Hexies on the Go

One of my favorite ways to use up scraps is with English paper piecing.  I especially enjoy making hexagons.  They are a great portable project to keep me busy when I have a little downtime.  

If you haven't been bit by the English Paper Piecing (EPP) bug, watch out.  You just might get addicted to this scrappy (or not) form of quilting.

I fell in love with Grandmother's Garden quilts long ago.

Probably around the same time, I decided that I wanted to start on my own Grandmother's Garden-style quilt.

I've been basting hexagons (and honeycombs or any other shape) with fabric scraps for several reasons:

  • Definitely as a way to not waste all my precious fabric scraps (Scraps cost just as much as yardage!).

  • It gives me a way to keep busy when I'm feeling under the weather laying in bed.

  • It's also a very portable project:  I can work on EPP when I'm waiting in the car, or in a waiting room for an appointment.  I even take them to work on during break or lunch when I'm at the office.

At home, I keep a basket by my bed with all my EPP supplies.  I can grab the basket and watch t.v., lounging around and basting scrap fabric to my templates.  Side note: One of the great things about a king-sized bed and one person is the ability to take over half of it with quilting supplies while watching football, hockey, movies, or binge-watching t.v. shows.

I also like to keep a little kit of supplies in my car for creating hexies on-the-go.

I like to keep the minimum in this kit, because the point is portability.  Here's what I keep inside my on-the-go EPP kit:

  • silk thread (for piecing)
  • prewound bobbins (general purpose thread for basting)
  • extra thread (just in case)
  • needles
  • thimble
  • binding clips (for when my MS-impacted grip isn't doing me any favors)
  • glue stick (a dab on my templates to temporarily hold my fabric in place (just for convenience-see reason for those binding clips)
  • fabric scraps
  • Gingher embroidery scissors (Single pair used for trimming thread and excess fabric.)
  • seam ripper (better safe than sorry)
  • extra templates

I've tried many ways to carry my supplies.  Cosmetic bags, small tool boxes, little boxes, small plastic shoe storage bins, you name it.  However, since I like to leave this in my car, I don't like it to look like there's anything interesting about it.  My personal preference: I like having all the windows in my car when I return to it.

So what did I end up using?

...a bento-style lunch box.

In my humble opinion, it is absolutely perfect based on my theory that no one wants a lunch or lunchbox left in a car (I haven't been proven wrong yet).  I can tuck it under a seat to stow it away.

It is small enough to tuck in a larger purse, work bag, or backpack if I want to grab-and-go.

So here's how I use it and where I keep everything:

The bento-style lunch box that I use cost me about $4.99 and has an elastic band to corral two containers and two lids.

I originally bought this for my son's school lunches, but it didn't fit all a growing teenage boy needs to pack in a lunch.  So he quit using it and it sat on a shelf.

It was on its way out the door in a bag of donations to Goodwill when I realized it was exactly what I'd been looking for!  

I keep my thread and needles in the top.  This section is where I keep my thimble and binding clips, too.

In between the sections of the bento-style lunch box is an area meant to hold the accompanying plastic silverware.

I use this area to keep my sharp items (definitely a hazard for me when using one cosmetic bag to hold everything).  I keep a sharp pair of scissors and my seam ripper in this area.

The bottom portion of the lunch box holds my fabric scraps.

I tend to temporarily glue my paper templates to fabric scraps in bunches so I can just get to work without too much fuss.

I keep some smaller paper templates in this section in case I overestimated my ability to make a fabric scrap work with the template I'm using.  I do this quite often!

I keep a glue stick with my basted shapes and fabric scraps because it is too long to keep in the notions section of my EPP on-the-go kit.  It's also handy for those scraps I want to move and use on a smaller paper template.

My EPP on-the-go kit, made using a bento-style lunch box, really has made it easy for me to take my quilting with me wherever I go.

Do you have a great method for making your quilting portable?  I'd love to hear about it.