Sunday, June 10, 2012

Portable Sewing Kits for hand sewing on the road

    A couple of years ago, I wanted to learn to quilt fast. I searched for and joined a Dear Jane group founded by Brenda Papadakis to get acquainted with lots of quilt blocks, however small! One evening, we made a portable sewing kit to carry the pieces of each block under a piece of muslin and atop batting, all our tools in one place, so we could work on them on the road or at meetings.

     Recently, I found a terrific trompe l'oeil fabric that I wanted to use to make something for the grandchildren.I  decided to make each child this carrier and to fill it with small needle work projects. They will always have the stitches available for resource in the fabric.

     It took me under two hours to make: Cut 9" x 18" quilted fabric (red, here) and lining fabric (the stitches). Cut  5 1/2"x 18" quilting and lining for the pocket that goes across. Use bias tape to finish the top of the long pocket. Then add bias tape all around. (I stitched close to the edge all around before adding the bias tape.)

      Next, cut batting which will be "pages" to hold the stitchery. The batting is 8" x 16". I cut two sheets of batting and sewed it down the middle to fold like a book's pages (4 pages or 8 sides). Of course, first mark the center of both batting and cover.  You can add little unfinished sheets of muslin (about 6" square  that you sew along the bottom of the pages to cover art so pieces of fabric don't fall out...and do this before sewing the pages to the cover). I added a little 2" x 3" pincushion and sewed in a page of a Ziplock bag for extras. Make seams from the top of the pocket down to hold rulers, scissors, glue, etc. Click to enlarge the photos.

      There are fabulous books for children and adults like Doodle Stitchery. And this weekend I just discovered the award winning edgy embroidery book, Hoopla. Serendipitously, in straightening up, I just ran across Brenda's ruler that said "Finished is better than Perfect!"  I was wondering why I went so far astray!  



  1. Your directions are great and the layout of your photos elegant. I hope you can take a picture of your grands working with their sewing kits. Finished is better than perfect. I want to remember that!

  2. I too like the idea of FINISHED being better than perfect. Linda, your experience with your craft always amazes me. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Wow. What a creative invention. I loved the portable sewing kit. How clever—yet practical. As one who does not sew a stitch, I have to say even I see its possibilities. I know your grandchildren were pleased. SR

  4. This is such a brilliant notion! I wish my granddaughter had taken to needlework more, but I fear I saw her so infrequently, that between one visit and the next, she had lost interest. (Same thing happened with my daughters!) I was a child, though, who loved all sorts of sewing from the time I could thread a needle, and my girls were not like this, sooo.... But anyway, this is just absolutely a perfect thing to make your your granddaughters, and I know they will love them!

  5. The kits are wonderful! Now, do you still need more of that fabric? How much?

  6. What a super gift for your talented grandchildren. I can just see the girls taking this along with them on trips or long car rides. It remains to be seen (and heard) about what the youngest does with this. :-) How lucky they all are to have such a creative grandmother!