This has been a busy week for me & hubby, including this weekend, which consisted of running quite a few errands. Since hubby was driving, I spent some time working on one of my purse projects in the car: a Mill Hill kit from the Autumn Harvest Collection, Princess Carriage. Since I spent so much time, this weekend in particular, sitting in the car working on my purse project, I though I would take this episode of Sunday’s Stitches & Stuff to revisit a post from last year on the topic of my purse projects and mini project pouch. So here it goes, with a few updates, but first my work on the Princess Carriage:
Cross stitching is not only my favorite hobby, it is also one of the many ways I deal with depression and anxiety. While I take every oppurtunity to stitch at home in the early mornings, late evenings and on weekends, there are times when I just need to feel the needle in my hand, like when my anxiety hits in traffic or a waiting room. That is when I pull out my “Purse Project”. This is a little pouch that I keep in my purse, always, with one or two mini kits or small projects. It comes in handy so many times, not just for killing free time, but for giving my something to focus on when my mind wants to go full throttle over things that are beyond my control, like traffic (hubby would be driven of course, I don’t stitch behind the wheel). Here is a breakdown of my Purse Project Pouch.
Twenty years ago, when I first started my adventures in cross stitching, I searched high and low for a bag that I could use to store my kits, fabrics, threads, and whatnot. What I eventually found, which suited my needs at the time, was in fact a diaper bag. It was perfect. Mainly because it was big, had lots of pockets for organization and, best of all, was in a wonderful Winnie the Pooh pattern (I was and still am a huge fan of the Pooh Bear). Part of the diaper bag accoutrements that came with it, was this small pouch, intended to be used to hold tissues and small baby items such as pacifiers. At first I just kept the cute little pouch in the bag with my supplies, not really putting it to use. Then, in 2004, I started my occupational therapy program, during which time I had a 30 minute commute to and from the campus Monday thru Friday. While many students utilized the commute time for studying and getting ahead on homework, I often needed to use that commute as decompression time. A time to relax and prepare myself for either the day ahead or the evening’s assignments.
Naturally, my way of decompressing is by putting needle to fabric. Since I did not want to travel with my larger pieces, I decided small mini kits would work best, and started using that adorable pouch to hold and transport them. Not only did that pouch travel to and from school with me for years, those mini kits were very often the only projects I was able to even stitch during those busy years. Today, I continue to keep the pouch in my purse and very often pull it out when waiting at the doctor’s office, on long car rides, at work on my lunch break, etc. While I still have many mini kits in my stash bin, now I often create my own mini projects to keep in the pouch, as well
Of course every cross stitch bag needs to have a project or two inside. When I first started using the purse project pouch, I would grab every $1 kit I saw at A.C. Moore, Michaels, even Walmart. They vary in size, but most are 3 inches by 3 inches. Due to my obsessive collecting of those kits when I was in school, I have a near never ending supply in my stash bin. These days, however, I often alternate between the remade kits and kits of my own design from patterns in books/magazines, always keeping the pattern on the simpler side and no larger than 4 inches by 4 inches.
This is a fairly new addition to my pouch. In fact when I was younger I used to just hold the fabric in my left hand while stitching. Over the years though, my hands have developed some issues and holding the smaller pieces of fabric without a frame became painful and almost impossible. First, I purchased the smallest hoop frame I could find which was 3 inches in diameter. I still use this hoop for patterns I kit up myself, as I can cut the fabric large enough to fit. However, the fabric that comes with the mini kits is still too small for the hoop frame. So recently I decided to design and make a “snap” frame of my own. It works perfectly! The frame is cut from balsa wood and covered with duct tape to protect the fabric. Binders clips hold the fabric to the frame while I’m stitching. Typically after I secure the fabric to the frame with the binder clips, I remove the metal pieces from the clips, so that my floss doesn’t get caught. The metal pieces go back in when it is time to remove the fabric.
This is also an item I made for myself. The tin is an adorable Alice In Wonderland themed tin that was originally sold as a keychain. The picture is quite large, but it is approximately 3 inches long by 1 inch wide. After I removed the keychain, I added felt to the lid for keeping my needles, put a pinchusion on a magnet in one corner, and still was able to fit a needle threader, small snippers, and a tiny cube of thread conditioner.
Mini ORT Jar
Last but not least, a place to put all my little snips of thread. This cute container is actually a travel pill container. It is the perfect size for the pouch and with the screw on lid, I never have to worry about spillage.
Well that’s my cross stitch purse project pouch. It is always in my purse, just ask next time you see me, I’ll show you.