Traveling and needlework can very easily go hand-in-hand, depending on the type of traveling you’re doing and the type of needlework you’re toting along.
The travel and grab-and-go project that I’m working on this year (and last) is not actually an embroidery project. It’s a hand-pieced quilting project, using 3/4″ hexies. I first mentioned it here (which is where you can find some of the details about supplies and methods and so forth), and then I wrote a follow-up here, when things had moved along a bit.
The only other time I’ve mentioned the project is in this article, where I talked about using pencil and make-up cases and the like for needlework.
I’ve changed a few organizational aspects of the project, and I’ve made some good progress on it.
And since I’m traveling right now as we speak, I thought I’d show you how the quilt is coming along and mention a few organizational approaches I’ve taken with it. You can apply the same principles to embroidery projects as well!
One thing that I’ve discovered with this particular project is that it’s very easy for me to get sucked into either basting of the hexies or the piecing of the hexies (sewing them together), but rarely am I into both at the same time.
If I’m on a basting kick, I starting preparing hexies until I’ve got a mad overflow of them.
And then somewhere in there, suddenly, I just want to start piecing them together. And once I start piecing, that’s all I want to do. I don’t want to go back to basting.
So I don’t baste a few, then piece, then baste a few. I work in big chunks, either basting the fabric squares to the hexie paper shapes or piecing hexies together.
Once I start piecing, I don’t usually go back to basting until my options of prepared hexies are running thin, or until I’m suddenly tired of piecing.
Then I start basting and reveling in it, and I build up a massive collection of basted hexies all over again.
Somewhere in there, I’ll stop to salvage some paper hexies or make new ones. I usually use used card stock that still has space on it, or old card stock that has gone a little off-white from storage. I occasionally beg old card stock from friends and relatives who own businesses and have old office supplies. Why buy new if you don’t have to?
Once I have a good supply of paper hexies on hand, I know I can baste again to my heart’s content.
You would think that some day, the basting would end. Some day, I would have all the hexies I need for the quilt that I’m making (it’s a full-size or double bed size quilt).
Yes, you’d think that. But sometimes, I have a suspicion this could end up a lot like hexie hell. It could go on for eternity, with no end in sight and no quilt ever developing!
But no, seriously. The quilt top I’m making requires some 5,000+ hexies, so I have a feeling I’ll be doing this for a while.
And that’s great! You know why? Because it is such a satisfying grab-and-go project!
At home, I keep my in-progress hexie supplies in boxes, tins, and the like. When my little travel pouch that I keep in my purse runs out of either hexies to baste or hexies to piece, I replenish the pouch from the boxes.
The boxes all fit in one tidy larger tote bag, too, so if I’m traveling for a longer span of time (as I am right now), I either grab the tote (if I’m driving) or I tuck an extra box of fabric and hexies into my carry-on (if I’m flying). That way, I can always replenish my little grab-and-go pouch.
That’s the pouch I’m using now. I have several pencil pouches that I use for toting small projects around in. They’re great for making up little compact stitching kits.
Out of all the pouches I use, lately I prefer the one above (I’ll provide a link below, if you’re looking for something similar).
It’s got a nice roomy zipper pocket where I keep thimbles, a few magnets, and my tiny scissors. It has a place for easy access to pens (I put my fabric glue pen there, with a couple refills)…
… and the base of it, which is expandable, is roomy enough for plenty of hexies or pieced portions, spools of thread, and my little pincushion, which also serves as a divider to keep things organized.
I can fit many hours’ worth of work into this one handy little pouch.
And when I want to grab it to go somewhere, the pouch fits easily in my purse.
My purse isn’t tiny, but it isn’t huge, either.
I tote that little pouch around all the time. If I’m going to be shopping or whatnot and I don’t want the extra baggage in my purse, I’ll leave it in the car. But for the most part, it’s always with me, and it has served me well!
Where to Get It
I bought this particular pouch through Amazon, and you can find it listed on my Amazon Recommendations page here, under Embroidery Tools & Accessories. There are several different types of pouches on that page, but this is the one I like best. Most of the others are nylon either inside or outside – this one is a sturdy canvas.
The Lack of Stitching Stats
If I were Super Duper Organized, I’d probably keep some serious stats on this thing – a count of how many squares of fabric are cut; how many paper hexies are ready to use; how many I’ve already used and discarded; how many spools of thread I’ve gone through (1.5); how many needles I’ve gone through (I’m on my second one, only because I lost my first one); how many hexies are prepared for basting; how many basted hexies are waiting to be pieced; how many hexies I’ve already pieced; and what size my pieced-so-far quilt top is.
But I’m not Super Duper Organized. I suppose if I get Really Bored some day, I might figure all those things out for you.
In the meantime, I just love this project. I find that it’s good for me to have a needlework project that isn’t embroidery, that I can easily tote so that there’s always something on hand to do.
I’m also enjoying being beyond the boarders of Kansas right now, for the first time in a couple years. It’s good to get out now and then!
Just because I’m away from the studio doesn’t mean the fun stops! On Wednesday, we’re going to talk about choosing colors and I’m going to share a favorite resource with you that may make your color choices much easier to make.
See you then!
This article contains an affiliate link to my Amazon Recommendations page, which means that Needle ‘n Thread receives a small commission for purchases made through that link, at no extra cost to you.