The Coach and I love to travel. And I love that part of my job has opened opportunities to travel for work. But traveling with me means that my sewing obsession travels with us. If you love a sewist, here’s a list of quirks to expect when traveling with us.
1. Visits to the local fabric stores
If you really want to impress, you could try mapping these out, but at the very least you should expect a few hours spent on the local scene. In my own travels, checking out the local (not chain) store offerings is part of the fun of traveling. Whether it’s exploring the Hawaiian prints and quilts in Hawaii, rambling over as many stories of Britex Fabrics in San Francisco as I could, or checking out the outdoor and performance fabrics at Seattle Fabrics, these are part of the lure of travel for me. Just like foodies like to sample a place’s local dishes, I want to sample the fabric.
Coach: (How did I get roped into another one of these?) While she’s doing this, I usually have to entertain the kids. If there’s other things to do in the area, we’ll leave her and let her enjoy the time in the world of fabrics. However, this will backfire on you if you believe her when she says “it will only be for 90 minutes or so” and then only plan on killing 90 minutes or so. On a recent trip, that “90 minutes or so” turned into three hours and the boys and I literally had to go mountain climbing to fill the gap. If we don’t have time to spend in fabric stores then I recommend the old trick of “the boys and I will go with you“. She wanted more time in that Britex store but after dragging the three of us up three flights of stairs, she threw in the towel and we got to continue on our day.
Well, Coach, it also helped that your youngest child insisted on Versace fabric for a shirt and blew my budget.
2. Extra room in the suitcase for fabric souvenirs
I am great at packing light – I can travel carry on only for days. But when I’m going on a trip where I know the likelihood of buying fabric is high, I try to add another tote bag or, you know, leave half my suitcase free of clothing just in case I need to bring home a bunch of fabric.
Coach: Now that airlines are charging what they do per bag, I’m cool with this.
3. Overweight luggage because of fabric souvenirs
Even when I think I’ve planed ahead for fabric, I’ve gone over the weight limit on bags. This is another time it’s useful to have a duffle or tote in your luggage to do some quick redistribution.
Coach: The problem here is I’ve become the guy at the airport carrying more bags than should be possible. Luckily the boys are getting big and I make them help.
4. Meetups with local sewing friends
This is one of the reasons I love the internet! Thanks to blogging, I feel like I know a few people most anywhere I go and can reach out to see if they want to get together. This also helps because they can tell you where to find the best fabric shopping.
Coach: See #1. All I can say is have a plan and then plan about eight more things to do.
5. Stashed fabric that may never be sewn
Sometimes you get so caught up in the local fabric scene, you buy things you might not otherwise buy. Which means I have some lace from San Francisco and a tropical Hawaiian print that have been waiting for the perfect projects for years. But hey, every time I see them I smile and think back on that trip, so the lost shelf space its totally worth it.
Coach: My money is on those things sitting there for a couple more years but there were nice trips. Happy travels everybody.
You two are the #sewistpowercouple. Thanks for the tips! Now I just read on another blog where Jet Blue asked passengers who didn’t have carryons if they would help another sewist with her “extra” carryons (full of fabric) and they had volunteers! Now that’s an airline!!!
My goodness Melly, you sound so familiar, like someone I know very well….me! My son is all grown up now, so those trips to the fabric store, and the craft store are left for me to either do alone or with hubby-man. He mostly tries to stay in the car. But a few years ago we sold our house to down size, and all that we didn’t sell, we put in storage, I literally have a wall supporting stacks of rubber maid tubs (some large enough for me to sit in like a bath tub) with fabric. I am almost ashame. But I love the call of a fabric store. I have always wanted to learn how to quilt, and I have successfully made a quilt for our soon to get here-first grandchild, so this is something else I can do with some of that fabric I have stashed away. The only thing is, there’s a LOT of silk in them thar tubs?. I loved this article, you and Coach really made me smile!
VERY FUNNY and VERY TRUE! HAPPPY SEWING!
Planning a future trip…must have the Mr. read this article!
When I go a little nuts I stop at a local post office and mail extras home priority flat rate box, cheaper than the airline, nothing to carry, and is waiting for me when I get home. Awesome article, so many of us can relate.
The first one is so me. When my kids were little we went on vacation and I found a charming fabric shop in the mountains. Luckily there was a creek running behind the shop (and a snack bar) to keep my husband and kids occupied for an entire afternoon.
I totally agree with the above. I usually send my OH off on his own so I can scout out the shops I’ve previously earmarked. This is where sewing forums come into their own – I’ve found a lot of shops via info from fellow forum members. I also travel light. I just did 3 months in Thailand, Australia and Malaysia with a 7 kg cabin bag, however as I knew that I was likely to buy (hmm) a few yards/metres of fabric in Malaysia I pre-booked a check-in suitcase from there back home, and I bought a cheap cheap suitcase to fetch my stash back. I bought 54 metres of gorgeousness! Well once I had the case it needed filling else the fabric would have gotten creased!
Allison @ The Tall Mama
Love it! My family is making a couple of overseas trips this year… my poor Husband has no idea what he’s in for!!! X Allison @ http://www.thetallmamastyle.BlogSpot.com
One day you should come to South Africa for some Shwe Shwe, Ndebele fabrics and Swazi fabrics.
Coach cracks me up! I can totally relate with the travels advise (I do the same)LOL
I love this post! Coach really puts the “manly” spin on things and sheds light on how long our trips to new fabric places really are. I once planed and mapped out 3 fabric stores on an Island we were vacationing on. I imagined it would take me the morning to accomplish all I wanted to get done! My husband laughed out loud and proceeded to take me to ONE store that took me the entire morning! I actually used up all the fabric purchased from that trip! Ahh, great memories indeed!
Hi everyone. I share the feeling about fabrics and fabric stores ????. Lovely to read your blog. Lovely fabrics here in Aguadilla Puerto Rico. If you want to visit the town for the weather, culture and beaches I’l Tell you about the fabric stores????.