A couple of days ago, one of our lovely customers emailed us with a problem. It went something along the lines of:
“AAAAARRGG!!! I’ve lost the link to the download of my pattern book and I’m on my way to a wedding and I need to finish my portrait before I get there so I can gift it to the bride and groom HEEEELLLP!!”
We got her the book in time! It did get us thinking though. With the holidays coming up there’s never a more likely time that you’ll be travelling with your Stitch People. Trying to finish portraits before you gift them or simply taking your projects to work on while your with family – whatever the deal, it’s a good idea to have a plan for traveling with your supplies so we’ve put together this quick guide to send you off prepared.
1. Will you have time?
First things first, will you actually have the time to work on your project? With the best intentions, sometimes things get in the way and traveling is usually one of those times. Make sure that traveling with your projects isn’t just one more thing to worry about and that you will still be able to enjoy your stitching.
2. Preparation is Key!
If the thought of days without stitching sounds horrible to you (we feel you), the most important thing is to make it easy on yourself by preparing as much as you can beforehand.
- Depending on how long you’re away for, we’d recommend only working on one project to cut down on the amount of “stuff” you’ll need to carry
- Make sure your fabric is cut to size or even better, in the hoop or frame.
- Have your pattern already plotted on your chart (the Do It Yourself Stitch People book comes with handy chart paper at the back of your book so you don’t have to carry a separate pattern).
- Choose all the floss colors you know you will need
- Make sure everything you take is easily accessible so you don’t need to spend time rifling around in your bags.
3. How will you be travelling?
How you get to where you are going is also important in deciding what you will be taking with you.
- Travel by plane – The TSA has a list of items that you may and may not carry with you on a plane. You are permitted to take scissors with a blade of 4 inches or less and embroidery needles HOWEVER each airport and even TSA agent is different. One trip you may be able to bring your clover thread cutter and another trip it will be confiscated. A good rule of thumb is do not take anything in your carry-on that you are afraid to lose. So put those heirloom Stork scissors in your checked baggage. Kids blunt edge scissors can be a great alternative!
- Travel by car – Stitching while watching the world go by can be amazing. If you’re traveling by car, consider that you’ll be in a confined space so you won’t want to be swapping thread colors and cutting a whole lot. Also, concentrating on something while on a car ride can make some people a little car sick, think about packing a little ginger for the road to alleviate icky feelings.
4. What to take
If you’re anything like me, you’ll like to prepare for any eventuality but that just isn’t feasible when you have a limited amount of space. Here’s a list of the bare minimum you’ll need:
- Fabric and frame – preferably already set up for your project
- Floss – pre-select all the colors that you will need for your project
- Needle – Choose a good all round needle like a Crewel No.8
- Cutting implement – Small scissors (you can get fold-able ones) or a thread cutter like this one
- A needle minder – this can just be a couple of magnets secured to your fabric but they will be sooooo handy in keeping your needle from falling between the seat cushions. You can also get pretty ones like these!
- Your pattern book – your DIY Stitch People book comes spiral bound so it’s super convenient and tidy. Also think about using the e-book version. You’ll probably be taking your cell or tablet anyway, that way you can access your pattern book quickly and easily without having to pack anything extra!
5. Organize your supplies
Make it easy on yourself. Have all your supplies organized so you can access them and pack them away quickly. Here’s some of the organizers we like to use:
- Floss bobbins – To keep your floss from becoming a big tangled monster, use floss bobbins to keep all your colors nicely organized. If you don’t feel like investing in a pack you can use household items such as clothespins or cut up cereal boxes
- A tin or little box – A little tin such as they type you receive gift cards in or an Altoids tin will be very handy in storing your needles, scissors and needle-minders AND will prevent any accidental pricks while searching for your supplies.
- A dedicated organizer – It might make it easier to have a place for everything and everything in its place. It is easy to find or even make your own organizer to keep all your floss, scissors and needles in place. Check out this list by The Spruce of sweet little organizers that are available to buy.
- A tote or carry-all – Have a nice zip back or tote that’s easy for you to carry all your supplies and slip over your shoulder when you need to be on your way. Try one of our Stitch People Totes!
6. The most important thing
HAVE FUN! Once you’ve put all the preparation work in, you’ll be free to sit back and enjoy your travels and stitching. Best of both worlds!
Do you have any tips for stitchy travelers? Let us know by sending us an email! firstname.lastname@example.org
Happy Stitching (and traveling)!!