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10 Helpful Tips and Ideas on Travel-Friendly Summer Projects for Quilters - and a Giveaway!

Updated: Jun 30

Summer is here! Most of us are finally able to venture out into the world again, following a very crazy year. As we all begin to make travel plans, quilters know that part of the packing includes a travel-friendly project to keep our hands busy during the quiet times. I have put together a few travel tips for you, with the help of Laura, Julia and Kirsten.



Tips for Travel-Friendly Projects:

1. Plan ahead and take the time to pack properly. You will be glad you did. Try to make all design decisions before you leave. It will be much harder to be creative when cramped in a train, plane or automobile.

2. Pack for easy access. Make sure your project is easily reachable from a fully packed car, an overstuffed tote bag, or a back seat full of kids, snacks or pets.

3. Think small. I usually keep a small tote bag at my feet in the car, or under the seat on a plane. Something small enough to fit in a side pocket or the glove compartment is also great. If you think small, you can access it quickly, and also put it away quickly for those stops for snacks! Use a small travel sewing kit or take time to make your own. Tiny scissors, a needle case and seam ripper can all fit snuggly into one small container - which leads to #4. . .

4. Don't think too small. Work with items large enough to not get lost down the side of your seat. If you have a tendency to drop things, consider tying a string necklace up to keep it in check.

5. Organization is the key. Use small jewelry pouches, snack size ziploc bags, or even an empty tin (Altoid) box to hold the tiny things. Organize so that you can not only find things easily, but also not have to pull out too much at one time. Sorting supplies on your lap can be a bit challenging.

6. Channel your inner Marie Kondo. (I will admit, this is not my strong point.) Take only what you need. If you need scraps, be selective as you pack, do you need really need a fat quarter or will a 3" square suffice? Select only as many materials as you honestly think you will need on your trip.

7. Grab a magnet off your fridge. I am not a big fan of kitchen magnets, but they do come in handy while traveling. Toss one in your travel tote. Any loose needles or pins will find their way to it quickly. You can also add it to your tiny tin (see #3) and use in lieu of a pin cushion.

8. Journal your trip. There are so many small travel size journals, sketchbooks and notepads available - or check out this quick video to make your own: Mini Sketchbook by Quick Craft. I love to keep notes of where I was when I worked on a project, jot down ideas for new projects and sketch out things that inspire me in my travels.

9. Save Space. Instead of bringing an entire book or pattern for instructions, print out the necessary page or better yet, take a snapshot and keep it on your phone for reference.

10. Most of All - Make it Fun! You are on vacation. Don't drag along a project that you didn't want to finish at home. Plan a project that will be lighthearted and fun to pick up whenever you feel like it.





I love planning summer travel projects. It's the time that I can do what I love most - hand stitch. But if hand work is not for you - don't fret - I have ideas to share for the non -needle and thread readers also. I have included some how to videos and links, along with a few past blog posts we have written on these topics. And, you can always visit our SHWS Pinterest Board on Travel-Friendly Projects for Quilters. I'll keep adding to it throughout the summer for you to reference.


Make a Stitch Journal World's Sweetest Needle Book

Plan an English Paper Piecing Project How to EPP , No Sew EPP

Create Simple Wool Appliqué SHWS Blog Post

Free Style Your Embroidery SHWS Blog Post

Apply Hand Appliqué SHWS Blog Post

Try Your Hand at Hand Quilting Traditional Quilting Big Stitch Kantha Quilting

Bind a Quilt