Pack a Project To Go! Tips for the Traveling Quilter






Packing a project to go is perfect for those little hand projects you want to fuss over, or hand techniques like English Paper Piecing. Maybe wool is your thing – whatever your pleasure, pack it in a bag and off you go. Take a look at these tips to be sure you’re ready for your on-the-road quilting project.

Handbag Projects

Little projects are perfect for stuffing in your purse. A dab of applique, a bit of embroidery, or even a hand pieced block. Use these tips to mix and match your projects so you have what you need.

  • Store fabric pieces in sealable plastic bags (ziplocks). Keep like pieces together in the snack size bags, then put all the little bags in a quart size baggie. Include tape labels to eliminate any confusion.
  • Keep all the project baggies in a handy basket, so you can grab a project and go.
  • Create sewing kits for your favorite techniques. Make a fabric booklet or use a handy makeup bag to keep supplies for a specific technique. Make a kit for applique, another for embroidery…keep going until you have a kit for each of your project techniques. Label the kits by technique so if you grab an applique project to throw in your purse, it’s easy to grab the right sewing kit.
  • Don’t feel like you have to finish a project before selecting a different one from the basket. When you get home, put project back in the basket and next time you heading out the door,grab whatever you are in the mood for!

Glovebox Projects

Gloveboxes are perfect for stashing a project! Pick a project you are comfortable doing while riding in a car, pack it up and tuck it in the glovebox. Here are some ideas to keep you going when you are on the go!

  • Custom-make a project pouch for your vehicle’s glovebox. This keeps everything handy and prevents loose pieces from getting lost.
  • Use an art roll to store your project in the glovebox. It makes a nice surface to work from when you unroll it on your lap.
  • Keep a tiny notebook with your project and record all the places you’ve traveled while working on the project. When the project is finished, add the list to your quilt label!

Tote Projects

Totes are great for traveling projects, especially when they are bigger projects. No need to break them up into little parts you might lose along the way. Put the whole thing in a tote, when you are ready to go – grab the tote and off you go!

  • Keep all your supplies in a pouch in your tote so you don’t lose your favorite notions to your project totes. When you are looking for something, you can grab the pouch out of the tote and check it easily.
  • Line up the totes so you are always ready to go. When a hand project threatens to become a UFO, pack it up in a traveling tote and put it in the line up. With three or four totes always packed and ready to go, you won’t lose time looking for a project to take with you.
  • Make a special tote for special projects! Make a sample block from the quilt and put it on project tote as decoration. This also makes it easy to recognize what project is in what tote.

What’s your favorite way to travel with your projects? If you have a tip to share, be sure to leave it in the comments!

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Nancy Burnett

FYI ….when packing for airplane travel…do not pack scissors to take onboard. Scissors need to be placed in your checked in luggage. So if you are planning to hand sew while flying, precut your thread. You can even pre thread several needles, plant the needle in a small thin batting and carefully wrap the thread so to prevent tangling. Best advice, don’t sew during flights. There is little space. If you lose your needle, think of all those people who might step on it or worse sit on it. Pack the lates quilt magazines for flights or treat yourself to… Read more »


I use the totes veneers give out at shows for my travel projects. They are sturdy and can be discarded when dirty or torn. Most are strong enough to last several years. If I don’t like advertising the product I’ll sew a block (or some times just a scrap of pretty fabric) over the printed message.

You bring up a good point, I’d much rather look like a tourist than get miserably lost! I want to make 2020 a year of traveling. I figured I have the time and the means might as well make it happen before life gets too busy. Thanks for the tips!