Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Stitching on the road

My husband and I are leaving on a road trip tomorrow so I'm busy doing laundry, packing and getting my stitching supplies organized. When I travel I always take a portable project and frequently it's an English paper piecing project. My favorite way to transport all my supplies involves zip lock plastic bags in various sizes.

Bag #1 holds several bobbins wound with the threads I'll use to baste and whip stitch. I thread a needle, poke a hole through the bag (from the inside) and pull the thread through to the outside. When I cut off a length of thread I leave a tail of several inches on the outside of the bag which stays zipped closed. This bag also holds a few extra needles on a small card (sharps for basting and betweens for whip stitching the pieces together.)


I like using freezer paper templates (in this case, hexagons) which I print using a template from http://www.incompetech.com/. These shapes can be sized for a specific project. I print on regular printer paper then staple this sheet to four - six sheets of 8.5 X 11.5 inch freezer paper. I put one staple in each hexagon to hold the sheets together and cut each hexagon carefully through all layers. When I'm ready to iron them onto my fabric, I remove the staples and press the freezer paper hexagons (shiny side toward fabric) onto the fabric strips and discard the printer paper hexagons. I leave about a half inch between hexagons.


If you look closely you can see the hexagons ironed onto the fabric. I loosely fold these strips and put them into Bag #2.


Bag #3 holds small scissors and beeswax for coating the thread.


I use additional bags to hold completed units.


Diagram printed from above website

All these smaller bags go into a large zip lock bag which also holds my diagram, which I've colored in with colored pencils, and a small paper bag for scraps. I use masking tape to secure the scrap bag to the inside of the car door.
I'm ready to travel!
You can find lots of good tutorials for more detailed instructions on English paper piecing in quilt shops and on the web.

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