Sewing on the Road
Today, I thought I would share with people my road-sewing kit. Lately, I spend about 10 hours a week in two bus trips (believe me, I’m not driving and sewing), so I’ve found ways to utilize my time well.
My sewing kit container is an upcycled airline promotional bag from an international flight, recovered with pretty material. The bag is 8.5 by 4 inches and about 2 inches deep, which I’ve found is a great size for my purposes. It also has a little mesh pocket inside, also good for a kit. I also have my Blackberry loaded up with old Ricky Gervais/Stephan Merchant/Karl Pilkington shows from XFM to listen to on earphones.
To see the items labeled, click on the little pictures below:
I usually pick out one project (or very rarely two) to work on, either an embroidery project or quilting. My mom used to do cross-stitch on the road, but I can’t do a lot of close reading in cars because I get carsick. For some reason, perhaps because I don’t need to focus so precisely, I can sew without a grid pattern in a car. I cut my pieces before leaving home; that way, I can iron the fabric, lay it out on my cutting mat and use a rotary cutter, or pin it to a pattern and cut it with scissors. Messing about with cutting on the road is NOT a good idea!
On that note, you’ll see that my scissors have a little leather sheath around them. Gingher brand scissors for embroidery usually are sold with these tough protectors.
Before leaving for a trip, not only do I cut out the pieces but I choose what thread, kinds and colors, I will need and if I’ll need embroidery floss. I’ll grab and pack my embroidery flosses as skeins, but before using them, I’ll wind them on pieces of cardstock (actually old business cards that are unusable) before I take some for sewing. Winding embroidery floss is a great activity to do when I start getting a little carsick.
I keep my needles on a scrap of fabric pinned to my kit’s mesh pocket, always keeping with me a few different kinds: a quilting sharp or two, a large eyed embroidery needle, a smaller eyed embroidery needle, and maybe a blunt needle. Also, I carry a few pins, but not many.
Other than that, I have my wooden thimble just in case I need the protection (I’ve never found a metal thimble that feels right). Also I have a pencil to sketch, jot down notes, mark things, etc; a measuring tape, but that’s more if I’m looking at things to buy and need to measure it, measure something I’m working on…you just never know when you’ll need a tape measure, so it comes with me.
On this particular trip and last week’s, I’ve been working on the blue square patchwork above, where I just sew together strips of 2.5 inch squares. This week, I also grabbed lunch sack fronts, since embroidering the word “Lunch” on the ribbon is probably the most time-consuming part of their construction.
But since this is one of the few parts of the lunch sacks that don’t need a machine, it’s perfect for a travel project (as long as I remember to machine-sew the ribbon before I get out of the door). I knocked out 6 on one leg of my trip this week!
Oh, and I just want to give some free promotion to MegaBus because they are really nice folks and have a great service. I’m actually on their clean bus right now, using their free Wi-Fi and electricity. MegaBus!!!