Tuesday, April 15, 2014

To Sum It Up

Yesterday, I showed a photo of a charm my husband bought me to honor all of my air travel miles.  I also asked for guesses on how many miles I flew in the last 22 days.

That is an old photo of my car's odometer.  I rolled past 11,000 miles on my car last night driving home from the airport.

In the last 22 days, however, I have flown...

wait for it...

36,600 miles.

The next time I post about at first-class upgrade and you ask yourself, "I wonder how she she gets free upgrades?", this is how I get free upgrades.  

Globetrotting, block 3: Chicago (video 3)

I'm more than halfway done with my Chicago block from Pat Sloan's Globetrotting block of the month.

Here's my block:

And my quilting plan:

Today I'm going to add the background quilting.  I used the HQ Mini Scallop Ruler and Handi Grip to get the job done.

I'm nearly done now!  Stay tuned for more videos:

Globetrotting Block 1 Washington DC (in review)
Globetrotting Block 2 Venice (in review)
Globetrotting Block 3 Chicago (design)
Globetrotting Block 3 Chicago (video 1)
Globetrotting Block 3 Chicago (video 2)

Monday, April 14, 2014


I'm on an airplane, again.  Today I'm flying home from Australia.

Before I left, my husband bought me a new charm for my bracelent:

He thinks I spend a lot of time on airplanes and might like this little airplane charm.  Cute, isn't it?

While I'm on a 30-hour travel day (yes, all 30 hours of travel will be today because the earth spins), why don't you comment with guesses on how many miles I have flown in the last 30 days?

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Australasian Quilt Convention -- the end

My last morning at AQC:

I hate leaving here for two reasons:
1.  This is one of my favorite quilt shows in the world. 
2.  I have a 36 hour trip home and that is never fun.

This show knows how to treat its students:

Doesn't everyone eat a lunch like this every day?

And how about a massage station?

There is a shocking lack of massage stations in my at-home life.

After cleaning up my classroom and helping some friends pack up their machines, a Handi Quilter friend volunteered to check out some Australian dairy products for this lactose-intolerant gal:

He gave it two thumbs up!

As you can see, my luggage is not the only thing going home heavier from this trip!

Hotel Tour of 2014 -- night 35

My room mate, the amazing Sue Benner, checked out last night so I am all lonely in my apartment.

It was a short night, though, and I only used the apartment as a packing station:

I hope hope hope that my suitcases are under 50 pounds each!  Fingers, toes, and eyes crossed.

I have a lot more to say about my time in Australia, but I'll be out of touch for about 36 hours.

Hotel to Melbourne airport
Melbourne to Sydney flight (under two hours)
transfer luggage
Sydney to LAX flight (S E V E N T E E N hours)
clear customs
transfer luggage
wait (5- 6 hours)
LAX to JFK flight (six hours)
get luggage
shuttle to parking lot
drive home (two hours if there is no weather, traffic, or construction)

I have no hand-sewing for the trip (finished it on the way here), but I have a Kindle and a pillow.  All of my flights are full, so I won't get to stretch out and lay down this flight, but at least I have an aisle seat all the way.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Australian Quilt Convention -- Day 3

Last night was the AQC Gala.  These folks know how to throw a party!

The American teachers (L-R: me, John Flynn, Sue Benner) were wearing our party clothes and ready to have fun, Australian style!

The evening's festivities started off with a drum line:

And continued with some very appealing entertainment:

A bunny was on the loose in the crowd:

(the fabulous Jennie Rayment).

They gave some touching awards, served some delightful food, and this jetlagged American left while the party was just getting started.

I'm headed to the Exhibition Hall to teach my class, but I promised my students that we would start easily and quietly this morning...

Hotel Tour of 2014 -- night 34

Last night after the AQC Gala dinner, I was walking home with some friends and saw two squirrels run across the sidewalk.  They were huge.  Huge.  H U G E !!!  They were each the size of my cat and my cat is not a small cat.  An Australian gentleman in the group informed me that they were not squirrels; they were brushtail possums.

My photography skills are pretty lacking, so I relied on Google images to show you what I saw:

One of these was on the ground under the tree and the other was up in the tree.  They were pretty timid and tried to hide from our view.

This trip is a short one for me:  fly in, teach, fly out.  I knew I wasn't going to have time to go exploring and I'm tickled that the local fauna showed itself to me!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Australasian Quilt Convention -- Day 2

Today was another dreary rainy day, but there were happy hearts at the Exhibition Center

I met this fun fella right outside:

We definitely don't have birds like this back home.

Once inside, I found unbridled joy of quilting:


These ladies work at this fun stand:

It was that busy every time I went to the show floor today.  Do they not realize that I need to buy their fabric and bring it home with me?

Once I got upstairs to my classroom, I found it was set up for "Instant Fun: Just Add Students":

The fun continued today at lunch.  Someone must have told the event organizers that quilters like chocolate"


MY students today stitched words on quilts using blended-thread free-motion embroidery.  They were so creative with the words that they chose!  Here is one of my favorite quilts in process:

My students just blew me away today.  I'm looking forward to two more wonderful days with them!

Hotel Tour of 2014 -- night 35

My apartment is cozy and close to the Exhibition Center.  The vast time difference makes it difficult o stay awake long enough to post to this blog.  That means I will awaken between 3 and 4 am.  WooHoo!

During my early morning hours, I work on my applique quilt:

As early as I'm rising to quilt, I should finish this entire quilt before I drive to the airport.  Can you imagine the difficulty of 24 hours of flight without the comfort of hand-stitching?  Me either.  I might have to buy some hand-work kit here at the show.  I don't think I'll have any trouble finding one.  I might, however, have trouble picking just one from the many available here at the show!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

AQC Day one

This week I am teaching at the Australasian Quilt Convention in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia and today was the opening day!

My Handi Quilter friends were getting ready for the day:

My classroom is only missing one thing:


Oh, here they are:


The teacher (me) was only missing one thing... chocolate cake.

Look!  I found some on the lunch table:

Look, I found some more at dinner!

The birthday girl is in the middle.  Happy Birthday, dear one.  If you feel older, remember that I'll always be older...

What a great first day of classes!

I am obligated to mention that I didn't eat an entire slice of cake at lunch.  I am also duty-bound to mention that the dinner cake was less than two mouthfuls.  The forced perspective of the last photo make the cake appear HUGE!  It really, really wasn't.

Hotel Tour of 2014 -- Night 34

I am in Australia, but I am sad.

I've always read that the water goes down the drain backwards* in the southern hemisphere.

Why does this make me sad?  Because I have been to Australia three times and have never seen it.  The drains in all of my hotel rooms are set up to drain straight down; they don't swirl around the drain.

The kitchen sink:

No stopper to fill the sink and no way to make it swirl.

The bathroom sink:


The bathtub, maybe?

Again, nope.

I'll spare you the photo of the toilet and just explain that the water flushes over instead of swirling around.

Is it wrong to be so sad about this?  Any thoughts on how I can get a video of the water swirling backwards*?

*Note: Backwards = opposite of the way it goes at home.

Globetrotting, block 3: Chicago (video 2)

My Globetrotting quilt is turning out great!  Do you love yours, too?

I'm quilting my Chicago block:

Here's the quilting plan:

I used a few tools in this step.  I used the HQ Mini Scallop Ruler, HQ Oval C Templates, and Handi Grip.

The tools make the job easy:

Fun, right?

Stay tuned for more videos!

Globetrotting Block 1 Washington DC (in review)
Globetrotting Block 2 Venice (in review)
Globetrotting Block 3 Chicago (design)
Globetrotting Block 3 Chicago (video 1)

Wednesday, April 09, 2014


The weather forecast for Melbourne this week was "showers."  It was an inaccurate forecast, because a single shower started on Tuesday when I landed and I don't believe it has finished with us yet.

Yesterday morning, I woke up and fixed my hair and put on makeup and walked over to the Exhibition Hall.  Once I arrived, I was sopping wet with streaking makeup.

Today's plan was similar, but with a twist.  I woke up and fixed my hair and put on my makeup.  I will soon walk to the Exhibition Hall where I will arrive sopping wet with streaking makeup.  The difference is, today I took a picture proving that I actually made an attempt at my appearance.  See:

So no matter how awful I look at work this week, where I will be photographed at regular intervals, I have proof that I at least made an attempt.

Teaching the Teacher

Since it is 3:30 am and I am not sleeping, I thought I should blog about my Australia trip.

As I travel all over to teach quilting, I'm convinced that I learn as much or more than I teach.  I learn about the people and areas I am visiting and that is one of my favorite things in the world.

As soon as my flight landed in Melbourne on Tuesday, I walked to the Queen Victoria Market.  It is an experience!  A few other tutors joined me and we had fun buying a few groceries and learning about new things.

We saw Custard Apples and asked what they were.  They are big and ugly and soft inside and are best when soft.

I bought a huge custard apple (size of a big grapefruit) and it got a little smooshed in my market bag.  It wasn't very pretty when I got it back to the apartment:

When I broke it open, it was really soft inside:

There were super-huge seeds that were nearly as big as the tip of my pinkie-finger.

I scooped the fuit with a spoon and loved every. single. bite.

Hotel Tour of 2014 -- night 33

I've got the power!

I'm fascinated by the difference between our plugs and Australian plugs:

The lightswitches are fun.


The outlets are fun, too, and come with their own "On/Off" buttons.

I'm going to turn everything off now, and hope to catch a bunch of Zzzzzzs.