I quilt and stitch and travel. A lot. With summer just around the corner now, it seems a good time to share some favorite gadgets and gizmos for taking the tools, as well as Pink Monkey, along. First of all – have you seen something as travelicious as this bike in a long, long time?
There’s no way, no how, Ms A would check her sewing machine. She’s seen how the baggage is handled from many a plane’s window. Her Bernina QE is too heavy to attempt lugging it through the airport. Therefore, she’s used this wheeled cart many, many times to travel to quilt shows, quilt retreats, to meet up with girlfriends far away, etc.
It works like a charm. It’s deceivingly heavy duty, can hold other luggage as well and folds up nice and easy. Being able to wheel your machine through the terminal and keep an eye on your investment is a good thing. All you need to do is lift it into the overhead space once you board, or ask for help getting it up there if you need it.
We love this combination ironing board/cutting board from Omnigrid. It’s light and easy to take on board.
It opens up to a cutting board on one side and ironing surface on the other. Both things a quilter needs.
Ms A used to take a counted cross stitch or embroidery project on flights. Post 9-11 however, because we can no longer board with sharp objects like scissors or needles, it’s no longer possible. But she loves and still uses this organizer for needlework when she’s on the go. She just packs it in her suitcase and checks it instead. One side for patterns, linens, threads, hoops, and what you can’t see is there’s a divider for a 2nd project to tuck underneath your current one. And the lid has pockets and hooks and velcro straps for all your scissors, needles, threaders, misc., etc. She picked this up at Jo-Ann’s years ago. It’s about 15″ square.
One of these craft mats work well for keeping beads in place too, in neat little piles even, when you’re traveling – or at home. You can find them in the art & craft section at Jo-Ann’s, Michael’s, even Wal-Mart. They’re those lightweight foam kind of thing-a-ma-jigs and weigh nothing. Cost about nothing too. They keep tiny objects from rolling around.
What kind of portable projects have you worked on while traveling? An old favorite that’s coming back in vogue, as old favorites tend to do, are yo-yo’s. Yo-yo quilts lend themselves perfectly to construction on the go.
There’s a great tutorial for making this adorable yo-yo quilt at Red-Brolly.
Years and years ago I was sitting at my sons’ tennis lessons and the woman next to me was working on a hexagon quilt. She had little scraps of fabric in a zip lock and a little template, some needle and thread, and a second zip lock where she plopped the finished pieces. Little by little she was finishing it. I’ve never made one but would like to. Aren’t they great? Fantastic for on-the-go.
And if you’re cycling to some place closer than auto or airplane – wouldn’t you just love this bike carrier? Ms. A has this thing for bikes. I don’t have this bike and/or carrier. Yet. It’s on my list though. I can see my rotary cutters and pattern and threads etc. in the little pack on the left and my Bernina and Pink Monkey in the side car/carrier on the right. I love it!
How about you? Do you have tips for traveling with stitching/quilting/beading in tow? I’d love to hear what you do.