Friday, December 11, 2009

Repro fabric glamor shot

I've been waiting for the fabrics in Judie Rothermel's Civil War Tribute line for a l-o-n-g time. A lot of these beauties were first printed as part of her Civil War I group and I started a quilt with them many years ago. They were the subject of one of those frantic fabric hunting expeditions because the group was not a current line and I had decided that no other fabrics would do for that quilt. Are those fabric companies diabolical? They limit the printing and turn fabrics into "collectors items." I admit it; I fall for it every time. Anyway, I now have to dig out that partially completed top and introduce it to its new siblings. Reproducing these is like fabric clones. At last, I have them.

I just had to share the fat quarter stack in all its beauty. I got these from Z&S Fabrics (which has a 10% off everything site-wide sale this weekend) and they were as reasonably priced as 50 quality fat quarters can be. Plus, they have a really clever way of folding them together and they are tied with a very usable strip of fabric from the same collection. I think I'll use them as sewing room decor for awhile. If you are ever looking for bundles of fat quarters, I urge you to shop around. I looked at a lot of sites for this group and the price varied between $100 and $142 for the same number!
P.S. I do not have any connection with this business other than being a very satisfied customer.

Monday, December 7, 2009

A little of this and even littler of that


I love to make little quilts. Note, when I refer to little quilts I do not mean miniature quilts. I admire the skill and precision involved in making miniature quilts, but I prefer something that looks more like a piece of the full-size quilt as opposed to the exact replica of the big one wrought miniscule. I can finish small quilts pretty quickly and mistakes become "design choices" not disasters. Little Quilts, Lori Smith and Jo Morton are sources for small quilt patterns.

Here are my "top ten" reasons for making little quilts: (1) You can at least finish the top before quilters' A-D-D kicks in, (2) You can work outside your color comfort zone without wasting a lot of time, fabric or money if your choices don't work out, (3) You can artfully arrange them around your house and it looks like you have a lot of quilts, (4) You can make enough to decorate with quilts seasonally, (5) They are a good repository of orphan blocks, (6) You can even make one out of a single block--if it's quilted, it's a quilt, (7) You can indulge your urge to buy that gorgeous fabric with only a fat quarter and still make it work, (8) You can make a whole quilt back out of a fat quarter, (9) It's a great way to use up those fabric scraps you just cannot throw out, and, finally, (10) They are so gosh darn cute!

I treated myself to Temecula Quilt Company's (check out their blog for lots of great small quilt pictures) little quilt of the month program using one of the Lori Smith patterns and the photo above is the fruit of my labors from this past weekend. What a great treat to get a squishy envelope in the mail that included a glossy photo of their completed version of the little quilt and four quarter yards of fabric. I opened the envelope and headed straight to the washer to pre-wash the fabric and then got busy sewing. See how quickly you can finish a little quilt top! The "worse than forcast" winter storm even knocked out our power for five hours on Saturday and I still finished the top. Kathie at Inspired by Antique Quilts blog is doing her own little quilt of the month and her recent post inspired me to do something with the tiny scraps I've been saving from a scrappy star quilt I am working on. The quilt top below was made one day during the Thanksgiving holiday and I basted it for hand quilting last weekend.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Let me sleep on it


I was a total grump this weekend. Let me blame it on six straight days of rain, too long away from my sewing room and guilt. As you can see from my last post, I went on a bit of a fabric bender the last few weeks and months and had no sewing to show for it. My "studio" (aka the laundry room) was a disorganized mess, there were mounds of new fabric that defied categorization and dust had accumulated everywhere. Besides that, my car was in the shop, the bill was adding up and the loaner they gave me was the equivalent of a tin can with wheels. And its radio didn't work.

I growled at the family that if I didn't get some quality sewing time nobody was going to be happy. They concurred and left me alone. But...cleaning is boring and I was uninspired which only added to the guilt because I did have all that new fabric. I finally cleared most of the clutter (still have to buy more new bins--I need feedback about storage solutions) and was able to cut strips of my new Jo Morton fabrics from the Cinnamon and Spice line and a recent Jo Morton shirtings line whose name escapes me. More guilt because I thought I was being creatively lazy by leaving my color choices up to the fabric companies and looking at the assembled fabrics wasn't really exciting me. So, I gave up and took my bad attitude and two Tylenol pm capsules to bed.

The next morning the sun was shining, I was well rested and I looked at my assembled fabric strips and I think I heard angels humming. Time to get busy and cut some triangles.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Fabric-ation


Most of my days consist of dozens of emails, telephone messages, meetings, questions without easy answers and talking, talking, talking. This doesn't leave much time for myself and I know many of you are in the same situation. While we are more connected to the rest of the world than ever before, our minds and spirits cannot possibly keep up. In order to cope, I find myself creating my individual world that nurtures my own priorities and limits. Late last month I treated myself to a solo excursion through some fabulous southern California scenery and outstanding quilt shops. Currently, I have no time to quilt, but I was able to set aside time to be inspired (and to shop). I am calling it my Fabrication.

My first stop was at Temecula Quilt Company in Temecula, California. This shop was featured in the most recent issue of Quilt Sampler Magazine (their's was the cover quilt). Located in the wine country of southern California, this shop features two of my favorite quilty things: repro fabrics and small quilts. During my visit, there was a group of ladies working together on their individual versions of a very scrappy quilt. I'd love a bright, fun, inspiring shop like this close to where I live. They have some great rolls of fat eighth cuts of fabrics (and smaller!) that enable you to add a lot of variety to your stash without breaking the bank. You can see below that I still did some damage in the breaking the bank area.

The next day I drove to the San Diego area and was blown away by the Country Loft. This shop was a combination of quilting fabric (with a specialization in fabrics suitable for primitive quilts) and country decor and accessories, including some antiques.

Lucky me, my visit was timed to see the shop decorated for the Christmas holiday.

I took advantage of the reasonable prices on old baskets and a great wooden box. They were less expensive than the same items (IF you can find them) on the east coast, although shipping stuff home from the UPS store was outrageous. Here are some beauty shots of most of the quilty goods I bought on my trip in my great new baskets and box.



Last stop, but definitely not least, was Fat Quarters Quilt Shop in Vista, CA. This shop has A LOT of bolts of fabric. They have an entire room dedicated to Jo Morton and another dedicated to Judie Rothermel fabrics. I appreciate all the online fabric sources, but how I wish I had easy access to a place that bought entire lines of all the Jo and Judie fabrics so I could get up close and personal with them. This shop has an exceptional website with loads of pictures so you can get a good taste of the shop experience.

All of these shops had wonderful, helpful staff members which really make these a "fabrication destination." I cannot wait until I get a chance to go back to California!

Monday, November 9, 2009

I am in control of this fabric!


Years ago, I took an excellent Baltimore applique class from Mimi Dietrich. The most memorable lesson for me was when she was demonstrating how to handle that excess fabric that bunches up at the points of leaves. She showed us how to stitch up to the point, take a single stitch at the point and then to poke that needle into the excess fabric and s-w-e-e-p it around and under the leaf and say to yourself, "I am in control of this fabric." The control freak part of me loved that lesson.

What the control freak part of me does not like are hospitals and surgery. Nearly two years ago, my hubby suffered a serious heart attack and both of us had to learn that sometimes we have to yield control to medical professionals. It was recommended to him that he have an ICD implanted as an "insurance policy" against sudden cardiac death. Other than the whole serious heart condition thing, this man is a thin, active runner. It took awhile to come around to accepting and agreeing to having machinery stuck in his chest particulary since the need for it wasn't obvious to us, the lay people. Anyway, four weeks ago he finally underwent the procedure and I gathered together the bits of fabric for the first block in the Civil War Bride quilt.

Here's the part that really offended my inner control freak...Hubby was told to eat nothing after midnight and to arrive at the hospital by 11am. We complied and then we waited...and waited...and waited. I felt like we were waiting for the firing squad. Finally, they called him around 2pm, prepped him and then let me come wait with him. So we waited some more. Around 3:30, they moved him to the hallway since he "was almost next." What that means, I am not sure, but I know it does NOT mean you are next. After an hour in the hallway and everyone in the pre-op being taken in for their procedures, the kind (but a bit silly) nurse came to tell us he'd be taken "within the hour." Translation: You are going to be waiting ANOTHER hour. First, I told her how incredibly happy that news made us and then asked for her to kindly move him out of the hallway for his own comfort and to make it easier for the UPS guy to get back and forth. Since the pre-op bays were empty at this point, you'd think she could have figured that one out without me asking, but apparently this was premium real estate so I had to quietly suggest that one of us was going to flip out (hint: it wasn't patient hubby) unless he got some privacy.

Finally, they took him and then I got to go sit alone in the waiting room (the chattering masses we'd met earlier were long gone). Then I was really out of control since I could not hover over him and question everyone who tried to touch him. That's when my Mimi Dietrich lesson kicked in. I was in control of the fabric. Never before had I appliqued with such intensity. My pieces lay flat, my curves were smooth and my points were pointy. I forgot about the time and actually appreciated the fabulous hospital lighting. When his very kind and capable doctor came out to tell me she was finished, I was able to be mature and civil, armed as I was with scissors, needle and tweezers.

I didn't finish block 1 that day and I still have those two funky pieces left to go. But I appreciate the sense of control that applique gave to me.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Are you ready for some football?

Those of you who have football (American) watching husbands will find my title phrase familiar. I get excited when the weather turns cooler and college and professional football comes back to television because that means quilting time for me! The hubby likes to spend a Sunday afternoon relaxing in front of the telly watching games and napping. He likes for me to join him and I am happy to keep him company. Not because I am a football fan, but because I can stitch for hours without interruption. How sweet is that? Time with my favorite person and my favorite hobby.

The one drawback to stitching with the telly is the lighting in that room isn't too great. That wasn't a problem until recently when my eyesight decided I was...ah-hem...middle aged. So, I am finding this wool project to be a solution to the poor eyes problem. The pieces are big, the style is primitive (i.e., the occasional crooked or big stitch is "design"), and the colors are bold. So, here is what I will be doing today and I can't wait. If I get tired of hearing football talk I'll pop in my ipod and listen to a book (wink).

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Home Sweet Home

Today was a great day. It was a beautiful, cool, sunny day and I just put on my sweats and a t-shirt and played with my toys (a.k.a. fabric and scissors) all day long. I recruited my son to go get me Starbucks for fuel so I didn't have to leave my home. It has been ages since I just enjoyed myself doing what I want, in my house, with no one to answer to. There are many days I find myself just wishing I were at home. To paraphrase Dorothy, there's no place like it. Perhaps that's why I like house blocks so much.

I always wanted to make a big house block quilt. I started them, but can't seem to finish. The closest I've come to finishing is the bright house quilt above. See, I don't always work with repros. I am happy with the way these look put together, but have been pondering what to do for the border for years. I am thinking about a checkerboard effect with a rainbow of the colors I used in the blocks alternating with black.
I did finish a small house quilt. This one is an adaptation of a paper pieced house quilt I saw in Miniature Quilts magazine many years ago.

This was a quick and easy small quilt pattern from a Little Quilts book. It was an early effort and I was not very successful with contrast.

This is the same Little Quilts block pattern. I was just playing with my scraps and am happy with the way this turned out. I am not sure where it will wind up.

Last spring, the local theater group asked my quilt guild to make and donate a quilt for their production of the musical "The Quilters." We actually made two as raffle quilts (one for the theater and one for our guild) plus individual blocks to be used in the production. I made the house blocks for two of them. I really liked the pattern, so I am using it in my long dreamed of big house quilt from reproduction fabrics. I am not very motivated to accomplish anything today so I played with background colors and made up some house block kits.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Kim Diehl class

I took a fun workshop on Monday with quilt author and designer, Kim Diehl. The project was her pattern, Bittersweet Briar. I never worked with wool before so I thought a class would be a better way than trial and error to learn how to work with the stuff. Kim did not disappoint and it is e-a-s-y to work with wool. Fast, too. There aren't any shops in my area with a good selection of wool so I ordered from one of my favorite sources, The Quilt Merchant, outside Chicago. They were super helpful and I think you will agree that they put together some great colors for my project. I just emailed them the supply list that included a color picture of the project and they did the rest. It turns out, they will be having Kim at their shop next year to teach the very same project.
A bonus I got from the workshop was the chance to meet a new member of my guild who is also a rug hooker. We started chatting about rug hooking, wool suppliers and the possibility of going on a wool hunt ourselves through the second hand shops. I spend so much time talking, I didn't get much done on my class project. See, below is all I accomplished.


I liked working with wool and the technique is so fast and easy I am optimistic that I will get more done on this project soon. Check out Kim Diehl's website. She has that "tradition with a twist" style that is colorful and fun, yet true to the traditional blocks and applique I love.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

NYC


I love New York. Everytime I visit, I wish I lived there. But, this view out of my hotel window left me wondering that, if I did live in the city, would I wind up like these trees straining to find the sun? Who knows...but I do love to visit and will do so as often as I can. One of my favorite things is seeking out unique and interesting shops.
There is a fantastic yarn shop in SoHo called Purl and they have a sister shop a few doors down called Purl Patchwork. As you can see below, the shop is tiny, but they have yarns from floor to ceiling on both sides and the yarns are very, very delicious. The patchwork shop is equally tiny so you won't find a lot of fabrics, but whoever buys for them has great taste. Purl also publishes a great blog called The Purl Bee. There you will find all sorts of knitting, crocheting and patchwork projects with links to complete instructions.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Spring into Fall


This is the summer that wasn't. When the warm breezes were blowing and the flowers were blooming I put away my darker 19th century repro fabrics and took out the bright pastels of the 1930's. And there they sat...and sat...and sat. I started this quilt years ago and it is responsible for the explosion in the size of my 1930's repro stash. As you can see, the block consists of 25 HST's so there are 50 pieces in each block. I thought it would be pretty neat to have 50 DIFFERENT fabrics in the block and I already had a pretty decent 30's collection at the time. As many of you may be aware, however, stashes are often short on "lights" and mine was no exception. So, at every shop I visited I would buy whatever 30's light they had. Of course, that's like going to the ice cream shop and just getting sprinkles without the scoops. Naturally, I added some great darker pastels at the same time. And, red adds such a nice punch to these blocks I also had to add to that part of the collection.

Now, the cooler breezes are blowing and the pastels aren't as appealing, but I didn't work on my 30's blocks (I did buy more fabric for it--of course). So, as my salute to the Labor Day weekend and the traditional end of summer, I am going to get busy and finish my quilt top this weekend. I have 17 blocks done and need 8 more, plus I need to do the sashing. Here's a little bit more of what I've accomplished so far.


Thursday, September 3, 2009

Drumroll please...I have a finished quilt


At long last I have a newly finished quilt. One of my favorite color combinations is pink and brown, but after finishing this one, I think I'll move onto another palette for awhile. I wouldn't call it a stash buster, but I did make most of it from fabrics I had on hand. I could have done it all from my stash but who can resist buying more of their favorite colors. This one is completely finished because I outsourced the quilting to my favorite hand quilting service, Bellwether Dry Goods. The stitching is fantastic! I just wish my camera could do it justice.



Do you ever get sidetracked when working on a quilt top? Silly question, I know. We're quilters and we all love to multi-task when it comes to projects (a.k.a. play with more fabric). Anyway, while working on the piecing for this one, I bought a pattern from Lori Smith (From my Heart to Your Hands) and put this small top together.

That's it for now...I finally solved my camera problems. I replaced the one that got broken on vacation and found the cord for the replacement camera that I lost the first time I took it out of the box. I also told myself that if not quilting is making me so darn miserable I better make the time to quilt. My hubby said "Yay" to that last one.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Persevere


Persevere [pur-suh-veer] verb: to persist in anything undertaken; maintain a purpose in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement; continue steadfastly.

The nine-patches in this antique quilt are 1.5 inches square and they are all hand pieced. There are 11,600 pieces in the quilt! The maker of this quilt really knew how to maintain her purpose in spite of the obstacles in her life that tried to derail her from her purpose. So let that be a lesson to me!

I have not blogged, stitched or quilted for nearly a month. I haven't even read blogs for weeks. The faster I go, the behinder I get. (Not sure whom to credit with that since there are several education journal articles with that or a similar title.) Worst of all, I broke my (new) camera on my trip to the beach in early June so I had no motivation to sew since I couldn't document my progress. Hmm, is that a reason not to make progress? Sounds a bit like the "if a tree falls in the forest and there's no one to hear, does it make a sound" conundrum.

While I spun my wheels (and bought fabric, but that's another post), many of you have been very, very productive. I finally got back to blog reading (nothing like a work deadline to make the attention wander) this morning and found some wonderful pictures here and here and here, for just a start.

I replaced my camera yesterday so hopefully I can get back to what I love. At least I can now take pictures of all the new fabric I bought this month.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Back in the day, the quilts were big

I've been admiring the lovely pastel 30's reproduction fabrics Kathie has been using and am inspired to lighten things up for spring (oops, it's nearly summer). Here is a stack of a couple of antiques and a couple of my own oldies. I have my 30's repro fabrics out and have asked them to get busy and tell me what to do with them. So far, they're keeping their ideas to themselves. In the meantime, I'll share some past projects. These are all bed size quilts which I don't make much of anymore now that my stitching time is so limited.


The picture above is an antique quilt I bought about 4 years ago before my quilting hiatus. My holders did not appreciate the need to keep things taught (conscripted labor, what can I say) in order to show off the spectacular quilting. This quilt is BIG--I haven't measured so I cannot say exactly how big. It has tiny, even stitching and is heavily quilted. The quilt is really thin so I think the batting layer might be a piece of flannel and not actually batting.


This is another antique that I bought when my daughter was born so I've had it for 20 years. It graced the bed of the "girl" room in my house until she got old enough to start trying to use markers and nail polish on her bed. It was in excellent shape when I got it and it managed to escape a toddler with minimal damage. It's been stored folded at the bottom of a pile of quilts for several years and it is clearly time to treat it more kindly. The quilting is very nice on this one.


This is a quilt I made from a pattern in a magazine. I am very bad about labels because I thought I'd always remember all the details. I was wrong. This one is machine stipled and it has been well used so it's very soft. I just love the 30's repros on the green background.

This is another scrappy 30's repro quilt I made several years ago. This one spent time recently with one of my college sons and the harsh light of day revealed that it is pretty gross right now. I am going to see if we can clean it up and give it a break. It, too, is machine stiple quilted. I believe the pattern came from a Marsha McCloskey book.


Finally, a top I hope soon becomes a new finish. I made this one pre quilting hiatus and I found it patiently waiting to be finished. The pattern comes from a book, but I cannot remember the title or author right now. I want to get it machine quilted and am open to referrals if any of you have professional machine quilters to recommend.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Finishes - some small; some big


I finally have something to show off. I finished the two small tops (tumblers and little triangles) I posted about a couple months ago. Here they are along with another small quilt (from a pattern in an old "Miniature Quilts" magazine), a little pincushion and a top from a Jo Morton LWC pattern. Below is a better picture of the "Somerset" top.


I am not sure how to quilt this one--suggestions are welcome. I also made the small companion quilt with the leftovers from this top. I am still hand quilting that one, but I hope to have a picture by the end of this week.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The boys graduate from college


Time has flown by since my last post. I work at a large state university and the end of the semester is always a hectic time. This year more so than usual. BOTH of my sons finished their bachelors' degrees this spring and hubby and I had the enormous pleasure of watching them graduate last Friday. Since their majors were different that meant sitting through two ceremonies so we definitely appreciated the fact that the venue had the sense to serve food. Anyway, here is a picture that really makes me proud! Now, I can get back to the fun of quilting.

Monday, April 27, 2009

I keep making a "Trip Around the World"


Recently, Kathie asked if anyone made series of quilts. I didn't think I had until I was inspired by Karen to take a good look at my own collection of finished and unfinished quilts. I have made a series of the "Trip Around the World" design. It was one of the first patterns I learned (I modified the Eleanor Burns' method) and I used to teach it as a class at Cottonseed Glory quilt shop in Annapolis, MD. The pattern I use takes a half yard each of 24 different fabrics and makes a large quilt. You can make it square or keep adding rows to elongate it a bit.

The picture above shows my very first "Trip" which I started many years ago--probably 1994. I was quite proud of it and determined to hand quilt the whole thing even though I'd never hand quilted a large quilt before. I figured I needed a quilt frame and ordered one that needed to be stained and assembled before I could use it. I did not think that idea all the way through and was amazed at the size of the contraption once I got it finished. Of course, my husband was not pleased when he saw the new addition to the living room. Also, I should have practiced loading the quilt before starting the quilting. I quilted about 1/10th of the surface while the top was in the big "quilting bee" frame and then had to dismantle. So, I basted the whole thing before removing it. Once I got it out, I discovered I'd loaded the layers wrong and the back was about 2 inches short of the top on one end. That's a problem I have yet to deal with. I am still working on the project periodically (about once every 2-3 years) in a lap hoop. I am pleased with how the quilting looks now that I've made some serious progress. The large "quilting bee" frame is in the rafters of the garage.


This quilt below I call Blueberries and Sunshine. For awhile, I loved everything blue and yellow. I gave most of those I completed to my (very deserving) sister-in-law. This top was machine quilted shortly before I went on my five year "quilting hiatus" due to school and full-time work demands. Now, I just don't have the stamina to crawl around on the floor to prepare it for binding. I need to get around to asking the local quilt shop if I can come in and use their tables. I hope they agree since when this one was a top it was a shop sample for a lot of classes.


This is another one that is already machine quilted and just waiting to be bound. This is one that I made into a rectangle by adding more rows. It is BIG and HEAVY. I am not looking forward to wrestling the binding onto it.


I also went through a phase where I made a variation of the TATW called "Irish Trip." It is a pattern designed and taught by Elizabeth Carlson. One lesson I learned from this quilt was to make sure you buy some extra if it is not going to be "scrappy." I didn't buy enough of the dark rose fabric and when I went back to the shop a few days later to buy more, it had BURNED! The staff of this shop truly went above and beyond in customer service for me. The pink section of their fabrics was not burned, but was smoke damaged. They washed the 1/4 yard of fabric I needed until it smelled just fine and I was able to finish my quilt. Beth Carlson did lose a lovely teaching sample in the fire but she had enough fabric left over to recreate it. This one was hand quilted for me by a company called Bellwether Dry Goods. Another lesson learned the hard way is don't use busy backing/border fabrics if you are going to pay for lovely hand quilting. You cannot see the beautiful scrolls quilted into the borders of this quilt. I still love its soft pastel colors and it spent many years on my daughter's bed. The batting has pilled a lot on the back and would be a disaster if it was a dark color.


Monday, April 20, 2009

Day Trip: The Chicago International Quilt Festival

As I mentioned in my last post, last Friday I took a trip to my first "major" quilt show. The show was very good and the vendor section was great. Never having been to Houston or Paducah, I don't know how it stacks up to other national shows, but it was enough to satisfy me. The experience was something like white water rafting. The first part of the trip was relaxing, satisfying and deceptively calm. Upon entering the exhibit hall, the crowds were thin and there was ample space to wander around viewing the quilts at leisure. As I slowly made my meandering way toward the end of the exhibits, I sensed things were changing. The background noise grew perceptibly louder and I began to be buffeted by more and more people. Suddenly, I turned a corner and plowed headlong into the vendor section and more people in one place than I've seen in a very long time. I bounced back and forth between quilters and exhibitors and it was thrilling.


Some of my favorite exhibits at the show were the Country Living Classics, Traditional Treasures VI and 19th Century Patchwork Divas displays. I am including a few of the pictures I took.
There were many vendors' booths that enticed me to add to my pattern, fabric and notions collections. I've already mentioned Schoolhouse Quilts (the bag is still missing). I was also particularly pleased to see Lori Smith's (From My Heart to Your Hands) samples in "real life." The photos on her patterns do not do justice to the rich colors and texture created by the quilting stiches on her models. The way she frames her finished small quilts makes them look like expensive antique quilts.

I have a favorite Chicago area shop, The Quilt Merchant, that I discovered on a business trip last fall. They were featured in Quilt Sampler magazine within the last 2 years and I do believe I heard angels singing the first time I stepped through their doors. They specialize in reproduction fabrics! I cannot wait until business takes me back to Chicago next fall so I can visit them again. Their samples are delicious and their staff is wonderful. On my first trip, I had a very tight timeline and wasn't sure if my schedule would allow me to visit the show and finish the business that took me to Chicago in the first place. I called the shop to get directions and the person who answered the phone (I am sorry I cannot remember her name) actually mapped my route from the airport to the Quilt Merchant to my event in downtown Chicago and emailed it to me! Needless to say, they were on the itinerary for my second trip to town, as well. I bought the kit pictured below at the show and if you look closely you will see the red bundle that caused TSA such consternation.

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