Saturday, October 23, 2010

Quilting "on-the-go"

Recently, Jessica over at Life Under Quilts, blogged about quilting "on-the-go".  I identify a lot with her post because I too have a travel quilting project that I work on while "on-the-go". 

Crafting in public is usually accepted if your are knitting or crocheting.  You see people in parks, coffee shops, on buses, waiting in airports, etc doing this type of public crafting.  But, it's really rather strange to quilt in public and I don't really get why (except that maybe it's not that trendy?) and English Paper Piecing is PERFECT for quilting "on-the-go".  I first saw a woman on a New York City bus quilting some time in late 2006 (maybe early 2007) and I thought it was neat - at the time I had no idea what she was doing was called English Paper Piecing but I though it was really neat and the idea stuck with me. 

Crafting "on-the-go" is no new idea to me - I've been crocheting in public since I learned how to do it in elementary school but it took me until 2009 to start quilting in public. After the birth of my son I found myself spending a lot of time in parks and sitting in the car while he slept and/or played.  I started off crocheting but was looking for something new to try when I started looking around the internet and came across some sites for English Paper Piecing and remember the woman I had seen a few years earlier.  My hexagon "diamond" project started on Father's Day weekend in 2009 and I've been going strong since then - it's not a fast activity but it is "pieceful" and rewarding.

I started off with 1 inch hexagons and things have progressed from there to two inch 60 degree diamonds.  I carry all my supplies in a small lunch box that is easy to take everywhere (except on the airplane since they won't let you take scissors or needles on the plane).  I usually get stares and the occasional questions about it when people see me - part of it I think is that quilting in general is seen as something done by "old women" and I'm a young quilter.  The strangest comment I've ever had is when an older woman approached me in our neighborhood park in NY. Dominic and I had gone for a walk and he had fallen asleep in the stroller so I found a nice sunny spot to sit and sew while he napped and was approached by this woman who asked what I was doing (she seemed to walk in the park around the same time of day that we did so she had seen me doing this several times).  After I told her she stared at me for a few minutes and then started laughing and walked away.  I guess she thought I was crazy.

Being the stay-at-home Mother of a small child means lots of time at the park and naps in the car (planned or otherwise) so I have lots of time to quilt in the car and around town.  =)


  1. I bet she was laughing at herself for not thinking of quilting in the park!

  2. Some people laugh when they don't know what else to do, a sort of deflection of their own embarrassment. Quilt on!

  3. The hexagon is the perfect quilt project to take along. It's easier by hand, I think.

  4. There was a mother at my daughter's karate class working on a fabulous applique a while back...and a mom at the karate school she went to before that who was making a braided wool rug. She brought in the old coats and pants she was cutting the strips from, then the braiding once she hit that point. I think karate was the only time she worked on it.