Packing for New Zealand

So I’m getting ready to embark on the longest vacation of my life. One month in New Zealand. My plan is to pack for about a week and do laundry a few times while on the road (many of the places we booked indicated they had laundry facilities). We did some shopping for “travel” clothes and I ended up getting some Columbia pants and shirts because they are lightweight, dry quickly, look nice and are still comfy for some of our long car trips. Variables like weather and activities make it hard to be prepared for all situations.

It all needs to fit in one smallish carry on and one larger suitcase. This is my plan:

  • Pajamas (1)
  • Robe (1)
  • Undies (7)
  • Tops (6)
  • Tank tops (2)
  • Long sleeve denim shirt
  • Pants (3)
  • Capris (2)
  • Skort (1)
  • Swimsuit (1)
  • Raincoat (1)
  • Fleece (1)
  • Hoodie (1)
  • Yoga pants (1)
  • Socks (7)
  • Sandals (2) – Keens for activities and dressier for around town
  • Walking shoes (1)
My carry-on
My carry-on

Now, what about the non-clothing items?

  • Airplane pillow (inflatable)
  • iPad (books, music, games)
  • iPod
  • Nylon backpack for day trips and souvenirs – folds up into a tiny pouch
  • Cell phone – it will mainly be used as my camera
  • Paperback book – for off the grid moments
  • Chargers and converter for electronics
  • Hair dryer and curling iron – maybe, can’t decide on these
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug spray
  • Toiletries
  • Water bottle
  • Towel – quick dry
  • Sunglasses
  • Reading glasses
  • Hat
  • GPS

This is beginning to remind me of the George Carlin bit about stuff.

The QR Code Quilt

I was in a meeting the other day at work, and the subject was QR codes. I was asked to write technical guidelines on how to use them in business. As the meeting began, I pulled out my quilted covered notebook to take notes and one of my coworkers said: “you could make a QR code quilt.” We all had a good laugh, and the meeting commenced.

But the thought stuck in my mind. For years, I have been saving 2-inch squares of batik fabric. For some reason, I decided that if a scrap of batik was big enough to get one or more 2-inch squares, I’d keep it. I don’t do this with any other fabric, just batiks. These squares would be perfect for the QR code quilt, but what would happen when the QR code quilt is scanned? I decided to use my website address for the QR code. Using a QR code generator, I produced a 29×29 grid of squares…that comes out to 841 shares! No way am I going to piece together 841 2″ squares, but I remembered reading about watercolor quilts that use a fusible gridded interfacing. I will give that a try…

The notebook that inspired the quilt, the 2″ batik squares, and my QR code pattern

My Future Quilt Studio

For the past 10 or so years, I’ve done my quilting in my kitchen/dining room. It was great while the kids were growing up because I could be cooking dinner, helping with homework and getting in a bit of sewing. There is a great view of the swimming pool and the kitchen island is the perfect height for cutting and pressing. Storage is a bit lacking and it would be great to have a design wall, but I still managed to get projects done.

Now the kids are all grown and in college, and it looks like I will be getting a bedroom to call my own in the spring.

Stephanie's Bedroom
Stephanie’s bedroom – my future quilt studio. At least I know it will hold tons of stuff (in a chaotic fashion).

Since I have time to plan, I’ve started the quest for the perfect space. I’ve scoured the last few issues of Studios magazine and lots of books on organizing your space. At the moment, I’m leaning towards wire baskets for fabric storage. (I just visited Ikea for the first time last week…that experience is a whole other blog post.) I’m also thinking about a Koala cabinet for the studio. I have a smaller, thin sewing cabinet now, but I’m looking for extra space behind the machine so larger pieces don’t fall over the back edge.

I have lots of other grand plans, but then I open the door and remind myself that the room is only 10’x10′. ┬áThe fun part will be personalizing the space…it’s not all about function.