GAH! A Sweet Little Jade Lotus Leaf Box

I didn’t get much sewing done over the weekend, but I did finish covering this little wooden box with fabric. I think this is my favorite one yet.

That gorgeous fabric is Kaffe’s Lotus Leaf in Jade. Lotus Leaf is one of my favorite Kaffe designs and this color way is so pretty. And I love the pale yellow paint I used for this too. It’s just so sweet.

This box is similar in shape and size to a cigar box. I have no idea what I’ll do with it or how I would use it. It will probably end up being a gift at some point in time.

Here are more photos just because it’s so pretty!

This will be the last box I cover for awhile because it’s the last one I have. I think these are pretty but I don’t have a lot of desire to make more.

I’m trying to decide what to make next. I’ve been thinking about a red quilt for some time and have fabrics put aside.

I just keep waffling on a pattern. I’ve bought three patterns that I thought I would use for these fabrics, and then I lose enthusiasm pretty quickly. I’m sort of leaning toward making something up.

And I have to say… that photo does NOT do those fabrics justice. They are so gorgeous. Not dull as in this photo.

I have a couple of Frankenbags I want to make next. The first is a blue bag with fabrics left over from my blue KFC 16 patch quilt. This time without the orange. Just all different values of blue.

Then I want to make one out of all paper weight like the one I just used for my zipper placket tutorial. I’m a little indecisive on what fabric to use for the background for the quilted panels. I keep bouncing between these three color ways:

I think I’m leaning toward the first one, but may end up going with the green. I need to decide so I can get moving.

I haven’t posted any photos of blog readers’ Frankenbags for a week, so here’s some new ones.

This first one is from Paulette Aldrich. I love the reds and pinks. And look! A zipper placket. This was made prior to my tutorial and it looks like Paulette took a very similar approach to mine. I really like the zipper placket!

This next one was made by Katherine Perry from blocks left over from her Wanderer’s Wife quilt. The colors are really fun and springy. And I love the string piecing on the back of the bag. What a great use of left over quilt blocks.

Next up is this bag from Katherine Wingate. I just love those dark and saturated colors in the first photo. Those reds and green are soo good together. And I do love fling geese! And that big and bold black and white block on the second photo is so good!

The next bright one is from Sonnen Bunt. I love the bold and bright fabrics and diamond patterns! And so many fish and sea shells! And a little bit of octopus on the pocket. And look how roomy it is!

The next one tonight is from Rose Crooks. It doesn’t have a lining or handles yet but Rose was excited to share her work. I love the romantic feel of this bag and the soft colors with the bold black. It’s quite different from other bags readers have sent me. I love that people are being so creative and using up pieces from other projects!

These next two bags are from Sharon, who didn’t give me her last name. Here’s what she said about making these bags:

“I had so much fun & was determined not to buy new fabric & only use old blocks or fabrics from my stash. My circle pieces are left over bits from a bullseye quilt. These bags allow you to be really creative & just “go with the flow”, rather that stick to a particular pattern.”

I just LOVE that! It’s so fun to see people having fun being creative! That makes me feel so good. I also love these bags. The pretty deep jewel tones are so nice, and the graphic black and white is fabulous!

Thanks to everyone for the photos!

Finally!!! A Frankenbag Zipper Placket Tutorial

In this tutorial I’m going to show you how I added a zipper placket to this Frankenbag.

A couple of months ago I promised that I’d make a tutorial for adding a placket to this bag. I’ve finally gotten around to it.

You can find the tutorial for my Frankenbag here.

You can find my tutorial for constructing the bag panels here.

Here’s the materials you need to do this:

One zipper, at least 15 inches. If you’re using a metal zipper, try to keep it to 15 inches. If you’re using a nylon zipper, you can use a longer zipper and cut it to the size you want. The zipper I used was about 15 inches long. (This should not be a jacket zipper that comes apart.)

Two pieces of fabric cut to 12.5 inches by 4 inches. I used a fabric that matched my lining, but you could use any fabric you want.

Two pieces of a light fusible interfacing cut just a little smaller than your fabric pieces (above). I used a light weight fusible interfacing that I had left over from mask making. It’s a Pellon product, but I don’t have the product number. The stiffer your interfacing, the stiffer your placket. I like the placket to have a little body.

A small piece of fabric, approximately 1.5 inches by 4.5 inches to cover the long zipper end. I used fabric that matched the placket and the lining. You could use any fabric you like. You will cut this according to your zipper width (read on for details).

And that’s all the materials you need, well, except for some thread.

Ok, let’s get started.

Fuse the interfacing pieces to the wrong sides of the two 12.5×4 inch zipper placket pieces according to the instructions on your interfacing.

Fold each of these two pieces along the long edge, with right sides together.

Sew a 1/4 inch seam along the short side on both ends of each piece. Clip the corner on the fold.

Turn these two pieces right side out, gently push out the corners, and press. Then sew a line of zig zag stitching along the long raw edge of each piece, making sure to catch both sides of the fabric in the zig zags.

Don’t freak out about this unfinished edge! It will later be completely hidden when you sew the placket to the lining. You’ll have plenty of time to freak out later. Now is not the time.

So now you have two pieces that are ready to apply to your zipper. When I made my placket, and knowing that I was working with a metal zipper, I decided that I was ok that the inside of the placket, the side no one will ever see, would have the zipper tape showing. If I had been working with a nylon zipper with the ability to actually sew over the zipper, I would have worked on a method to enclose the zipper inside the placket. Since I’m happy with “No one will ever see that,” that’s how I did this. Plus, you get a really nice finish on the part that shows.

So let’s move on.

The next thing you’re going to do is cover the stop end of your zipper. This just gives a little more finished look. This is where the little piece of fabric that I was a bit vague about comes in. So, first, measure the width of your zipper. Mine is just shy of 1-1/4 inches. You’ll want to cut your zipper tab fabric about 4.5 inches long, and 1/2 inch wider than the width of your zipper. So mine was cut 4.5 inches x almost 1-3/4 inches wide. This allows for your seam allowances and the tab should fit your zipper. If it doesn’t, adjust your measurements and make another one.

Fold your tab in half right sides together, lining up the two short ends. Stitch a 1/4 inch seam along the two long sides and clip the corners that are on the fold (the left side of this photo).

Turn this piece inside out, gently push out the corners, and press. Then turn down to the inside about 1/2 inch or so on the open edge and press.

Slip this little envelope over the stop end of your zipper, pin it in place, and top stitch all the way around four sides about 1/8 inch from the edge. NOTE: I did not push the end of the zipper into the bottom of this little envelope. Just push it in far enough that you cover the zipper stop.) If you look closely at this photo, you can see that I didn’t stitch over the metal of the zipper on the lower right. I would have gone through a lot of needles trying to pull that maneuver. If you have a nylon zipper, you can probably sew right over it.

There’s only about 1/2 inch of zipper inside that little envelope.

Now you’re ready to put the placket pieces onto the zipper.

Somehow, I didn’t get a photo of this step so you’ll need to look at my finished product to see how to line up the plackets with the zipper and how to stitch.

Here’s my finished placket with zipper and tab. So this is what you’re trying to achieve.

Put your zipper right side up on your table. On the open end of the zipper, line up your placket pieces on top of the zipper, fold side toward the zipper teeth, zig zagged edge away from the zipper, and pin it in place.

You can do this all one side of the zipper at a time. But when you add the second side of the placket, make sure your two sides of the placket are lined up on the opposite sides of the zipper. I lined the ends of my placket pieces with the end of the zipper tape on the open end and made sure the other ends matched up across the zipper.

I used my zipper foot to stitch two lines of stitching on each side of the zipper. One closer to the edge of the fabric closest to the zipper teeth, and one a little further away, but close enough that you’ll catch the zipper fabric on the back side. This is probably just shy of 1/4 inch or so.

Here’s what it looks like from the front.

Here’s what it looks like from the back. This is where that “no one will ever see this” comes in. See the two lines of stitching on the zipper fabric?

These two lines of stitching should keep that zipper in place and out of the way of the teeth nicely.

THIS IS A GOOD TIME TO TALK ABOUT WHY THE ZIPPER IS SO MUCH LONGER THAN THE PLACKET.

You might be wondering why I didn’t use a 12 inch zipper. Here’s the reason. This longer zipper allows you to open up your bag really wide to put stuff in, take stuff out, and find your fricking keys that you can hear but can’t locate. If your zipper was the same length as your placket, you would only be able to open the bag wide on the other side where the zipper is open. This longer zipper adds a TON of functionality to your bag! This placket is more than just a pretty face. It knows how to get the job done!

Now you’re ready to sew this placket to your lining. If you want pockets on the inside of your bag, make sure they have been sewn to your lining before you apply the placket.

Mark the center of point of the top of each piece of your lining. Mark the center on each side of your placket. (mark the center of the placket, not the center of the zipper! — This is really important!!!)

You need to make a big decision now… what side of your bag and lining do you want the open side of the zipper to be on? For me, if I’m looking at the front of the bag, I want the open side to be on the right side of the bag, so when I have the bag tucked under my right arm, the zipper pull will be forward when the bag is closed. So, now, even more complicated, you need to decide what side of your lining is the front and which is the back. If I only have one pocket, to me that’s the back of the bag. If I have a pocket on each side of the lining and they are the same, it doesn’t matter which side is the front or back. But if you have different pockets and want them to be arranged in a certain way, you have a decision to make.

Does your head hurt just a little right now? That’s normal.

But hold on, because here is where it get’s a little complicated.

Lay the completed zipper placket, right side up (zipper pull up), on your table with the open side to the right. Take the lining piece that you want to be the front of the bag and lay it on top of the zipper placket, right side down, leaving about 1/2 inch of the placket fabric showing above the top edge of the lining. Line up the center marks. Put a couple of pins in to hold these pieces in place.

Now flip the whole damned thing over! Put in a bunch of pins to hold it all in place nicely. Then remove the pins you put in the other side to hold it together while you flipped it.

Then stitch a line along the zig zagged edge, a generous 1/8 inch away from the edge. (This raw edge will be enclosed later… I promise!) Be sure to back tack on each end of this line of stitching.

Now lay this piece on the table so the zipper placket is face up and the piece of lining you just sewed is at the top.

Lay your second piece of lining, right side down, onto the zipper placket and line it up with about 1/2 inch of the placket fabric showing. make sure you line up the centers again.

Put in a few pins to hold it all together and then flip the whole thing over. Pin it more securely, remove the pins on the other side, and then do the line of stitching along the zig zag edge, making sure to back tack on each end.

Remember when I said there would be time to freak out later? Well, THIS IS THAT TIME!!!

This piece you just made that connects the two lining pieces to the zipper placket will look TOTALLY WRONG! But, it’s probably right. Probably.

Here’s what it should look like:

If you pick this up by the pieces of lining above the placket, you should be able to picture this inside a bag. That helped it all make sense to me. One key thing here. Your zipper pull should be facing up at this point. If it’s not, your bag will be difficult to operate.

Now, sew the lining together according to the instructions in my Frankenbag tutorial (linked at the very top of this blog post) and sew it into your bag body according to the instructions — making sure the zipper is open and the placket is folded down out of the way of the line of stitching at the top of the bag. Top stitch the top of the bag and lining according to the instructions, making sure to fold the placket out of the way so you don’t catch it in the stitching.

(Side note to explain something that made my head hurt: When I sewed my lining with placket to my bag body, I had a good deal of head scratching in deciding where that long piece of extra zipper should go. When I sew my linings to my bags, I have the bag body wrong side out and the lining inside the bag body with the right side out. This loop of zipper that attaches the two sides of the lining should just ride naturally around the side of bag lining. I think I gave this much more thought than it deserved. (When I make another bag with a zipper placket, I’ll add a photo.)

Once the lining is sewn in and you’ve completed your topstitching, it’s time to sew one final seam on each of the plackets to finish them.

Making sure all the layers of bag and lining are nice and flat and there are no tucks, fold the placket down and press along the edge where you sewed the placket to the lining. This folding will encase the raw zig zag edge.

Make sure all those layers are flat and there are no tucks or folds undernneath, pin it in place securely, and top stitch a line 1/4 inch away from the seam line (you can see in the photo that the right edge of my foot is right on the seam line that attached the placket to the lining). Back tack on each end of this line of stitching. Do this to both sides of the placket+/lining.

An important note here: because I do about 2 inches of match stick quilting along the top edge of all my Frankenbags, this line of stitching will be essentially hidden in that quilting when viewed from the right side of the bag. If you haven’t done this match stick quilting on your panel, that line will be more apparent.

Here’s a few more photos of this bag with the placket.

Let me know if you find any typos or mistakes and I’ll edit this post.

Good luck! I hope it all works!

Red Box is All Glossy and Done

I finished getting the fabric applied to this box last night and was able to get several coats of Mod Podge on before I went to bed. And then today I took some short breaks from work to get it sanded and to apply several coats of spray sealant. And now it’s done.

Holy cow! That fabric is so amazing! Another one of my favorite Kaffe designs.

Here’s a bunch of pictures because I just want to keep looking at this!!!

I’m going to make one more of these since I have the box on hand. The box is sort of a cigar box shape. I’m going to use the Jade color way of Kaffe’s Lotus Leaf, so I painted the wood a really pretty pale yellow.

Oh my god… what a terrible photo! You’ll have to take my word on this… it’s really pretty!

My yard guy came by yesterday to do a bunch of pruning all around my yard. He came back today to finish it all up.

He cleaned up the bottom of my HUGE snowball tree (to the right of the ladder in the photo above), he removed some low hanging branches from my lilac bush and cleaned up the bottom so the trunk shows. He also took some of the lower hanging branches off my apple tree (this is a tree that he severely pruned a couple months ago). There are so many apples on this tree it was overwhelming. He also pruned up a laurel, my purple rhododendron and a couple of large burning bushes.

There was so much debris, he had to made two trips to the dump!

It all feels so good! it’s been way too long since I had this done.

After work tonight I took a drive out to Sandy, Oregon, at the foot of Mt. Hood, to do some dog training with some friends. It was fun to drive out there but it did take some time! I basically had to drive all the way across Portland… during rush hour! On the map below, my house is at the blue star and my friends place is at the red star. It’s about 35 miles, but it took me 90 minutes.

But the closer I got to my destination, the prettier it got. There’s supposed to be a gorgeous view of Mt. Hood from my friends yard, but it was cloudy so there was no seeing it. I look forward to seeing it the next time I’m out there.

Luckily, the drive home was much quicker.

I’ve been noticing some juncos hanging out on my patio, and one particular one perching on the fence around my strawberries. And then today I noticed that two nearly ripe and red berries on the vine were now gone. I’m pretty sure this little guy is the culprit.

The thing that really pissed me off about this is that he also broke green berries off the vines. He killed future berries! Berries that neither of us will ever get to enjoy!

I knew this was going to happen, so a couple nights ago I ordered some netting to keep the birds off my berries. It should arrive tomorrow and I have a plan for how to get it installed on that planting bed.

We came out of our heat wave with enthusiasm! Today it didn’t get much over 70 and it was cloudy all day. It really felt fantastic!

One more day of work and I have a three day weekend. Tonight my friends and I made plans to get together on Sunday to celebrate July 4 with some dog training and a pot luck BBQ.

I’m looking forward to a long weekend.

Pretty Red Box and Soooo Many Frankenbags

I had so much fun making the little tangerine Paisley Jungle covered box that I decided to strike out on another one tonight. I have a couple more boxes in my craft closet and selected one that is just like the orange one, except it’s about 2 inches bigger.

I pulled out some generous KFC scraps to see what I wanted to use for this box. Initially, I thought I’d use this jade Lotus Leaf.

I decided instead to use this for a cigar box shaped box that I’ll cover later. I wanted to use something red for this box. So I dug out some red scraps…

… and decided to go with this lotus leaf in wine. It’s so gorgeous!

I pulled out some red acrylic paints and selected one that works well with this fabric and got the inside and outside of the box painted in several sessions during the day, letting each coat dry nicely in the sun.

After dinner I pressed the fabric, did some measurements, and cut the pieces to cover the box. I cut the pieces about 1/8 inch larger than the measurement for the top of the box and used scissors to round off the corners. For the sides, I cut them to size in height and just a tad wider than the measurement so I would have some overlap on the corners. I dry fitted the pieces and I ended up cutting off just a hair in height on the side pieces because they were just a touch too big.

The fabric needs to fit pretty closely from top to bottom on the sides of the box but I want just a touch of overlap on the corners.

To apply the fabric to the box, I first put a layer of Mod Podge on one section of the painted box (I started with the top of the box). Then I carefully place the cut-to-size piece of fabric on the Mod Podged area, making sure the fabric is centered and even. Once I’ve gently pressed it into the layer of Mod Podge, I paint a generous coat of Mod Podge over the entire piece of fabric.

As you’re painting the Mod Podge on top of the fabric, make sure the edges are in good contact with the box. You don’t want any bumps or bubbles or loose edges of fabric soming loose.

I put the pieces of fabric for each section of the box on one by one. I put all four sides of fabric on this box and then applied the coat of Mod Podge over them all once all four sides were covered. This made it a little easier to handle the box as I was working.

One thing that you have to deal with is fraying fabric. Trim the loose threads from your fabric carefully before you apply it to the box. But you’ll probably still have to deal with loose threads in the Mod Podge. I just use my fingers to pull the threads out.

It’s messy to deal with these loose threads, but getting them off helps ensure a nicer finished box.

I got the top and for sides of the box done tonight. I’ll probably finish the remaining pieces tomorrow night. Then I’ll need to sand it all and apply a seal coat.

This is going to be another pretty box. It would make a lovely gift with a handful of pretty fat quarters arranged nicely inside!

Oh, and I just eyeball a cut around the box hardware (clasp and hinges). This doesn’t have to be terribly precise if your paint color is a close match.

I sat down Sunday night and made a couple more blocks for my “Secret Purple” Ruffled Feathers quilt.

That makes seven blocks done… 1/3 of the way! These blocks are big and I only need 20 to make a generous throw size quilt.

That photo is not true to color at all. Go to this blog post for a better color representation.

Holy cow! I’ve gotten so many Frankenbag photos from blog readers. There have been some really busy, productive and creative people at work out there!

This first bag is from Nancy Lindsay. I love the eclectic fabrics in this bag, and look at that little fox panel. How adorable is that?

Next up is Cherry Naylor. She’s made a few of these bags and this one is a good one! I love the black and white fabrics she used, and the large iris print is so good!!! And that lining… well, it’s pretty spectacular! I love this bag!!!

This next bag is from Mary Anne Bomberger. I just love the pastel yet bright fabrics she used, and the overall pale green feel of this bag. And look at that adorable kitten panel! I have some of those Mia Charro panels… dogs, cats, birds, and other wild animals. I need to pull them out and put some in a Frankenbag!

Mary Anne also put a zipper placket in her bag. Which reminds me that I still have a tutorial to write!

Here’s a sweet and comfy bag from Linda Allen. I love the eclectic and scrappy feel of this bag. It feels like a well loved and comfy quilt. I love the larger pieces of big prints she’s used, and I really love that she really went for it with a gorgeous lining of brassica! Love it!

This next collection of bags is from Barb Schippa. She has been damned busy making bags… she’s almost putting me to shame! She’s got some really nice bags here, and a really great array of designs and fabrics. I just love these bags, and I really love Barb’s enthusiasm!

Thanks to all of you for taking the time to share photos of the Frankenbags you’ve made! I’m loving seeing what everyone is making!

Our heat wave finally broke last night. The temp dropped 30 degrees in just a few hours and it felt soooo good! I was so happy to see the end of 115 degrees! It was around 93 degrees for a high today and it felt so comfortable and reasonable! I’m sure it will feel hot again in a few days. Our temps will be in the low 90s for a week or so, then finally drop back down into the 80s.

It looked unlikely that I’d be able to get a mid day walk today so I got up early and took Bender and Rico for a three-mile walk before work.

It was nice and comfortable at about 72 degrees, but the humidity was around 72%. So it was a bit sticky. Bender cooled off immediately when we got home!

The boys spent a good part of their day sleeping as I worked. And I actually felt good all day too. I might have to build this into a habit!

My strawberries are doing really well. I actually picked two at the same time today. It was really a bumper crop.

They are sooooo tasty! The plants are really putting on a lot of berries. I feel confident that I may get to eat a small bowl of Anne-grown berries in a couple weeks!

Tomorrow we’re having a socially distanced outdoor lunch in the park for the 30 plus people in my department at work. It’s been almost a year and a half since I’ve seen most of these folks. Our fiscal year ends tomorrow and we’re going to have a bit of a celebration for a successful and challenging year. It will be great to see everyone!

Being Productive on a Hot Weekend

Our high temp yesterday was 106. It’s supposed to hit 115 today. This is the hottest it’s ever been in Portland–ever. We still have one more day over 100 and then it starts to settle down into the lower 90s. Still hot, but not hellish.

So I’ve been hunkered down in the house being productive. Friday night I started the panels for this bag and I finished it up yesterday. Today it’s in the mail.

I always love seeing a piece of fabric as it’s quilted. It’s so pretty under the needle.

I had plenty of time left in the day once this bag was done so I started another project I’ve been wanting to do. I covered this little wooden box with Kaffe’s Paisley Jungle in tangerine.

I painted the box first so that the bare wood wouldn’t show through any inaccuracies in applying the fabric.

The orange paint was the EXACT color of orange in the fabric!

After painting the box I applied pieces of fabric using Mod Podge. I cut the pieces of fabric to size for each side of the box with a small overlap for the corners.

After getting all the fabric applied to the box and giving the Mod Podge plenty of time to dry in the hellish hot air outside, I sanded the box to make it smooth.

Once it was all nice and smooth, I sprayed it with a matte sealant.

Here’s a bunch of photos because it’s so pretty.

I don’t remember when I last saw temperatures this high. Today it was 100 degrees by noon. Knowing that my dogs would not be happy sitting inside inactive all day, we took early walks Saturday and Sunday. Saturday, we were out walking by about 8:30 am. Today we were out the door at 7 am and it was already about 75 degrees and about 50% humidity.

We walked about 4.5 miles and stuck to the shady trail as much as we could. We walked a bit slowly toward the end. We were all glad to get home and into the cool house.

The temps are supposed to be ridiculously high again Monday and then it should start cooling down a bit. 95 will seem like fall compared to this!

OPF Frankenbag is Done

I finished up my latest Frankenbag last night but waited to take photos outside today. Here’s the front.

I love the really scrappy and earthy feel of this one. It’s so fun to use up fabrics that were given by a good friend and end up with something so happy.

Here’s the back of the bag.

Yum! It feels like warm cinnamon.

I’m pretty happy with the lining too. This is a Brandon Mably design that I bought on a crazy cheap sale a few years ago. I didn’t have any plan for it, but it felt perfect for this bag.

GAH! So much amazing color! Makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up!!!

And I have to say, this little tag looks really good with these earthy fabrics.

I was wondering what I was going to make next and then I got a request for another bag. I am starting to think about an improv approach to a new quilt… thinking I might basically make a bunch of 17×17 inch panels, like I make for these bags, and then assemble them into a quilt. I have a specific idea tumbling around in my head. I’ll give it a little more thought…

I’ve also been thinking that I want to get the backs pieced for several quilts that I’ve made in the last 15 months. There are a few that I actually have plans for and I might as well get them ready to head off to the long armer so they’re ready for the holidays.

There are also one or two that I’ll be keeping for myself. And it makes me wonder just how many quilts I need. Maybe it’s more about how many I WANT!

I’ve received photos of another Frankenbag made by Paulette Aldrich.

I love the red, black and white. And the pops of green on the back are so perfect! And what about that lining? It’s so cute with all those pointy ears! I also love the zipper pockets Paulette put in this bag. Very nice!

I got together with some friends tonight to practice some dog agility. Rico did a fantastic job! He loves it so much and puts it all on the line, and this is what he looks like after his turn…

THAT is a happy dog!

It was warm out there tonight but not as hot as it’s gonna get!

I’ve been trying a new type of brush on Bender and it’s really working! This is from the second brushing… and all that hair is from his butt!!!

I probably got at least twice that much out of the rest of his coat. He really needed a good brushing. I bet he feels better too. He’s going to be very surprised when he gets a nice cool hose bath this weekend!

A Busy Weekend and Looking Forward

I’ve been so busy since I last posted. I had Rico entered in a dog agility competition over the weekend and it took up a lot of time and completely wore me out!

Rico was waaaay excited to be out there competing again… it’s been more than 1.5 years since we went to an agility competition! He was so excited that we didn’t do very well, competition wise. But we did have a good time and saw a lot of friends that we haven’t seen for a long time. It was a wonderful weekend.

That’s Rico at the agility trial. He had to get his official measurement, which determines how high he will have to jump during his agility career. He is a big kid and will have to jump in a class with the big dogs. It feels odd to have it be official that he’s big!

I’ve been working on my latest Frankenbag over the last few evenings, where I’ve had time here and there. Last night I finished the body of the bag and got the lining all ready to sew in place.

This is the bag made all from fabric a friend of mine gave me. It’s all KFC fabrics and it’s a bit of a different and more earthy feel for me, but I really like it! it’s darker, but still bright and vibrant. Here’s the other side.

I’ll probably finish the lining tomorrow evening and then get it photographed and ready for shipping.

I received a big piece of red Kaffe Mosaic Circles in the mail today. It’s so gorgeous!!!

I’ve been keeping an eye out for sales since I wanted to use this as the backing for my scrappy Kaffe trip quilt. I got a good deal on this and it’s going to be perfect for this quilt.

It’s always nice to get backing fabric on sale!

I had Friday off and had originally planned to take a drive to the coast but my friend who was going to go along wasn’t able to go. So I decided to stay a little closer to home and took the dogs for an 8 mile walk on the Banks Vernonia trail. It was a gorgeous walk and the weather was just perfect.

Here’s the boys getting a little dip in the stream at about mile seven.

We’ve got some really hot weather coming up this weekend. Our herding lesson has been canceled because we can’t work the sheep when it’s that hot, and it’s hard on the dogs and people too.

It used to be that June was still cool and rainy in Portland. It just keeps getting hotter and drier. I’m feeling very fortunate that I have central air conditioning.

I’m guessing I’ll get a good deal of sewing done this weekend as it will be too hot to do anything outside.

I continue to receive photos of Frankenbags from blog readers. It’s so much fun to see what everyone is making.

Here’s one of my favorites, and mostly because I love the story from Madeline Aron.

I love Madeline’s bag, but I love even more that she pushed herself beyond her comfort zone. And look what she came up with! Amaze balls!!!

Here’s another bag from Birthe Aust. Love those black and whites. Birthe has made a number of these bags and they’re all really pretty!

This next one is from Susan Cook. She’s also made a number of these bags. I love the way she used the applique circles on this one. And that black and white is all so fantastic!

Next up is Beth Lynyard Odishoo. I love that great big star, and the colors are really pretty too.

This next bag was made by Sharon Galli. I just love this one. It feels tailored and structured, but still soft and comfy. And I love the graphic impact of that bold horizontal stripe. So nice!

This next ones are from Linda Scarf. I think it’s two bags. These are really graphic and fun bags! I love the triangles in the first one and the big star in the third one. And I do love me some flying geese! Nice job Linda!

And the last one for tonight is from Dosey Brown Pike. The pictures are a little dark, but I love that star with the green border! Really nice and bold! And I do love green. Looks like Dosey did a really good job of using up some orphan blocks.

Big thanks to everyone for sharing photos! I’m having a blast seeing what others have made.

Second Side of OPF Frankenbag is Done

After a day of work filled with Zoom calls I stepped away from my desk at 6:30 pm. After dinner we had a nice 3.5 mile walk in absolutely perfect weather. When we got home I sat on the patio and messaged a friend about an impromptu trip to the Oregon coast on Friday. It was so nice on the patio with the scent of my honeysuckle wafting on the breeze.

And I’m really excited about a quick trip to the coast with a friend and her dogs. She’s retired now and had messaged me about maybe going to the beach with us some time and since I have Friday off from work, it was the perfect opportunity! Plus, it’s more fun when you decide at the last minute to go! My dogs will be so happy and it will be really good for me!

After enjoying some time on the patio I hit the sewing room and finished up the second panel for my OPF (other people’s fabric) Frankenbag.

Here’s the second panel.

And the first panel, in case you forgot.

Here’s both panels side by side so you can see how they work together.

I got the quilt sandwiches complete so I’ll be ready to quilt these tomorrow night after our dog agility lesson.

A couple more blog readers sent in photos of their Frankenbags. This first one is from Laura Kelly. She also sent a photo of her sweet doggo, but didn’t let me know the doggo’s name.

I love Laura’s big block on the first photo! What a great use for an orphan block. And those little spikes on the back of the bag… so fun! And I love that she made double pockets on this bag.

Awww. What a sweet looking pupper!

These next two bags are from Donna Jackson. I just love that very bold black and white print and the cool feeling of the fabric combo. And that skull fabric on the bottom… I’ve been wanting to get some of that fabric. I love the way she sort of used it in s subtle way. Donna used all scraps for this bag and didn’t dip into her stash. I love that!

Thanks to Laura and Donna for sending photos!

I’ve entered Rico in an agility competition trial this weekend. It’s been a loooooong time since we’ve done a trial. I’m really looking forward to it!

Here’s a link to a video of Rico doing agility at a lesson last fall so you have an idea of what kind of dog sport this is. This link is on my Instagram account so you can look around while you’re there.

I planted strawberries for the first time in my life this summer and I’m almost ready to harvest my first berry. And it’s a beauty!

I think it needs another day or two to be at its peak. I’m worried that a bird or squirrel will steal it before I get to it. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

A Weekend of Socializing and Not Much Sewing

After fifteen months of pandemic isolation, I finally hit a wall on Friday and started feeling like if I didn’t spend some time around people I was going to lose it! It sort of made me laugh because I’m a raging introvert. It’s pretty impressive that I went well more than a year before the isolation actually got to me!

So I spent my weekend hanging out with friends and having lots of conversations. And it was fantastic!

On Saturday Rico and I had our regular sheep herding lesson, then I met a couple of friends at a dog agility trial that was being held nearby. Then I met them one of their homes and we did some agility with our dogs, then had some cocktails and dinner.

Lavender martinis! These were so crazy good! And so beautiful!

It was so good to just have fun with our dogs and hang out and talk. You might not realize that people who live alone during a pandemic don’t get a lot of face to face conversation! Go figure! It’s been so long since I was able to just hang out with friends. It felt so normal. I left my house at 11 am and didn’t get home until after 9pm!

I also stopped at the same fabric store I went to last weekend to pick up some fabric for friends…

… and a few more pieces for me…

On Sunday I met a friend and brought Thai food for lunch. Then we had another sheep herding lesson in a downpour! Rico and I were both soaked by the time we were done. I think we’ve gotten nearly two inches of rain since Saturday! And we really needed it. Coming up? Ten days of sun and heat.

I did get into my sewing room tonight and started my next Frankenbag. I needed to get moving on this one because I’ve already sold it! Sight unseen! That’s a little bit of pressure.

This one is made all from fabrics that a friend gave me. I really like the earthy look of the fabrics.

I’ve continued to receive photos of Frankenbags from blog readers.

Here’s one from Reidun Evjan Vefald. I really love all the black and white she’s used in her crumb piecing. And that pieced pocket on the interior is very cool! I also like the way she used the green fabric to finish the top edge. It’s a nice detail.

This next one is from Margot Pritchard. I just love those great big stars! I also like the way she attached the single handle. I’ve been thinking about doing a bag with a single shoulder strap. Now I’m thinking I have to do it soon!

That star on the left is made from cloisonne. It’s no longer in production. If you scroll up and look at the fabric I purchased for myself this weekend, you’ll see a piece of this fabric in the group!

This next bag was made by Betty Simms. She made this for a friend from her fabrics. And the fabrics are really cute. That yellow block in the first photo just makes me smile! Betty wrote in her email, “I’m having so much fun making these!! These bags have become habit-forming and it’s all your fault!!” I know how you feel Betty!

The last bag tonight is from Susan Cook. This is such a fun bag! I love the way Susan used the different low volume fabrics with the curved piecing. And that black and white fabric at the top is very cool. And that spot fabric in green on the first photo sort of gives me chills — it’s so good!

Big thanks to Reidun, Margot, Betty and Susan for sending photos or tagging me on social media. Can’t wait to see what readers send in next.

Stopped and picked these blooms during a field run on Sunday. I could smell it from 50 yards away. Friends on social media tell me it’s probably a mock orange. All I know if that the smell is so incredible! I brought these blooms home with me and keep smelling them! So gorgeous.

And here are some photos of Bender and Rico just because they’re such good boys. There’s sort of a theme.

They really do!

Answering Questions About My Frankenbags, and Some Other Stuff

I’ve had several people ask me recently how big my Frankenbags end up being. So I took this picture to show you in context with me.

I’m not a tiny person. I’m about 5’8″ and am the size of the average American woman. This bag is a good size bag, but it’s not a suitcase.

This photo also shows how my 24 inch handles work. Someone recently said that they didn’t see how these handles could be considered shoulder straps. For me, these handles make the bag ride exactly where it should. If you’ve noticed, women typically have some curves. I like a bag that rides comfortably where my torso is smallest, at my waist, rather than riding on my hip, where I’m widest. These 24 inch handles make this bag nestle in right where I want it to. It also makes it comfy to keep my hand on the bag for security.

The other thing I like about this length of handle is that they also allow me to carry the bag by the handles without the bag dragging on the ground.

But the really good thing is that you can make your handles any length you want and they will be perfect for you.

I’ve been thinking about my next project and I think it will be another bag. A friend of mine mailed me some pieces of the Kaffe sunburst fabric in the dark colorway from her stash, which I am not able to find anywhere. So I’m going to combine it with some 2.5 inch KFC strips that the same friend gave me a couple of years ago. These are all older prints and they will be fun with this sunburst fabric. I pulled the darker strips out of the group and I like the way this combo looks.

That color way of the sunburst is really gorgeous! And I found that piece of Brandon’s Jolly, on the far left, while I was looking for these strips. I think it will make a great lining for this bag.

And speaking of looking for those strips… I nearly had to tear my sewing room apart to find them! In the process I went through nearly all my KFC fabrics and found some stuff that I’d forgotten about.

One of the pieces I found was a yard of the blue sunburst fabric! I had no recollection that I had this in my stash. Remember that I ordered more so I could line my last bag with it. Oy.

Well, now I have even more of it! That’s probably not a bad thing!

Another piece I found is this green colorway of Kaffe’s Jupiter.

It’s nearly impossible to find and has been out of production for years. I bought several yards of it a few years ago when I happened upon it in an online store. I’ve been rationing it in projects ever since. And the other night I happened upon some in a different online store and bought five yards of it!!! I’m so excited to be putting more of this in my stash. The colors are just so amazing. And green is my favorite color — this is just so good and it makes me very happy!

I also found this strip set. I don’t even remember buying this. It might have been from a Missouri Star daily special several years ago. I have an idea of what to make from this. More on this later.

In the last few days I’ve received more photos of Frankenbags made from my tutorial.

This first one is from Mary Jo Mix. This was Mary Jo’s first try at the Frankenbag and she said she had never done scrappy before. I think this is a really good first adventure in scrappy piecing! I love it.

This next bag is from Wendy Patrick. She has a vintage green button (shown in the first photo) that she will add to the bag along with the tassel in the last photo.

I really love how scrappy and random Wendy’s piecing is! The way she’s put the black and white fabrics in here and there is fantastic!

This last bag is from Sandra Jane Spear. She said she had a lot of fun and some not so much putting this bag together. While taking this outdoor photo she stepped into a nest of fire ants! And a few days later she sliced off part of her finger with her rotary cutter.

I love this bag… especially knowing how Sandra suffered to make it!!! And look at the work she put into piecing that interior pocket. She’s a rock star… a wounded rock star!

Thanks to Mary Jo, Wendy and Sandra for sharing their photos. If you’ve sent me a photo that hasn’t made it to my blog, let me know! It’s been a little tricky keeping track of all these photos!

The weather here in Portland has been pretty amazing the last few days. Really nice temps, a shower here and there, and absolutely amazing skies! This photo was taken during our afternoon walk today.

Last week I finally turned my air conditioner on. Yesterday, I had to turn the furnace on again! We’re all enjoying the long and light evenings! My favorite part of summer!