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Monday, December 05, 2005


Feds to Quilters: Merry Christmas!

Recently, the new Transportation Security Administration, created to make airline travel safer after 9/11, announced that it will partially lift the ban on sharp objects. Quilters (and others) can now carry scissors on board, providing the blades are less than 4 inches long.

I think this is fantastic news! According to the news reports, the scissors ban is expected to be lifted on December 20, just in time for holiday travelers. Woody Allen has said he can't handle even an elevator ride without a book to read. I'm the same way but about my hand-piecing and quilting: I can't sit still.

I remember going to the AQS Show in Paducah in 2002, a little over six months after the terrorist attacks, and being amazed at how many clever devices entreprenuerial quilters had already invented so they could sew on planes. Some of the lockets were even beautiful. Since then, quilters have freely shared ideas online and at guild meetings about other ways to make do, like using the cutter on a pack of dental floss.

To me, the most amazing revelation about the scissors ban is how many scissors the TSA has confiscated thus far: I read that one in four bags are searched BECAUSE they contain scissors. So now, the inspectors can look for really scary stuff, and the quilters can avoid the bad food and bad movies and get back to being blissfully engaged while flying. Doesn't it make you wonder if the estimate of 20 million quilters nationwide is actually an undercount?

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