Class & Retreat Travel Bag and Supplies

The holidays are almost  over and it’s time to think about taking some classes or going to a retreat. This is one of the joys of being a sewer, a quilter or embroiderer.. It’s especially great when you have all your supplies ready to work and enjoy class.  But wait! What if you forgot to pack a thing or two? Then you get frustrated because you don’t have all the supplies you need. If you are in a store like Expert Sewing Center where I teach, you can buy whatever you need. BUT … if you are taking class some where that you can’t buy what you forgot, then the frustration begins. You might be able to borrow something from another sewer (I have found sewers to be incredibly generous). But maybe no one has what you need.

I figured out years ago, that I needed a complete set of most supplies to always be ready to go. I have a sewing bag that I purchased at my store, about 8 years ago. This way, all I need to do is add whatever supplies my project calls for.

You don’t need to purchase a sewing bag, unless you want to. Pick a small suit case, maybe carry on size, that you can stock with what you need. There are plastic bins that Joanns Craft Store sells that would work. Whatever you choose, make it comfortable for you to have all supplies ready to go.

This is what I carry with me…..

Various scissors, pins, wonder clips, water soluble, air erase or iron off marking pens or chalk, (I have all of these markers in my case but my go to most often is a purple air erase marker). You need a rotary cutter, travel size cutting mat maybe 17 x 28 or smaller but still big enough to cut your fabric or quilt blocks, a small travel iron & ironing pad. Some companies, like OMNIGRID,  or combo cutting mat/ironing pad that is padded on one side and has a cutting mat on the other side. Either of these would work and not take up too much space. Don’t forget various sizes of rulers. My bag will carry a 6 or 6.5 by 18 ruler and I also carry a 6″ ruler for small measurements. You can also get a folding ruler that would give you a longer length if needed.

Don’t forget! Needles to fit your machine in various sizes to suit what you are working on, ie; 80/12 sharps & ball point, 90/14 sharps & ballpoint, embroidery needles 75/11 & 90/14, maybe a top stitch needle. If you are working with metallic thread, be sure to have a needle made to stitch metallic thread.

Threads in neutral colors for quilt piecing such as white, ivory or light grey. I also have a black in my case to go with dark neutrals.

Scotch tape, and medical tape, or Floriani Perfection tape. These hold your embroidery topper, or pieces of applique’ or parts of quilt blocks. Tweezers are another staple in my class bag, to use in embroidery, pulling my bobbin thread to the top of my project, or picking out threads in an embroidery designs gone wrong!!

If you are bringing a sewing machine or embroidery machine, make sure you pack your electric cord, or buy an extra cord that can stay in your class bag.  Don’t forget the case that has all your machine feet. Have extra bobbins to wind if you need to change bobbin color. Maybe put a tube of pre-wound embroidery bobbins in, if your machine likes them.

These things are separate from what is at my sewing table. I have 2 separate sets of everything so all I have to do is grab what supplies or designs I need, plus my machine and my travel supply bag and I am ready to go and enjoy a day of sewing without frustration.

You will be happy you did this. I have students who don’t and they always seem to forget something. Those that have followed my lead, walk into class confident, relaxed and ready for any kind of class.

Here are the 2 bags I use. The small one is for smaller supply classes and is 14″ square and 2″ deep.  It has   individual pockets to store things in. The big one is 18″ x 15″ x 7″ deep.  It has room for a small iron and more full size items like best press, 505 spray, and a roll that you can put all your small items in.  It has a large pocket to hols various size rulers.  Yes, I have duplicates in both bags that are separate from my sewing machine.  You do what works for you, but be guided by what I have suggested. You can figure that out by being guided by my list, or with a list of things you forgot at class, or by just looking around your sewing stuff to see what you always use or may need at class or retreat. A word of note, Omnigrid has a lot of storage options that are geared to the sewing industry. The middle bag is the Sew Together bag that you can make yourself to store the smaller things for class like needles, pins, marking pens, small scissors. It holds a LOT!.

2-gear-bags-2I hope you enjoy my blogs and you pass my link on to your sewing friends. I try to make them informative and help you to enjoy what you are creating. If you haven’t already, please sign up to follow my blog as Google likes us bloggers to have followers. You will get an email each time I publish a new blog. Also, please check out my past blogs. They cover things like, stabilizer,  threads, needles, etc. Use it as a reference source. Also, if something new or different has come on the market, I will revise that particular blog, so you are always up to date.

Meantime, Happy Sewing!