Monday, July 20, 2015

Summer Bloggin': What's inside Wendi Gratz's Handwork Bag

Summer Bloggin
We contiune the Summer Bloggin' series with a post from Wendi Gratz, who runs the site Shiny Happy World which is full of stitching goodness. Wendi's stitchy mantra is that anyone can learn to sew or embroider and her site is full of patterns and tutorials to dive into. Today Wendi is sharing the essentials in her handwork bag. We love a peek in other people's sewing bags. - Thank you for joining us, Wendi! :-)

One of the things I love about handwork is that I can bring it with my anywhere. In front of the TV is a good year-round spot for stitching, but in the summer I also stitch on the porch, at the pool, on vacation, and more! I'm such a fan of handwork that I usually have a few handwork bags packed up and ready to grab at a moment's notice. Here's what you'll find if you peek inside. . .

My project (free pattern for the coasters) .
My tool tin (I use an Altoids tin so I don't have to worry about anything sharp poking through.)
My thread.

I use Floss-A-Way ziplock bags to store my thread. When I start a new project I pull all the thread colors I'll need and collect them on a binder ring. Very handy! The bags are marked with the DMC # of the thread, and also the name of the felt color it matches. I do a lot of embroidery on felt, so this keeps me from having to worry about matching colors in poor light.

I don't use a hoop when I stitch on felt, but if I were stitching on cotton I'd also have a hoop in there. The bag I use can hold a hoop up to 7 inches (18cm).

Sometimes I might also include an additional ziplock bag with tiny cut parts for applique in it, but usually I glue all the bits in place before I pack my bag so I don't have to worry about wrangling tiny pieces in a place where I might lose them.

So what's inside that tool tin? Let's see. . .

A stick of fabric glue – in case any of my applique pieces comes lose before I stitch it down.
A seam ripper.
A few pins.
Embroidery needles in my favorite sizes.
My teeny tiny scissors – I searched long and hard for a high-quality pair that would fit in an Altoids tin. I sell the scissors in my shop.
Thread Heaven – essential for when I leave my work in a hot car and I'm using Sulky Sticky Fabri-solvy with it.
Wonder Clips – perfect for holding felt.

Depending on the project I'll change the contents of the tin. If I'm working on EPP, for example, I'll replace the embroidery needles with quilter's betweens and the Thread Heaven with a thimble. But I find I can fit what I need for any project in that small tin.

And what about the bag? I made it using the Stitch & Stash Project Bag pattern from Betz White, adding a cute kitty applique from one of my quilt patterns. It's a terrific handwork bag, with no zippers, snaps or velcro to snag my work. I love it! You can see how I made it here.

Happy summer stitching!

What are you stitching? Please share in the &Stitches Flickr group. We'd love to see it!

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