Hexies On-the-Go

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If you haven’t been bit by the English Paper Piecing (EPP) bug, watch out.  You just might get addicted to this scrappy (or not) form of quilting.

I fell in love with Grandmother’s Garden quilts long ago.

Probably around the same time, I decided that I wanted to start on my own Grandmother’s Garden-style quilt.

I’ve been basting hexagons (and honeycombs or any other shape) with fabric scraps for several reasons:

  • Definitely as a way to not waste all my precious fabric scraps (Scraps cost just as much as yardage!).
  • It gives me a way to keep busy when I’m feeling under the weather laying in bed.
  • It’s also a very portable project:  I can work on EPP when I’m waiting in the car, or in a waiting room for an appointment.  I even take them to work on during break or lunch when I’m at the office.

At home, I keep a basket by my bed with all my EPP supplies.  I can grab the basket and watch t.v., lounging around and basting scrap fabric to my templates.  Side note: One of the great things about a king-sized bed and one person is the ability to take over half of it with quilting supplies while watching football, hockey, movies, or binge-watching t.v. shows.

I also like to keep a little kit of supplies in my car for creating hexies on-the-go.

portable EPP kit

I like to keep the minimum in this kit, because the point is portability.  Here’s what I keep inside my on-the-go EPP kit:

  • silk thread (for piecing)
  • prewound bobbins (general purpose thread for basting)
  • extra thread (just in case)
  • needles
  • thimble
  • binding clips (for when my MS-impacted grip isn’t doing me any favors)
  • glue stick (a dab on my templates to temporarily hold my fabric in place (just for convenience-see reason for those binding clips)
  • fabric scraps
  • Gingher embroidery scissors (Single pair used for trimming thread and excess fabric.)
  • seam ripper (better safe than sorry)
  • extra templates

I’ve tried many ways to carry my supplies.  Cosmetic bags, small tool boxes, little boxes, small plastic shoe storage bins, you name it.  However, since I like to leave this in my car, I don’t like it to look like there’s anything interesting about it.  My personal preference: I like having all the windows in my car when I return to it.

So what did I end up using?

…a bento-style lunch box.

hexies to go kit

In my humble opinion, it is absolutely perfect based on my theory that no one wants a lunch or lunchbox left in a car (I haven’t been proven wrong yet).  I can tuck it under a seat to stow it away.

It is small enough to tuck in a larger purse, work bag, or backpack if I want to grab-and-go.

So here’s how I use it and where I keep everything:

The bento-style lunch box that I use cost me about $4.99 and has an elastic band to corral two containers and two lids.

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I originally bought this for my son’s school lunches, but it didn’t fit all a growing teenage boy needs to pack in a lunch.  So he quit using it and it sat on a shelf.

It was on its way out the door in a bag of donations to Goodwill when I realized it was exactly what I’d been looking for!  

top portion EPP kit

I keep my thread and needles in the top.  This section is where I keep my thimble and binding clips, too.

In between the sections of the bento-style lunch box is an area meant to hold the accompanying plastic silverware.

center of EPP kit

I use this area to keep my sharp items (definitely a hazard for me when using one cosmetic bag to hold everything).  I keep a sharp pair of scissors and my seam ripper in this area.

EPP kit scissors and seam ripper

The bottom portion of the lunch box holds my fabric scraps.

I tend to temporarily glue my paper templates to fabric scraps in bunches so I can just get to work without too much fuss.

I keep some smaller paper templates in this section in case I overestimated my ability to make a fabric scrap work with the template I’m using.  I do this quite often!

I keep a glue stick with my basted shapes and fabric scraps because it is too long to keep in the notions section of my EPP on-the-go kit.  It’s also handy for those scraps I want to move and use on a smaller paper template.

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My EPP on-the-go kit, made using a bento-style lunch box, really has made it easy for me to take my quilting with me wherever I go.

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Do you have a great method for making your quilting portable?  I’d love to hear about it.

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  • Wish I could find a way to make scrapbooking portable. I do use a tote to transport pages back and forth on trips but even if I could more easily pack my stuff for travel, I would need a big space to work once I got where I am going. Not sure how my doctors and dentist and gal at Super Cuts would feel about me spreading my scrap stuff all over the floor. This lunch “pail” is perfect for your hexies.

    • Leslie, you made me laugh out loud. Maybe work small like those Project Life little journaling note cards. Those are a fun size and would be portable with a few pens. Though, I know the feeling of getting odd looks. If I go in work and bust out my quilting supplies in the minutes before a meeting or during my lunch, they look at me like “what the heck are you doing?”