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Thread: Quilting and camping - any tips?

  1. #1
    Super Member lfw045's Avatar
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    Hubby and I are getting rid of our timeshare and are seriously considering a travel trailer or RV to start doing some traveling....only short trips for the next 3 years to get the hang of it before he retires.

    I want to be able to quilt while we are "out there". Anyone here that does that?

    TIA

  2. #2
    Senior Member Eagle Hawk's Avatar
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    All the time. I always take my sewing machine and a ton of fabric when we go in the RV. OK, so last year we went to Las Vegas and stayed in an RV park there, and I thought I would not take my sewing machine this one time. We were going for a friends wedding who was getting married at the Hilton. We stayed for 4 days and have been to casinos enough that they are not that interesting anymore and spent most of the time in the RV or walking the dogs. I just about went crazy without my sewing machine. Never again. I would rather have it with me and not use it than to leave it home and want it with me.

    We have been traveling in first a 36' and now a 40' RV for 5 years now off and on. Love it and you will, too. You can take anything with you and don't have to pack and unpack. But, do plan on taking a tow so you can run around to quilt stores wherever you stay. We live in CA and made a 6000 mile round trip to South Carolina so got the real hang of doing this so if you have questions, just PM me. Love to talk RV'g abd quilting.

  3. #3
    AmyM's Avatar
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    Three yrs ago I decided to learn to drive a big rig and run over the road with DH. In the beginning I walked into a Joann's and started to cry with the thought of not doing what I love while on the road. DH said "why not"? We bought an inexpensive machine and in time found you can pull those rigs into some pretty tight spots! (quilt shops in strip malls were a real challenge!) I found it was not so bad to use a folding TV tray as my "table" and made several quilts while on the road. I've since come off the road. I just couldn't handle the snowy mountains. I have a longarm now and really want to make a go of it here at home with a part time job. So take that machine, and whatever fabric you can fit. On rainy days you'll be glad you did.

  4. #4
    mrsdralshhadeh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lfw045
    Hubby and I are getting rid of our timeshare and are seriously considering a travel trailer or RV to start doing some traveling....only short trips for the next 3 years to get the hang of it before he retires.

    I want to be able to quilt while we are "out there". Anyone here that does that?

    TIA
    sadly I am stuck in a medical military barracks,, and I have a little baggie that I carry with me,, to work on what I am doing at the moment,, as I had sew,, if you machine quilt,, Im at a loss,,, sorry,,, :cry:
    hopefully you enjoy your sites,,and have a safe and enjoyable trips!!! :thumbup:

  5. #5
    Pam
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    I am getting a slide in truck camper and am planning on taking a machine, so I will be watching! I can hardly wait!

  6. #6
    Super Member lfw045's Avatar
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    Now I am getting excited! I hope this thread keeps going with stories of experience and tips! Thanks everyone!

  7. #7
    Senior Member Eagle Hawk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lfw045
    Now I am getting excited! I hope this thread keeps going with stories of experience and tips! Thanks everyone!
    I agree with AmyM about the TV tray. I went to Camp World and got one that is adjustable in height and it is strong enough to handle my heavy machine. I didn't want to use the kitchen table and have to move stuff back and forth when we ate, so this way I have my own spot and don't really have to move my stuff till we pick up to hit the road again. In our first RV I always used the kitchen table or booth, but loved it because there was a big window to open right at my side and I could get a great breeze while sewing. So nice. DH likes to watch TV (golf and football and news) while I sew and we are right there together enjoying what we like. I just take off by myself a lot in the tow to go to quilt stores in the area, but sometimes DH likes to go along for that, too.. I do a little research on the computer before a trip of quilt stores and directions in the areas we may be.

  8. #8
    AmyM's Avatar
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    When i could get a signal on the computer, I would look at google earth to get an idea if the truck would fit. One shop we pulled up to thought it was their batting delivery guy! HA! That was funny.
    By the time I got off the truck, it took two trips to unload my machine, storage boxes, cabinets (I grey taped them to the top bunk so they wouldn't tip over.) and fabric.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Earleen's Avatar
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    We lived in our 5th. wheel for more than 10 years and I kept sewing and quilting all the time. I found hand quilting to be a good thing (aplique). Just take your machine with you not a problem unless you dry camp.

  10. #10
    Super Member Gramof6's Avatar
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    We have a 39 ft 5th wheel & I take my machine and always have some handwork also. No problem. Also take the laptop because we have a satelite for internet & one for TV. I bought a machine off of Ebay that I leave in the Trailer now. Also have a cutting mat, Rotary cutter, blades, threads, pins, you know just the basic essentials that I leave in a bag in there also. When it is time to pack to go, I grab some projects, blocks that are cut, handwork stuff and go. Cut you out some blocks at home and have them in ziplocks labeled. That helps.

  11. #11
    Super Member sahm4605's Avatar
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    I would suggest taking a TV tray to place your machine on. I use one permanently at home. I have no place in my house to sew. I have taken over a small corner of the living room for a sewing corner because I was tired of going in and out of the closet every night. This way I can work on ironing and cutting during the day when the kids are being good playing on the floor. What Gramof6 said, about precutting is a great idea. I don't know if you are in an rv that you can move around in or a 5th wheele but it will be good fun. If you are "camping" in a tent or pop up you might want to just stick with hand work or hand quilting. Taking a machine might be a little bit hard to do. You will have to take pics of your travels and post them with the work that you get done. I know that many of us will be waiting to see it.

  12. #12
    Senior Member himnherr's Avatar
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    We recently took our annual camping trip with 3 other families. We have done this every year for the past 16 years or so. Started out in tents, then teeny tiny trailer and now have upgraded to a 26'. This time I packed my old sewing machine (left my newer one at home), small cutting mat, rotary cutter, ruler, iron, and a bag full of fabric. I was the happy camper when it poured most of the weekend. But, what? Me worry? Nope. I had my sewing machine humming while the other families kids were in my trailer playing cards. We had the best time! Now I leave the iron and sewing machine in there and just decide which project to take with me. I found an aluminum fold up table at Walmart for $20- very sturdy- not wobbly at all and set it up on it. I ironed on top of the stove cover- just put some towels on it. I'm telling you it was the most fun I've had in the rain in a long time! Won't leave home without it now! You will be glad you took it with you!
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  13. #13
    Super Member IrishNY's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eagle Hawk
    All the time. I always take my sewing machine and a ton of fabric when we go in the RV. OK, so last year we went to Las Vegas and stayed in an RV park there, and I thought I would not take my sewing machine this one time. We were going for a friends wedding who was getting married at the Hilton. We stayed for 4 days and have been to casinos enough that they are not that interesting anymore and spent most of the time in the RV or walking the dogs. I just about went crazy without my sewing machine. Never again. I would rather have it with me and not use it than to leave it home and want it with me.

    We have been traveling in first a 36' and now a 40' RV for 5 years now off and on. Love it and you will, too. You can take anything with you and don't have to pack and unpack. But, do plan on taking a tow so you can run around to quilt stores wherever you stay. We live in CA and made a 6000 mile round trip to South Carolina so got the real hang of doing this so if you have questions, just PM me. Love to talk RV'g abd quilting.
    It would have been a good excuse to buy a new machine in LV!

  14. #14
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    We have a 30ft trailer, and I am doing english paper piecing because I found that with my machine it just makes it too crowded in the camper if we are all in there.

    If I know that the boy's dad will be busy 1 day and I might not have a vehicle, then I'll pack my pink Kenmore up and sew at a picnic table.

    I leave an iron, cutting board/ironing board, and sewing kit in the trailer. That way I have "stuff" if I do happen to bring something with me.

    Theresa

  15. #15
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    Take a sewing machine out at a camp ground, next thing will be new friends in the making. Check fabric or quilt shops to visit along the way. You will get tons of ideas as every area of the country has different interest. Keep us posted on your travels. PS: learn to drive the rig. We belong the Good Sam RV org. www.goodsamclub.com lots on info. Check states my husband and I are the State Directors for SC.

  16. #16
    Pam
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    sewgull, I agree, learn to drive the rig!!! I do ALL of the driving! Hubby just rides along and does his favorite activity, backseat driving. I had a CDL at one time, drove a 72 passenger pusher school bus. I loved the bus, the kids, well not so much. Poopheads!

    Once I get my little slide in camper I will be ready to hit the road! I have a 30 foot goosneck trailer that I use to haul horses, so a little camper like a turtle shell on the back of the truck will be no sweat.

  17. #17
    Google Goddess craftybear's Avatar
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    awesome ideas!

  18. #18
    Gal
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    I have only managed hand piecing whilst away camping, some how it suits the pace of life, but surprisingly I have made good progress having kept at it. (It is small and portable.) As our trips are not that long I usually take along some quilting mags and like to relax and plan my future projects!

    Gal

  19. #19
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    All the time too!
    i keep a cutting mat,rotary cutter and supplies (needles,pins etc..) that stay in the 5th wheel. i also have a RV project..that stays there! (an apple core quilt). i use the larger ziplock bags to store fabric in. i bought a small white plastic table from sams club. it folds flat. i think it is 2 x 4'.
    i have a janome jem platinum,weighs 12 pounds,that i take with me.
    and an extension cord!
    you would be surprised,pleasantly, how many people will come and talk to you when you are sewing outside! met quilters where ever we went!

  20. #20
    Super Member applique's Avatar
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    Hand applique and redwork as well as channel trapunto all "go" well camping, doctors' visits, to the kid's games etc. Wouldn't be without it.

    sadly I am stuck in a medical military barracks,, and I have a little baggie that I carry with me,, to work on what I am doing at the moment,, as I had sew,, if you machine quilt,, Im at a loss,,, sorry,,, :cry:
    hopefully you enjoy your sites,,and have a safe and enjoyable trips!!! :thumbup:[/quote]

  21. #21
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    We have a RV on permanent site with a built on screen room but still limited space. I plan ahead and cut my quilts out before I leave home. That way I am not dealing with lots of fabric laying around and taking up precious space. I usually have several projects going at once and keep in storage bag or clear plastic box. Don't leave home without something to sew on!!!!!!!!!!!

  22. #22
    DJ
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    Most quilt shops will also have a place you can set up your machine to work on larger projects if a class isn't going on. They will also let you use their large tables for cutting fabric, I believe. I do take my sewing machine in our 19' travel trailer, along with pre-cut pieces and a small reversible irong surface/cutting mat. I can't leave my machine out, but it only takes a few minutes to set up and take down. Small space makes me be tidy.

  23. #23
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    If you don't want to take a machine, or take up too much space, try an English paper piecing project. Everything you need in one small tote bag.

  24. #24
    Super Member lfw045's Avatar
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    I am loving these tips and stories!! I can't wait to get started. Wish us luck in selling our timeshare on the 11th because if we can then it will be travel trailer hunting for us. If we have to wait a while it will be tent camping but I have never been camping before and with all your wonderful tips I know it will be fun......keep them comming please!

  25. #25
    Member Jan C's Avatar
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    This is a very common practice in Australia. Grey nomads as we are known tend to meet up every year in parts of OZ as they travel around. We tend to use caravans rather than RVs though this is changing. I have a light weight Jamone Gem for use in the 'van. It is small enough to fit in a cupboard and light enough that I can run it off the solar power supply. I store cutting boards and templates under the seat cushions and pre prepared blocks in bags under the bed. Works for me.

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