Is it just me, or is there something about the long summer days that makes it seem like anything is possible? This is my most productive time of the year and I’ve always attributed it to the long and light evenings that are perfect for sewing.
Plus, summer vacations are a nice change of pace. You can’t go wrong whether you take a break from your projects or take smaller projects on your travels. A good book is a nice treat, but I can’t resist a hand sewing project on a plane, train, or automobile.
Since I’ve traveled more than usual this past year, I’ve been on the hunt for portable projects and hand sewing techniques. Here are some great tips from Frances Holliday Alford for stitching on the go:
- Keep supplies in a portable container. My favorite container for sewing implements is a metal lunch box.
- Store the portable container in a convenient place–by the door, in the car, or next to other items that you take with you when you leave the house.
- If the portable container is metal, magnets will keep scissors and needles in place on the inside lid.
- Pre-cut project components ahead of time.
- Keep beads and small embellishments in a wide-mouth jar for easy access.
- Use pre-cut embroidery floss or perle cotton.
- Use wax or thread conditioner to run along the thread. Thread conditioners make it easier to pull the thread through the multiple layers.
- When traveling by air, check TSA and airline requirements before packing sewing tools. The cutter on a container of dental floss works well for cutting thread.
- In your travels, be on the lookout for fabrics, items, or objects you can incorporate in your project.
Frances takes her artwork to go by packing small quilt sandwiches she can later sew together to make a larger quilted piece. Order your copy of Quilting Arts Magazine August/September 2016 for directions on how Frances prepares, creates the units, and assembles the quilt—you can even take it with you on the road. Or download the digital magazine to read stitching insights from Lorie McCown, explore free-motion quilting tutorials from Susan Brubaker Knapp, and discover art quilting inspiration.
P.S. What do you work on while you’re on the go? Leave a comment below to share your favorite projects and organization tips.