10 June 2011


I grew up in La Crosse, Wisconsin.  It's a small city with the Mississippi River as its western boundary, bluffs to its east and south and marshland on its north.
La Crosse Bridges
[photo by Ken Maurer was taken from one of the bluffs, facing the river to the west, with Minnesota visible in the distance]

The name of the city comes from the sport of La Crosse, which was played by the native population using sticks that, to the French fur traders who came to the area, resembled a bishop's crozier (la crosse in French).

This morning, I headed just north of the city to Olive Juice Quilts (a great shop!) to meet up with Anna, who you may know from the blog Noodlehead. Anna and I do not know each other from school as I'm a smidge older than her and went to a different high school.  But, as with any small town, we know a few people in common and are always happy to meet people with similar interests.

Anna and I had lunch last November, and occasionally email each other.  After I expressed my extreme love of a bag she had made (something she's very good at) she even sent me the bag!  I've been meaning to post about it and had taken pictures months ago, but was waiting for an excuse to share...here it is!

Isn't it great?  It's my #1 bag this summer.  You can buy the pattern from Anna for $7 over here:  Noodlehead Patterns

Today we didn't just eat lunch, we went fabric shopping.  My cousin's quilt is quilted and I needed to pick out binding.  I pulled out some options, and Anna helped me make the final selection:  the yellow woodgrain fabric.  It's going to look great!
Because my schedule meant that we needed to meet up at a time Anna had her kids with her, I got to meet little Emily and Natalie.  Adorable, energetic little monsters!

I had made up a fabric store bingo game for Natalie to play.  She did really well with it and even posed for a picture after winning.
Here's a close up of the card:
I doodled this up in no time, just thinking about typical fabric motifs.  Plus I only had to make one.  If you had more kids old enough for this activity, you'd have to make a different one for each kid, with the pictures shuffled around. Feel free to use this idea if you ever have kids you need to keep busy in a fabric store! 


  1. That's a fabulous idea!

  2. Love the idea! We made a bingo game a while ago, but what a great way to keep someone small occupied in a fabric store!

    My only good LaCrosse story: Once, on a family car trip to Viroqua from Minneapolis my daughter, then 3.5, kept asking if we were in Wisconsin yet. Finally, we crossed into LaCrosse. I told her, she cheered, and then said wistfully, "I wonder what language they speak in Wisconsin?"

  3. Love the game idea! So jealous you got to meet Anna and her kiddos in real life...isn't she great?

  4. Great Bingo idea it would be fun on a road trip also. My father grew up in LaCrosse and I spent time there in the summers visiting family it was always so fun. Do you know any of the Gundersens?

  5. My husband grew up in the LaCrosse area. I love the bluffs there. So beautiful. hmm... wonder if you knew him. That's how I met Anna (through my husband). Small world. Even in the blogging world. :D

    Love the bingo idea. Genius. Must try next time in a quilt shop with kiddos.

  6. Since moving to New Zealand I've been amazed at how interconnected everyone is. It's not 6 degrees of separation here, it's about 2 :) Kind of like a small town spread across a country, and overseas too as they really get about.

    I love the bingo idea - I saw it over at Anna's blog and then quite independently ended up here via another route (the blogging world is pretty small too!) but couldn't read the squares. I'm definitely going to try this out with my daughter next trip to a fabric shop!

  7. Great idea! My kids aren't Horrible in the store, but they do get a bit bored, whiny, running, after mom has been looking at fabric for a half an hour. :)

  8. That is a great bag! And what a clever game idea. My kids have decided they despise fabric stores! But I guess I didn't like them either when I was a kid....

  9. fabric store bingo is a great idea. i was just in LaCrosse last weekend to craft with a friend. i bought an old Singer machine at the antique store downtown and i'm in *love*! so, my craft budget went to a sewing machine so i can't complain that i didn't get to buy any fabric...

  10. OMG, fabric store bingo is brilliant! I will definitely use that to keep my almost 4-year-old busy on our next trip!


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