Tactical Quilt Show Travel Techniques from Guest Blogger, Trish Frankland aka QUILTchicken

I’m very excited to be welcoming guest blogger Trish Frankland aka QUILTchicken on my blog today!  She attended the Quilt Festival in Houston last year and the AQS show in Chattanooga, TN, earlier this year and has some great tips to share with you all on what to pack and expect!


Are you going to Houston this year? Is a trip to Paducah in your spring plans, or is there another “big show” trip in your future? Since Kim’s off to Houston for the first time, I’m taking over her blog today with a list of things you should pack for your next big quilt show vacation.


1. Comfortable shoes: I know – you want to wear something cute and sassy to show your style and prove your pizazz. bad shoesBut nothing will ruin your trip faster than uncomfortable shoes. And I guarantee if those shoes are even the tiniest bit pinchy at home, halfway through show you’ll swear they were cobbled by Satan from razor wire and 40-grit sandpaper.

2. Tiny quantities of pharmacy supplies: I once wasted HOURS looking for a place to buy Tums. You only need a dose or two of anything, so don’t get carried away. Just pack a tiny baggie with:

  • one dose of Pepcid, a pack of Rolaids, or Pepto-Bismol chewable tablets
  • one dose of Sudafed
  • a couple Band-aids
  • some pain reliever
  • a handful of cough drops
  • a tube of lip balm
  • the floss mini-sample from your dentist
  • purse pack of wet wipes
  • contact lens case and fluid

3. Electronic privacy: Whether you’re going on a bus trip or adventuring with friends, at some point you just need to get AWAY for a bit. So pack your headphones, earplugs, and maybe even Benedryl for bedtime to make sharing the hotel room with a snorer more tolerable (she can’t help it, bless her heart). Also, pack your best manners and the patience of Job because seriously, too much togetherness is TOO MUCH … but you’ve all got to find a way to get along.

4. Camera: I know, it’s the 21st century and your fancy phone takes pictures. But pack the camera too. You’ll want to take tons of pictures of the quilts for future reference, and how will your friends text you to meet up later when you’ve drained the battery in your phone?

· Note: cellphone coverage is always HORRIBLE inside convention centers, so make contingency plans in case you don’t hear from one another by a certain time.

5. Chargers: My crystal ball says you’ll have 15 electronic devices along on the trip, so make sure you brought all the proper charging cords. Also, consider a portable power strip for the hotel room because those plugs are never convenient nor plentiful.


· Also, do not take your iPad or Kindle to the show – leave it in the hotel. It’s dead weight and you’ll be better off without it.

6. Boredom busters: For the travelling part of your trip, bring a selection of entertainments. Don’t rely 100% on your electronic devices, because batteries die and accidents happen. A book is always a good idea, but reading makes me barfy and bus-sick. Consider a small handwork project that doesn’t require motion above your elbows; your seatmate will agree this is not the time for a full-contact arm weaving project. Snacks are also advised.

7. Lanyard with swag: The show will probably give you a junky elastic or shoelace lanyard for your nametag but if you’ve got a fun one, bring it!


This is where you make up for the practical, non-cute shoes: adorn it with the buttons and pins from your homies and quilt-famous friends. Along with your local guild and affiliations, I highly recommend the Bad Ass Quilters Guild  and Sam Hunter’s “We Are $ew Worth It” campaign. We really should have Project Quilting pins made, shouldn’t we?

8. Bag: Absolutely you need to DOWNSIZE to the necessities: this is not the time for your huge wallet full of checkbook, store discount cards, old receipts, and 3-years-worth of kids’ school pictures. Instead of a purse, carry one medium-size totebag with a small change purse wallet and your small bag of necessities from #2 above. Leave the rest at home. Every night, empty out your bag, restock, and start again fresh.

9. Money: I’m not going to try to tell you how much to spend, or on what. But it is wise to budget yourself if you’re there more than one day, and set aside money for things like FOOD for the rest of your trip. I like to have a couple options (cash, credit card) and to put those in a smaller change purse that’s easy to locate, maybe in a special pocket of your totebag. Do NOT just throw it in your bag or you’ll annoy everyone in line with the archeological dig to the bottom. Also, you probably want to budget something to purchase a gift for that special friend who populates your blog while you’re absent. Just sayin’ …

1 comment:

  1. Good advice. I forgot to set a budget when I attended AQS in Paducah this year. It's easy to get "see-itis", you want everything you see. I really didn't know how much I spent until I got home and looked at my credit card statement. Everything else I do as I use to travel a lot.



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