Stitching on the Go
Stitching on the go is a great way to eke out stitching time and be more productive.
Most of us have obligations outside the home: We have errands to run, people to chauffeur, meetings and events to attend. These activities often include time sitting and waiting. We wait in the carpool line or at the dentist’s office; we sit and watch swimming practice (or a baseball game); and we sit and listen to speakers at the community council or PTA meeting. All of these are opportunities to get your stitch on, and making use of them will make you more productive and make your time away from home more rewarding.
Plan Ahead: Choose the Right Project
The key to stitching on the go is planning ahead. First, you need to choose a good on-the-go project; not all projects are travel-friendly. For instance, if you need your magnifier or 80 skeins of floss or seed beads, you’re better off leaving that project at home. Better choices include the following:
- Small, portable projects: bookmarks, bracelets, tags, fobs, zipper pulls, cards, barrettes
- Things you can stitch in hand: edge stitches, card stock, Aida, vinylweave, or screen
- Projects for which you don’t need a pattern: repetitive stitches, edge stitches, backstitches, backgrounds, patterns you make up
Prepare Several Projects
On your way out the door is not the ideal time to gather supplies for your on-the-go project. Take time to prepare projects and stash them in bags so they’re ready to go when you are. I might have a project bag stashed in the car; I might have one in my backpack or bag; I always have one on my desk by my computer and phone. Technically, at my desk isn’t “on the go,” but I use the same kinds of projects here, namely things I can pick up and stitch during phone calls and webinars.
Sample On-the-Go Projects
I will stitch the decorative portion of a bracelet at home, then stash it in a bag with a needle and pearl thread so I can stitch the edges and back anytime, anywhere. If I needed a pattern, I’d make a working copy of just the part I needed and tuck it into the bag. Edge stitches, however, tend to be straightforward and repetitive, which makes them easy to memorize. As an extreme minimalist, I don’t want to lug a pattern around with me, so I’ve committed edge stitches to memory.
Blanket stitching around the edge of a future barrette is always an option, as is doodling for a zipper pull or paperclip.
My most recent stitching-on-the-go project was a “card keeper.” It’s a small, snapped, wallet-like pouch that holds a license, credit card, cash—or a gift card. I carried this project around while on vacation the past few weeks, stitching here and there as circumstances allowed: sitting around the table after dinner, during eucher and movies.
The completed pouch fits in my pocket and is a great alternative when I don’t want to carry a wallet or purse. I think these card keepers would make great gifts—especially if you’re giving a gift card. In fact, all of these small projects make great gifts.
Summer’s a great time to be out and about. Think of all the stitching you might get done while you’re enjoying sun and sand, family and friends, games and outings.
How much stitching on the go do you do already? What are some stitching-on-the-go projects that you’d like to do? What will it take to prepare them so they’re ready to grab and go? Yes, I really want to know. I always want to know; you know that!