Open Line Friday–Do You Have a “Travel Project”?

Hand Dyed Miniature Hexie Quilt First, I want to thank you for all your kind words and encouragement about my new column: My Line with Lori Kennedy in American Quilter Magazine.   Read more HERE.  To answer your questions:  Yes, I will continue blogging–I have way too much I want to say to limit myself to six times per year!   And, I agree-my next project is THE BOOK!  (But first…two college graduations, a confirmation, a few showers, and A WEDDING in May!)  Then I will buckle down and work on THE BOOK.

Hand Dyed Miniature Hexie Quilt I know many of you love hexies.  My sisters inspired me to start this mini hexie project.  It’s small enough to carry all the necessary supplies and fabric in a stationery box.  I like to work on it during long car rides.  I used to bring a Travel Project wherever I knew I’d be waiting for long periods of time–sport practices for the kids, air travel, etc. but I always found it awkward to pull out my sewing.

Hand Dyed Miniature Hexie Quilt

While I love the idea of using those little bits of time to work on my projects, my Travel Project is only for long car rides.

Hand Dyed Miniature Hexie Quilt

What about YOU?  Do you have a Travel Project?  What projects do you think best for travel?   Do you think it’s awkward to quilt in public?

I’d love to hear…


PS…All tutorials, images, and information are the property of Lori Kennedy at The Inbox Jaunt and are intended for personal use only.  Feel free to re-blog and Pin with attribution to The Inbox Jaunt.  For all other purposes, please contact me at  Thanks!

67 thoughts on “Open Line Friday–Do You Have a “Travel Project”?

  1. I love taking hand sewing projects with me on holiday – better still when I go down the improv route – no pattern, no cutting restrictions – just play with fabrics to create a block then plan a panel or quilt later …..

  2. I switch to my other love, knitting. I have what I call my “take with” bag. Since we seem to be waiting in Dr.’s offices a lot these days, I seem to be finishing that project faster than expected.

  3. I have a stack of hexie flowers, but mine aren’t nearly as tiny as yours! I don’t take it to carpool, but it’s great for car rides, vacation, or bee meetings. And I bought a cool three tiered Snapware container to store it all in – the accessories make the outfit, right?

  4. Since I retired and we bought a 5th wheel camper, we travel quite a bit. I take my Featherweight along in the camper and have been sewing 5″ log cabin blocks (1″ logs) plus other projects. We’re leaving for Oregon in May and I’ll take it along again. I need to figure out how big I want the quilt to be and see how many more I need to do. I also have hand work that I take along to work on in the truck – a hexie lap quilt and cross-stitch Christmas ornaments for the grandchildren. I just started a Dear Jane quilt, so I’ll take that along to work on.

  5. Love your tiny hexies! I have a hexie project for long car rides also. It has been getting lots of attention lately as I also piece while watching TV and have gotten hooked on the LOST series. I hate NOT having something to work on.

  6. I also use a snapware container to carry my hexies that I printed on my fabric using my computer and Inklingo which prints out the cutting and sewing lines. Makes it easy peasy. Check out the Inklingo site. And thank you Lori for all the great instructions and pictures..

  7. My son plays Waterpolo and I pulled out a quilt I was working on and the gentleman sitting next to me commented that I reminded him of the coach at the Winter Olympics who was knitting at the start line. I told him I had no desire to coach a team of big polo boys thanks anyway. Needless to say I have not taken any sewing since!

  8. Various different hand projects grace my lap on any occasion, but my favorite for long road trips is my Hawaiian applique blocks that are 20 inches square and are needle-turned applique. Plenty enough to keep me busy. The block is prepared ahead of time, so no little pieces to contend with. So far I have three finished. One day I will have a quilt!

  9. Rosemary B here:
    YES, I do have travel projects.
    I am making my first quilts (haha I have three going at the same time, more if you count other various ideas) At present, I am taking mom and dad to various doctors. I moved them near me when mom had her stroke last March. So, I have been busy.
    I usually take a zippy bag of “unsewing” with glasses and tools. Just fixing up blocks I am not satisfied with, or did not quite meet the size I feel comfortable working with.
    I also have a bag of quilt magazines, my doodle book you suggested and a book of graphpaper.
    Today dad and I are taking mom to the Retina Specialists of Washington DC (locally in Virginia) and we are told the exam will be close to 3 hours. My dad is bringing his books, I have three blocks.
    Last time I took unsewing, we were at Ashby Ponds an Erickson Retirement community very close to my home. Mom and dad had interviews and I sat out in the huge living room space and had the greatest time talking with all of the wonderful residents. I might start a sewing club there when mom and dad move in.
    Happy Open Line Friday. I hope you have sunshine and a great day, Lori

    • I enjoyed your post and encourage you to go ahead with your idea of a sewing club. You’ll never regret it. It will be a great way to spend more time with your parents and you’ll make the lives of so many that much better.

      • Thank you Joy. I am seriously considering it. I will first find out how much interest there is. I am open to anything, and these communities are amazing. Google Ashby Ponds Erickson community, Virginia. I would not mind moving here when I turn 70, but realistically I would like to live further away from the cesspool of DC. I love this living concept though
        Thank you for your encouragement

  10. Congrats! How exciting to be published and in such a great quilting magazine. Glad you will continue the blog as I look forward to opening each new one. I have an ongoing hand pieced small pyramid take along project. I needed something to occupy my mind and time as my mother was slipping away. It was so soothing. I think I’m ready to pick it up again and continue. I’m not sure what it will be yet, but think I’ll know when I’m there.

  11. I bought a fat quarter bundle of 30s reproduction fabrics at a quilt show a few years ago and couldn’t decide what to do with these beauties. So I’ve been making 10 yo-yos out of each FQ whenever I have down time. I put a few FQ, quilting thread, scissors and my handy dandy Yo Yo maker in a make-up case so that it’s always ready to go. Eventually I hope to make a bed topper!

  12. I love to take a sewing project along — English paper piecing is a wonderful to travel with — I just finished one using 1/4″ hexagons that finishes about 14 x 16 — I’m waiting to get it framed now. Doing hand applique is another technique that I like to do on the go; it takes a little more prep work, but it’s amazing how much you can get done. I find when I do hand work in public, I get into more conversations with strangers — men and women — usually starts with “I remember when my grandmother use to quilt….” — I feel contentment in sharing quilting and family stories, and informing people of today’s quilting world!

  13. I take my crochet along when I have a long car trip as I don’t hand-piece very well in a moving vehicle. For me, crochet is easy and rather mindless but keeps my eyes focused on my work so I don’t become a dreaded back-seat driver to my husband or kids. It’s very calming to work with my hands and after enough rows I have a lovely crocheted baby blanket to donate to charity. Then I get the fun of picking out more lovely yarn and starting again.

  14. I take my “Busy Bag” with me whenever I will be in a waiting situation…doctor, dentist, car repair. I am working on a hexie project and stitching makes the time go faster and at the end I will have a beautiful table topper.

  15. I have several “take along” projects going at one time. I have hexies, crochet, and knitting – I grab one when I leave the house and know that I will have time to work. Each project has its own little bag!

  16. I have a hexie project too. I use water-soluble glue instead of thread-basting them together. Much quicker. Roxanne’s water-soluble glue worked very well. I tried some other water-soluble glues, but it was harder to remove the paper later.

    • How long will the glue last before you have to sew them together? I ask because I am just getting started and have no specific plan for what to do with the hexies, so it could easily be months or years before I start assembling them together.

  17. I’m working on a project with 1/2″ hexies. It’s amazing how much can be done with all the bits of time riding in the car, waiting for appointments, and “watching” TV. I’m planning this as a 3 year project….. however many I have done in 3 years determines the size of my finished quilt. Ideally, a queen size takes about 575 finished “blocks”, and I have 70 so far……2 1/2 years to go…..

  18. I don’t have the patience or talent to make hexies. I do cut 6″ squares, put them in a Baggie with pins, thread, small scissors and make dimensional bow tie blocks. This can be done on a lap with no iron. I keep making the blocks so eventually I will have enough for a quilt. They can be any size square- I find 6″ works for me. Use the video from to learn how.
    I have made these everywhere- cars, hospital rooms, doctor offices, etc.
    I continue to look forward to your blogging!

  19. I have been making fabric yoyo’s while sitting in chemo unit every week waiting for my husband to get his treatments. Don’t want to leave because it is too hard to get parking space there. I find it very awkward to sew in public places. I like to have room to spread out my stuff.

  20. There sure are a lot of portable hexie projects underway out in quilter land! I too have one, a 1/2″ hexie with no particular pattern in mind, just a continuing portable project in a Snapware box. I don’t feel awkward quilting in public, but I think the knitters out there are far more portable than us quilters!

  21. I use to always bring cross stitch with me for any travel. Now with my “great old lady vision” that just doesn’t work anymore. I find I am now paying more attention to what is going on around me. Oh well.

  22. My favorite project for traveling is a rose hand embroidered crayon quilt I have been working on for years. There are 5 large blocks and I am on my last one! Roses and leaves are done in many different shades and I have collected many, many rose fabrics so the quilt will be scrappy. I love projects done start to finish just by myself. Hopefully it will be done for a raffle for cystic fibrosis next year as I have 2 grandsons who have it. Blessings to all and keep stitching wherever you may be!! CJH

  23. Speaking of traveling Hexie projects did anyone see the Quilting Arts program that showed how to make paperless hexies using circles and a needle & thread. It looked so easy!!! I am sure it is on the website if anyone missed it on public tv.

  24. Sometimes I knit. To practice fmq ideas I either have scratch paper or I use a drawing app on my tablet. I recently purchased a stylus to help with that. I also draw of blocks on graph paper, put them in clear page protectors and practice fmq ideas using dry erase markers. I also try to take a book.

      • Hello lilquilter. I don’t think I’m using anything fancy. On my smart phone, I have a kid doodle app. Just search doodle or drawing on the app store. There are several free ones. I could do the same on my ASUS tablet but it already came with a drawing app that works well for my needs. Doodling does not come easy or natural to me so these basic/beginner apps are fine for me at this point. I bet there are more fine tuned apps out there for the more advanced doodler…. 😉

      • Thanks, Kellie. I’m not good at doodling, either. I downloaded Sketch Pad a while back which is ok – a free app and pretty basic so I’ll just continue using that. Happy quilting!

  25. With lots of doctor and dentist appointments, I take my Hexie project using 30’s fabric, or red work embroidery. Love the idea of snap ware. Looking forward to your book.

  26. I have a set of embroidered quilt blocks I used to take while I waited for my daughter at softball practice and other appointments. I have also taken small counted cross stitch projects. I keep each project in a plastic bag with all necessary tools and supplies. I don’t mind doing hand work in public. These days I usually take a book to read or just read email an such on my phone or IPad. I have only been following your blog for a few months and really enjoy it. You have inspired me to pick up where I left off on projects that were put aside for whatever reason. Thanks so much! Congratulations on your magazine writing opportunity. Keep up the good work. To all of your blog followers, I enjoy reading your posts.

  27. Iv spent many many hours waiting at the hospital and always take my sewing in fact different clinics used to say to me what are you working on now! How exciting is your news well done, go for it girl, much love chris xx

  28. So happy for you, Lori. I look forward to reading your articles and a book of your fmq patterns. I always have a book or magazine that I take to appointments or I catch up on emails on my smartphone. In the car I love handsewing the bindings to the backs of my charity quilts.

  29. One of our guild members made a whole quilt out of hexagons – very, very tiny. She called the quilt “Insanity”. She took little packets of it wherever she went to work on in the car or on a plane. I have a picture of it but don’t see any place to post it here.

  30. Well, let’s see. Dear husband I are taking off on a road trip tomorrow and I have a flannel baby blanket ready to crochet an edging around. I also packed my little travel Janome so I can steal a few minutes at night to sew some 2″ scrappy squares together for a future quilt.


  31. I have a bag with fabric scraps, 5″ charm squares, needles, needle threader, and paper hexagons. I make all sizes from 1/4″ to 2″, depending on the size of the fabric scrap, and the motif. Some day the hexagons will come together for a number of quilts, but right now I am spending time converting my scraps, and those scraps I dumpster dive during retreats, into various sized hexagons. I see that hexagons can be used for the center of a dresdan plate block, with a stem you can make a flower vine border, … and some of the modern quilts can be done with abstract hexagons.

    • oh yes, I do get some funny comments doing this in public. At the airport, on the airplane, at the train station, at the doctor’s office, in the hospital, during an operation, at school events – my daughter says that many of the kids in high school know me as the hexagon quilt dad. I had a woman from Korea tell me that in Korea only women can sew, unless your a man in the army. And that women do art, men do not do art, it is not allowed.

      It’s nice to be known as an eccentric who quilts.

      • That is very cool, Paul. I am glad to know you. I would love to do some craft work during surgery… As an RN retired, are you the patient, surgeon, or OR tech, anesthesiologist?…

  32. I usually travel with a knitting project because in a moving car I can’t accurately place a needle in fabric. Knitting, yes. Cross stitch, yes. Beading, yes. Sewing, no. Bummer.

  33. I switch projects so I have knitting, embroidery or a postage stamp quilt I’m sewing using 1″ squares. Last year I finished 600 yoyos! I really can’t sit idle.

  34. I always have quilting with me. They tend to be either some stitchery or applique. I normally try and do some of it before going into work. I find it relaxes me and makes me less tense when facing a busy day. Sometimes I do some quilting at work as well but normally during my breaks. I do pack craft work with me when I go away just to have something to do for a little break and escape from the busy world around me.

  35. I take my Cathedral Window squares with 1.5 inch centers. They are tucked in a sewing case which has 2 zippers to control my pins, needles and thimble, it is great to do while sitting waiting for the Dr. or Dentist. I also carry these in a larger case on trips while my Hubby drives At any given time I have many hand projects going, embroidery, applique, hand quilting all add to the above. I never sit without a needle in my hands!

  36. Great minds think alike! On road trips, I usually read my quilting magazines (I’m looking forward to a trip to Myrtle Beach this summer as I’m way behind!). I took charm squares and my yo-yo maker on a road trip to Alabama a couple of years ago, and came home with a Baggie full of yo-yos that I can use for embellishments, flower centers, etc. I took a couple of Hawaiian (needle-turn appliqué) sampler blocks on a flight to Hawaii in 2000, and while I was stitching, a flight attendant stopped to ask me if I was doing Hawaiian appliqué! I thought it was cool that she knew what I was doing. (Since then, I finished 12 sampler blocks and they became a UFO…now if I could only keep myself from starting new projects and FINISH something!)

  37. I take my hexie bag to the doctor, to guild meeting and even to the car dealer when waiting for the oil change and check up! People have only been inquisitive and always nice about the hand project. I don’t think I will ever have enough for a whole quilt, but I love dumping them out and playing with layouts every once in a while!
    Congrats on your magazine deal. I enjoy your blog and use your tutes to enhance my quilting! Thanks!

  38. I never have a project for long car trip – I’m always the driver! I’ve taken a quilt I was binding to the dentist’s office and ended up getting a customer for my longarm quilting!

  39. I take my hexies and sewing themed red work embroidery with me on flights, car trips or appointments. Some day I will have a nice wall hanging when I piece them together. I’m not self conscious about my projects…….it’s much better than what so many others do in public……..smoke, scratch, swear, etc.!

  40. je vais m’exprimer en français car mon américain est très limité; quand je pars hors de la maison ,je prend toujours un ouvrage: hexagones ( comme toi ) ou points comptés, qui prennent peu de place

  41. I have two travel projects an applique project and a piecing flower quilt project. By the time I finish it, it may be the size of a king size quilt.

  42. I always carry a ‘fun’ bag. I made a thread roll which includes silk thread on bobbins (so i can carry more colors), needle, thread and other necessities. RIght now I am doing a needle turn Fleur de lis wreath for a Christmas bed runner. I often take knitting, cross stitch, book, laptop and quilty magazines. My DH does all the driving, so I need to keep occupied! Last car trip from Phoenix to Las Vegas (about 5 hours), I practiced what I learned in a EQ7 class. SO FUN! My bag is made of crossword puzzle fabric with all quilty words filled. No question what I am obsessed with!

  43. If I have an applique project to work on, I will take that along. Otherwise, I like to do redwork embroidery. I always have a project ready to carry along on long or short trips. I used to take quilting projects with me to school sports events when my children were young. But, I didn’t get much done. Either the sports event kept me from the project of all the inquiries about what I was making.

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