At this time of the year, those of you in the northern hemisphere are currently getting ready for summer and thinking about your vacation time. I shall envy you for a short period whilst I find another rug to wrap around me!
If you’re like me, the “itch to stitch” can come upon you anywhere or any time. Not only that, but no matter where you go on vacation, there are times when you could quite happily work on your embroidery – in the evenings, or on a rainy day.
Or even as you sit on a beautiful patch of warm grass in a lovely garden.
Just because you are on vacation doesn’t mean that you can’t take your stitching with you – you just need to plan ahead on what you take with you and how you pack it.
Choosing a Project
You need to choose something that is small as you won’t have room to take huge frames or lots of fabric or thread – or even a massive chart!
There are many companies that have small kits, or even charts. You could even look at taking a table runner or dressing table set to work on. All of these will fit in a nice 4” hoop or similar – which takes up very little space in your luggage. The amount of fabric you are stitching on is also small – and again won’t take up much room.
You also need to look at the thread that you will be using in the project. It’s probably not a good idea to take your expensive silk floss on holiday with you – so choose a project that will use stranded cotton floss, embroidery wool or rayon. All of these will handle “holiday” conditions such as sand, grass, etc. And if you leave a skein behind, you won’t be missing one of your more expensive items.
Your travelling sewing box
Unfortunately, the days of flying and stitching are gone, so if you are flying you need to make sure that you take airport security into account. However, if your needles and scissors are all packed in a secure container in your checked luggage, there will be no problems. If, however, you only have carry on, then you will not be able to take either needles or scissors/thread snips and will need to take a wheel thread cutter with you, and buy needles at your destination (knowing you will have to leave them behind).
No matter how you are travelling, however, having your stitching being able to be packed neatly in your luggage makes it easier to justify taking it with you.
For myself, my travelling stitching box is a 1 litre plastic container
The container I use is an Australian brand Decor Tellfresh container – however I found this one on Amazon which would be approximately the same size as mine:
It’s a Lock & Lock 3.6 cup rectangular storage container.
As you can see – it stores securely, is watertight and its shape will fit nicely in your luggage – and you can see what you have in there.
Use a needle case for your needles, and if you have a case for your scissors or thread snips make sure they are in there as well.
This container is also big enough to toss in a pencil and pen as well as a small notebook and your actual stitching.
Where to Stitch
The short answer: anywhere you feel like it!
Don’t forget a pair of sunglasses and a nice shady hat though if you are stitching outside. You should also make sure that you take plenty of water to sip on, and some moist towelettes to keep your hands clean and sweat free (baby wipes are great – or safe up the complimentary moist towlettes you get from places like KFC). You can also use these to dab lightly any stains on your stitching.
Either a blanket or large towel is great to sit on – or even a beach chair.
No matter where you are, you can stitch, as long as you are comfortable.
If you go to a historical town, you may find that they actually have some needlework kits that you can buy there of local places or interest. My Beloved lives in Chesterfield in England, and as a gift he sent me a cross stitch kit of a famous church in the town.
If you manage to find a kit like this, you will have a permanent reminder of your vacation.
Another suggestion is to buy a postcard of the places you visit and then stitch them as a sampler (and I’ll tell you about that in another article!).
Can’t bring your stitching? Then how about some of your favourite books on stitching or stitching magazines!
Cross Stitch Gold - I love this magazine. Even though I do more freestyle embroidery than cross stitch, I love to indulge in this. It has a great range of projects suited for everybody from beginners to experienced cross stitchers.
Jill Oxtons Cross Stitch & Bead Weaving - Jill Oxton is a very well known teacher and designer of cross stitch and beading, and this magazine will allow you to indulge in both.
Embroidery - This magazine covers more issues, displays and exhibitions rather than giving projects. Maybe there is something happening near where you are vacationing?
And how could I leave out:
Inspirations - my all time favourite magazine for embroidery and the only one I subscribe to! I am constantly awed by the projects and have stitched quite a number of them – or used elements in projects that I am working on.
Lock & Lock 3.6 Cup Rectangular Storage with Trays
Steeltainer Leak-proof Stainless Steel Compact Size Container (Blue)
Dritz 3 Inch Folding Scissors
Most importantly – have a great summer!
Is there anything that you would particularly like to see an article on? If so, please contact me with your suggestions.
© 2011 Megan McConnell