Today, we’re delighted to introduce our OLFA/Aurifil Summer Slice & Stitch! For the next three months, we'll introduce you to 3 Aurifil Artisans and 3 OLFA Experts who have been challenged to create and share small, on-the-go projects that could be stitched up on a camping trip, by the pool, on your deck, or in the car... We're naturally busier in the Summer and it's sometimes hard to find ways to fit all of the projects in, so why not plan to take the projects along with us!? We challenged each participant to make something fun and new to share with all of you! They were provided with all OLFA tools & Aurifil threads needed to make their projects a success. Wherever you're headed this Summer, whether it's overseas, across the country, or simply to the other side of your backyard, these projects will keep you busy along the way.
The sunniest season is officially here and nothing says summer for me like a road trip on the weekend! It can be a day trip or an extended one, but I love to enjoy the warmer days going on a long hike, enjoying the lake beaches we have around, or getting to know the charming small towns nearby.
I frequently use these outings as a "cooling down from my busy week” time, and try to go as analogical as possible. That’s why one of my favorite things is to always have a craft bag with me in the car! If I know that I’ll have some time to sit and rest, I usually bring an easy project with me, and the main rule is that everything has to fit inside my library bag or, depending on how much I am going to walk, inside a pouch that I carry in my backpack.
My two favorite crafts to-go are journaling and embroidery. Today I will show you what I packed for my last day trip to the beach, how I prepare in advance, and what I do love to bring with me, typically.
So, the first thing is obviously defining which project I am going to make.
When I got this amazing Puppy Portraits cotton floss Collection from Aurifil, I got SO excited! First, because it is really smooth & colorful (and I am well known for my passion for colorful things!), but a huge advantage in this case is that each color already comes on a gorgeous wooden spool, which makes them just perfect to travel and avoid tangles, a real problem that I had with my previous standard threads.
Another great thing about this collection is that it comes split in two small boxes, which I loved, as both of them fit perfectly inside my travel pouch, so I don’t have to worry about storage for these spools. It seems so simple, but it made all the difference to me, as I am able to organize the colors inside these boxes in the order I’m going to use them in my project for example, and it fits perfectly.
It’s been a while since I wanted to create a hoop artwork inspired by a colorful mountain village, and these collection worked out perfectly: I was able to incorporate all of the colors and it turned out exactly how I wanted.
The key to have an enjoyable time with travel projects is going through the making process and knowing exactly which step will work outside your craft studio. When embroidering, the most versatile step is when I stitch the pieces together, so I always prepare the hoop in advance:
- I cut all the printed patterns and the pieces of felt, using this amazing tool from OLFA, a combination of the AK-4 Art Knife and their curved blade, which cuts felt precisely. I used to use only scissors for this task before, but now that I discovered this curved blade, I love the results and the flawless edges so much that I end up using the art knife most of the time.
TIP: Do you know that OLFA has mats that work best with your fixed blade knives? What I love the most about them, besides being long-lasting, is that they are foldable and can be easily stored or packed away for easy travel! I have both sizes, one to keep handy besides me at the studio, when using my art knives, and the smaller one “lives” in my library bag, so I have it with me all the time on the go! :-)
- I lightly glue all the pieces in place on the hoop, so I won’t have to worry about missing small parts during my trip, and start to pack!
This is the list of all the tools and supplies I find useful when bringing an embroidery project with me:
- A bag with long straps (that’s why I love the library style bags, as they are specially made to carry all around)
- A box zip pouch
- Small square ruler (to have a small measurement tool in hand, or to use it as a hard surface as well)
- Appliqué Scissors
- Double Sided Tape: I always carry this one just in case, if I have any accidentally detached piece, it’s much easier to attach it again with the tape, and not lose it!
- Masking tape, in case I need to temporarily fix something (it works wonders when I want to have something in place and it’s windy outside!)
- Small foldable mat, if I need to cut an extra piece or use it to hold my tools on a bench for example)
- The two small boxes with Aurifil threads
- My needle book
- A small notebook, in case I need to take notes to finish the project later, an erasable pen, and a pencil
- The project assembled to the point when I can start hand-sewing it.
Tools used in this project:
- OLFA FCM-12x17 12" X 17" Folding Cutting Mat
- OLFA FCM-17x24 17" X 24" Folding Cutting Mat
- OLFA AK-4 Cushion Grip Art Knife
- OLFA KB4-R/5 Curved Carving Art Blade, 5pk
- OLFA QR-1x12 1" X 12" Frosted Acrylic Ruler
- OLFA QR-4S 4 1/2" Square Frosted Acrylic Ruler
- OLFA 5-Inch SCS-4 Precision Appliqué Scissors
And that’s it! Of course, your personal project would require different tools (my journaling stash looks a bit different for example), but what I would love to inspire you here is that you do not need tons of stuff when bringing a project on a trip with you! I just gathered everything together, then found the perfect shadowed spot near the lake and started sewing my project. I had a blast last weekend with it!
This is how my road trip sewing project turned out:
I hope you enjoyed following along my step-by-step process to bring a portable craft project on my day trip! :-) If you have more tips, please tag us in your projects using @OLFA_craft, @marciabel & @aurifilthread, we would LOVE to see your “To-Go” projects too!
Have an amazing summer ahead,
Be sure to head over to the Aurifil blog here.
Aurifil Artisan Karen Foster has made some beautiful embroidered barrettes!