Stitching on the Go

20180716_163620Meet my new travel companion!  This little 5 pound wonder is going with me on a plane  later this week. I’ll be gone for nearly a week with a fair amount of downtime built into my schedule. I won’t have a car and there’s not a lot to do in the evenings near the hotel unless you’re into the bar and band scene (which I am not).  So why not stitch? It’s amazing what you can get done in 2-3 hours of uninterrupted sewing time – if you plan/precut your projects ahead of time.  It’s like a mini sewing retreat.

I typically carry a hand embroidery project with me whenever I travel. Hand embroidery and reading are good for 1-2 nights. This is why I pack a machine whenever I travel by car and will be gone more than a couple of nights.  This time, my original plan was to pack a folding cutting mat, small ruler and rotary cutter in my suitcase. I would do all of the sub-cutting for an upcoming project (there’s a lot of it!).

Then, I met this little purple machine. It’s a 1/2 size sewing machine (think Janome Sew Mini). It uses REAL sewing machine feet, makes a nice straight stitch and can do buttonholes. I thought, why not give it a try on a simple quilt top I wanted to make from charm squares and 2-1/2″ strips?  My test using the 1/4″ foot was fine. You do have to use metal bobbins and a piecing thread like Mettler, Gutermann or Missouri Star for best results. Love me some Aurifil, but it’s too fine for this machine – thread breakage and skipped stitches happened frequently during my test. Switching to a smaller needle didn’t seem help either.

I don’t expect this little purple machine to replace my regular travel sewing machine, or to go with me on sewing retreats. However, it will be interesting to see if it is a viable option for machine stitching on the go when traveling by air is the chosen mode of transportation. If not, it’ll certainly look cute displayed on a shelf in my studio and will be perfect for my 5 year old neighbor as she learns to sew.