Quilting on the Go!

As I am preparing to go to Quilt Con 2022 in Phoenix this week, I was trying to decide what projects to bring with me on my trip!   There are so many to choose from, that it is hard to decide! 

While I was pondering my options, it got me further thinking about traveling in general when you are a nonstop quilter, stitcher, need something to do with your hands at all times kind of person.   How can you continue to feel productive and on top of your projects without dragging your sewing room along? 

Here is what I have come up with; my three go to travel projects that are great anywhere and travel well! 

  • English Paper Piecing 
  • Cross Stitch 
  • Crochet (or knitting)

English Paper Piecing 

First let’s chat EPP – English Paper Piecing.  What is EPP you ask?  It is a hand sewing method of wrapping and stitching fabric around paper templates that are designed to create an interesting quilt block.  Traditionally speaking, EPP used hexagon shapes to create flowers which were sewn together to create various patterned quilts, often referred to as Grandma’s Flower Garden Quilts. 

EPP is completely sewn by hand and can be as simple or as complex as you wish it to be!  Modern EPP has fabulous and intricate shapes and piecing.

But one thing is for sure, EPP is always a great on the go project whether you are traveling 30 minutes down the road or if you are heading across the country!  You can literally bring it with you anywhere you!

Azure Skies EPP – Inspired by the 2020 trip to Arizona…that never happened!

The supplies needed for EPP

  • Paper Templates – I cut mine out on cardstock using this hexie maker
  • Needle
  • Thread
  • Embroidery Scissors – yes you can bring baby scissors on a plane – no bigger than 3 inches! I have linked an inexpensive 2 pack!
  • Fabric Squares – I used a rotary cutter to cut my fabric into 2 inch squares
  • Sew Tite magnet and/or wonder clip  (optional item)
    • When I started this endeavor I did not know the awesomeness of the Sew Tite magnet!
  • Container for the fabulous hexies!

I store my unused hexies, fabric squares, and accessories in a cosmetic bag – usually one I got for free from a make-up purchase!   They are the perfect size for your purse and your supplies will fit fabulously inside. 

The finished hexies I have stored in one of the plastic, divided containers that are known for storing embroidery floss!   The hexies fit perfectly in the divided sections and line up like little soldiers ready and waiting!  Sometimes I think I make these just so I can see them all lined up and ready to go!

New Travel Backpack Ready with EPP, my computer and plenty of room!

Cross Stitch

Travel project number two has to be cross stitch!  If you have been following me on Instagram for any length of time, you know I am a big fan of cross stitching anywhere and everywhere!  There is literally a car project in my purse at all time – a project I only work on in the car when I have extra time. And let’s be real, I get places early just to stitch in the car!

Tips for traveling with cross stitch

  • Have each project kitted in its own project bag so you aren’t digging – you have no room on airplane to dig around. 
  • Bring Projects that have been outlined so all you have to do is fill in the area – this is great if you want to be able to view your surroundings.  Hard to get off track with fill!
  • Start a larger, new project!  I love bringing something totally new!  If a project is close to done and you finish it on the first day of your trip, it is just something you will have to cart around with you.  Whereas if you start something new, you will be active the entire trip! Hopefully!
  • Do not forget a needle – put a new needle in each kit you put togother!  Ask me how I know?!

Crochet 

Crochet is another super fun project to take with you!  Or knitting if you know how to knit!  I never got the hang of knitting, so I stuck to crochet.

As much as I love to crochet, I will admit this is a much easier to take crochet on the road than on a plane.  Yarn is a large and bulky which does not bode well for tight airplanes where carry on space is limited.  And if you like to make everything in the largest size possible (like myself) you will need a very large bag of yarn!

For road trips, crochet can easily fit in a bag with you while you sit and look at the scenery or listen to your chosen medium – music, podcast, etc.  It is also very repetitive, so in many circumstances you do not even need to keep a pattern in view once you have the rhythm of the stitches.  

These are the crochet hooks I use! They are super easy on my hands and are color coded for easy identification!

So pack your favorite fabric, pattern, and crochet hooks and get to hooking on your next trip!  Also would recommend bringing a fairly new project along, one where you have the rhythm down.

The counting though, that can be hard!  Insert laugh cry emoji here!

Happy Traveling!

EPP and Cross Stitch Ready to go!

Bonus! Here are the items I also never travel without – apart from your usual headphones, iPad, etc.

Seriously, I will not travel without these three items! They are my comfort when the motion gets to me!

  • Dramamine 
  • Swedish Fish
  • Sour Patch Watermelons – Sour Patch Kids are my substitute 
The good Dramamine is the 24 stuffs – the store was out
😦

Thanks for joining the adventure!

Francine

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