Frankenbag #20

I finished up this red and yellow Frankenbag tonight. I’m pretty sure this is the 20th one I’ve made!

It’s pretty hard to go wrong with KFC fabrics in the red and yellow colorways. And I love that these blocks came from different sewers. It makes this bag very special to me.

I had thought that first photo would be the back of the bag, but that large block with the yellow crackle border is just too good. So I changed my mind. The only difference it makes is where I place the pocket on the inside. I feel like the pocket should be alongside the back of the bag, not the front.

Here’s the other side, what I thought would be the front, but I’m calling it the back.

Still pretty good. But missing the POP of that larger piece of yellow crackle with those magic turquoise pieces.

I used the orange crackle for the lining with a yellow crackle pocket.

And of course, the tag! Holy hell. I just LOVE these tags!

I’m thinking something with some purple in it might be up next…

Sheila Plock has been going a little nuts making Frankenbags. She posted photos of three more bags today. She’s really on a roll! You can click on each image for a little bigger view.

I’m really loving how much fun Sheila is having making these bags. And I love to see her using gorgeous and fun fabric for her linings! Don’t forget to use something fabulous for the lining!

She’s getting close to rivaling me in her production!

And her bags remind me that I’ve wanted to do something with some purple. And I might make another red and yellow one, but include some black and white jumble. It certainly worked in this quilt that I made in 2019.

We had some rain showers come through this afternoon but it cleared up nicely for our evening walk. We were all happy to get outside and stretch our legs.

One more day of work and then I have a week of vacation! I’m really looking forward to it.

Ready to Assemble

I got the red and yellow panels that I made last night quilted this evening. I would have assembled the bag body, but I needed to make handles first and I felt too tired to get those sewn so decided to stop with the quilting.

Here’s the two finished panels with the handle fabric.

I just love the way the quilting makes this all feel so cohesive… like it’s just one big piece of crazy fabric!

And i love the views I get of these panels as I’m quilting them.

Look at all that color! So fantastic. Those little pops of turquoise here and there are pretty amazing!

I tried out a few fabrics for the lining and decided to go with this orange crackle. I’ll use the yellow crackle for the pocket.

I’ll probably get this all done tomorrow night. It will go together quickly from here on out.

I got a couple more photos of bags from a blog reader today. These are from Bonnie Carpenter. (Click on each photo for a larger image)

I just love both of these. Look at all those thin strips on that first one, and the quilting is kind of insane! And the second one is so good! I love that black and white sharks tooth… I was so glad when it was finally produced in black and white. It does such crazy things when it’s used for sashing. And the bubble quilting on that second bag is pretty cool too. Maybe I’m going to have to branch out and do something other than straight line stitching! Might have to dig out my stitch regulator! Thanks for sending these in Bonnie!

It was really cool today. I actually had to turn my furnace up. I haven’t had my furnace up for a few weeks. There were even a few nice rain showers and and some hail that came through. It’s been such a dry spring here. Our rainy season should continue through May and into June. We haven’t had much rain to speak of for well over a month. I’m worried about what our fire season will look like if we don’t get some rain.

With all the storms we had today, the skies were gorgeous on our walk tonight.

I call that large sequoia in the center of this photo “Jack’s Tree” after a friend of mine who lives on the east coast. I think of him every time I walk past it and often send him photos of it to let him know I’m thinking of him.

Jack was very concerned about Rico with the toy on his head from last night. He texted me that I should google a certain phone number, and it turned out to be the phone number for the Oregon Humane Society!!!

So I took these photos of the dogs for Jack to show him how happy they are.

You can just see all the happiness on Bender’s face. Look how relaxed and natural he is.

And poor Rico. Hahaha! He just does NOT like to stop and pose. He looks like he’s being tortured!

He’s so sensitive. Such a big, beefy and confident guy, and he feels all the feels. He’s so sweet.

Blocks From Everywhere!

I’ve been thinking about digging into the blocks my friend gave me a few weeks ago to find a couple of panels for a bag that would be in reds, yellows and oranges. So I dug in and selected a couple of blocks that I thought would work.

Here’s the first one. It has mostly KFC fabrics in it.

Here’s the second one. Also mostly KFC fabrics.

Then I remembered that there were a few small simple blocks that were in the scraps that Wanda sent me so I dug those out.

A couple of weeks ago I ran across some panels of 2 inch squares of KFC fabrics that I had sewn a couple of years ago… intending to put them into zipper pouches. I thought these would work well for these panels.

Once I had all these pieces ready to go, I looked through my stash and selected a few fabrics in red, yellow and orange to compliment these blocks. And here’s what I came up with: the first panel.


And the other panel.

This really is a true Frankenbag with pieces from all over the place. I really like having pieces in these panels that were made by friends. It makes them special. I also like that it reads in the red family, but there are a lot of fun little pops of color everywhere.

I’ll probably get this quilted and get the outer bag body sewn together tomorrow night.

I received more photos of Frankenbags from blog readers today.

These first photos are two bags from Lynne Hummel. I really love all the indigo in these bags. It’s such a great neutral color to use with so many different prints and colors. I also like the strong horizontal lines on the center top photo. And, of course, there’s all that graphic black and white that I love so much. And that thin little yellow line in the photo on the top right? Well, it’s sort of everything.

Lynne also added a zipper pocket on that bag at the top.

This next bag is from Linda Lock. I just love those big and bold pieces on this bag. And the floral handles are pretty fun too! I also really like how it’s all askew! That makes it so interesting.

Thanks to Lynne and Linda for sharing photos of their bags!

As I was walking the boys tonight the sky just got prettier and prettier. Rico was not happy that we had to stop to take a photo.

Holy cow. I really live in a gorgeous place!

I made up for Rico’s agony when we got home by putting a toy on his head.

Look how happy he is with this situation!

Something That’s Not a Bag!

I didn’t spend a ton of time in my sewing room tonight. I finished up the lining on this green bag and I have to say that I love it.

I’ve never been too terribly in love with that Kaffe design with the little flowers, but I really like it in this bag. I just love the little pops of color.

Here’s the finished front and back of this bag.

… and the back…

I made a point of getting the tag sewn on tonight, rather than waiting like I have with other recent bags.

I mark the center of the bag with a pin, and then use clips to hold the tag in place while I hand sew it on.

I also took a few minutes to sew the tags on my paperweight bag and the dark bag I finished last night.

Look how pretty those fabrics are close up!

I also decided that I’m going to start working on the blocks for my Secret Purple Ruffled Feathers quilt. This quilt only has 20 big blocks in it. I made one block tonight, which makes five blocks done.

If I can make a few of these a week, this quilt top will be done in no time.

I got photos of a couple more Frankenbags made by blog readers. This first one if from Cherry Naylor. I love how saturated these colors are and the piecing is really fun!

And look… she’s combined wavy quilting with some straight lines. That a really good idea!

Here’s the other side.

That’s some fun crumb piecing there!

Poppy Maclean also sent photos of a new bag she made and it’s so wild!!!

It’s almost psychedelic! I love this in so many ways!

Here’s a view from the side.

And this third one from Tamy Roberts.

I love that this has a lot of blue and green, but also has those fun pops of color. And those little patches of onion rings make me pretty happy!

Here’s the other side.

There’s all kinds of fun angles going on in this one! This looks like it will be someone’s favorite bag!

Thanks to Poppy, Cherry and Tamy for sending photos!

Just a Little More Bag Obsession

It was pretty warm outside today so I spent a good deal of time in my sewing room and I got a lot done. I finished the lining on the black bag that I showed in my last post.

Man, I just LOVE that red spiral shells. It has become one of my favorite KFC fabrics.

Each one of these is easier and quicker than the last.

I like this one better than the other black one that I made. That’s really why I made this one. I wanted to do it differently for a different effect, and I achieved it.

Here’s the other side.

I really do like the addition of the black and white fabrics to this mix. I also really like the chunks of larger prints here and there.

I lined it with the dark blue guinea flower and made a divided pocket out of dark paper fans.

I just counted and I think I’ve made 17 of these bags. Including this green one that isn’t done yet. I pulled out the stack of quilt blocks my friend sent me a few weeks ago and build another green bag around them.

I intentionally put that orange in there because the last one had that shock of orange in the orphan block and it really brought the panel to life.

Here’s the other side.

I’m going to line it with that green jumble that’s bordering the larger block in the image above.

Here’s the two panels together. I like seeing them side by side.

I’ll probably get the lining on this done tomorrow night.

I ran across Jennifer Condon’s account on Instagram the other day that has given me all kinds of ideas for panels for bags. She does really amazing improv piecing that is very free form and irregular.

Take a minute and check her out.

I took the dogs for a nice long walk after breakfast this morning. I decided to do 4.5 miles so we could take a shorter walk after dinner.

Even though we were out earlier than we usually are, their tongues are hanging out! We were about three miles into our walk at this point and were heading toward home.

Along the way I ran across this odd thing.

It was sitting on top of this tree stump. It was about as big around as a silver dollar and about 3/4 inches high. I think it’s some kind of spider egg sac. I asked people on Facebook what they thought, and I have a lot of wise cracking friends.

Some thought it might be come kind of fungus. Some agreed that it might be a spider egg sac. I won’t share the wise cracks here.

I’m very sad that the rhododendrons are starting to fade. I saw this gorgeous light pink one on our evening walk tonight. the blooms were huge!

Once again… the weekend isn’t long enough. But this is my final week of work before my week of vacation! I can’t believe it’s gotten here so quickly. I’m really looking forward to a vacation.

Black KFCs Without the Chaos

I knocked off work about an hour early today since I have to work tomorrow and started cracking away at some new Frankenbag panels made from my black KFC scraps. I wanted to do something that felt less chaotic and where you could actually see the different elements of the panel.

Here’s the front of the bag. I think I achieved what I set out to do.

Isn’t that large block of the spiral shells fantastic!?!?! I just love that fabric. I have a big piece of it that I will use for a quilt backing some day.

I didn’t think I was going to like the black and white with these dark fabrics but I actually love it. It certainly gives the bag a different feel.

Here’s the other side of the bag.

In making these panels, I wanted to use some larger pieces of the KFC prints that are so fantastic. I love the way those larger pieces work here.

And those little blocks at the top with the diagonal lines of Jumble? I stole that idea from Brenda Tonyes, one of my blog readers who sent in photos.

Here’s both panels together.

I’m going to line this one with that gorgeous blue guinea flower fabric. I’ll probably finish this Saturday.

A friend of mine here in the Pacific Northwest named Karin Haderly posted some photos today of a Frankenbag she made for her mom out of some batik blocks and scraps left over from a quilt.

I love that circular quilting she did. I need to try that some time but I have no idea how to do it. I’m guessing there are tutorials online somewhere.

Here’s the back of the bag. She took these photos in the snowball tree especially for me!

Take a look at all those corners on those gorgeous batiks. Karin is kind of a rock star quilter. She makes absolutely gorgeous and intricate paper pieced quilts that are waaaay above my skill level. She invited me up to her house a few summers ago to spend the afternoon learning how to do paper piecing. I learned so much that day. She helped me build a few skills and gain confidence in striking out on paper piecing projects… but not as complicated as the ones she makes!

Karin also has border collies and shares my love for Kaffe Fassett Collective fabrics and Philip Jacobs the person.

Speaking of border collies, take a look at this handsome lad. Rico is just the sweetest boy.

And here’s Bender in a babushka. It really works on him.

I’m feeling confident that I’ll actually have a strawberry or two from my garden this summer. It’s going to be fun to watch these grow. I’m hoping the squirrels and birds leave them alone.

And apples… it looks like I’ll have plenty of those too. Hopefully not too many to keep up with.

I’m looking forward to the weekend.

You Know, I Actually Like This

I wasn’t thrilled with this bag after I got the panels done, but now that it’s all done, I really like it.

I will make another one out of these fabrics. I have some ideas on a few things I want to do to make this better.

Have I said how much I love these little tags? Well, I do!

And here’s a look at the lining and the pocket. I made the pocket a little bigger and sewed a dividing seam down the middle.

I’m still amazing by the photos of Frankenbags I’m receiving from blog readers. I got this one today that was made by Andrea Segura Smith. She made the bag from blocks left over from a quilt.

I really like this one! And interestingly, I was just thinking earlier today about combining blues and yellows into a bag. Aren’t those striped sashings fantastic!

Here’s the other side of this one.

I just love how comfy and squishy this feels. That’s what I had in mind when I made my first one. And look at those indigos with that pretty yellow.

Here’s the lining.

And then I got some photos from Birthe Aust. She has been very busy! I warned her that she’s on a slippery slope of obsession if she keeps this up!

Here’s the first bag she made from KFC fabrics.

I love that she left that big print intact and combined it with those thin strips of crease. I love the vertical lines on this.

Here’s the back.

Again, I love that big print! I also love the purple and the little pops of turquoise!

Here’s the second bag Birthe made from Aboriginal fabrics.

I love that there’s so much blue in it!

Here’s the other side of this one.

More blue, with really wonderful pops of yellow and green! Love it.

Here’s the third bag she made from black and white fabrics. I just love this one. That wonky flying geese unit makes me smile… and I want to make one of those. It will be fun to draw my own paper piecing template for that part.

It’s all black and white except for this fun pop of color.

This is a really fun little take on the Frankenbag!

Thanks to everyone for sending photos. I’m really enjoying seeing what you’re all coming up with!

A Little Gardening and Black Bag Progress

I got the panels for the KFC black Frankenbag quilted over the last couple evenings and sewed them together this evening.

That’s supposed to be the back of the bag, but I like it better than the front. So, I’m changing this to the front. It really only matters in my head! But I am liking this better as it progresses. I will make another one out of these fabrics and will do some different things in the piecing to make it different. Some ideas rattling around in my head.

Here’s what was the front of the bag. Now I’ll consider this the back.

I pulled out the black faux leather I bought a month or so ago and whipped up some handles. This bag really needs black handles.

Here’s a photo with the fabric I’ll use for the lining.

I got my garden in today. I stopped doing ground gardening when I moved to Portland. I have terrible dirt here and I got tired of all the garden maintenance throughout the summers. So I switched to growing a few things in containers. What I really want is tomatoes. Everything else is just window dressing.

Several years ago I had my yard guy pick up some metal stock tanks and we planted some tall bamboo in them, hoping it would eventually shade my patio on summer evenings. The bamboo failed to thrive after several years, so we dug it out this spring and planted trees instead. We put some good dirt in those tanks and I had him pick up another larger tank, and he got them all ready for planting on Monday.

In the large tank I planted four tomato plants and three pepper plants.

The tomatoes are all cherry varieties. It’s really hard to grow regular size tomatoes up here. I do have pretty good luck with the smaller varieties.

The peppers are one jalapeno and two sweet varieties.

In one of the smaller tanks I planted mixed lettuce. In the other one I planted ever bearing strawberries.

A friend of mine kept me in fresh garden lettuce all last summer and it really made me want my own. And I’ve always wanted strawberries. The guy at the garden store told me that I would actually have strawberries this summer! I’m really looking forward to that.

My yard guy mixed some fish fertilizer into the dirt and someone found it irresistible and ate some dirt last night.

So I have fences around all the tanks to keep bad dogs out. He’s going to be in real trouble if he helps himself to strawberries or tomatoes!

I got a few more photos of Frankenbags from blog readers. This first one is another one from Kris Cook. She said she has been saving the last of this cherished Anna Marie Horner fabric and decided to make this bag for her sister. She said it shows how much she loves her sister!

It’s really a beautiful piece of fabric. Kris made this bag a little smaller, at her sister’s request.

Here’s the back of the bag with some fun crumb piecing.

And here’s the lining. She added an extra pocket with makes this really functional.

This next bag is from Lynne Hummel. It’s a fun combo of batiks and black and white prints. And you know how much I love a graphic black and white fabric!

Here’s the other side of this bag.

I really love this black and white swirly fabric.

This next bag was made by Rose B. She said she had fallen into a quilting slump and this bag may have saved her.

That makes me so happy! I know that I was getting a little bored in my sewing. I’ve been having a lot of fun with these bags. They allow me to try different things without much risk. And they are quick and easy to finish.

Thanks again to everyone who has sent me photos. I’m having a blast seeing them and you’ve all given me a ton of ideas!

I Just Remembered Some Black Scraps

I got up this morning and after a good breakfast and a nice cup of dark coffee I took the boys for a 4.5 mile walk. It was a gorgeous morning and it felt really good to get out and stretch our legs.

While we were out walking I remembered that I had a packet of scraps left over from this black KFC quilt that I made last year.

So I dug into them tonight and whipped up the panels for another Frankenbag.

These bag panels are every bit as chaotic as the original quilt!!! You can’t even see the wonky log cabin block in the front panel!

Here’s the panel with the wonky log cabin block. Can you see it?

And here’s the back of the bag. Also chaotic. But actually less chaotic than the front panel.

I’ll probably get these panels quilted tomorrow night.

After our walk this morning, I threw the dogs in the car and headed west on a quest to see some crimson clover. And I found some.

You see field after field of crimson clover in farm country around Portland every spring. I’m not sure it they grow it for seed, or if it’s a cover crop. It’s absolutely gorgeous. And it was covered with bees. I could hear the buzzing the minute I got out of the car.

It was such a gorgeous drive. The sky was so clear and blue with dramatic clouds. And the countryside was so amazingly green. This is such a fabulous time of year here.

My snowball bush is in full bloom and it’s having a really good year.

The blooms are so big! Look at this monster. It’s nearly 6 inches across!

Here’s a picture to give you an idea of how big this bush is. Bender is there for scale.

It’s really a monster.

Another blog reader sent me photos of a Frankenbag she made. This one is from Michele Pintarch. And it’s a really fun one!

I love the way she used that big piece of the green shaggy… and the wide pieces of onion rings. It’s really fun. More ideas flying around my head!!!

And look how fun her handles are!

Here’s the lining. She added a magnetic snap and a key fob to one of the pockets, which is a really good idea!

Dang. Back to work tomorrow.

Paperweight Frankenbag is Done

I didn’t get much sewing done today as I had to work this afternoon. But I did manage to finish this paperweight Frankenbag.

I’ve been thinking I would keep this bag for myself, and that’s exactly what I’m going to do.

Here’s a picture of the zipper placket. It turned out quite nice.

Here’s the other side of the bag.

I’m still planning on making a tutorial for the zipper placket, and maybe the zipper pocket.

Another reader sent me some photos of the Frankenbag she made. This nice little star bag is from Joyce Ruff. She said she had to make the bag a little bigger to get the entire star to show. I really like that big bold block featured so prominently!

Here’s the other side of her bag.

I like the way she did her crumb piecing by color. And then there’s that black and white!

I have a completely free day tomorrow. It feels like it’s been a long time since that’s happened. I am going to go out for a drive in quest of fields full of red clover. It’s an annual thing for me! I’ll post pictures when I have them.

Oh, and there’s this…