It was a very early start, heading out of Adelaide on the 6.50am flight arriving in Melbourne at 8.30am. We lost some time due to an earlier fog that caused a backlog of planes trying to park and then a traffic jam that our shuttle bus skillfully avoided by going through the back streets behind the airport which only ended up adding about 5 extra minutes to the bus transfer. Thank goodness we weren't cabbing it....that would have been the fabric money gone right there! Pretty soon we were on the number 96 tram to the Royal Exhibition Hall with Clare and I playing, "I spy the other ladies going to AQC". We were pretty sure the ladies sitting opposite us were heading in our direction, so Clare boldly walked up to them and asked them if they were. "How did you know?", they replied. We laughed and said their sensible shoes matched ours and that could only mean careful consideration of the long hours on your feet traipsing around the stalls and exhibition. They laughed. Then Clare asked if they wanted to buy a cheap entry seeing as we had two extra pre-paid tickets that we would no longer be using. They jumped at it....more fabric money for them and some compensation for our poor sick friends in Adelaide. I did feel a bit like the bloke selling watches from the inside of his coat....but happy in the solace that these deserving quilters got a good deal! Our delays meant that we walked straight inside and avoided a queue and a bottle neck at the front of the hall but that's not to say it wasn't crowded and my trusty backpack caused just as many problems getting in and out as it did last year. I wasn't planning on going crazy with fabric purchases this year but it's great fun looking and I was on a bit of a mission for something special for Kay...which took all day before I decided! But there were a few bits that I couldn't resist and one that I can't believe landed in my hand. It was a 30cm strip of unprocurable Kerchief Girl by Kei....it was the only one and even a search of Etsy and Ebay this morning aren't returning any results. Lucky me! I'll have to send off for some of the co-ordinting honeycomb dots that I couldn't make my mind up on to add to that little prize. I also purchased some cute little Japanese fabric which at the time of purchase I was convinced it had a pair of y-front nickers on it (what does that say about me I wonder!), only to re-look at the end of the day to see it was a sneaker.... well I was up at 5am! And I also picked up a couple of fat quarter pieces of Moda's La Petite Ecole. I can't show what I purchased Kay as that's her surprise. But let me say this Kay.... I stuck to the brief!! And there was also a little something for Michelle.
We sat down around lunch time to eat our train station purchased sandwiches (which were a bit cheaper than the captive audience expensive catering at the exhibition) and listen to Judy from Punch with Judy....purveyors of all things gadgetry for quilting. I particularly wanted to listen to her talk about Kaleidoscopes....a ruler I had purchased last year and so far had little success in using beyond a nice little ruler for small cuts! Success....I get it now and learnt a few tips for the centre seams and joining. That was worth the entry fee just to sort that out! We had also visited the Scissorman for their bargain tungsten blades which are great quality and the dilemma of carrying them in our carry on....worry about that later. A quick whiz around the quilt exhibition and the day was over. I can't believe we'd done it again....a non-stop all day affair at AQC. We had just enough time to head back into town with Clare shopping for shoes and me to find a post office. I love a big City where retail shops stay open till 6pm to serve the community. It's such a blast when you come from a small City like Adelaide with post offices that close at noon on a Saturday and shops that shut bang on 5pm! Then with those tungsten blades safely out of my hand luggage and posted home we headed to Saint and Rogue in Little Collins St for a well earned glass of bubbles and dinner before returning home. Clockwork!