Sunday, June 29, 2014

Hotel Tour of 2014 -- Night 60

I am finished teaching my classes at Bits N Pieces in Pelham, NH and am on my way home.  In my younger years, I could teach all day and then drive the 5 hours home, but I'm afraid that those days are over.  The last time I tried it, I had to borrow the sofa of a family member who lived near the highway because I couldn't drive for one. more. mile.  Age is catching up with me.

I get to add a night to my hotel tally, though, and this one is pretty ok!  A lovely young lady (Destiny!) and I bonded over my Hello Kitty handbag at the check-in desk.  She wants to order one that matches her purple hair.  I want to take her home with me!

My hotel room has a kitchenette which will be convenient to chill my Diet Dr. Pepper.

I stay at a variety of hotel brands, but they all seem to have the same bedding:

How does that happen?

A friend followed me from Bits N Pieces:

Thanks, Liz!

Add another check to the "plus" column for this hotel:

Two empty plugs near the bed that are empty and don't require bending or moving furniture.  Delightful!

I look forward to getting home tomorrow.  After this trip to New England, my next trip is to Old England!  I can't wait!!!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Hotel Tour of 2014 -- night 59

I was at Bits N Pieces in Pelham, NH today.  Teaching at this shop is like coming home -- some of my favorite people are here!

I was set up this morning and waiting for my students to arrive:

That was the last chance I had all day to take a photo!  I do have to mention that there was a little battle to see who would receive the Hello Kitty ring rewards during class.  One talented student took home TWO rings; she was just that brilliant!

I'm tucked back in my hotel room now.  I wanted to be sure to tell Patricia (who was concerned that I ate high-calorie chocolate cake last night) that I had a salad for lunch.  I feel so righteous now!  Helen, don't tell her that you brought me my very own chocolate cake, OK?  It's our little secret.  Thanks!  and Yum!

So, about the hotel room.  All was quiet last night.  The parking lot party didn't turn into anything and I had a great night sleep in my comfy hotel bed:

Have you noticed that most of the hotel rooms I stay in have a hand-made quilt on the bed.  Weird, right?

Look next to the bed for something else weird:

An outlet!  And it's empty!

If that wasn't enough power for this "I watch Netflix from bed" gal, there were two more plugs on the nightstand.

I am charging my wireless headphones and my Kindle and officially moving here.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Hotel Tour of 2014: night 58

Today was a travel day and it was full of good news and full of bad news.

Good News:  I woke up rested and a bit impressed at how light it was for 6am.
Bad News:  It was 8:09am.  I set the alarm last night, but neglected to actually turn it on.  D'oh!

Good News:  I pulled out of my driveway at 9:10 am, nearly the time I wanted to.
Bad News:  I'm certain I left a few things at home, but I'm not sure what they are yet.

Good News:  I saw my grandson!
Bad News:  I had to leave him and sit in Friday afternoon traffic on I-495.  You haven't lived until you get stuck trying to get into an EZ Pass lane while everyone is crossing over and trying to pay cash to go to the Cape for the weekend.

Good News:  I arrived at my hotel before 5pm.  It's a Holiday Inn Express and I like those a lot!
Bad News:  I still had to leave the hotel and re-enter weekend traffic to find dinner.

Good News:  Dinner was from Bertucci's.  My favorite!
Bad News:  They forgot the dinner rolls.  (insert sad face here).  I'm afraid I'm going to waste away to nothing without those dinner rolls.  (insert sarcastic face here)

Good News:  I am tucked back in my hotel enjoying chocolate cake.

Bad News:  I am sharing my hotel with a bunch of bikers (gorgeous bikes!) who are currently working their way through several cases of beer in the parking lot under my window.  I'm fairly confident they are quenching their thirst after a ride on a beautiful afternoon and are as lovely as all of my motorcycle-riding friends are.  I'm only a tad concerned that this will get loud.  And late.  And if it does I am confident that the hotel will take care of it.  So maybe "potential Bad News" would be more accurate.

Sorry for the glare in the picture.

Good News:  I will spend the rest of the evening listening to Dark Places by Gillian Flynn while I bind some quilts.

I like ending with Good News.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

When Quilters Go To...

...  lunch.

This is my eighth year as a Handi Quilter educator.  I absolutely love my job.  I get to go to quilt shops and quilt shows and meet quilters and talk about quilts.  I am convinced that I have the best job in the world.  People ask about my job often.

Them: "How can I get your job?"
Me:  "You'll have to kill me."

I know the other Handi Quilter educators feel the same way.  Have you met any of these lovely ladies?

Today, I was between teaching events.  Another Handi Quilter educator, the lovely and talented Susan Jungerheld, was between events, as well.  We were both in the same part of the country at the same time and met for a social lunch:

Naturally, we talked about quilting the entire time.

Will you meet up with anyone from my Handi Quilter family this summer?

Tomorrow I'm off to New England (Bits N Pieces) and next week I'm off to Old England (Cotton Patch).  The rest of my events are on my calendar.

I hope to meet up with you soon!  We'll talk quilts.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Could It Be?

Could my much awaited P-Touch label refills be on this truck?

It looked possible:

I opened those boxes with mixed emotions. I was thrilled to receive my new project storage boxes. I ordered these American made boxes from Office Max yesterday, they were buy two get one free, I qualified for free shipping, and they arrived in less than 24 hours. This is great!!!  

Sadly, I ordered my P-Touch labels from another supplier and am forced to continue waiting.  Sigh. 

Globetrotting, block 6 -- St. Louis

I'm trying to get caught up on Pat Sloan's Globetrotting block of the month.

June's block is St. Louis.  I'm making two different quilts in two different colors.  I finished piecing the first block:

I'm behind on the quilting.  Hopefully I will get to quilt London this week.  Look for more videos!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Going.... going.....

.... nearly gone!

I'm removing videos from my YouTube channel.  This is your last chance to see this gem:

The video is shaky, blurry and full of shadows.  I filmed it at 3am (early morning, not late night) so I'm rocking my "sultry early morning voice."

I'd advise skipping watching this video, but if you insist on watching it, do so soon.  

Monday, June 23, 2014

Dear John

Dear Monday,

I've never had much trouble with you before and, since I work every weekend, always looked forward to you each week.  What happened today?

First,  My P-Touch Labeler ran out of tape and there were no spare ones in the box:

This is a huge problem for me.  I label all of my travel folders, my class folders, my handout folders, and my class sample boxes.  How will I survive until the new labels arrive on Wednesday?

I decided that the only way I'd make it until Wednesday was to go to Panera to buy the most awesomest bread in the world:  Tomato Basil Bread.

This is what happened when I walked into the store:

Me:  Hi!  Can I have your best loaf of Tomato Basil Bread, thick-cut, please?
Her:  I'm sorry Ma'am, but we're out.
Me:  Out?  How can you be out?  Do you not know that Tomato Basil Bread is like the very air I breathe?

(or something like that).

So, Monday, I'm done with you and never want to see you again.



Dear Readers,

Today wasn't a total loss.  I quilted some:

and I found some Blood Orange Talenti Sorbetto in the freezer:

I might survive until Tuesday, after all.

The Talenti, on the other hand, won't.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

My Husband Really Wanted Me To Come Home from Maryland

So apparently there was a snake on my front walk this weekend. My husband took this photo:

He realized if he sent this pic to me that I would never have returned home, so he kept it to himself until I pulled into the driveway.

It's nice to be missed, but I can never use my front walk again...

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Hotel tour of 2014 -- night 57

I finished my classes at Spring Water Designs today.  What a terrific (and terrifically fun!) group of quilters!

My hotel room has a balcony.  It's not very big:

One foot is inside the room, the other is on the balcony.  I guess it's big enough to stand on?

The view is not very exciting:

But I don't really plan to spend time out there, so none of this really matters.

The stuff that matters:

1.  The bed is supremely comfortable
2.  The shower is hot and strong
3.  The shampoo is exactly what I use at home

I think I really like this hotel.

So of course, I'm going to check out in the morning and drive home.

So long, Maryland!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Hotel Tour of 2014 -- night 56

I had a perfect day at Spring Water Designs in Columbia, MD!

I was so excited to teach there, that I got there early and got to stare at the front of the shop:

The showroom right in the front:

The longarm rental room is behind that:

The classroom is behind that, but I'll save that pic for tomorrow (translation:  I can't find the photo on my phone and will retake it tomorrow).

After class, I headed back to my hotel.  Last night, I showed the bed:

A blog commenter thought that my bed looked scary.  It kind of did, but I can promise you that it was one of the most comfortable beds I've ever slept it.  I can't wait to sleep in that "scary" bed again tonight!

Next to the comfy bed was a nightstand.  If this were a perfect hotel room, the nightstand would have an outlet on top of it so I could easily charge my phone.  It did not.  There was an outlet behind the table, so at least there is that.

I have more photos to show, but the internet is very limited and after an hour of trying, I'm giving up trying to load them.  Add "less that stellar internet" to my description of this hotel.  Bah!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Hotel Tour of 2014 -- night 55

Tonight I rest my head in Columbia, Maryland!  I don't want to say that the hotel room is small, but I couldn't stand back far enough to get a photo of the room that had the entire bed in the frame!

I stopped near Philadelphia for lunch and had a Ginacotti.  It was the size of my head.

I have never heard of a Ginacotti before, but it is similar to a calzone.  The dough is different and possibly fried.  What's not to love?

I was only able to eat about a quarter of this.  Did I mention it was the size of my head?

I continued my drive south and saw some lovely sky this evening.  I am normally a white-knuckle bridge driver, but the sky tonight was so pretty that it took my mind off my intense fear of heights.

I took about 15 photos and this is the only one that didn't have part of my finger or thumb in the shot.

Taking photos without looking with only one hand while driving and suffering from height-induced anxiety is a skill I haven't yet mastered.

Today was a good day, and tomorrow will be as well.  Tomorrow there will be QUILTERS!!!!!

Globetrotting, block 4: San Juan (in review)

I'm finally finished quilting the San Juan block from Pat Sloan's Globetrotting block of the month.

First, I made a plan:

I started by quilting swirls:

Then I quilted continuous curve:

After that I quilted triangles:

And finally I quilted some ribbon candy:

See the finished block:

Since I am going to London on July 4, I hope to quilt that block next.  Stay tuned!

All of these amateur YouTube videos are free.  If you would like to see my professionally produced quilt DVDs, they are available for purchase:

Sit-down Longarm Quilting: Getting Started
Sit-down Longarm Quilting: Quilting Blocks and Borders
Sit-down Longarm Quilting: Using Rulers and Templates
Sit-down Longarm Quilting: Thread Work

If you would like to take a machine quilting class with me, check out my teaching calendar.

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

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Happy Anniversary!

Today is my parents' wedding anniversary.  I mailed their present yesterday, so they won't get it today.  I can show it here, though, because Mom doesn't use a computer and Dad would never find my blog.  Want to see what I made for them?

Shockingly, it's a table runner.  Mom must have about 40 of these by now.  She never complains about new ones, though, and displays them through her whole house.

Here's a close-up of the quilt block:

And the cornerstone:

And the border:

Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad!  Love ya!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Baltimore, Boston, and Birmingham -- OH MY!

I am working from home this week, unpacking from Quilt Canada and repacking for my next teaching trips.

Me and my Quilt-Mobile:

On Friday, June 20- Saturday, June 21, I will be teaching near Baltimore.  Spring Water Designs is in Columbia, Maryland and I'm so excited to check out their new shop!

On Saturday, June 28- Sunday, June 29, I will be teaching near Boston.  Bits 'N Pieces is in Pelham, New Hampshire.  I teach at this shop several times a year and have been warned that they have new Hello Kitty fabric in stock -- just for me!

On Monday, July 7 - Friday July 11, I will be teaching in Birmingham, England at The Cotton Patch.  I have been work for weeks and weeks and weeks, getting my travel documents in order (State Department, fingerprinting, mailing stuff to the UK consulate, etc.) and I'm ready to go!

Will I see you soon?

Globetrotting, block 4: San Juan (video 4)

This is the last video of block 4 of Pat Sloan's Globetrotting block of the month.

Remember the plan?

I'm ready to stitch ribbon candy in the channel formed between the two sets of Vs in the light green and cream squares.  This is all free-motion quilting, so no special tools were used.

See the finished block:

I'll post a re-cap later this week.

Happy Quilting!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Hotel Tour of 2014 -- night 54

My classes at Quilt Canada are over. 

I stripped the bed:

I packed my bags:

I'm going to check out the quilts this morning and then spend the next 8-9 hours in the car, depending upon the line at the border. 

I'm so sad to see this show end. Canadian Quilters ROCK!!!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Hotel Tour of 2014 -- night 53

I had so much fun with my students at Quilt Canada today!

The Amazing Amy from Handi Quilter was a great help in the classroom.  She's not only beautiful, but really smart, too.

I managed to get over to see the vendor mall today:

I measured the distance on my running app -- it is .7 miles from my dorm room to the show floor.  I'm so glad that Quilt Canada is concerned about my cardiovascular fitness level and has a plan to increase my health!

I left campus for a bit and was tickled to see this sign above a tanning salon?

Puerto Backyarda?  I was the only one in my group who found this absolutely hilarilous?  Am I wrong?

Oh, and about that hotel room -- Remember the bed?

I never mentioned that it is super-firm and I actually sleep really well on it.  I did mention that I bring my own bedding, though.

Doesn't this look better?

Globetrotting, block 4: San Juan (video 3)

I'm more than halfway done quilting my San Juan block from Pat Sloan's Globetrotting block of the month.

Remember the plan?

I already quilted the swirls in the pinwheels and the continuous curve in the center block.  Today's video shows how I quilted the diagonal lines in the light green squares and the cream squares.

I used the Handi Quilter Mini Scallop template for the lines and Handi Grip to make sure that the ruler didn't slip while I was quilting.

A finished view:

Next week I'll show the last bit of quilting and then maybe I can get started on block 5: London!

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Hotel tour of 2014 -- Night 52

I had a great day with my beginner longarm quilting students at Quilt Canada.  I was a little nervous this morning, though, when I saw this sign outside my classroom:

Fortunately the educational drama stayed outside of my classroom.  Inside the classroom was a group of happy, happy quilters.

For lunch, this New Yorker sampled a bit of Canadian pizza:

And pronounced it "not bad!"  (High praise from a NY pizza snob).

Back in my dorm room tonight, I tried to plug my computer into the ethernet jack for higher internet speed.  Where o where might an ethernet jack be?

Above the desk?


Beside the desk?


Under the desk?

Nope, and I even crawled looking for it.

How about beside the bed?

Yep.  Oddly enough this is where I would like it, even though I looked all around the desk area first.

Three cheers for high-speed internet!