Travel Kit

As I was packing the UFO’s into the little storage containers, I dug out my “grab & go” box.  Do you keep such a box?    With all the pieces together, hopefully, in these storage containers, when I’m ready to leave on a trip or attend a retreat, I shouldn’t have to spend hours or days packing things to take.  In theory, I should be able to grab a couple of these projects and my “grab & go” box, along with a sewing machine and hit the road.


If you have a kit, what do you keep in yours?


In mine are pins, sewing machine needles, painter’s tape, iron cleaner, rotary cutter, band aids, hand sewing needles, post it notes, pens, pencils, a seam ripper, a calculator.  Not sure what else but I keep a spray bottle with the box because sometimes I’m sewing in a hotel and the iron doesn’t steam.

And, no matter where I’m traveling, I always have a knitting project or two and the Kindle so it’s not like I’ll ever run out of things to do while on the road.



  1. 2

    neen says

    My “grab and go” box is very similar to yours except I add hand cream and electrical tape (for the top of my left thumb, when I’m working on a binding.).

    Doesn’t take much to keep us happy, eh? (which is a GOOD thing… )

    neen (who loves the colors of your “found” project.)

  2. 3

    Sarahe4e says

    Judy, what do you do with all your scraps? Toss them or save for another quilt? All I see in your pictures are fabrics large enough to fold. My scraps are small bits and pieces that I turn into baby quilts to give to those who need them. I am always on the look-out for free scraps (hint, not so subtle hint).
    In answer to Pam’g queiry: I use vicks to stop the bleeding when I stick or cut myself? It kills the pain, too. But yes, Judy, what do you use it for?

  3. 4


    Maybe the reason I don’t have one is super proof that I don’t get to travel much if any. Wow! Is it bad to be jealous of the need for a grab and go box?!?!

  4. 5


    I pack a small flashlight. I began packing a flashlight when I was in a hotel during a tornado and had to evacuate to the basement in the middle of the night. Otherwise, your kit looks pretty much like mine. I always manage to get good use of the bandaids.

  5. 6

    Trish says

    I have a couple of grab and go boxes like yours, except I call them thread boxes. I sort my thread in them by content (cotton, polyester, rayon) and then by color.

    Now … my travel kit is a different story. It stays packed with my little Janome Gem all the time. Since I hate hand sewing, it only has the necessary supplies for machine sewing and cutting: machine needles, neutral thread, scissors (small and large), seam ripper, pins, a rotary cutter, rotary cutter blades, a pin cushion, bandages, a small can of compressed air, a small bottle of Mary Ellen’s Best Press, a finger nail file, and a spare pair of reading glasses.

  6. 7

    Natalie says

    this might seem silly, but i’m a beginner so i might as well ask – what do you use the painter’s tape for??? and is it regular blue painter’s tape, or delicate surface tape?

    • 7.1


      A lot of people use it to mark quilting lines on their projects. It is a straight edge and the same width the whole roll. You don’t have to mark your lines with a ruler which leaves room for human error.

  7. 8


    I really need to establish a grab and go box….thought about it at one time and never followed through. OH…speaking of storage boxes…I went to MY Walmart this a.m. and while the boxes were on sale, they were various prices…ranging in price from $2 for the smallest up to $5 for the largest so you got a GREAT deal, Judy. (I think because my Walmart is in Rehoboth Beach and it’s summer……also known as “get the money of the tourists”……the prices weren’t as low as yours. ALSO….the blackout curtains someone mentioned on my blog today that were $10 at her Walmart were $14.97 at MY Walmart.)

    • 8.1

      Gwynette says

      I have two travel boxes. One is actually a rolling suitcase for stitchers. it has my Janome Jem, small cutting board, iron and anything else that I would ordinarily have when sewing at home, except in smaller amounts… there is usually a quilt store handy to almost everywhere I travel.

      The second one is for hand piecing. I have taken a class from Donna Lynn Thomas who wrote Portable Patchwork and is in both of my quilt guilds. I’ve found that by marking all my handwork with accurate quarter inch seams, I can hand piece in the swing with the daughter that doesn’t quilt while we visit and drink tea. Then, I set up and machine sew on the same project like crazy when I move on to visit with my quilting daughter.

      Absolutely the best of both worlds!!!

  8. 9


    I don’t keep a grab n go box. I should.

    My mini quilt group is getting a similar concept item for Christmas, the pattern is called Travel Case. It has a larger pocket for a small cutting mat (5×7 ish) and 8 smaller slots for rulers, pens, scissors, ect. I have 4 done and 2 to go. Maybe I should make me one.

    I do keep my projects in boxes and I always keep atleast 2 hand work projects ready to go too.

    • 9.1


      So yesterday I started my grab n go box. I had an extra box from a project I just finished, instead of loading it with a new project it became my grab n go.

      I am not proud to say I was able to put almost everything I need in it and all but 2 things were still new and in original packaging. I will Photo it with my Sunday Stash Report. The only things I can think I need are thread scissors and marking pens.

  9. 10


    I have a Grab n Go box for when I go to classes or quilt guild. Mine is alot messier than yours, I have everything in there that I need to machine sew and hand sew.

  10. 11

    Glenda says

    I’m ashamed to tell everyone what’s in my grab and go box ! Let’s just leave it at the fact if ANYTHING is needed at sew-ins, I’ve usually got it. Glenda

    • 11.1

      Becky in GA says

      Glenda, your grab and go box sounds like mine. I actually have a canvas tool bag that I have filled up with sewing items. An 8×11 cutting matt, several rotary cutters, pins, machine needles (I won’t tell how many packages!) rotary blade sharpener, all my scissors and thread nips, a book or two or three, bobbin winder and plug, thread, denim squares (don’t ask why because I’m not really sure…) wax chalk, seam ripper, finger press, presser feet, walking foot, machine oil, my mini kit to clean and repair my friends’ sewing machines…..probably anything you could name is there. It weighs more than my machine but I store everything there so it is always ready with only a moments notice. I do not have the Vick’s vapor rub though, I could add that if I knew how I could use it as a sewing gadget! 🙂

      Thanks Judy for asking. I’ve enjoyed reading all the posts.

  11. 12

    Becky R says

    I love the idea of the grab and go bag – just never thought about it. Make sense because you usually grab the same stuff but you always end up wishing you had brought something that you missed.
    When I used to travel a lot I started taking something to take the stale smell out of the hotel rooms.
    I went to Wally world today too and grabbed a basket full of the plastic storage boxes. All the sizes were so cute! good timing too with the price reduction on them.
    thanks Judy.

  12. 13


    I too keep a bag ready to go. Mine is kinda large bag that I can have everything I need to do hand quilting on a grandmother flower garden. Doing one block then will sew all together after I get them hand quilted. I keep a small box in it with scissors, bees wax, quilting thread and regular thread, seam ripper. extra needles and magnifying glasses in case I can’t see to thread the needle. Plus I keep a bottle of water. Most times I keep my things from my purse in there and only have to keep up with one bag. I keep mine packed to take to VA when my husband or son need to go which is at least once a month.

  13. 17

    Bobbie says

    Every thing in the world is in my sewing tin that I take with me–use it a lot at my quilt club meetings– seam ripper -aka frog stitcher, white, cream, black and a few other color threads-small ruler 6″x1″-probably 3 different sizes of sissors,smaller ones-needles-sharpie ultra fine point pen-pin cushion–pins-,needle threader-extra thimble-extra hair clips for binding—-there is probably a few more things, but guess thats enough -oh yeah, if anyone thinks of something else I need to go in there-please let me know. Hugs, Bobbie

  14. 18

    Cindy says

    I need to throw bandaids in mine. I stuck myself 3 times yesterday. Hard enough to bleed. Twice with those dang, fine, sharp Clover pins and once with my stinkin thread scissors. Got my 8 1/2″ Lone Star quilt done, though.