Tuesday, November 17, 2009

What not to say to the TSA guy...

OK, this isn't a quilt-related blog post. Rather it's a short rant on what happened to me at the West Palm Beach airport last Sunday as I flew home from the World Quilt Show. Morning was going fine and I even had time to have breakfast with my roomie Robbi Joy Ecklow at the airport. It started to go downhill when my name was called to board my plane to Charlotte-yikes! My watch battery had run down and I was perpetually stuck at 9:07 AM. Trouble was, my flight boarded at 9:45 and I was late, late, late!

So I hoofed it through security and that's the first thing: if TSA sees you're in a super-hurry, they might watch you a bit closer. I dutifully handed over my plastic bag with toiletries and was stunned when the TSA agent (a rather short shaved-head gentleman with a large-size ego) approached me with my shampoo bottle and demanded "Ma'am--are you willing to surrender this bottle?" What? The plastic bottle, bagged as it was, was too big! They want itty-bitty bottles (see picture).

Jittery about possibly missing the flight home (that's my excuse-) I shot back at him, "Look, there's only a 1/2 inch of shampoo in the bottle--can't you see it?" He didn't glance at the bottle. "Look, I've been at this job two years and I know the rules-" he firmly said. And Lord help me, the words were out of my mouth before thinking, "And I bet you've been a pain in the ass for a lot longer-" and then stopped. I locked eyes with the TSA agent. Oh man, this guy had the power to pull me out of line and make me miss my flight-what was I doing sassing him?

The stare-down didn't last long. I lowered my eyes, said, "Yeah sure-" to the demand to 'surrender the bottle' and beat it out of there. I just barely made the plane but learned something on reflection: re-check your time on something besides your own watch and if you want to get home, don't--ever--argue with a TSA guy.

Monday, November 2, 2009

On the Road with Sweet Potato Quilts and Don't Forget...

This posting has two parts. The first is about my beloved orange aka sweet potato quilts. But the second part is more important. Read on...while on a trip to the folks at Avlyn Fabrics in Phoenix AZ, I gave a talk on Sweet Potato Quilts at The Bernina Connection. Sweet potato quilts FYI are the quilts with lots of gold-orange and North Carolina seems to have an abundance of them. Some collectors call the color 'cheddar' but this is a recent term. I prefer the label 'sweet potato' because that covers all shades from yellow through dark rusty red.

The store put all orange fabrics on sale at a 25% discount that night. As an extra treat, the North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission (yes, there is such an entity) sent recipe cards for the crowd and refreshments (hot cider, coffee, sweet potato pie, empanadas, and cookie bars) were served. Richard Gross, prez of Avlyn Fabrics, is not only a foodie but a cook. He made the cookie bars and they were a hit! Go to the North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission website www.ncsweetpotatoes.com and click 'recipes' and then the bars, called Abracadabra Bars, are the first click under 'desserts.'

Here are a few of the pairs of quilts (antique and a contemporary quilt inspired by the antique) that I showed Wednesday night. The large lavender/orange quilt is from North Dakota and I call the smaller version Dakota Flower.

And then there's an old Pine Tree quilt bought at an auction for a whopping $12. It inspired a much larger bed quilt I call Flame Tree, shown here as an unquilted top.

The triple-sashing on the antique quilt (left) is typical of North Carolina quilts but the 'lightening' set of the new piece is more Kentucky-ish.
Love them both.

And now for part #2: go to this link http://www.alzquilts.org/quiltauction.html and you'll see an usual phenomenon in the quilt world: otherwise friendly compatriots locked in a battle for quilting supremacy. If you like WFW (World Federation Wrestling) you gotta see the  first World Quilt Federation Smackdown Auction. It's for a great cause--Alzheimer's research--and the quilts are mini-masterpieces by the best in the business. Bid now!