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Stitching On The Fly: How To Travel With Your Projects


Good Evening, Friends!

As I get organized to pack for another adventure and go through an old list of blog post ideas, I decided to check one off the list! Believe it or not, most of the amazing posts and photos that I get from stitchers around the world are of you guys traveling! Road trips, airport layovers, flights, in your hotel room, waiting for the train. It all brings me such incredible happiness and I got myself into this mess so I could have the availability to travel more, even if it is up the coast to Maine.

Needlepoint not only brings me peace, relaxation and happiness, it is such a beautifully efficient way to rid anxiety from traveling and have a piece to mark such an adventure.

Below you will find a combination of tips and tricks when it comes to bringing your projects with you along.

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1. Queue up the tunes! Before heading out the door, use that WiFi while you can and download podcasts, Audible, playlists, Jane The Virgin, all the things. There's nothing worse than a four hour drive in the middle of the desert, with no service and all you and your friends have collectively saved to your Spotify playlists are 10 songs. Trust me.

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2. Smaller projects tend to travel easier! Unless you're down with rolling your project up or * cough * folding it * cough *, pack light. Traveling with a few, smaller pieces allows you to switch it up or carry a number of little mementos of your time on the go. Ooooor scratch that, get out that Big Boi hiding in the back of your closet and force yourself to get. stitch. done.

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3. Make some cuts: I know you want to try to get all eight projects done, but don't bring all eight of them with you on vacation. It's one thing to get sand and blackberries on one project. Hey, that adds character! On all of your projects though? That's a big bummer.

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4. If you're headed on a flight and happen to be a righty, aim for the window seat, if you're a lefty, the aisle will do. Should you find yourself in the middle seat, learn how to pull your threads upwards when you stitch. Your neighbor's eyeballs will thank you!

4.5. Do not, I repeat, do not leave your projects in the back pocket! I have heard of too many stitchers leaving their projects in the backs of rental cars, seats on flights, etc. Triple check!

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5. Needlepointing in public can be a great way to both strike up conversations with cute strangers or avoid them... because, well, yeah, bye.

Pictured above: Some awesome chicas stitching their way through layovers 

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6. Have a good project bag! Not only do these catch alls fulfill my bag obsession, project bags help keep you organized and spot particular projects in a fully packed handbag or backpack. Bonus points if you stitch your own project bag!

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7. Whether you prefer tiny sewing scissors, a golden pair of crane scissors or straight up nail clippers, you do you! TSA claims that they will allow a pair of scissors with blades 4" or shorter if you can justify it with a project! One time I opened my bag after getting to my place of stay and found that I had five pairs of normal scissors in my bag... Please note that this is Domestic not International. Each agent is different and sometimes an extra dose of friendliness will help your case if needed. While I have flown internationally with knitting needles, jars of needles, etc, a smile and kindness goes a long way. Sometimes I even warn the TSA agent while I am putting my bags on the belt. 

For example, "Hi! How are you? I just wanted to let you know that I am an embroidery artist so I have some supplies flying with me today." You are 100% an embroidery artist, so act like one with kind confidence. 

*Although I have never had a pair confiscated, I recommend that you don't bring along your most favorite pair. Just in case.

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8. Pre-cut all your threads and tie them with a slip knot so you can continue to stitch while you crush as many In-Flight movies as you can.

9. Personalize your projects with your destinations! This is something my mom has always been really good about, along with her initials and the year she started it. Unfortunately, I no longer do this with my canvases as I mostly stitch samples, but I love to add this touch to canvases by other designers. It makes them more personal and help you determine which pillows are older than your sister, Courteney. 

Pictured above: A Jean Smith canvas my mother personalized with "Lucca," an Italian city where she started this project while on a yoga retreat.  

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10. Pump up the relaxation with a lavender sachet in your project bag! The scent of lavender has magic-like properties that help you chill the eff out. A little inhale, a little exhale, a little stitch, mmmmmm personal paradise. 

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11. Be sure to scout out some local needlepoint shops while you're on the road! Each shop is greatly unique and may offer a different selection than the one you are accustomed to. Whenever I travel to new cities, I always love to pop into a shop!