Are you wondering what notions you need to have on hand to tackle your quilting projects? Wonder no more! Today’s your lucky day to sneak a peek inside my bag and see what quilting notions you need in your sewing kit!
But first, I made myself a new travel sewing bag!
How many sewing bags is too many? Asking for a friend – ha!
You’re probably thinking “how many sewing bags do you need, Shannon?”
I know, it seems like I’m always sharing sewing kits on the blog. But that’s mainly due to hosting the What’s in Your Sewing Bag series 😉
Really, I haven’t updated my sewing kit since I first shared her with you in 2019. Why would I when she just works?!
Since I travel back and forth between the city and cottage so frequently, I started thinking I should streamline my packing needs by having a dedicated sewing kit for the cottage.
*This post contains affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, if you click through and make a purchase, I may receive a commission.
WHY MAKE A TRAVEL SEWING BAG?
It means one less thing to think about when packing up and I’m all for simplifying tasks whenever I can.
Despite coming up with this clever solution a while ago, making it a reality took some time. This seems to be a common theme when it comes to making things for myself.
Just like my little improv quilted needlebook took me a minute to get to make, this quilted improv triangle sewing bag took at least a year before I got around to making her.
MAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF
And as is often the case when I dilly dally on stitching up goodies for myself, once it’s made, I instantly wish I’d made time for the project sooner.
I shared a similar comment on Instagram after making myself a new cosmetic bag and you mentioned having the same issue! I’m all for thinking of others, but I’m also trying to consciously make an effort to think of myself. Not in a selfish way, but in a ‘showing up for myself’ way.
Stitching up a new travel sewing kit is super simple and yet brought me immeasurable joy the minute I had her done!
I kept oohing and aahing over her, which made my hubz happy to see me so happy!
It really is the small things in life that bring us so much joy.
The moral of the story is, make yourself a new travel sewing bag!
HAVE YOU TRIED A DIFFERENT BAG SHAPE?
This time around, I decided a wanted to try something a little different.
I knew I wanted my bag to feature improv patchwork. You know my love for modern improv quilting and it just feels right having a sewing kit that matches my quilty style.
What I hadn’t planned on was using the trimmings from the improv backing I featured on this baby Flight Plan quilt.
My original plan was to use the scraps leftover from making my Ode to Coral Modern Aztec Mini, but then I’d just finished stitching the Improv Needlebook and the scraps were already out…so, you know, the path of least resistance 😉
I’d also saved some Soft & Stable* trimmings from making my Market Tote that I’d been holding onto in case they might prove useful. Turns out, they were the exact size I needed and juuuuust enough to make this triangle sewing bag. It makes for a nice and squishy texture while still giving your bag structure. I think I prefer it to using batting plus a stabilizer.
It was super fun quilting her up too. I featured my fav pink thread* and decided to do a mix of matchstick quilting with some improv echo quilting to highlight some of the triangle patchwork.
Why the triangle design?
As a quilter, I love exploring all the different shapes and I wanted a bag that was different from my others, would sit up on its own, and have a nice wide opening.
She didn’t start off being a triangle. I’d already gotten her half-stitched when I decided to change course.
Nothing a little unpicking can’t fix!
And I love that I went with my creative instincts and changed course because I love how my bag turned out!
WHAT I KEEP STOCKED IN MY TRAVEL SEWING KIT
SEWING NOTION PHILOSOPHY
One of the top questions I get asked about is what notions I like to keep on hand.
I get it, when I first started quilting, I was super curious to know what my fellow makers were using on the regular.
I was so curious in fact that I started the What’s in Your Sewing Bag series to help you hear from real makers and see what notions they can’t live without.
Given that I subscribe to the ‘less is more’ philosophy when it comes to my sewing notions, it probably comes as no surprise that lots of consideration go into the notions I do stock.
There’s so many quilty gizmos and gadgets on the market that don’t necessarily improve your quilting journey and I don’t want my studio getting cluttered with useless notions.
It’s always nice to have help to navigate your sewing notions options.
QUILTING NOTIONS YOU NEED IN YOUR SEWING KIT
On that note, here’s an overview of what I consider essential quilting notions you need in your sewing kit.
They don’t need to be embroidery specific; the main point here is to have a small pair of scissors that are nice and sharp. I’ve had my eye on this cute silver pair* for awhile.
I don’t often cut fabric on the road, so this square ruler* is mainly used for plotting quilting lines on the go. Bonus – it adds a nice stabilizing base to my bag 😉
This is the tool I use to plot my lines* when quilting – both for machine and hand quilting, making it a must for my sewing kit.
You know my love for Aurifil Thread and I always have a large spool in my fav shade of white* on hand. Perfect for blind stitching and English Paper Piecing.
I like to use thread conditioner whenever I’m doing any blind stitching or thread basting. The thread gloss coats your thread in beeswax to help it glide through your projects more easily and reduces tangling. The lovely essential oil scents are an added bonus!
I have a selection of sewing needles that I like to keep on hand. I like to use these straw needles* for any type of blind stitch or thread basting. For big stitch hand quilting I use these gold eye embroidery needles* which are the perfect size for the pearl cotton thread I use.
Having a dedicated spot to put your needle between rethreading or if you need to take a break is super important.
Because if you don’t you’re more likely to use the armrest or a pillow as your makeshift pincushion and I’ve heard so many horror stories of people losing said needle in their sofa or pillow. That’s a total fear of mine – having someone sit on a needle that’s gone missing. So, protect yourself, your family, and your pets from rogue needles by keeping a pincushion on hand. Make your own with the Sit ‘n Sew Pincushion pattern.
I love using a leather thimble. Just like a good pair of leather shoes will mold to your foot, a leather thimble* will mold to your finger. That’s gotta be the best part because it makes for the most comfortable thimble ever. So much so, that I often forget I’m wearing it and find myself in the kitchen ready to make dinner and I still have it on – ha!
I use these on my thumb and index finger when I need extra leverage to pull a stubborn needle through lots of layers. If your hands get sweaty like mine do while stitching, then these rubber thimbles are game-changers. I use the pink one * for my index finger and the yellow one* for my thumb. No more slipping and pricking yourself!
Not the sexiest item in my sewing kit, but an essential nonetheless. We all make mistakes. And a seam ripper helps you make quick work of ripping any stitches and getting you back on track. I love that this purple one* has a cover to keep it from pocking holes in my sewing bag.
Glass nail file
Jagged nails drive me crazy, and I like to keep my nails nice and short. This means they need regular maintenance, so I find it easiest to keep a nail file on hand. It just makes it easy to find.
I recently switched to using glass nail files and I can’t get over how awesome they are. I find them way smoother than emery boards and they’re reusable! I picked up this set* to keep one in my purse, one at home, and one in my travel sewing kit.
I’ve been a lip balm lover since I was a little girl. The obsession went into overdrive when I discovered Lip Smakers* (remember those?). Over the years, I’ve tried lots of different ones and I have a few fav. My latest obsession is this lip treatment* that always leaves my lips super moisturized without feeling sticky. What’s your go-to lip balm?
SEWING KIT UNBOXING – SEE EVERYTHING I KEEP IN MY TRAVEL SEWING BAG
Click the video below to see everything I keep stocked in my improv quilted sewing bag to inspire you to curate your own quilting notions you need in your sewing kit 😊
For more quilty inspiration, check out:
- Why I love Aurifil Thread
- Top 10 Tips to Improve Your Quilting on a Domestic Sewing Machine
- 5 Things Every Quilter Should Know about Batting Bolts
- 50+ Fabric Shops for Modern Quilters
- 3 Things to Consider Before You Rip a Seam
I hope this inspires you to stitch up your own custom sewing bag and helps you narrow down the quilting notions you need in your sewing kit!
What’s your favourite notion you keep tucked in your quilting kit?
Never miss a post – sign up for the weekly newsletter.
This post uses affiliate links. For more info, visit the FAQ page.