This week is a travel week for the Strauser house. (Don’t worry, by the time this posts, I will be back home – security is important.) My husband is a passionate traveler. I love my husband, but I am a serious homebody. My interest in english paper piecing began in part as a way to keep me stitching while on the road.
Currently I have two handwork projects that are active. One is my La Passion, and the other is Katja Marek’s Quilt as You Go project. For me retaining sanity on the road starts with organization.
At home I make sure to cut out plenty of pieces to keep my busy while I am gone. For La Passion I cut squares well in advance, so I just load up a zipper bag with extra squares, and a pair of spring loaded scissors for snipping corners while basting. Basting happens in the hotel room, while we are relaxing at night.
My sewing kit is a fishing tackle box I discovered last summer. It has plenty of little compartments for organizing my things. I try to keep my colors sorted while piecing, because my project pattern is very intricate. I keep light and dark grey threads for piecing, to help keep my stitches invisible. I baste with whatever light color thread I have laying around.
I use mylar hexies for La Passion, and basting involves sequin pins. I keep my pins in an old mint tin, which fits nicely into my kit. I also keep a small pair of Gingher embroidery scissors in there.
The last crucial bit is my pattern, taped into the lid of my kit. It helps freak out people when they ask what I am making.
For my Katja Marek quilt I went ahead and cut the pieces for all 4 blocks for the month. They are all glue basted and grouped together. I also prepped the backings, just in case I have a fantastically productive week. The last one really isn’t speaking to me. That is the second set of fabrics I cut out for it. I probably won’t piece them together. At some point the fabric will speak to me, and there really is no hurry.
Another important tool is my Ott light clip on book light. I stick the base in my shirt and clip it to my bra strap. That way the entire room doesn’t have to be lit up for me to be happy.
I pack it all up into my Super Tote, which I made from Noodlehead’s pattern.