Qantas bag drop and Q Tags

7 10 2019

If you fly with Qantas, you may already know this but it caught me out this morning… If you’re travelling with bag tags on your luggage put on by the check-in counter people (maybe kiosk check-in too?) AND you have a Q Tag on your luggage, the bag drop machine for transfer from international to domestic may not accept your bag. Instead the kiosk comes back with a cryptic message that you have too many luggage tags and to remove some.

Well, the only tags I had (that I was aware of) were the ones put on at AKL this morning. But it seems the bag drop reads that AND the Q Tag and gets itself confused. I had to go to the customer assistance counter to find out why my bag wasn’t accepted, and she told me to remove the Q Tag and try again (that worked). But it would’ve been very useful to have that info on the kiosk screen at the point where I was told I had too many tags! (yes, I’ve sent in feedback to Qantas about this and discussed it with a customer service rep.)

One other thing another friend shared — if you have a spare Q Tag for perhaps an extra bag you didn’t end up purchasing, don’t leave it in your suitcase as it can confuse the machine too. Instead, put it in your carry-on bag.

Quilting batiks in Bali

28 09 2019

I was in Bali a couple of weeks ago and went to one of the two main stores that stock quilting batiks. It’s near the old Denspasar markets, so you’ll likely need a driver to get you there and to escort you to the place: CV Dewi Mas, Jl. Gajah Mada 48 Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia (open 7 days a week from 9:30am; closes at 4:30pm Mon to Sat and at 1:30pm on Sunday)

I’d previously gone to the other store nearby (, but this time wanted to check Dewi Mas out. As with the other store, you can buy fabric off the bolt (minimum 1 m cut; $3 AUD per metre), pre-cut lengths (lengths varied a lot — I got a 9.5 m length of a dark fabric; others were 1 or 2 m), jelly rolls ($13 AUD each), fat quarters, charm squares, etc.

For reference: 7.5 m = 1 kg in your luggage (and yes, they have scales where you can weigh your purchases), and 3 jelly rolls = 1 kg.

This was my haul of quilting batiks, probably about 20 or so metres of fabric, plus 3 jelly rolls

This was my haul, probably about 20 or so metres of fabric, plus 3 jelly rolls

Jelly rolls galore!

Jelly rolls galore!

Two long walls were covered in fabric lengths

Two long walls were covered in fabric lengths

Pre-cut lengths of fabric (various lengths)

Pre-cut lengths of fabric (various lengths)



Gorgeous Melbourne!

7 05 2019

I’m in Melbourne for a conference, and I deliberately came a day early to go see some things.

Melbourne certainly turned on some magical weather today! I put a rain jacket, scarf, and spare leggings in my handbag in anticipation of its reputed ‘four seasons in one day’, and all I experienced was gorgeous autumn sunshine, clear blue skies, and no wind. All the parks are stunningly green (so different from the still yellow/brown of where I am in Western Australia).

By 1pm, I’d already hit 10,000+ steps. First stop was a local cafe for breakfast, then down to the MCG and across the Barak Bridge, along the Yarra River to Federation Square, where I spent most of the next 3 hours. My main reason for going there was to see the Hans and Nora Heysen exhibition at the NGV at Federation Square (the one devoted to Australian art). And it certainly didn’t disappoint — there were hundreds of sketches, watercolours, oil paintings from both father and daughter, including all the really famous ones. And lots of info about them as people and as artists. They were from the Hahdorf area of South Australia where one branch of my family is from, and one of the paintings was of a farm owned by people with the surname the same as some of my ancestors — I wonder if they’re related?

After seeing the Heysens, I walked around the other exhibitions in the gallery (all free; only the Heysen exhibitions had an entry fee [$18]), including the exhibition of Year 12 art. Then I walked back to the hotel, picking up some basic food items at the IGA, and stopping off at Fitzroy Gardens.

I’m resting my weary feet right now, but if this weather holds, I may venture back to Fitzroy Gardens a little later just to let those ancient trees remind me of my place in the world.

The conference starts tomorrow, and so my opportunity to see more of Melbourne will be limited — it’s today and tomorrow morning (when I’m catching up with some friends), and that’s it. Everything else is conference related.



Kudos to American Airlines

2 04 2019

I must say that American Airlines has upped their game a LOT in the past few years. The new Flagship Lounges at the major airports (I’ve tried Chicago and now JFK) are wonderful, with good selections of food (not just stale cheese and crackers) and drinks, friendly staff, good showers, oodles of power outlets, good seating for working at a laptop (Qantas could learn something from this… too many of its lounges have very low [and round] tables which are fine for putting a cup of coffee on, but not conducive to working on a laptop without severe stress on your back).

And the flight I just took from Boston to JFK? Amazing! It was on an A321 (flight 1140), and even though I’d booked and paid for Economy, I was seated in Main Cabin Extra (I think that’s what it’s called), which was akin to a full international Business Class, with lie-flat seats, two each either side of the aisle. The First Class cabin was a real First Class, with single suites either side of the aisle. Because it was such a short flight (about 45 mins in the air) and bumpy, there was little service where I was seated—just a bottle of water. And being a noon flight and so short, I didn’t need to lie flat to try to sleep. I didn’t pay any extra for the seat either—just the normal Economy fare—but I think my status as Qantas Platinum (OneWorld Emerald) meant that I was able to choose the seat that I did for no extra charge. I had no idea it would be as good as it was.

This is streets ahead of what many of my previous experiences with American Airlines have been.

QV2018: Day 20: Houston Quilt Festival

13 11 2018

A very lazy day today. First task of the day was to pack my second suitcase.

Then I had brunch at Poitin with some Houston friends (I worked with Jason in Perth, some 10+ years ago; he and his wife Natalia have been living here for much of the intervening time). It was good to catch up with them again, and brunch was amazing, as were the two cocktails I had — yes, before noon!

This afternoon I wandered back to the exhibition and vendor mall — both were pretty quiet and the mania of the crowds on Thursday had gone. Memo to my future self: Unless there’s something specific you want to buy, wait until Sunday to check out the vendor area! I stopped in at the booth run by my friend Kim’s mom, and caught up with her for a while. Then as a group we convened near Michelle’s second prize entry, and she talked about how she and Sophie made it. Next stop were Helen’s two quilts, where Helen explained how she had made them.

For our last night, I had dinner with Michelle, Helen, Carol, and Lyn, and a ring-in Carol from New Zealand. And then it was all over.

Tomorrow some head off for other destinations, and I head off earlier than the others to IAH for my flight to DFW. Most of us are on the same DFW-SYD flight, though some will be in different classes and different parts of the plane. Once in Sydney (Wednesday), we lose the Tasmanians, the Canberran, and the Sydneysider, and I fly back to Perth on a later flight than those that remain.

And that’s it for another QuiltVenture. We don’t know yet if there’ll be another in two years’ time, and if so, where it will go. But travelling with a group of similar women and the friendships that ensue, can’t be underestimated. Many thanks to Michelle, especially, for being our fearless leader, and for organising yet another AMAZING trip. There’s an enormous amount of work that goes on behind the scenes to make it all seem so easy, and Michelle is responsible for all that. Thank you, my friend.

QV2018: Day 19: Houston Quilt Festival

11 11 2018

The only class I had today was in the afternoon, so I had a leisurely breakfast with Mary Beth and her husband. I first met Mary Beth at the first-ever Quilting Adventures workshop I went to in New Braunfels, Texas (2012). I’ve since met her at Festival. This was the first time I met her husband.

After breakfast, I wandered back over to the quilt exhibition to see a few more sections in detail, and to check out some of the vendor mall — it wasn’t so crazy busy today as it was on Thursday, thank goodness (for me as an attendee; perhaps not so much for the vendors). Then back to my room to pick up my class supplies and to call and catch up with Kim, the ex-owner of Quilting Adventures (now closed). Kim’s mom has a booth in the vendor mall, which I missed, so I’ll check that out tomorrow when I go say hi to her. My class was on Super Fast Binding and Piping with Melody Crust, and it was super fast — I was done in half the allocated time!

This evening we had our final group dinner at The Grove restaurant in Houston, and said goodbye to Miss Pat, the lovely Texan who joined this mad group of Aussies on this trip — she leaves early tomorrow morning.

Here are some more photos of quilts on display at Festival this year (for all the photos, see

One of Jane Sassaman's quilts -- I did a whole day drawing workshop (Abstracting from Nature) with her

One of Jane Sassaman’s quilts — I did a whole day drawing workshop (Abstracting from Nature) with her

QV2018: Day 18: Houston Quilt Festival

10 11 2018

I had three classes today — morning (Floating Forest, with Rita Lynne), afternoon (Improv Color Blocks, with Cindy Griselda), and evening (Professional Quilt Edge Finished — The Envelope Edge, with Grace Errea). See

I met Sara, a friend of mine from Texas, for lunch, then had about 45 mins after lunch to look more closely at some of the quilts on exhibit, specifically the SAQA (Studio Art Quilters Association) exhibition and the quilts up for the silent auction.

Some of the most intricate quilting is coming out of Spain, and it's by men -- I'm pretty sure this is one of them

Some of the most intricate quilting is coming out of Spain, and it’s by men — I’m pretty sure this is one of them