Archive for August, 2012

My Weekender Tote

I’m putting my Amy Butler Weekender tote to good use this week as I travel to see a dear friend.  We’ve been close for over 4 yrs and this is our first meeting in real life.  I’m writing this before I leave and just can’t fathom the joy of seeing her and giving her a real hug after all this time!

I added an inside pocket sewed down the middle to make 2 smaller sections.   Now if I had been thinking I would have measured my tablet and scootched the dividing line over a few inches to hold the tablet.  Hindsight is so clear!!  I figured this out after all was said & done and I started to pack.  Instead there are Dove chocolates and a small hand-sewing kit in them.

I also added the zipper to one of the outer pockets.  I pulled from my memory and added the false bottom but used a piece of shower wall liner cut to size.  (and then promptly added one to my tan purse. too!)   {Go to your local big-box hardware store and ask for the shower liner.  Not a curtain but the stuff you could put up on the walls surrounding the shower.  They have flat 4′ x 8′ pieces.  It can be rolled for ease of carrying and just cost me $15.  It will last me  a very long time!  Local friends can have a piece for their next bag.}

I love the bag… I nearly hated making it.  It isn’t hard but it is a hassle and a lot of work with the layers to stiffen it and the piping… oh!  and did I mention the zipper around and down.

If you’ve read here for very long, you know nearly ever purse of mine gets a coordinating clutch.  Well, I have my purse with me so really this large tote doesn’t need a clutch.

But  I made one anyway!   This one a small gift for my friend that matches the fabrics of mine.

I’ll be back to tell you about the trip soon.  But give me a chance to catch my breath and help with the college packing!

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Some dear friends from church hosted a surprise going away party for JP the other night.  What a joy!  Mostly church band members were invited along with a few more special friends.  (One mentioned her regrets to not attend his party the week before so he was pretty suspicious!)

The heavy gift bag had ingredients for what he uses for target practice and his booms.  (Plus there were a few gift cards brought which pleased him for his college preps.)

A beautiful evening to enjoy a grilled supper and wonderful fellowship on the deck.

JP also brought along his own entertainment and made a large boom!   This is the after effects of shooting at a box with foam packing inside.

And the poor but very hospitable and forgiving hostess had this the next day…..

It is all legal fun and everyone enjoyed the blast!

We are so thankful to have a mature son that has made a good impact on those around him and for sweet friends that would celebrate with him!

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County Fair

I’ve been super busy this summer but still took 6 entries to our county fair that were already done.   Mostly, my FIL wanted his farm quilt to be there.  We were sort of surprised he didn’t have a lawn chair to sit by it all week.  🙂

I showed the wholecloth baby quilt, my new purse, the president’s quilt, K’s tshirt quilt, the bargello, and the farm quilt.

The farm quilt won 1st in Original Design and then Best of Show over the quilts & afghans.

They took care and hung it over an open place on their rod so that both sides could be seen.  It was loved.   🙂

My bargello quilt became a friend’s phone screensaver after being displayed like this. That was fun when she showed me her phone!  🙂

On Saturday when I went to pick up my quilts, the purse was awarded with a purple ribbon for Best of Show over the more craft type department.  And I was given a sweepstakes award for the most prize money in the quilts & afghan department.  I was super excited over that!  The Best of Show & Sweepstakes ribbons don’t carry additional premiums (bummer) but it is nice to have the honor too.


All-in-all, I won 5 first place, 1 second (for no good reason if you ask me! LOL!!), 2 Best of Show, and the Sweepstakes ribbon.  Yippee!!

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You may remember that last summer after a super class in Milwaukee, I made this purse.   I wasn’t overly thrilled with it but it stayed in use until the beginning of this summer as it started to wear.

Finally by mid-July, I had to take some time to sew & quilt for me so worked this in between some jobs.  First, a collage page of the embellishing & quilting in process.

L-R and top – bottom:  hand-dyed bronze-colored fabric loaded as if it was a quilt; layering some silk flowers, eyelash yarn, wool roving and covered by matching tulle; first section quilted; close-up of the quilting (I used this as a practice piece for feathers); the finished piece to use for the fabric for my purse; back of quilted piece which now hides behind lining.

Click image to see it larger.

Some pictures of the finished purse.  Basically, the same pattern I’ve been using for years but a smidgen longer this time as well as the 3″ taller that has been the norm for the last 3 or 4 models.  The color in the collage above is more true than these that look washed out to me.

The inside is quite bright with the hot pink and coordinating prints for the pockets.  One zippered pocket, one for my eyeglass case, and one for my phone.

Of course, it has a coordinating clutch!  The same bronze fabric but not layered with the flowers.  I make these with my embroidery machine so used that quilting instead of my own.  I used a pink variegated thread and another piece of fabric that coordinates with the insides for the trims.

This purse (besides the lining!) is more muted and has less flowers.  I’m liking that and enjoying seeing my quilting.  In fact, I missed the purse while it was at the fair last week.

In the category “any other quilted item”, I won first place and then Best of Show over all the craft categories.   This was a big surprise as it wasn’t out on Tuesday night when we went down.  I found this on Saturday when I went to bring my items home.  Yeah!!!

I found Norma Riehm at this year’s Milwaukee show that taught me this technique .   She was delighted that I had used her technique and then found her to share.  She is a good teacher and wonderful artist!

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Milwaukee Show

At the last minute, Phil decided he could join me for the quilt show.  The biggest reason being that we have just a few more weeks that JP will be here to be in charge of chores.  A weekend for Phil to be away was very good.   A weekend to have him to myself and not pulled to work was wonderful, too.

He’s never been to a quilt show and was only “there” about an hour but at least he has seen a small international show.  Plus he filled in as a great photographer so I wasn’t bugging the ladies walking by.

It was funny since it was finally something for my work and he was on vacation.  Trust me, I’ve been to plenty of farm shows and the Farm Progress Show a few times to have earned him 1 weekend at a quilt show!!

First off when we arrived, Phil dropped me off and then wandered the very pretty town along a lake until hotel check-in time.   Not signing up for classes until 2 days before this (none were full), I only aimed for a class with my favorite teacher, Sue Patten.  One on Friday and one on Saturday.  Perfect!

The Friday class was hands-on.  She would teach us the designs on our hand-outs and then we were moved to the machines to quilt them out.  We were 2 to a machine to give socializing and help back & forth.

Left side is my partner’s and I’m on the right side. We had just done the first 3 designs on our paper.

At the end of class, Sue was sharing some business and quilting tips and she talked about her 9 months on the road teaching.  When she lamented she doesn’t get time to play, I suggested she play on our piece and she did!  😉  At the end of class, we all got to keep our pieces and cut it in half for each of us.  It is a good sample to have.

In the midst of the 2 – 6 p.m. class, Phil checked in and sent me a text that our king suite room had a whirlpool, too!!  NICE!!  What a nice business trip I took him on!

Lobby of hotel, our whirlpool, and our 2nd room.

The next day was rise & shine early as I had my class with Sue at 8 a.m.!!!  WAH on having to get up with an alarm and missing one more time to soak in the pool but the class was great!

This Saturday morning class was with Sue Patten and Patti from Quilter’s Rule.  They would play with the same template and come up with vastly different designs.  Sue is more modern in her quilting which I like and Patti worked in a more traditional mode.

Sue is left and Patti to the right with the hat. Patti’s design on the bottom left and Sue’s are both on the right.

Here are some of the quilts and a photo down the row of a show.  This one is a smaller show with about 8 rows like this.  (My President’s quilt is the front right.)

I found Claudia Pfeil chatting with others about her quilt. I got to say hi after she was done and she is so kind and even remembered me from last year. (She is in peach.)

Me with the 2 quilts I had at the show. It was just fun to show & I was pleased to get judges’ comments for the first time. I never expected to place. Not at this level!

And Brenda from SL lives nearby so came to see my quilts and what a quilt show is like.  (She is a knitter!)  What a treat that was and I was honored she came over.  We walked the show and had lunch together.  Then walked through the vendor hall together.

It is a great weekend and super place for machine quilting classes.  This was a new venue and whereas the hotel was nicer than last year’s, there were a few slip-ups they had.  Poor lighting in the show room and then had to close the show 3 hours early for a wedding that night.  NOT GOOD!!  I had a friend drive up (didn’t know she was coming) just in time for them to close it.  I was glad I was there earlier.

Fun!  And thanks, Brenda, for coming to see me!!

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I just found these were taken on my old camera last Monday, JP ‘s bday, while I was at guild.

L-R: JP, Phil, Phil’s dad

JP’s grandmother likes crafts….  so here is her funny number photo!

Everyone had big birthdays this year.   Isn’t this funny?

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A New Twenty

Last week, our JP found a new decade!   He turned 20 on us!  🙂    His weekends are always busy but we had gifts on Sunday and he worked all day on Monday, his day.  He had a 13 x 9″ pan of cinnamon rolls to share at work.   His boss provided Pizza Hut pizza rolls (have you tried them?  JP says they are a must-have) and an ice cream cake.  Needless to say, they had leftovers for the rest of the week!

For shooting fun!

Miss K may say she struggles with shopping for the men, but she nails it every time!   The tshirt reads: Non-Flammable  Challenge Accepted.  Perfect!  Her box also included bacon-flavored hot sauce (good!) and bacon-scented hand sanitizer (not good but funny!).

And Nina is sure that if you are sitting nearby, you must be available for a petting or a snuggle.  She will miss him so much in a few weeks when he heads out to finish college!

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This month’s guild program was by Klaudeen Hansen…

Yes, THIS one!  She edits/assembles the quilts for the calenders for AQS every year.  I have at least 10 yrs of these.  Most are well used; I keep one in my sewing room and jot down what I’m working on and sometimes notes of what is happening with the kids or the farm or the weather.  I hope they are enjoyed in years to come.  She had the new 2013 ones so I am all ready for a new year.  (Yes, it is OK with me to skip fall & winter if we have to be done with summer in another month.)

She shared her knowledge of Amish quilts with us and also brought along her trunk show of Amish quilts.

First a slide show.  Can you believe this photo above and the one below are from the back of the dark room to the slide on the screen?!  Love the camera!!  The quilting on this quilt is stunning!  Glad I could capture it a bit in this photo.

I’m seriously not sure how this fits in besides it is solid fabrics.  But… maybe her daughter made it?  I was too frantic grabbing my camera before she changed the slide, I think.   🙂  Very funny!

Above is a page of her own Amish style quilts.  Click the photo to see them in a better size.

This one missed the collage page.  I love the layout of the off-center log cabin.

Above — from show & tell.  Some guild quilts and some are Klaudeen’s.  The wonky stars (bottom left) was a good example for the class she was teaching for the guild on Tuesday.

Klaudeen showed this quilt and my friend, Patti, & I loved it!!  The colors seem a bit off here… hot pink & neon green with the black!!  🙂   Patti got the pattern so we both want to  make one of these.  Look out show & tell!  (well, give us a few months…)  I have my fabrics already (I got Kona cottons) and I chose not to go with the neon look.  But of course, PINK is there.

The quilting —

The fun back! —

I will miss the other guild this month so we’ll see you next month for more guild meetings!

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Reunion III

The last of the reunion photos so we can wrap this up! —

JP took to entertaining the older cousins (and the littles and the grown-ups and the grandparents!) with his potato cannon.  First, off the second floor deck of the lodge.

Then to the top of the hill.  This launched the potato to the lake a few times!

Gradually, we all wandered here and away from the dining hall where Gma & Gpa were.  Thankfully, Bruce brought them to the gathering!  Dad stayed in the car.  They were so fascinated as well.  Dad said he could hear it but not see the potato!  None of us usually did see it but occasionally you could find it just before landing.

Saturday night, the big kids took the cannon back outside.  The nighttime photos of the cannon are amazing!

Saturday afternoon’s main event… the HUGE water slide!

Above: JP is in the front

Above: K is next to last on the train of girls

I tried out the video option on the camera and LOVE it!!  🙂


Thanks for meeting my family!  🙂

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Reunion II

And so continued a new day of my family reunion….

Friday night at supper, Evie & Margaret handed out the tshirts that Evie designed for our family.

So fantastic — made even better when we noticed that D & S’s tree branch was announcing Baby #3!  We are so blessed!  This will be great-grand number 8 for my parents.   🙂

One niece-in-law (S) has done professional photography so we are thrilled when she makes us all look good in family photos.  We did this on Saturday, right before lunch and right before a short rain shower.

This is all of us minus Phil & Jeff.

My kids & me with my parents.

The original 6

Boy cousins & Girl cousins

This was my favorite photo and I’ve been waiting all spring/summer for this to occur! We have done these photos before and now notice that JP gets the end in both photos. (youngest & tallest! WOOT!!) Top photo is by birth order and bottom photo is by height!

Mom & Dad with the great-grandchildren.

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