Make a Travel Handstitching Kit

Today I’m sharing one of my favorite hand stitching accessories, my travel hand stitching kit dedicated to a particular project. Sure, you can keep everything in a baggie or store all your hand stitching supplies in one big box, but this is designed to be ready to pick up and go and be pretty cute at the same time.

Why would you need a dedicated hand stitching kit?

Hand stitching, especially for small blocks like my 3-inch Lemoyne star project, is a pretty compact technique. By making a little kit, you have everything in one place and there is no searching for scissors, needles, cut pieces, etc. It’s all together, ready for you to just pick up and start stitching or pick up and go!

Box versus pouch

I prefer a box over a flimsy pouch for several reasons. First, the box can serve as a handy hold-all while you are stitching. You can just open the lid, pull out your fabric and supplies, and start sewing. Your scissors, threader, and cut pieces stay contained instead of sliding all over the place. If you’ve every tried working on the seatback tray on an airplane, you know what I’m talking about. Second, I find the box keeps my fabric flatter and less wrinkled, especially for my finished blocks. In a pouch, things can get bunched up at the bottom.

How to assemble your own stitching box:

The supplies you need for hand sewing are pretty basic, just scissors, thread, needles and pins, and a threader. I add a wooden tray to corral those items and a handmade needle book to keep pins and needles safe and secure and to add a special touch.

  • Thread: pick a neutral color for this scrappy project and you will only need one spool of thread. I like Aurifil 50 wt for hand stitching. It’s strong but thin and there are plenty of neutrals from which to choose.
  • Scissors: I use either 4″ embroidery scissors or the gold stork scissors in my hand stitching kits. Gingher makes a nice 4″ pair of scissors with large finger holes. They are very easy to pick up and put down. Some 4″ scissors come with a leather sheath that adds an extra bit of safety but it isn’t necessary with the box. They won’t poke through it like in a pouch.
  • Needle threader: I don’t know about you but it’s gotten challenging to thread a needle without a little help from a threader. With that little helper it doesn’t matter if the light is low, the car is bouncing or your eyes are dilated. What was that last one? Yes, I’ve even brought my stitching box to my eye doctor appointments because there is so much sitting around and waiting. I’ve made so many of these little star blocks I can do them almost by feel. But, I do need help threading the needle.
  • Wooden Tray: I like to add a little wooden tray to my box to corral the tools. It keeps the box neater and is an extra help in keeping things together when working in tight spaces like the middle seat on a plane or my lap in a doctor’s waiting room. I use Temecula Quilt Company’s 3-1/2″ x 5″ “Ruler Box.” It’s the perfect size.
  • Needle book or pincushion: You need something that can store pins and needles flat when not in use but it’s also helpful if it can act as a pincushion while you are working. Why flat? Well, you don’t want to get stuck accidentally or have to fish around looking for pins or needles. And, the pincushion feature makes it handy to grab and replace pins as you are stitching along. Shameless self plug coming…I make the little house needle books myself. They are a combination of hand and machine stitching with hand quilting, batting, and wool or felt “pages” for keeping the pins. They are nice and squishy and work well as a pincushion when you are stitching. If you are interested in purchasing one, direct message me on Instagram (@reproquiltlover) or email me at [email protected] and I’ll tag you or email you when I’m listing another batch of needle books. Of course, you can use anything you want for your box.
  • Supply of pre-cut pieces: This is my favorite part of my dedicated stitching kits. I pre-cut several blocks worth of the Lemoyne star pieces and package them individually in small glassine envelopes. I use the #2 size envelopes (2-5/16″ x 3-5/8″) to fit the the pieces for my 3″ star blocks just perfectly. I bought a pack of 100 about 5 years ago. I’m still using them. It’s quite satisfying to fill up my box with several little envelopes full of pre-cut pieces ready to stitch and then watch them turn into finished blocks until I’m ready to refill the kits and move the blocks to my finished pile. I also love the crinkly sound the glassine envelopes make. It’s pretty easy to satisfy me.

If you are interested in purchasing the same materials I used for my stitching kit, you can find them via the links below. But first, I made a short video that shows how I put my box together. There is even enough space to store several blocks as I complete them on the go. Or, skip it and scroll further for the supply list.

How To Make A Travel Kit For Hand Piecing by ReproQuiltLover on Jumprope.


Note, some of these are affiliate links. Ordering through these links does not cost you anything extra but I earn a small commission which helps defray some costs of my blog. For more information, see my disclosure policy.

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  1. Such an awesome idea. I used to cross-stitch and had a similar travel kit made up! Was t as cute as your box… just a plastic case with dividers… but it did the job!! Lol

    1. Hi Marianne,
      I use plenty of plastic boxes and they are great, especially because you can see what’s in them in just a glance. And, you’re right, they do the job, which is all that matters.

    1. Thanks Cindy – I don’t know what I’d do if I couldn’t take it with me. Sometimes, if feels a bit like I’m carrying my security blanket with me. 😉

  2. Love the idea of the cigar box! Repurpose for great use.

  3. What a great idea!!! It makes it easy to keep busy on long car rides or down time on vacation!!

  4. I love to crochet but have never gotten into hand stitching. I might have to give it a try because I love the outcome. Plus I always love learning a new skill.

  5. This is a great idea!! Love that you’ve picked up a reusable box to keep everything in.

  6. I envy those who can sew much less make a quilt! I can’t even seem to sew a button that stays in place for mo re than a day or two!

  7. What a great idea! I love “kits” for whatever projects I am working on.

  8. I love this idea. I still have the first sewing box that my mom gave me. I am passing it on to my granddaughter who loves to hand stitch. Great list of things to include. Thanks!

  9. Several friends of mine love to work on quilts. I have never quite gotten the knack of it. Although I do have a sewing kit for quick mends. I could try this on a small scale.

  10. What a lovely idea. I don’t quilt, but I do love to sew. For some reason, I just find it relaxing and meditative. I would really enjoy this on those long car rides.

  11. I love this travel box! Quilting looks like such a fun yet practical hobby. 🙂

  12. Awesome idea! I’m not an avid sewer but could definitely benefit from this for organization purposes

  13. I love this. Quilting is such an intricate art form and so beautiful in the end.

  14. Such a wonderful idea!!!! Even though we can’t travel much it’s a great item to have on hand for other situations. better than staring a a phone!!! thank so much!

  15. My first hand -stitching travel kit was sent to me by a friend when I was getting ready for a trip. They are such good things to have on hand, and this is a great set of instructions for putting one together.

  16. I like the addition of the little tray in your kit – I’ll need to keep that in mind. How I wish my travel kit didn’t expand over the years to include readers or other magnifier and light!

  17. Loved your tutorial A great way to use up those precious moments! Your repro prints look delicious too! Thanks for posting!

  18. Thank you for sharing the contents of your travel kit and for sharing the links to each item. Your box of stitching goodies is so colorful and cheerful! Lovely post this morning! Blessings from Kentucky!

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