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Anybody quilt in an RV?

Anybody quilt in an RV?

Old 01-11-2019, 08:36 AM
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My inlaws had a Winnebago and we used it a lot when our kids were growing up. I never had a machine with me but I did a lot of hand quilting and knitting.
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Old 01-11-2019, 09:18 AM
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I quilt in a class C motor home. I have a small TV tray that DH put some batting and fabric on and I use as an ironing table. I have a piece of an old cutting mat cut small that I use to cut on. On this last trip I brought a chair my friend handed down to me. I really liked that as I can set it to different heights. Before I have used a cheap plastic garden chair from Walmart or a simple metal folding chair. This was an up grade from it. I throw the chair on the bed when traveling. I make different precut kits to make on my trip. It is easier then taking piles of fabric and patterns.
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Last edited by Annaquilts; 01-11-2019 at 09:22 AM.
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Old 01-11-2019, 01:09 PM
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Location: Vancouver Island / Arizona
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We have been full-timing now for 3 and 1/2 years. My husband does grumble once in a while because I have taken over the dinette table. I actually have two machines with me, thank goodness as my FW is incapacitated at the moment. I have one good sized cupboard and some under the bed storage for fabric etc. The machine I am not using lives under the dinette table. As with most RVers, we do not have a lot of company. We have some storage at home so I do have some fabric there but we are in Quartzsite, Arizona for 5 months each winter. There are quilting groups in some of the RV parks and in several churches. You say you work camp. Is there a clubhouse or dining room that you could use in the off hours. Just yesterday I sandwiched my quilt with the group I sew with. Much easier than trying to do it in the RV. Our RV is 36 ' long. One of the biggest things is to be organized, have limited projects and fabric!!!!! I have a limited number of rulers and tools with me - nothing like some of the pictures of sewing rooms I have seen. My ironing board is an old cutting board 9" x 13" with a towel on top which I set on the bar. I cut and sew on the dinette table. It is doable and lots of fun, you gotta find a way, you can't not quilt!!!

Last edited by Kelsie; 01-11-2019 at 01:12 PM.
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Old 01-11-2019, 01:45 PM
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I think that it is a good time to do piecing and blocks and then making the quilts once you have sewing time somewhere you can lay it all out. Baby quilts or lap quilts would be fine.
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Old 01-12-2019, 12:59 AM
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I follow a blog by Barbara, Cat Patches, who is a quilter and she traveled around the United States in an RV for over a year and did some quilting in her RV. She does a lot of embroidery, but she also had her machine with her. Her journey starts on Sept. 11, 2017, here is a link to the first post of the trip. https://catpatches.blogspot.com/2017_09_12_archive.html. She posted just about everyday and it was fun to follow her around the country. She takes really good photos, too.
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Old 01-14-2019, 09:39 AM
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I wanted to add to what I wrote before after talking to my quilting buddies who are full-timers. They all said to tell you that "where there's a will there's a way" . None of us would give up our beloved hobby just because we're in a smaller space, but we all do things a bit differently.

I loathe sewing on plastic tables like the ones in the clubhouse or in the churches my guild uses, and I don't think the vibration is good for the machine, so when forced to use one of those tables, I always put a mat under my machine...I think the ones in WM are sold as mats to use when standing at the kitchen sink. They are fairly thick and rubbery. One more thing to drag around with me as sometimes I have to take my machine for a class. Otherwise it lives at home in its table. As I said, I would not give up my Sew-Ezi table-it folds up and travels in the bedroom closet; when we're going to be somewhere for several days, I set it up and sew as much as I can. I think I said my neighbor in a motorhome sets hers up at the end of the dining table, the lady down the street in a fifth-wheel sets her up in front of the sofa, which doesn't get used much for sitting as they both want to sit in recliners.

The gal in the motorhome also has a Sweet Sixteen. When she's ready to use it to quilt, she puts away the Sew-Ezi table and sets up the SS by the dining table.

Those big plastic tables are good, though, for cutting and sandwiching. My guild has several sets of 12" sections of pvc pipe that we put on the legs to make them a better height for most people for cutting and/or sandwiching. Several of us here in the rv park bought our own pvc pieces to use with the tables here-instead of buying long pieces of pipe and cutting it, we got pieces already 12" long with a molded "flange" thing on one end (so they sit flat on carpet). I can never think what they are called but are sold in the plumbing dept at Lowes near the lengths of pvc pipe.

I have a folding plastic table-someone asked about size and why that model. When I bought mine, about 10 years ago, I think it was the only size available, but it was then and still is perfect for my needs. When folded, it is 24" square-stands on end in the storage bay under our trailer when we're on the road. Open, it is 24x48. It has 3 heights...with a tablecloth and at highest height, it is perfect for serving at potlucks and fish frys. Inside, I've used it at various heights to cut, lay out, sandwich, or mark quilts.

I do use the bed sometimes as a design "wall", but it can be tricky-I've had the ac come on and blow pieces around , so that's not my favorite option. One friend made buttonholes along the edge of a flannel-backed tablecloth so she can hang it from Command hooks she stuck up over the bedroom closet doors. I use a lot of different sizes of foam core boards with batting stuck to them for laying out blocks-they are easily portable and most of mine fit into big zip lock bags. My favorite place, though, to lay out blocks, is the floor. Smaller quilts I can do on the floor in our living "room" area; otherwise, I use the clubhouse floor, laying blocks on the back of a flannel-backed tablecloth or a piece of batting-they roll up and can be tucked behind chairs until ready to be sewn, then unrolled a little at a time to sew a row or column.

One of the laundry rooms here has one of the same large white plastic tables that are in the clubhouse. When the clubhouse is in use by other groups, or when I'm waiting for the washer or dryer, I have used that table for cutting; the plus with that is there is an ironing board and iron right there for me to use.

Most of us store and transport our projects in tote bags. If you're like the rest of us, you have a zillion of them, so each project has its own bag which can go in a closet or behind a chair. From sad experience, however, I've learned not to store anything in the under-trailer storage bays unless it's in a plastic container with a snap-on lid. These protect fabric, supplies, and projects from water leaks and rodents that want to move in and travel with us .

I have cut, pieced, sewn, and quilted many quilts of all sizes (including king) in our trailers in the years we've been on the road. It is not as easy or convenient as it was in a house with a large cutting table and lots of storage space, but IS doable, so don't give up. Let us know if you have any other specific questions.

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Old 01-14-2019, 08:14 PM
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Margaret has just reminded me that I use those large zippered plastic bags that you get your new linens in. That way as one project is finished or I am gathering fabric for another, the space is flexible.
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Old 01-15-2019, 10:12 AM
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Default Full time RVer and Work Camper

I traveled for 5 years and quilted all the way. We started out in a 29 ft. Class C. I used the dinette to sew on. My cutting board was set up across the stove cover. I used the bed to lay out blocks. I also used picnic tables to sew on.
I had three bins full of fabric stored under the bed. We discovered our Class C was overweight (By 1200 pounds) and moved into a 33 ft. Class A. I turned the Cab chairs around and sewed on a folding table. A SewEZ table would have worked very well. I found that most RV parks had places for quilter's to meet. Community/Club houses are very common. I laid out a queen sized quilt and basted it for quilting on the floor of a Club house. I even used laundry rooms to cut and iron pieces while I did my laundry. I laid out blocks on our bed and also used cheap flannel backed table cloths as design walls. The great thing about table cloths is you can lay things out and roll it up and put it away.

We worked as hatchery hosts the last two years. I worked outside under the awning and inside the rig. The hatchery allowed me to use an empty office to set up my own little studio for a few months. I found local quilting groups that were always generous in sharing space and friendship. It is all very doable.
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Old 01-18-2019, 02:38 PM
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Thanks for all the great responses, certainly have me looking at our rig with new eyes! I really am coveting the sweet little white featherweight too, I have several vintage machines but no featherweight yet, I think I will move it to the top of the list! I found a video on layering a quilt by hanging it and I am going to check that out more closely since I think I can make that work really well. Thanks again...a few more trials and I may get it figured out yet...lol!
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