the last 49 blocks for my jewel frames quilt, and I can’t wait to see this all put together.

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The fabric that these blocks are sitting on is the Black Shaggy that I used for the cornerstones in the sashing, and will be the border of this quilt as well. It is so gorgeous! I can’t wait to see it all put together.

I’m thinking I want to buy a new bed along with a new mattress and box springs. I might wait to finish the quilt until I get that done so I can fit it to the mattress and new bed.

New Kaffe Fassett Colllective fabrics will be released in the next couple of months. There is a new color way of the Brassica that is the most amazing thing! I’m going to have to base a quilt on this fabric!

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Jewel Frames Quilt – 40 down

I have really gotten a lot done on this quilt during my four-day weekend. And what a great way to spend a weekend!

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I haven’t arranged the blocks yet. I just put them on the design wall as I finished them because I wanted to see how they looked.

I have about half of the blocks done, and my design wall is full. I’m not really sure yet how big I’m going to make this, but I want it to be generous on my queen bed. I have 89 blocks, which is an odd number and doesn’t add up to a quilt top. But 90 blocks would make a generous quilt once I add the borders.

The pattern instructions said to do one long sashing with cornerstones made from the same jade millefiore fabric, and to sew it to the blocks on one long seam. the purpose of the cornerstones is to help line up each row of blocks.

I figured that if I was going through the effort to make cornerstones, that I should make them special. So I decided to use the same black shaggy fabric as I’m using for the border. And I love how they look.

I also decided to make each block with the green border and cornerstone as part of the block, rather than doing that sashing in one long line. Then on the blocks on the last column and row I’ll need to add the final border of green with the cornerstones. You can see the individual block in this photo.

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I also used a mass production method to make the 10-inch strips with cornerstones attached. I cut a 9&3/4 inch strip, width of fabric of the green and a 2 inch strip WOF of the black shaggy. I sewed the shaggy onto the green, then put two layers together and cut the finished two-inch strips from the larger piece.

This photo shows two sets of cornerstone strips, one on top of the other, being cut in one piece. It’s a much faster and accurate way to make these strips with cornerstones.

img_0454Then I pressed the strips and pinned them onto the blocks to sew. It took a little longer to put these strips with cornerstones onto the blocks. I’m trying to be very accurate so that the finished quilt will go together well and will be flat.

It’s really coming together nicely and I can’t wait to see how it looks once I mix up all the blocks.

Choosing Cornerstones

I made a good deal of progress on my new quilt yesterday, so today I took some time to square up all the blocks.

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The blocks were supposed to finish at 10 inches square, but not one of them measured that big. They were all between 9 3/4 and just shy of 10 inches.

So to make the upcoming construction go better, I squared off all the blocks to 9 3/4. I didn’t cut more than a sliver off of any side, but this minor trimming will make the quilt much more flat and even as we go forward.

I’m going to use Phillip Jacobs black shaggy as the border on this quilt, and am thinking I want to use it for the cornerstones on the sashing as well. I’m going to give it some thought and take a look at it in the daylight tomorrow.

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That black shaggy fabric is really something! It’s a bold choice for a bold quilt! I can’t wait to see it all done!

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