Saturday, December 18, 2010

Sewing on the GO

Several people have wondered how I manage to get so much sewing done at the ice skating rink.  I thought I'd take a few minutes to share a couple of my "sew on the go" strategies.
First, always have something sitting in a bag and waiting in case you have to dash out the door unexpectedly in order to sit and wait an extended period of time for something or somebody.  Examples from my own life include doctors, dentists, rehearsals, practices, car lines and long car trips when someone else is driving.  Simple hand work is the most dependable kind of work to do while out and about.  You don't need a table or a lot of equipment, especially if everything is prepped ahead of time.
I can store needles, pins, scissors, thread and a thimble all in the tiny tin that my scissors came in.  It doesn't take up much space at all and it stays ready to go.  I've also made up a tiny sewing kit in a film canister with several bobbins full of thread, a thimble, a thread cutter and a few pins and needles. 
Grandmother's Flower Garden is a classic hand sewing pattern.  Any kind of applique is a good choice.  English Paper piecing would be perfect as well.  I try to avoid starting a new project just so I have handwork, but I do scan ahead in my ongoing projects to find the parts that might best be done by hand.  I spent quite a bit of time this summer working on embroidery and crochet, but I found that I didn't stick with them over the long term.
There are a lot of places that I have to go and sit where I know I will have a table or counter available for workspace.  Gymnastics and ice skating both have snack bars with tables.  Our own pool area has one as well.  If I'm at the rotary cutting point in a project, I make sure I've got a small ruler and cutter in a bag with a small mat.  My cutting  mat is actually part of a bigger mat that got broken.  I cut it apart to make several smaller sized mats that I can keep ready to go. 

This is my favorite take along project because it is ongoing and never ending.  I always "sew behind" on any flip and sew triangles and save the half square triangles to use later.  It is a long and tedious project, which makes it perfect for filling those off hours of idle time.  I use a tiny ruler and cutter along with this cute little two sided mat.  I also have some plastic templates that I use to trim them by hand in case I don't have a work surface available. 
Sew, if your want to sew more on the go, (sorry) just think about what you can get set up and put into a bag for the next time you have to rush out in order to hurry and wait.  It is amazing how much you can do while everyone else is sitting around being bored. 


Amanda said...

If I'm going to be going anywhere where I'll have to sit for any length of time, I prefer to take a book, but I like to have some knitting on the go to do when we're driving. I'd like to sew, but can't seem to manage it without feeling queasy; simple knitting is alright as I don't need to look at it too often.

Candace said...

Some great ideas just as I thought. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

You are my kind of thinker! I have some embroidery/patchwork combination projects and often do the embroidery at my MIL's or in the car on the way to somewhere. When my DH was having trips to the doctor and then knee surgery, I either took my Kindle or embroidery to work on. Great post! Loved the pictures and ideas. I feel much better knowing someone else has cut up a large mat into smaller ones. Takes the guilt right out to have company.