Monday, January 9, 2012

A Supreme Project & Giveaway

By now most of you know that I am one of Stephanie over at Loft Creations “Supreme Pattern Testers”.  It’s a “job” I love more than any I’ve ever had!  In exchange for making sure her pattern directions are tried and true before they are published, Stephanie allows me to choose any fabric I want to use for testing her creations!  Who wouldn’t love that!  This time she asked if I would like her to send me some fabric for this particular pattern.  Stephanie and I have a similar love of the color green, but she said this wouldn’t be green.  I said fine and was just delighted with what arrived in the mail!
The pattern is called "All About Anna" and is named after Stephanie's grandmother.  The top of the bag is It’s a Hoot by MoMo for Moda, and the bottom is a lovely, soft corduroy.  I found the handles in Oregon and they come from Cindy's Buttons in Idaho.  There are three wonderful outside compartments in front, as well as one inside.

My maternal grandmother’s name was also Anna!  Her maiden name was Anna Dovika (pronounced - doe-vee-ka).  I always thought it was such a pretty name.  As I show off Stephanie’s bag, I thought I would also tell you a little about Anna Dovika. 
Here is a photo of my grandmother – or Gramma, as we called her.  This was taken on her wedding day.  I’ve always loved this photo and her Gibson Girl hairdo is to die for!  They didn't have much money in those days which leads me to think this photo must have cost a pretty penny.
Gramma was born in 1878 in Vilnius, Lithuania.  Because the Russians were recruiting Lithuanian men for their armies, most of my Lithuanian ancestors chose to come to America for a better life.  Gramma came to this country on a ship around 1910, her sister having come ahead of her.  She came alone at the age of 32, a single woman who knew not a word of English.  My aunt Martha was already married and settled in Seattle, so Gramma had to travel across the country on a train.  While she was being processed through Ellis Island, a porter convinced her somehow that he would watch her trunk full of possessions.  After being processed, the porter and the trunk were long gone.  The story is told that somehow she made it by train across the country with nothing but the clothes on her back and help from the kindness of strangers.

Here is the back of All About Anna.  Check out Loft Creations website for Stephanie's version of Anna and see all of her other great designs!
Once Anna Dovika arrived in Seattle she was wed in an arranged marriage to another Lithuanian.  She didn’t learn to speak English until my mother went to kindergarten where she herself learned English and in turn, taught it to Gramma.  From then on the family was strictly "American" and Lithuanian was no longer spoken at home.

Here is a close-up of the handle.  They’re really sturdy, and oh, so cute!

I remember Anna as being strong, lean and full of vigor.  She had a wonderful sense of humor, and loved watching the Jackie Gleason show on Sunday with her weekly “stubby” – a beer in a short bottle.  She would sneak Cheese Nips out of the cupboard for a snack, and we always knew we were getting close to her apartment as we could smell salami and Limburger cheese coming from her door!  She divorced my grandfather at some point and supported her two children as a tailor in Seattle’s Public Market.  It was from her that I got my love of sewing.

Thanks for allowing me to tell her story.  My heart is warmed each and every time I think of her.
Would you like to win a copy of Stephanie's "All About Anna"?  Just leave a comment here and I'll pick a winner at random on Wednesday!  If you don't have a blogger account, your comment will show as Anonymous, so be sure to leave me your contact info!


Barbara said...

cute cute bag - Stephanie creates nothing but awesome patterns. You sure are lucky to be a Supreme !

Kigwit said...

That bag is adorable! I had to tell you about my Anna. My great-grandmother was a Swedish immigrant and her name was also Anna. When she and Gus (my great-grandfather) arrived in Texas they changed their last name to Westman because they had become Americans. They spoke Swedish to each other but only spoke English to their children-which drove the kids crazy! After my grandmother and her siblings grew up, they all studied Swedish so they could learn what their parents had been saying all those years ago.

Orcsmom said...

I love to hear the history of what is behind the design, plus I love the fact she used corduroy on the bottom of the purse!! What a lucky and fun job you have!



Donna said...

Lovely story of your grandmother. I enjoyed reading this. Thanks for sharing. And, Stephanie's bag is awesome.

Bonnie said...

Cute bag and a great story. My maternal grandmother was Anna also. Her story begins with her birth in a covered wagon somewhere (I haven't beena ble to track it down) in Washington Territory (?) in Iowa.
Thanks for the chance to win and the chance to meet your Anna.

PunkiePie (Jen) said...

VERY pretty bag and a wonderful story about your Gramma. Thanks for the chance to win!

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful story about your Gramma. Thanks for a chance to win .......

eva said...

Lucky you who could try this beautiful pattern as the first. What a fun job you´ve got! My daughter´s name is Anna. Thanks for the chance to win!

Mego said...

Thank you for the story of Anna. I live in Seattle and collect these stories and this is a GREAT one. LOVE LOVE LOVE the bag. Practical AND cute!

Pepe said...

Wonderful bag! I like it!

Ulla said...

Your version is just waiting for Spring! Very lovely. Thank you for your story about your Anna.

annemarie said...

Love this bag - my grandmother was an Anna also - and my name is Anne - would love to make this bag not only because of its name but also because it is a lovely design.

Annemariesquilt said...

Life a genration back or 2 were very tuff!! My Great Grandmother came thrue Ellis Island twice . The first time she came with her husband and she had her first son born in Brocklyn my Grandfather, after a couple of years she became pragnent again, but her husband went missing. She had to return to Norway and came home 7 th mounth pragnent and gave birth to a little girl. After a while she travelled another time, with her 2 children, back to New York, the year is 1910. She returned to try to find her husband but did not succeed. She actually gave up and returned to her family in Norway, put her small children at her parents house and became a servent a long way from her children.. Sad story realy!!

I do love your new Anna Bag, the fabrics and colours are perfect!! I might just have to make this one sometime..

Sharon said...

What a cute bag. Love the story of your Gramma too. It's great to tell others where you come from. So many have done the 12 days, your fabrics are fab. I resisted, but started Just Takes 2. If it's not one project, it's another! Happy New Years to you.

Barb said...

What a cute the fabric as well!!

Anonymous said...

I swear Stephanie and you make a great team!! Well done to BOTH of you quilting divas!!

Margaret said...

I love this bag. The colors you used are right up my alley. You are so lucky to be a Supreme.

Tina said...

What a wonderful history about your grandma! She sounds like she was a wonderful person and I take my hat off to her for having the courage to make the long (scary!) trip to Seattle by herself! Thanks so much!

onlymehere said...

Loving it and your connection with Anna as a name also. Thanks for giving me a chance to win!

Anonymous said...

This a really cute bag. Love your colorful version.
Found your grandmother story very interesting. Thank you for sharing.


Stephanie D. said...

What an amazing history your family has! You must be so proud!

The bag is cute and the fabrics are gorgeous!

Thanks for the giveaway!

Anonymous said...

Wow! My DH's grandmother was from Vilnius also! She left after her brother was 'taken away' by the Russians around the same time as your Anna left. She also came to the US alone, worked as a cleaning woman, married, raised a family. You and my DH are probably distantly related lol.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing the story about Gramma Anna. She was an amazing woman to immigrant here all alone in those days and then be independent enough to raise her children on her own. Strength at its best!

Cute bag! The handles are adorable. Thank you for offering the give-away.

Marla said...

Oh wow!What a wonderful family story. I can see this story written by Nora Roberts or another author for a historical romance novel.

the girlfriend gap said...

these bags look really sweet. Especially love the corduroy. Thanks for a chance to win the pattern. Janita

Me and My Stitches said...

What a wonderful story about your Grandma. Can you imagine traveling all that way alone, and then to have someone steal everything you own. What a story - thanks for sharing! And...your bag is wonderful!

AnnieO said...

Beautiful bag and great story on your Gramma! How amazing that would be, taking a trip in a foreign country with not a word known of another language.

Yuki said...

Great Story! I've also enjoyed reading the comments from other people about their ancestors!

ttfn :) Yuki

Njeri said...

Your grandma is really beautiful.
Anna is my best friends name!

SassyCathy said...

Nice! I'd love to win a book about Anna... My Mom is Ann, my sister is Annette, and I am Anita... Anita Catherine that is.
Thanks for the chance to win.
Cathy Byrd

Gwen said...

Love the bag-- it's beautiful!! Thank you for the chance to win!!

heartsease54 said...

I love this bag-especially the back! And the handles are just wonderful. I loved hearing about your Grandmother, my Great Grandfather emigrated from Scotland about the same time and was only 12 when he came over by himself (he followed several brothers & one sister who emigrated first).

Chris said...

Love your story about Anna! Thanks for sharing it. :-)

Happy New Year! Another year for us to sew and quilt!

pinsandgiggles said...

Thank you for sharing your lovely story. The bag is so so cute!

Sheila said...

What a beautiful story about your Grandmother; thank you so much for sharing it. Have a great week

Jackie said...

Candace, this is just too cute! Love the handles you found too - I've pinned them for future use. I enjoyed reading about your Anna!

Staci said...

What a great bag, and those handles! Wow!
Loved the story about your grandma, and the fabulous photo. Wasn't she pretty?

QuiltSue said...

How wonderful to have that much information about one of your grandparents. My family on my father's side are all immigrants from Poland and Russia, but very little is known about them.

Simone de Klerk said...

What a beautiful version of the Anna bag! And what a lovely story that goes along with it.
Guess what: My mother's mother was also called Anna and my youngest sister was called after her (o:
Happy bag making!!

Back in the Woods said...

Neat bag, loved the history story about Anna...

KaHolly said...

Just love Stephanie's new bag!!

Wilma said...

Wonderful history about Anna, your Grandmother, and admired her the courage to live hard experiences Thanks so much for shearing¡¡¡

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