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.
- 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.
WHERE TO FIND THE PRODUCTS I LIKE TO USE
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.
- Cigar box – ask at your local cigar store. They usually sell empty boxes for a reasonable price.
- Aurifil 50 wt. thread
- Gingher 4″ embroidery scissors with large holes
- Needle threader
- 3-1/2″ x 5″ Ruler Box by Temecula Quilt Company
- Glassine envelopes for 3″ block kits
You had me at “glassine envelopes.”
This is a great idea! And the sewing kit is so cute too.
Thanks Cindy! I appreciate the nice comment and it’s fun to use the sewing kit. 🙂
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
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.
What a great way to take your passion with you!
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. 😉
What a great, creative project! Thanks for sharing!
How fun! Looks so pretty!
Love the idea of the cigar box! Repurpose for great use.
I’m all about repurposing and love when I can find something used and put it to new uses.
I love the patterns. What a great idea!
What a great idea! The patterns are so cute!
I love the idea of a stitching box, my stuff is everywhere! Ugh!
What a neat idea!
Oh my gosh I love this! This is a way easy way to quilt on the go!
What a great idea!!! It makes it easy to keep busy on long car rides or down time on vacation!!
Your stitching box is great! It is bright and cheerful! It makes me happy!
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.
This is a great idea!! Love that you’ve picked up a reusable box to keep everything in.
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!
What a great idea! I love “kits” for whatever projects I am working on.
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!
How beautiful! I love your talent!
Great tutorial! This is an amazing idea that would make a great gift also!!
This is so cute! What a great idea! Love it!
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.
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.
I love this travel box! Quilting looks like such a fun yet practical hobby. 🙂
Awesome idea! I’m not an avid sewer but could definitely benefit from this for organization purposes
I love this. Quilting is such an intricate art form and so beautiful in the end.
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!
Sweet, sweet, sweet!
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.
Thanks for the tutorial. I have a “busy box” in each car and even one on the boat in the summer! Don’t want to be caught with nothing to do!
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!
Oh I love your concept for the travel kit! The glassine envelopes are such an improvement over slippery ziplocs – brilliant. Your needlebook is sweet as can be. I follow you on IG but just discovered your blog and look forward to reading more!
Love the traveling stitch box! What a good idea. So charming.
Loved your tutorial A great way to use up those precious moments! Your repro prints look delicious too! Thanks for posting!
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!
I love this! I have a wooden box I use to tote a quilt project. Don’t know why I’ve never thought of doing so on a smaller scale. It’s perfect!
Thanks Taryn. I love your stitching box! So much inspiration. ❤️
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