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Thread: Quilting on a camping trip?

  1. #1
    Member Belleinohio's Avatar
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    Quilting on a camping trip?

    Hello Everyone, I just wondered if Anyone has ever machine quilted on a camping trip. We have a pop up and I have the room, but how do you pack? What did you pack? And was it worth the effort? Or should I just save this for at when I have "time" at home? I just wanted to combine my two hobbies together. Thanks.

  2. #2
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    I never have but you could always take hand work the first time around to see if thats what you want to do. Depends on the campground you are in etc. Whatever you do good luck

  3. #3
    SSK
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    I bought a small machine just for our trailer, use it all the time. Best to make just the squares. I tried putting a quilt together and it was way too much work. Best saved for home with more room.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Bneighbor's Avatar
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    I have carried a machine for 10 years now. I just upgraded to a Brother Inovis 1250 with a 5x7 embroidery arm. I piece quilt tops and then quilt them during the winter. I have my machine in a rolling sewing machine tote. The embroidery arm is in another tote which holds the arm and hoops. I bought a quilters tote years ago from Joann's, it holds rotory cutters, rulers, a folding mat (I acurually have two), a small travel iron (I use only in emergency since I have a standard iron tucked away), and all the extra notions needed to have a complete sewing room. I packed that tote full! I have a Rubbermaid tote with threads, both sewing and embroidery. If I am going to embroider, I make sure I pack only the threads and stabilizers needed (otherwise I pack so much I may need an extra trailer). I planned out the locations for storage for both convince and safety, as I do not want to remove everything to get to the machine nor do I want it bouncing or rolling around. I made an ironing mat as shown by Jenny Doan from Missouri Star Quilt. I store that beside the bed. My husband is a semi-professional racer, so we travel several weekends a month. This machine has been a life saver in many ways. Not only do I have something to do when we have rain days, but I also use the machine to repair racing uniforms and parachutes. I was actually picked up by a racer, driven by golf cart to his pit area and repaired his parachute while it was attached to the car. The press was there covering a story about him and they were fascinated by what I was doing!
    We do travel in a 43 foot motor home, but space is still at a premium.
    Good luck with your projects and have fun! Traveling and sewing is such a great combination! You will find sewing friends everywhere!

  5. #5
    Super Member thimblebug6000's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum! If you do a search here on the forum you can find a few other threads where we've all shared our tips too. I always take hand work & that keeps me busy in the early morning before DH gets up; but when I know we will be traveling to spots that have electricity I take my little Featherweight & have baggies of blocks precut usually. I have a little travel iron and a June Tailor Press & Cut; it works for me and we just have a Roadtrek. I usually stitch at the picnic table but if it rains I can set up our table & stitch happily away. Hope you enjoy many hours of stitching on the road!

  6. #6
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    On our last vacation (RV), I knew I'd be busy with my honey most of the time, but for some of my down time, I packed a cutting board, ruler, rotary cutter, and set of fabrics that needed to be cut. While he was out one day, I got a large part of the cutting done for the quilt I am working on now. I figure getting any little bit done helps me be more efficient. My only portable sewing machine is not very good, though I could use it for basic straight-ine piecing if needed.

  7. #7
    Super Member charsuewilson's Avatar
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    Not while camping, but it would be like going on retreat, but probably with less stuff. I've gone on retreats, and gone to places that have a sewing machine available, and sometimes I work on stuff in the car while we're traveling. I keep a sewing machine in a rolling tote with the basics - cutting board, cutter, scissors, neutral thread. Then you just need the project on which to work - pieces cut to be sewn together, pieces to cut, .... I keep my projects individually in a large zip-loc project bag. Then just throw in the other essentials that you need, like the iron and an ironing pad. There are certainly packing lists for retreats that are posted here. They would include some of the stuff that you would need anyway for camping, and you should already have a packing list for camping.

  8. #8
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    For me it would depend on how long my vacation was going to be. We only have a week at the cottage in the summer so I pack a little Redwork embroidery in case we get a rainy day. I am also chief cook and bottle washer so that keeps me busy.

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    I don't bring sewing on a trip less than a week, but i do bring things on 2 week trips. I have pieced two (very simple) quilt tops while camping. I bought a little Featherweight machine since it was so easy to carry. I have a bag originally designed for tools that I use for the machine, rotary cutter, thread, needles, etc. I put a cutting mat under the bed mattress for travel. I pre-cut what I need mostly though. The projects go into a plastic bag. Not hard to carry and store the tool bag and the fabric bag in the camper. I already keep a small iron and folding ironing board in the camper. I just set up on the little table inside when it is rainy or extra cold, particularly at night.

    I also have a handcrank Singer 99 that I will be taking on trips without electricity since we live near a great desert area. So far no full quilts, but I have used it for a number of blocks. I find the biggest issue is just swapping between machines and getting consistent seam widths, so I try to finish a quilt on one machine.

    Pam

  10. #10
    Super Member jcrow's Avatar
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    We rent a big beach house twice a year at the Oregon Coast and last time I brought my sewing machine and a quilt I had just started. My kids were there to meet us. I didn't use the machine once. I spent all my time with my kids or cooking or exploring or at the casino and visiting - visiting - visiting. I'll never take my machine along on a vacation again.
    "Be yourself...everyone else is taken."
    Strong people don't put others down...they build them up."
    "Remember that your instincts are more important than rules"

  11. #11
    Super Member Wanabee Quiltin's Avatar
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    I take a program I am working on or one I want to start. I am leaving Monday for a long camping trip and I am packing all my Christmas fabric to cut up into squares. When I say all my Christmas fabrics, I mean the red and green, not blue. After I get them cut up and ironed, I will piece. I don't quilt them in a small trailer, too difficult to even sandwich them. I have smaller, cheaper machines I sew with in the trailer.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Belleinohio View Post
    Hello Everyone, I just wondered if Anyone has ever machine quilted on a camping trip. We have a pop up and I have the room, but how do you pack? What did you pack? And was it worth the effort? Or should I just save this for at when I have "time" at home? I just wanted to combine my two hobbies together. Thanks.
    I always take sewing stuff. Precutting your pieces saves time & space. I only sew blocks together, so just need, thread, tweezers, (for threading sewing machine) scissors, pins, ripper (haha), small cutting board & square for squaring up HST's, travel iron & ironing pad. Those cutting board, ironing pad combinations are nice. I have a "little" Brother I bought at WalMart that I use for travel. My "big" embroidery Brother gets to stay home unless I am going for several weeks. I can fit all this in a medium plastic storage container.
    Sew a Little, Love a Lot & Live like you were dying!

  13. #13
    Super Member jeanharville's Avatar
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    I take my small Janome with feet and pre-cut projects almost everywhere I go if the stay is a week or longer. These are the tools I take: thread, scissors, snips, rotary cutter (for squaring blocks) small cutting mat, small iron and ironing surface, extra sewing machine needles, pins, elmers washable school glue and glue sticks, seam ripper, wrist pin cushion, and rulers to match the project and measuring tape. I put the precut fabric in plastic bags and the small tools in a small plastic container. Believe it or not, I can get most of this in the wheeled machine tote that has several pockets and the flat things (fabric, cutting board, rulers, ironing board) in the bottom of my suitcases. My daughters-in-law usually have sewing projects for me when I visit because they all know I "have sewing machine, will travel"
    jean

  14. #14
    Super Member leaha's Avatar
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    where there is a will there is a way, read about a gal who has log home in MT, in winter they go RVing to a dry camp way out in the desert, she takes her LONG ARM in a cargo trailer they tow behind there RV, she sets things up and does her long arming in the cargo trailer. I figure if she can do that then any of us can figure a way to take a FW or small machine, hand crank would be good for no elec camps. a folding table you could slip under the bed?
    It is really hard for me to help you as I have to be in my nest to even teach, I always for get some thing if I teach away from home. Me I would probably set up a special set of things just for the camper, knowing me. Sewing machine, rottery cutter matt ruler, threads, needles iron ripper light nips, any thing I would need. But I am one of those who does not do any thing half way, I'm sorta all or nothing, have tried but I always go overboard, so not much help here, so sorry :-)
    dare to dream

  15. #15
    Super Member buslady's Avatar
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    I never leave the house without a sewing project. Couple hour trip, overnight or weeks vacation!! I have sewn in campgrounds and hotel rooms. I have a "go" bag, with hand sewing projects for the car. I even will take hand sewing into a meeting if it is a "sit and lsiten" type meeting. My hands HAVE to be busy! We go up north for weekend getaways and I take sewing with me. I will stay at the cabin and sew for a day while the others go sight seeing! That is my idea of a vacation!! DH is used to it. LOL
    Onalee Rose
    "There comes a time in your life, when you walk away from all the drama and people who create it. You surround yourself with people who make you laugh. Forget the bad, and focus on the good. Love the people who treat you right, pray for the ones who don't. Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down is a part of life, getting back up is living."

  16. #16
    Member smokymtnquilter's Avatar
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    We have a seasonal business so we head to FL most winters in our motorhome and I take my sewing machine with me. I work on quilt tops. Also got tired of the curtains in the motorhome so I took them down one winter and made curtains while on the trip. Its something to do on those rainy days. It takes over the dining table but neither of us seem to mind since we eat outside most of the time anyway.

  17. #17
    Super Member pumpkinpatchquilter's Avatar
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    Yes! I quilted on a camping trip! I knew my Husband had to work one day of our trip so while the kids played on the playground I plugged in my featherweight and got to work on a picnic table!! I brought a table cover so my fabric wouldn't get dirty and the essentials - machine, nippers, thread, needles, pins. I didn't press while I was there I brought one of those little wooden pressing sticks, then just pressed my blocks when I came home. I say - take it with you!!
    Valerie Smith - pumpkinpatchquilter
    Obsessed Quilter and APQS Long Arm Machine Quilter
    www.pumpkinpatchquilter.com

  18. #18
    Senior Member Pat M.'s Avatar
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    I take my hand crank for when we don't have electric, and the featherweight for when we have a connection. I was able to make several squares between hiking and etc.

  19. #19
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    I take my FW,cutting/ironing mat,a project precut and ready,a travel iron,pins,thread,scissors,and "jack the Ripper", and an extension cord. I sewed on the picnic table every day for a week when I was at Sisters quilt show week. I'm camping now...no electricity,I have my GMFG to work on. Beats the hck out of biting off the fingernails of boredom! LOL!
    Life may not be the party we planned for,but while we are here we should dance!

  20. #20
    Member Robbi5's Avatar
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    I took quilting stuff with me one year. We use a tent trailer and I set up a folding table outside under the awning. I brought a small travel machine and a travel iron. The only thing I regret bringing was a cutting board... It was a warped mess in the heat. I would precut everything before. Enjoy your camping, I'm sad that I'm not able to go this summer.

  21. #21
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    WE have a small popup and I take my FW and cutting supplies (whatever you need). It seems to rain alot (florida) when we go camping. I take everything in a plastic tote box, so when not in use can put it away. I would just put it on one of the beds when we ate. If weather was nice and hubby was out with dog, I would set up outside. Goodluck and have fun.

  22. #22
    Senior Member LoriMcc's Avatar
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    I purchased a "travel sewing machine" when we started camping. I always took it along. I would sew in the camper or outside. It was awesome! I have 7 kids so someone always wanted to stay back at the camper-I had something to do then! It was worth the extra effort to me!
    Lori McC

  23. #23
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    I think it all matters how busy you're going to be and how much area you will have to work. I usually only take handwork such as applique or embroidery or small projects that may need binding that can be done by hand. if you're a hand quilter then that would also depend. I have often done a lot of yo yos from scraps and such. Every situation is different. Depends on the mode and the conveniences that are accessible.

  24. #24
    Super Member Grace MooreLinker's Avatar
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    I have a sewing machine just for the RV, most of the time I per make kits for projects have them already to sew. But most of our outings have been months long. This year we are staying home, nice for a change. Have started my Christmas sew projects. take only what you have room to store with out a problem.
    Freedom is costly and quilting keeps us busy...

  25. #25
    Senior Member Drue's Avatar
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    I always take a machine with me when we RV...we now have a motorhome, but even when we had a travel trailer, I took one of my machines. Usually I take my small one, but our last two trips out, I took my big machine because I don't like switching machines in the middle of a project. They never stitch quite the same from machine to machine and I also had some embroidery work to do as well.
    Those who are piecemakers will sew seeds.

    Hugs,
    Drue

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