Thursday, May 13, 2010

Where Are We Going?

If you love doing handwork or you know of someone who does, you know that the first thing you think about when planning a trip isn't what clothes you are going to bring, or when to stop the mail or when to drop off the dog at the kennel.  The first thing that has to be done is putting at least one project together to work on for the trip.  And it has to be enough so that you don't finish it before the trip is over.  You don't want to have nothing to do with youe hands.  Most of us put multiple projects together, sometimes multiple types of needlework - quilting, embroidery, knitting.  But if you put together your handwork too early, there is such a temptation to start working on it befopre you leave.  Then you have to start all over again.  So the timing has to be just right - not too early but with enough time to have a quality project.

 So I canvassed some of my friends to see what traveling projects they are currently working on and I thought I would share them with you.  Kelly always has some type of handwork project going because she loves needleturn applique.  So she has multiple projects in different stages all the time.  Two of the projects she is working on now are her colorful applique baskets and these  Grandmother's Flower Garden hexagons. She is using those plastic inserts and basting the fabric around them.
This is not going to be a traditional quilt!

Knitting is also a very popular project to take along.  Many quilters also knit .  And I know knitters that, like quilters, have many, many projects going  in various stages. 

My friend Christine always has at least one knitting project going.  Actually she doesn't do much sewing handwork. But she's working on that.   I think she fills up every spare minute that she has knitting.  Her hands are never still. Even sometimes when we are in a restaurant waiting for our order to come.  For her current project, she has added those fickle fingers to a patterned scarf.  She is headed to Greece today and I hope she has enough room for her knitting projects. And isn't it wonderful that you can bring certain types of knitting needles on an airplane now.
Terry hikes and camps, so her projects need to be small and contained.  She also loves needle turn applique.  She is getting ready to do an Artist In Residence at the Grand Canyon through the National Park System.  (She creates wonderful quilts inspired by nature.  Check out her website:  She will be there for 3 weeks. 
Although she is starting to panic about getting everything she needs together - her handwork is ready and waiting to go.  She is working on a quilt from a book by the Piece O Cake Ladies from their newest book.  It involves putting lots of free form leaves on a sky like background fabric.                                                                       

Jane loves to do embroidery.  She took one of the Aunt Martha's  Noah's ark embroidery patterns that was meant for something smaller and enlarged it to make a whole cloth quilt.  She lightly traced the design on with a pencil and is using floss and a stem stitch.  (You can just make out the penciled zebras.)
I too panic if I don't have something to do with my hands on a trip.  I know lots of people who can't sew or read while being a passenger in a car.  Not me.  I can do anything.  And if I don't have to drive, I am a happy girl.  There are threads, and sometimes beads, all over and I have found that the little well in the door near the handle is the  perfect place for a small pair of scissors and thread.  I have been known to "run out of work" on a trip and then have spent time searching for a fabric store to fill my needs!  It makes me so happy that most hotel rooms have irons - perfect for an in process project. 

I do not do needleturn applique.  I enjoy handstitching fusible applique, embroidery and embellishing.  All of these techniques lend themselves to road trips.  I do a little dabbling with knitting.  Right now I am working on smallish projects using variegated threads that I hand dyed. 

I have been lucky from the beginning of my interest in quilting that my obsession to always have something to do with my hands has not driven my husband crazy.  He gets it.  As an avid reader, he always needs to have at least one book packed in his bag or on his bedside table.  

What types of projects do you work on in your travels?

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