…San Antonio, Albuquerque, and Santa Fe over the next 8 days. Teresa, in a comment last week asked what I travel with. Here you go:
I travel with 2 suitcases and I do my best to keep them under 30 lbs. each. I know that a lot of professional quilters travel with huge, heavy suitcases. I do not. I have enough problems with my arm/shoulder joints and I'm not going to push my luck by hefting huge suitcases. That means that I must pack carefully.
Clothes take up 1/3 of the space in my bags. Toiletries, my tripod, granola, neti pot, shoes, make-up bag, etc., take up some space. Quilts easily take up 1/2 the space in my checked bags. I use Eagle Creek packing cubes for my clothes and quilts and this is something you might like to have yourself:
I always fold my quilts on the bias. Always. Above, the packing cube is mostly open. Below, it is closed.
And because I have watched suitcases being soaked by rain, I always put my packing cubes into those big ziplock bags, one cube per bag:
They fit perfectly into my orange Eagle Creek suitcases:
I can fit two packing cubes per bag, with other stuff. I split the quilts and clothes between bags. Yes, I have had bags go missing, but they have turned up later. Yes, theft can happen from bags but honestly I think that my quilts look like clothes when they are packed this way. Electonics in a suitcase are more likely to be stolen. This system works for me.
I do have a small but heavy carry-on with my electronics. It makes my head hurt to think about the value of the stuff in this little bag. The equipment is insured which is the only thing that makes me a little calm on the rare occasions that I have to gate-check this bag. It and my big purse I carry on.
I always travel with stitching. You can carry scissors with blades 4" long, but I always travel with a smaller scissor. You can travel with needles. BUT if you are traveling internationally that can vary. From the US to wherever, this is mostly true. From overseas to home, you can lose all scissors and needles. It has happened to me.
In my stitching bag tomorrow:
…pencils (the Sewline Trio is on the left, the General's charcoal in white on the right, always go with me), the glue pen because I'm working on a paper pieced project this trip, some bobbins with bikinis, my small Perfect scissors. The needle nanny is good on a plane because it gives me a place to park my small scissors as I sew. The pin cushion for pins. (The pattern for that needle caddy will be available to you soon… it has pockets. You will want to make one :-).)
I found a nice plastic box to carry the paper piecing project I am working on:
I think everything I need will fit in this sandwich-sized box, in my purse. Yay!
Now here's the thing: I don't stitch on planes. The light is bad, the space is close. I read or I work on my laptop when I fly. I've even started buying access to wifi. BUT I cannot travel without something that I can stitch on in case of calamity.
Trust me, if I am stuck on the tarmac for hours, I will need stitching or I could turn into one of those crazy people you see on the news. Stitching keeps me calm and just knowing I have it, makes traveling OK. Plane delayed, if I'm stuck somewhere… fine. I'll just sew. And I'm a happier traveler because of it.