Sunday, September 23, 2012

Slow Stitching Sunday - Hand Embroidery

On a slow stitching sunday post back in JulyCarrie introduced me to the Garden Steps quilt along at Clover and Violet's blog (did I just win an award for posting the "most links in one sentence"!?!?)
I decided to use these blocks as my "bus project". Since I take the bus to work now, I needed a hand stitching project to work on instead of wasting that hour every day. 
As you may know, a bus ride is not at all conducive to careful stitching! It is bumpy and jerky, with lots of stops and starts, which is not the best environment for making neat looking stitches!
But I decided to be fine with that. I would rather that my stitches be imperfect, than spend one hour a day staring at a phone, which is what everyone else on the bus does!

I am a little very late in starting the Garden Steps quilt along, so I traced all the embroidery patterns on one Fat Quarter of fabric (instead of making all the blocks first as the directions suggested). 
Then I collected up all the  supplies I would need to take with me on the bus every day. I have a little ziploc bag for the thread scraps, a medium ziploc bag for the DMC floss skeins, my sewing tin with thimbles, needles and scissors, my fabric and my pink hoop.

Then I put it all into a large ziploc bag, making the project as lightweight and portable as possible, while still being completely waterproof on rainy days.
My system has been working out perfectly! I have managed to make one block each week, and so far have finished these three pretty blocks.
Where do you stitch "on the go" and what are your tips for successful portable hand stitching?


  1. Very pretty stitcheries! They are so bright and cheery, it must make the bus ride fly by.

    I just started a new project and did pretty much what you did in terms of packaging since I tend to hand stitch more when I'm away from home and the machine. The only thing I do different is I bought a package of "floss cards" at Hobby Lobby, so I can write the color number on the cards and then wrap the cut floss around them so I can keep all the loose threads identified and untangled.

  2. Your blocks are so sweet! I managed to resist the temptation to do these, so I will thoroughly enjoy seeing yours :*) I have a Stitchery Keeper that I designed to take my projects with me. So far it is working perfectly. Looks like you've got yours covered pretty well too :*)

    I'm just getting back from retreat, so no slow stitching post to share today :( Hope to be back next week!

  3. I love your blocks, Kathy. Wonderfully organized project.

    BTW, I love your little tin - I have a couple just like yours and they are my favs. :-)

  4. Your stitching looks perfect! Bravo to you, for making a hour long bus ride productive!
    It's nice to have little totes or baskets to carry "on the go" projects, but I resort to ziplocs quite often... light weight and see through... best criteria. I have a bad habit of losing my little scissors so I wear something around my neck that the scissors can clip on to. It prevents frustrating moments looking for them.
    Happy sewing!

  5. I LOVE those embroideries!! I do the same thing with the zip lock baggies, of various sizes, depending on what I am working on. They go into what my husband calls "my bag of tricks" which is really just a tote bag, that goes with me most everywhere, car, bus, work, doctor's waiting rooms, anywhere there are a few minutes to grab to do something useful and relaxing.

  6. Very nice. I love to do hand embroidery, too. I commend you for taking public transportation, too. We need more folks to do that.

  7. Look at you stitch. I think you do pretty well stitching on the bus. You have gotten a lot done.I can't stitch while in a car. I don't really get car sick but I will get a headache so I usually have to do my stitching sitting still.
    I do use those zip loc bags a lot for projects.

  8. I have been working on a hexie quilt, I have another quilt I am working on at home, so have not made much progress on my hexie quilt since I've been a homebody lately, but I should get a lot done on my 7 hr bus ride to see my mom in a couple of weeks!

  9. I love hand stitching and have done it on many trips on trains, airplanes and the car. Any place I have time to sit and stitch.

  10. Pretty, pretty little stitches! We live down a very long, gravel road, which empties onto very rough asphalt road that's county maintained, but rarely (if you get my drift)! I can never start on a stitchery project in the car until we've hit the main road!! :)

  11. Very nice portable project! You are going to be finishing more and more of these 'slow' stitching projects all of the time! I carry my portable project in ziplocs inside a smallish leather bag. All of my pins, thread, etc. are in a small plastic container. Not perfect, but it's functional.

  12. I use the ziplock baggie too! Right now I just grab my QSAB block and the bag with scissors, thread and my small clover needles each day when I go to pick up Aidan. They do the car line up at school so I can get 5-10 minutes of stitching in.