Quiltmaking Go Bag

At Sew Day the other day people were asking to borrow various items from each other. I dont’ mind loaning thing, but am a huge proponent of  quiltmaking Go bags. Even if you have a Go bag, there is always something not included. One of the advantages of Sew Day and group sewing is being able to continue with your project because you can borrow something. This whole scenario led me to think about quiltmaking Go bags.

A ‘Go’ bag is just like what they talk about in spy films except with quiltmaking supplies you take to class, retreat or Sew Day rather than clothes and new identity credentials. I have one that I have developed over the years. It is a great help to just pick up the bag and know I have a rotary cutter, mat, rulers, snips, and other basic supplies that I need for my projects. I like not having to hunt for them around my workroom to take to class. I like not having to cannibalize my workroom supplies to go on retreat. The downside is that I have duplicates of a lot of tools and they have to live somewhere.

Small Go bag supplies
Small Go bag supplies

The way my system works is that my Go bag has static supplies. As mentioned, I consider static supplies to be things I won’t use up like fabric or thread. Rulers, mats, rotary cutters, scissors, etc are all static supplies. I can just grab this bag when I am packing for a class or Sew Day and know that it is ready. For supplies like fabric and thread, patterns, etc, I toss all relevant items for a project into one of my Chubby Charmers. When I return, the Go bag is slotted back into its home and the Chubby Charmer gets unpacked.

I don’t like to have to hunt around for static supplies, which is why I have worked on gathering duplicates. Having duplicates is also helpful when someone comes over to sew.

Quilting Go Bag
Quilting Go Bag

My current, actual Go Bag bag, made of some kind of washable slick-ish fake leather/plastic, was a premium from some makeup I bought about 1,000 years ago. It has one main section and six pockets around the outside. The main pocket zips closed although I have no idea when it was last zipped closed. It can be set down on a damp surface with no harm to the contents. It looks ok, but it is showing its age. The handles are getting especially worn.

Small travel sewing supplies
Small travel sewing supplies

In the bag I have a Tupperware box that has a removable tray. This box holds all the small static supplies I might need such as rotary cutters, snips, writing implements, latex gloves, WonderClips, etc. All the small things that need to be corralled are contained here. This box is starting to be too small and I am considering replacing it. I made the Tool Tote last year with the intention of replacing the box, but never made the exchange. I am not sure why. The making drama I experienced sewing the Tool Tote, perhaps?

Runs with Scissors Tote
Runs with Scissors Tote

After the Sew Day discussion, I started to think again about replacing my Go bag and the Tupperware box. I think I really need to upgrade my bags and totes. The problem is that they are working fine, except for the Tupperware box tight squeeze, but are showing their age.

During this thought process, I remembered the Runs with Scissors tote I mentioned in a January Various & Sundry post last year. Mrs. K was kind enough to gift me the pattern. It might be the right tote to replace the Tupperware box. The problem is that I need a bag that will hold the tote. I need this imaginary tote to be large enough to fit everything currently in my Go bag and made of a material that will not allow damp to seep through. A special Chubby Charmer might work, but I am thinking that I might need to buy something.

Quiltessa Ultimate Carryall Bag
Quiltessa Ultimate Carryall Bag

The other bag I am thinking of is the Ultimate Carry All by Quiltessa Natalie. Natalie was kind enough to allow me to post one of her photos. I bought the pattern and have started to assemble the supplies, but haven’t dedicated much time to this project yet. In terms of going to class, I am thinking that the Runs with Scissors tote could hold more flat items like scissors and this Ultimate Carry All could hold more dimensional items, such as the small iron, extension cord, light, pincushions, etc. If I used both, I would still need a larger bag in which to place them.

This is still a work in progress, as you can see. Questions:

  • Do you have a quiltmaking (or other craft) Go bag?
  • Do you have duplicates of your static supplies or do you have a system for swapping them in and out.

Author: JayeL

Quiltmaker who enjoys writing and frozen chocolate covered bananas.

4 thoughts on “Quiltmaking Go Bag”

  1. I must confess that I only quilt alone at home, so no go bag here. Well, I do have the hand piecing bag I take to knitting when I’m not knitting. I have duplicates of a lot of items even though I don’t have a go bag. I must be a hoarder. Uh oh.

    1. Now is the time to put all those “hoarded” materials into a bag, then you can just go with it whenever. It also means less comments about hoarding. Perhaps just semantics, but semantics are important. You need a Go bag, because you just never know. I can take my Go bag if I have to leave the house in case of an emergency or disaster.

  2. I do have a go bag. It’s one of those big, flat bags they sold about 10 years ago that holds an 18×24 cutting mat and a 6×24 ruler, plus lots of pockets and sections for smaller tools and a project.

    I don’t actually like it for carrying projects. I got plastic lidded totes that are about twice the size of a shoebox, that seem to work well.

    While I do have some duplicate tools, I have created a list of what I need to take, so I can grab the items quickly when packing up. I just joined my quilting group last year, so I also wrote down everyone’s name and a brief description, so I could refresh my memory before going the first couple times.

    1. Thanks for the reminder about my board bag! I don’t always bring it, but do when I know I will need a big mat and a long ruler. It was great to read about what you bring along. I am always interested in how others travel to Sew Day, retreats and classes. Thanks for reading.

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