Sewing kit for travel

I am just back from a short visit to France to see family in Lyon and friends in St Etienne. I was (of course) quilting while I was away, so today’s post is about the small kit I took away with me.


This clear, top-opening case is so useful. I can see exactly what I have got, it can rest on my lap on car or train journeys without taking up much space, and it holds in all the contents without spilling. It measures about eight and a half by six and a half inches and is three inches deep (although it squashes flat for packing). You can see it resting on a tiled windowsill against a green wooden shutter with a sunny garden beyond – perfect!

Inside the case are the following items:


  • a great little sewing case by Cath Kidston (a gift from my nieces);


*  a useful tape measure which was a great magazine give-away.  An un-picker is included, obviously, in a matching bright pink.


  • a little needle-case in a spotty fabric, made  to match. When the needle-case is closed, it’s used as a temporary pin-cushion;


  • a selection of needles from small quilting needle up to darning needle, for the times when I travel with knitting.


  • my favourite ‘tailor’s thimble’ (with an open top) and  a pair of super-sharp small scissors;


  • a box of pins, usually held closed with an elastic band.  No stray pins!


  • a small quilters’ ruler (the make is Le Summit). This is a perfect size for travel and it’s very sturdy;


* a white chalk marker (Chaco brand) and a Frixion pen which can be used to mark fabric and which disappears with heat;


  • a small pack of clips, for holding quilt bindings while you hand-stitch them in place, but also helpful for keeping sets of pieces together when you are cutting out.


  • and of course some threads. I love these colours!

During our visit, we were given a home-cooked meal that was so beautiful (as well as delicious) that I asked for permission to take photos, so here they are:


Cold summer minestrone of asparagus, pasta and tomatoes.


Salmon cooked with spinach and peppers.


Bread selection.


Tomatoes from the garden


Summer fruits.

The colours are so pretty I want to reach out for my paints. Vive la France!


Circus Fun pincushion: free pattern link

In the early part of this year, I wrote an article for Popular Patchwork magazine about ‘Pins in the Sewing room’.  I use a wide variety of different pins and am fond of my various pincushions, like the one below which I made years ago from a needlepoint piece based on a William Morris strawberry design. This one houses my long, flat-head pins. I employ these pins for pinning out quilts – if I have access to a large carpeted area and I also use them for marking the centre of each side of the backing and quilt so quilts are laid up squarely. Click here to see the post about laying up a quilt using an adhesive spray.

needlepoint pincushion.jpg

In the same issue of Popular Patchwork was a project to make a fun ‘Circus tent’ pincushion – a nice sturdy one with plenty of space for lots of pins.  To go with it was a useful wrist pincushion in a starry fabric.  Both of these patterns now appear on the Popular Patchwork website as a free pattern. To go to the website, click here.  Enjoy!


Photo credit: Popular Patchwork