stitching on the go

(This was another contributing post I wrote for Thirty Handmade Days. I thought it would be perfect for those of you getting ready for holiday travel and vacations. If you want to read about the vacation I mention in this post click here.)

We are gearing up for a family vacation in a few weeks, and I am starting to think ahead to what I'd like to pack. I've got the basics down - clothes, shoes, toiletries, swimsuits - but it's the little things you remember to bring that really make a vacation easier and more enjoyable. Like what? A power strip because there are never enough outlets in a hotel room, Ziploc bags for messes that happen when you are on the go, a white noise machine to drown out hall noise from other guests, and an important one for me - something to do in my "down" time. I usually bring a book and a few magazines, but on this vacation I decided to bring along some stitching.

I made up a little stitching on the go bag to throw in my suitcase and thought I'd share some tips for taking your stitching along with you.

What to bring:
1. A bag to hold it all: I made this zipper pouch using a tutorial found here. I used felt for padding like the tutorial suggests. I like the extra thick bag because I feel like my project will be safe in there.
2. A pattern: Choose your pattern beforehand and print it out. If your pattern is from a book or magazine, make a copy to take along with you.
3. A loaded hoop: Go ahead and load your hoop with your material of choice. You want to get all the prep work done that you can before you take it with you.
4. A pair of scissors: Make sure you have a cover for your scissors (not pictured) so you don't poke through your fabric or your bag.
5. A few needles: I made a few needle match books that I stash my needles in. Make sure to bring along a few needles in case you drop one or two.
6. A ring of thread colors: Since I already keep my thread organized on plastic cards, it makes it easy to grab the colors you need and keep them handy on a binder ring.
7. A pencil: I mark off rows on my cross stitch patterns so I always make sure I have a pencil with me when I'm stitching. I wouldn't recommend bringing a pen in case it broke inside the bag.

Other suggestions for happy on the go stitching:
  • Bring a "small" project - not only in size but an easy pattern with only a few colors. You want something fun and relaxing and that doesn't require a lot of concentration.
  • Keep in mind - even these small scissors might be a no-no for air travel (I've heard people have taken them in their carry on, but I personally did not, just in case.) If you are going to need to cut your thread on the plane, bring along small nail clippers to cut your thread and stash your scissors in your checked luggage.
  • If bringing an embroidery project, trace pattern onto your fabric before you go. 
  • Bring old or cheap scissors you don't mind losing. 
  • This idea isn't just for vacation - think road trips, kid's practices, lunch breaks, craft nights, etc. 
Happy stitching!


  1. I tried embroidering on a road trip once, and I guess our highway was just super bumpy! I kept stitching in the wrong spots, and ended up giving up! Would totally try it on an airplane though!

  2. Keeping the thread on a binder ring is a wonderful idea! I will definitely be doing that for our next roadtrip.

  3. this is such a cute and neat idea! I wouldn't be bale to do it in the car :( I'll just get a really bad headache


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