My Adventures in Quilting
My day job recently sent me to Phoenix for business. I was all sorts of excited to see another plant. I started making lists of the things I need to observe when I get there and how they can help my department. Then it dawned on me… what will I do in my down time? I mean, I’m going to be there for a week and Monday and Friday will be all travel. I won’t even get to the plant until Tuesday. Obviously I looked up local sites, most of which require driving into the middle of nowhere. That will not be happening. Then I looked up the obvious, quilt shops. I even put a call out to my guild, the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild for any recommendations. But once my stop there and the all important In and Out Burger had been checked off the list, then what? The answer for me…English Paper Piecing.
I have gotten pretty lackadaisical on my EPP and I do have a 1/3 finished table runner top collecting dust. Packing it up, it occurred to me that I don’t know what I can carry on the plane. Of course I can check any of my sewing supplies but this is going to be a boring flight and maybe I need something to do with my hands. That’s why I began EPP in the first place. I did a lot of research on what I could and couldn’t bring on the flight with me. Needles and scissors were obviously in question. After consulting with some guild mates (#kcmqg), I decided to pack a small pair of folding scissors. The blades are only about 2″ long and have a rounded tip. They also fold into the finger holes (a little help on what that is called would be appreciated) which means I didn’t have to worry about them accidentally cutting something in the bag in which they were stored. And basically everyone said to not even worry about the needles. The TSA didn’t even raise an eyebrow, so this is what I would recommend taking with you.
I also highly recommend these little clips. They helped keep the materials together so when we ran into turbulence, it was easy to grab hold of everything (as well as my heart that jumped into my throat).
On my flight alone I made a whole bunch of hexies. I even got to chat with the lady sitting next to me about what I was doing. I do enjoy educating people about this hobby. What we do, why we do it, and that we’re not just a bunch of blue haired old biddys sitting around in floral chairs talking about our great-grandchildren (some of us may be and there is nothing wrong with that). But, unless we learned to sew when we were 60, we were all young sewers once and we quilted then, too. However, I enjoy the solitude that sewing gives me and I like to just fade away into my music and sew. I have been known to look up and suddenly it’s 2 hours later.
As it turned out, I didn’t get to work on my project during the week as the company had all sorts of activities planned. Plus, I wanted to get to know my peers/counterparts from other facilities. I did manage to squeeze in a stop at 3 Dudes Quilting. The gentleman I spoke with was very helpful and even offered some free advice on selling patterns (something I hope to do in the future).
On my return flight, I did get to work on some more hexies and it fascinated the two ladies sitting on either side of me (of course I had the center seat). My advice, always take a kit of something to do with your hands. You will have the entire flight as well as some waiting at the airport for boarding to work on something. Make it something that won’t take up any more room than the tray table and that packs up quickly (in case the person in the window seat needs to use the lavatory). I packed them in a little boxy tote that fit in my carry-on famously. It has a little clip on it so if it didn’t fit inside, I could attach it to one of the straps and it could dangle outside. It is just one big pocket so it wasn’t very conducive to keeping the hexies separated in their various stages of production, though. I may need to fashion something with a divider before the next time I travel (which could be a while). But I muddled through and enjoyed the whole experience.
The most exciting part (besides eating at In and Out burger for the first time) was that as I was waiting to board my return flight, I looked around the terminal and spotted The Swon Brothers. If you don’t know who they are, you should learn. They are country singers who were runners up on NBC’s The Voice, they were nominated for CMA Vocal Duo of the Year, and they are fantastic. The were traveling to Kansas City to perform in Yallapalooza (a big country concert here in KC). They were so nice and, although I look like an idiot in the picture, they are adorable and I wish them the best.
So, the answer to the question “What do I take with me when I travel?” is something compact and portable to do with my hands, a plan for a few things to see, an open mind to find things to do that I didn’t plan for (as you can see in the photo below), and an observant behavior whenever in crowed areas. You never know who you might run into. Oh, and as always, fun. Take fun with you and find fun along the way. That’s the whole point to any of it.