Adventures of the Travelling Sewing Educator: Part 1
I travel… a lot. Sometimes my travels take me to Baby Lock retailers around the country to educate and inspire, other times, to 3 different film studios I tape at frequently. Usually, when I am flying out to film Absolute Beginner Machine Embroidery or My First Quilt Show, taking a machine with me is a necessity! It’s amazing how much of these filmings comes together at the very last minute. As much as I have tried to get the work done in advance; it rarely ever happens for a number of reasons, mostly out of my control. Sponsors sign late, products come late, I’m off teaching somewhere, etc. It’s the nature of the beast and, thankfully, “Performs Well Under Pressure” is my middle name! I very often get up early before filming or stay up late after speed sewing step outs or putting bindings on my quilts. So, this story begins with a sewing machine on an airplane…
Before my first guest appearance on Love of Quilting (before I knew one day I would host!), the power went out at my house! I was working with the Destiny, which had just launched, and I couldn’t get my hands on it prior to the weekend before filming. I got all of the embroidery parts done, but not the sewing before a storm rolled in and rendered my machines useless.
Quick thinking kicked in…. My children both have their own machines. They each received a machine at age 4 for Christmas (Let your kids/grandkids sew if they are interested… this would be a nice blog post later!) They both have a version of the Baby Lock Rachel which is not only a great machine for a beginner, but the perfect travel machine!
I packed the Rachel in a carry on sized roller bag and headed off for an early AM flight. I got to TSA and did my usual thing, shoes off, computer out, bags on the conveyor belt. I pride myself on being an efficient traveler! I walk through the scanner and the TSA agent checking bags is scoffing at me and making faces… I try to lighten things up by smiling and saying, “What! You’ve never seen a sewing machine on an airplane before?” I mean, who hasn’t? Perhaps he hadn’t had enough coffee yet, he replied without a smile, “MOST people know to take it out of their bag!” I apologized for my ignorance and went on my way.
The flights into Des Moines are small. The planes are not big enough for a carry-on sized roller bag so you have to gate check the bag. Not something I want to risk with my machine! So, I have to take the machine out of the bag, gate check the bag and carry Rachel on to the plane with me. Turns out, she is a perfect fit under the seat in front of me! I was able to finish my show step outs and film my episodes of Love of Quilting.
On my way back home, I learned my lesson and took the sewing machine out of my carry-on and put it in a separate bin through security. Much to my surprise, I got pulled aside for extra screening! As it turns out, the sewing machine in my bag on the way to Des Moines had concealed the real contraband – my travel corkscrew! Yes, I like my wine at night so I generally had a cork screw in my luggage, until it was confiscated by TSA…