Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Come over to Sandi's!

I've been staying at Sandi's while enjoying my time in San Diego!

I wanted to do something a bit different, and I wrote today's blog post about my wonderful visit to San Diego on Sandi's Blog, as if I were talking to you from her house! Won't you come click over, grab a cuppa tea and visit us at

Kwiltnkats and give Sandi a little hello? I'm sure she'd love to know you enjoyed your visit!

See you There!

Monday, January 17, 2011

A Quick Hello!

First off! I just got a notice in my email that Word Play Quilts has FINALLY Shipped from Checker! The books will be waiting for me when I return from this trip on Feb 1st and I'll start mailing. It wasn't ME that delayed the shipment, I have no control over how long it took Checker to get them in stock and ship them to me. And I can't fill orders when I'm out of town. So I apologize for any delay. I'm doing all I can do--

I learned something yesterday! The plane I was flying on from Greensboro to Newark had NO row 13! Who would have guessed! Is this something that is universal, or just that plane? It went 12-14 but no 13. hmmmmm!

It was a long day yesterday, my flight leaving Newark was an hour late....we sat on the ground unable to take off. The Captain came on and said something about a "security breach" We never did find out what the security breach was..and finally we took off.

Why are plane seats SO uncomfortable?! I swear my tailbone was numb within the first 15 minutes. It was a 6 hour flight! No pillows! I did end up sitting on my sweater..

I think I've been spoiled. 757's have consoles to plug in your headphones and listen to music, or watch a movie....this was a 737 and had no movie, no music, no nothing! But I had my ipod and hexagons...6 HOURS of hexagons...I just can't sleep on a plane. It would have been hard because two guys behind me talked the whole way. Must be some well traveled guys, one of them was talking about a trip to climb Mt Everest?! Wow. I found myself with one ear bud in for music, and one out to listen to stories of mountain climbing. Who needs a movie? :cD

San Diego is beautiful to fly into at night! This is the first time I've ever been to San Diego, and I can't wait for today's adventures to begin.

Sandi suggested either WHALE WATCHING or a visit to the mission today, or BOTH! I'm game for whatever she has in store! Let's get this day going, shall we!?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Sweet Dreams!

I’m off in the morning! At least it isn’t one of those dreaded 6am flights where I have to be at the airport at 4:30am. Greensboro isn’t that big, but it gets me where I need to go and it is close!

It also helps to be on first name basis with several of the ticket counter employees! “It’s the Quilt Lady” one of them says to the other, and instructs the NEW employee on what I need, what is in the big green duffel bags, how to put the “priority” orange tags on them and how often they see me here.

I often wave to the shoe shine guy, his name is Horace and he has worked at the Greensboro airport forever! Yes, I’m on a first name basis with the shoe shine guy. Isn’t that fun? I love it when he sees me come home from a trip and says in his very deep North Carolina drawl -- “Welcome home, Miss Bonnie!” Yes, a welcome home is always welcome.

Thanks to flying often enough, I can check three bags free, and they can be up to 70 lbs each! I think I’ve filled these duffels as far as they can go. My clothing suitcase is almost packed, I’ve just gotta put the toiletry/cosmetic stuff in there after I am done using it after my morning shower.

I had to pack short sleeves for California, and long sleeves for Louisiana which is supposed to be in the mid 50s to low 60s while I’m there. I can sure use the sunshine--

I sewed most of the day! The rows are together on the quilt I’m working on ((Yes, these are for the NEXT NEXT book -- Always an exciting goal in front of me!)) And I found just the perfect border fabrics! Borders are on, backing is pieced – It will be ready to quilt when I get home. In two weeks.

I’ve packed fabrics for sewing in the hotel at night, when I get a chance, if I get a chance…we’ll see. I need about another gazillion half square triangles, and they are pretty brainless to do and don’t take up a lot of luggage space Flirt male

As to the picture above? After staying in Eve’s bed at Lynn’s house – I said I was going to find some flannel sheets and I did -- Walmart was having a SALE! Any size for $15.00 for the set? WOAH! So now all the beds in my house have flannel sheets -- They’ve been washed & dried and put on the beds.  I even thought of buying extras to use as backing for future quilts. It’s fairly good flannel, 100% cotton --- colors were limited. They had solid tan, solid navy, plaid in blue/red, green/tan and a blue/green/tan stripe.  Doesn’t this look inviting?! Let me tell you – it’s calling to me right now. It’s 10pm, and it’s kindle time!

Y’all be good now!

What’s in YOUR Carry-on!?

I did just what I said I’d do yesterday! I focused on SEWING and I have blocks sewn into rows, and rows ready to assemble into a top! YAY! It felt great. I’ll be working on that more today.
I’ve enjoyed some evening stitching the past few nights, though Oscar decided that he’d had enough of me shooing him off my legs or lap every time I needed to readjust the quilt in the hoop, and found THIS cozy spot! Doesn’t he look content?
Last evening Mary asked me to show a picture of what I travel with. She wrote on our Quiltville Friends Facebook Page:
bonnie..could you please show us the tools you take on your plane trips that are allowed? i would love to sew on my trips but i am not sure what is permitted any more!
I thought this was a great idea! I am NOT traveling light this trip! I am leaving early Sunday morning for San Diego where I’ll be visiting with the Canyon Quilters Guild on Monday, and Tuesday I head up for the Road to California Quiltshow! Then on Monday early early I fly to Louisiana to visit with the Quilters Guild Acadienne in Lafayette, and then over to Baton Rouge for the River City Quilters, and finally over to the Day Dreamers Quilt Guild in Prairieville! ((sorry they have no link!)) I’ll be gone 2 weeks – 2 weeks full of fun and quilters! How do you pack for 2 weeks gone?
((BTW, I love being in Louisiana this time of the year! I’m Ragin’ for some Cajun!))
This is how I am traveling! My two big duffel bags are filled with 50lbs of quilts each! I have a suitcase for clothes—and the demo and class stuff I’ll need both for the Road to California show and the Louisiana classes. Those are all CHECKED baggage, luckily! But this….is how we roll:

**NOTE** This post was originally written years ago. I understand that the Avanti Rolling Tote has changed models and the bottom is NOT as roomy as this one ---please check before buying one that it WILL fit your featherweight.

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This is my “Rick Steves” Avanti Rolling Tote! It fits under the seats on the plane, even the small commuter planes. This is important to me because a lot of the other bags have to be checked plane-side on the smaller planes. I don’t want my laptop or my featherweight subjected to the baggage compartment and freezing temps! ((BTW, Until I wrote this post I had no idea WHO Rick Steeves is…but he made good luggage! Now I know! ))

The front cover has a big zipper…and this is where my wallet, boarding passes, chap stick, pens, “purse stuff” goes. I don’t fly with a purse. Too much too much too much. Empty purse goes in the clothing bag and is checked. This wheelie bag has two side pockets, one for a water bottle and one for my phone! I go through security with the water bottle empty and fill it once I’m past security. I also keep those individual crystal light packets with me in the zipper pouch if I’m wanting something flavored. There is also a zipper below that big opening for things like phone charger cords, etc.
And yes, behind the big opening is ANOTHER zipper to a padded compartment for my laptop and kindle.
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My featherweight fits just GREAT in the space provided! I put it backwards because it makes more space in the front for my busy-bag and the other zipper bag ((shown in pic above with the flip flops!)) for all the other cords we have to travel with…
See that flat tan thing behind the featherweight? It’s another compartment, and I keep one of those reuseable fabric grocery bags there folded flat, just in case I need to take home MORE than my Rick Steves bag can handle. We are allowed two carry-ons….and I keep this one just in case!
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Of course you’ve seen this…a lot! And I still love it! Yes, it could be prettier, but I figure form follows function and I’d rather stitch hexagons than spend the time trying to make a prettier bag. The zipper pouch to the far LEFT holds all my sewing necessities:
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Randy made me the blue zipper bag with the phones and scottie dogs on it! I keep my paper hexes in there. There is my spool of aurifil thread, the weird greeny-grey that I’ve been using. And my little needle book….I’ve got some pins and needles pinned into it, and there are more needles tucked down inside that pocket behind the scissors. The scissors are small enough they fit inside the needle book pocket. This keeps them from poking holes through anything, and I am less likely to lose them if they are contained!
And of course…my ever present ipod, with the pink ear buds! I did tell you that since I switched to pink ear buds that they don’t go missing anymore? The men folk don’t seem to want to be caught dead wearing pink ear buds, so I’m safe! Rolling on the floor laughing

Friday, January 14, 2011

Blogging Addictions?

Is there such a thing?

I was following a link this morning and some how I ended up in a Blogging Addiction Quiz! Of course, I took the questions as a grain of salt, but it was humorous AND intriguing, and it has made me think!

Not very often have I posted to my blog more than once a day, and usually I have something I want to share. First and foremost I think of my blog as my own journal. Back in junior high and high school I think you could probably call me a journal addict too. I kept notebooks for thoughts, ideas, letters ---they are still in a box somewhere. I need to remember where so I can go burn them before my kids find them.. LOL!

So back to blogging….let’s see how I did shall we?

57%How Addicted to Blogging Are You?

((Is 57% good or bad? I have no clue!?))

But this is something that I DO talk about a bit in my lecture. There is so much available to us as Quilters! Blogs, email lists, chat forums, facebook, yahoo chat, gmail chat, terrific websites with how-to-videos, subscription quilting channels…and give-aways! How we love to chase down the give-away blogs just in case we might win something! I’m guilty of it too! Both in the giving, and of the leaving of the comments! It’s All great! But when is too much too much? How do we find balance?

For me, if blogging severely cuts into my quilting time, it’s not a productive thing. I am really finding the need to spend what little time I have actually SEWING something, than reading about everything else that is out there. I know there are some great things I am missing! But it’s like reading a great cook book, but only reading it…and reading the next recipe and the next recipe, always afraid there might be a better one down the line --- and never actually getting off my keester to go COOK SOMETHING. What good does it do?

So! I’m offering up a challenge weekend! This weekend…let’s see what we can sew away from the computer. Let’s try to find a bit of balance. The computer will be here Monday --- are you up for it? Really! Any posts you missed will be here Monday too, you just have to scroll down the page to find them! Sun

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Quilters for Queensland

As the news unfolds and the days pass, we see with horror and broken hearts what our friends in Queensland, Australia are facing. It’s going to be a LONG road.

I came across this pic of a man rescuing a boat load of kangaroos and my heart is filled with hope! ((However, I have to wonder exactly what is going on in the kangaroos heads and what they are saying to each other in their kangaroo-speak about this hunky guy and his boat!! Likewise, he could come rescue me ANY DAY! LOL!))

I’ve watched the news in my hotel room and at the airport while I was gone. I’ve also followed links from Tazzie’s blog to get more info. ((Who else to give me the right information, than an Aussie-friend?!))

The local papers there are full of stories, and readers are sending in their own pictures to document the destruction to their lives. Here is a link to The Australian.

I just can’t imagine facing this mess. I’m looking around me at a basement studio full of all my quilting needs. All the sentimental gatherings from my life as a quilter. What would you do……if it was all gone, just like that?

There are ways to donate online to help. Yes, the quilters are going to need new quilting supplies, etc, but LONG LONG before that, they are going to need help restoring their homes. Those of us so far away could find it cost prohibitive to ship real items from home, even if we want to. Fabric is HEAVY! But --- we can DONATE. The funds will be used for food, shelter, medical care, whatever is needed NOW. Fabric and sewing supplies can come later. Giving a sewing machine to a homeless person, no matter how nice a gesture is just really not realistic right now. Click here to donate!

I just did. And I’ll probably do it again down the road. It's tax deductible!

Through any disaster there are amazing stories of resilience, endurance, perseverance and most of all HOPE. We can be that hope for so many. Imagine if we all just donated 10 dollars? or 20?

Bloggers unite as well!! We can fund raise to help out. Visit Make It Perfect to find out more info on how this blogosphere of ours is pulling together to do what we can to help. You just might be inspired to make a difference.

Spread the word! Feel free to just put a link-back to this blog entry or Tazzie’s on your own blog to have your readers “get informed”. Let’s keep these folks in our thoughts and prayers and be moved to action to do what we can.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

From Lincoln, NE to Lincoln Square, Chicago!

Let’s just say that from the past couple of days I’ve had --- That I have learned the value of friendship –AGAIN!!

I do know that it is always risky to plan a flying ((or sometimes even DRIVING)) trip in Jan/Feb. It just is. Weather is always an intriguing game of Russian Roulette. Sometimes I luck out, sometimes…WHAMMO!

But even through the whammo bits we experience some AMAZING things that we could have missed if the road had been less rocky!

The flights yesterday just did NOT cooperate! I’m sure you all watched the news, listened to the stories, spent some time glued to the weather channel, saw messages coming through your email and the blogosphere tracking the weather….much like tracking Santa Claus on his Christmas Eve progress!

I got to the Lincoln NE airport just as my phone was going off telling me my flight had been delayed from 2:53 to 3:55…and from there it got crazier. I won’t say “WORSE” because I am trying to be positive about this whole experience so bear with me!

The Lincoln airport is very small….there are two gates. One is Delta, One is United. They don’t even open up the security check lines until 1/2 hour before boarding, so everyone just kind of mills around in the downstairs area of the terminal. I got to talking to some people and we had a really great time! There was a snack bar upstairs for food with a TV…we had our computers, our phones, our ipods, and stories to tell of “travel days worse than this” to commiserate. But really…..what this 7 1/2 hours of delay did for us was give us a chance to SLOW DOWN --- to say “OH Well! Whatcha gonna do?!” and blame EVERYTHING on the weather. If the weather had cooperated I never would have learned these people by name, shared some food with them, laughed over stories and had a really good time just being in the moment.

And through it all I stitched HEXAGONS!

If things had gone on schedule, all of us would have crossed paths, remained as un-named strangers and thrown ourselves back into the hectic mess of weather afflicted passengers. It was a nice time out!

That 7 1/2 hours also gave me a chance to put two Quilter-Friends on alert! Thanks to the wonders of the internet, and of quilting travel adventures, I have a friend here in the Chicago area who has said repeatedly:

“If you get stuck at O’Hare, just call me. You will always have a bed!”

I also have a friend close to Washington Dulles Airport who was also on the alert…

“We have extra beds, and so does my mother in law, just let us know, we’ll come get you!”

I am the luckiest Quilter alive! Of course the question was….how far could I get last night. And I couldn’t make it any farther than Chicago, getting in finally at a bit past 9pm.

I have to thank Lynn from Klein Meisje Quilts for coming to my rescue! She pulled right up to the curb, loaded me in her car..bundled me off to her lovely home, fed me home made chicken and noodles ((with peas! My favorite!)) and bundled me off to her daughter Eve’s room – who gladly gave up her personal space for this road weary traveler! I slept like a log, snuggled under a bliss of flannel sheets ((going to get me some!)) and down comforters and covered with quilts. I slept til 8am!

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This morning we headed out and decided to stop at a wonderful local place in Lincoln Square for traditional Dutch Pancakes at the Pannenkoeken CafĂ©. YUMMY!! It was a warm fragrant place, perfect for conversation, tea for me, cocoa with huge amounts of whipped cream for Lynn and Eve…..and THESE:

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The one on the left had bananas, chocolate and whipped cream! The one on the right…Oooohhh! Apples, raisins, bacon and Cheese! They were so good!

I had to sneak a pic of the menu…..just get a look at some of these offerings:

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And for fun, here is a pic of Eve and I with the menu….this is me…no make up..no change of clothes…everything had been checked all the way through to Greensboro, so I look pretty much like road kill, even with a shower! LOL!

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So needless to say….there is MORE of this going on today:

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My favorite tunes on my ipod, More hexagons to stitch together. A few more hours --- And I’ll be HOME!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

With Love From Lincoln!

What an adventure this has been!

Things were in a bit of an upheaval because generally the guild has a rule --- If schools are closed due to weather, there will be no guild meeting.

Well…I’ve flown all this way!! And everyone wanted to come to class, and they didn’t want to miss the trunk show! And you know, Quilters just come from hearty stock, so we made executive decisions and decided the show must go on!

The Scrappy Bargello workshop had been sold out for months, and even with the on-going snow storm, quilters with an agenda refuse to be way-laid! EVERYONE ((With the exception of one who was to drive from the other side of Omaha, an understandable bow-out))made it to class….Snow in the parking lot was close to 6” deep and everyone pitched in with snow shovels pushing, working up a sweat, clearing paths and side walks so we could unload all of our machines, fabrics, and everything ELSE that we MUST have for a workshop day!

We were comfortable and warm and productive all day long inside while nature continued to dump white stuff outside.

You know, everywhere I go I LOVE to soak up local places, shops and food. And I can tell you that I absolutely had a FIRST here in Lincoln! Have you ever had a RUNZA? NO? It’s kinda similar to a perogi if you’ve had those. It’s got a yummy beef, cabbage and onion filling, seasoned with lots of black pepper, all surrounded by a yummy soft bun ---the filling is baked inside the bun and when you break it open and the steam brings the aroma to your senses, oh, it was WONDERFUL!!

So this was a first for me, I’ve never had these before! Sure beats a cold tuna sandwich on a blustery snowy day!

How about some show and tell!??

You can click the thumbnails to biggie size them, or click the “view slide show” link above!

We just had so much fun…I loved the fabrics that everyone was using! Some were more color controlled, some of them wild and random, and I learned that if you live in Nebraska, and are a Nebraska Huskers Fan you also collect CORN FABRIC! One of the ladies had what appeared to be HUNDREDS of different fabrics…all about corn Rolling on the floor laughing It was SO fun to see! ((sounds Corny, I know..ha! punny!))

An amazing number of people braved the streets last night and came back out for the guild meeting. I’m SO GLAD! I was afraid it would also be canceled, but the president stood up and said that we are all grown women (and men) and that we can decide ourselves whether to brave the roads or not, and if you decide to miss a month due to weather, we’ll just see you next time!

I also learned that when you live in a wintery place like this, you don’t ask your nearby guild members how THEY are..you say things like “Hey! How’s your ROAD?” Smile with tongue out There were stories overheard about things like “My hubby finally decided to get a snow blower after I told him the reason we never needed one before was because we still had TEENAGE BOYS at home…they are gone now” Smart Man! LOL! I just love quilters, everywhere I go!

And it turns out I’ll be spending a few more hours in Lincoln that I had planned. My flight this morning has been cancelled and I do have a confirmation on a flight out around 3pm this afternoon…but my route is squirrely because they had to shuffle everyone from cancelled flights. I’m going ((get this..it’s kind of insane!)) From Lincoln to Chicago—from Chicago to Washington, Dulles ---From Washington Dulles to Greensboro. BLEH! Usually I have no problem getting a direct flight from Chicago to Greensboro, but…there is not a seat to be had so I have to fly to Dulles instead.

Thank heavens for the hexagons and the busy bag!! It’s going to be a Long, long day! My flight gets into Greensboro at 11:30pm. AUughhhrrgh.

I’ve had a WONDERFUL time here, and I’d definitely love to come back!