Quilting While You Glamp | McCall’s Quilting Blog

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We’ve heard about a lot of quilters who don’t let a camping vacation stop them from quilting. They take it along! Deb McDonald, McCall’s Quilting Administrative Editor, is no exception. We asked her to share her expertise for making a camping experience a glamping experience with quilting projects in tow.


Deb McDonald and Happy Day with her camper

My husband and I enjoy camping in our 5th wheel RV. The Colorado State Parks have beautiful campsites that are clean, spacious and well-maintained. An added bonus to these getaways is that I have uninterrupted sewing time. The distractions of home remain at home.

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Outdoor Quilting Set-up

If the weather is nice you will find me at the picnic table working on a quilt.

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Indoor Quilting Set-up

In cool or wet weather I’m at the small dining room table in our trailer. Just like at home, I don’t let something like the weather get in the way of my quilting.



Since I don’t have easy access to my sewing room, I have to make sure I have the right supplies and equipment to keep my current project moving forward. The lists below are supplies I always have with me for camp quilting:

  • Sewing machine, including foot pedal, power cord, extra bobbins and an extension cord
  • Quarter-inch presser foot
  • Extra machine needles
  • Spare spool of neutral thread
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My pressing mat in use

Space is at a premium so I do not take a 24” x 36” cutting mat along.  A 12” x 18” mat is good for trimming units. Don’t forget your rotary cutter! I leave a small travel iron in the RV. That, combined with a cushioned board, becomes my pressing station.

Scissors, seam ripper, pins and other small supplies go in a clear plastic storage bag so I can easily find what I need. All my supplies go in a large tote bag.

I pack my pattern and quilting supplies based on the project I plan to work on. Typically, I’ll take my 4” x 14” ruler and maybe a smaller square ruler. I pre-cut as many patches as I can while I’m still at home or use commercially pre-cut pieces. By preparing ahead I can jump right in to the sewing part.

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Pre-cut patches

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Commercial Pre-cuts

No matter the season, inspiration is close at hand. It’s rare that I come home from a camping trip without another quilt idea or two.

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Winter Camping

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Summer Camping

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Spring Camping

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Fall Camping

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Night-time Inspiration


Thanks Deb!

It sounds like the key to camp quilting is to have the standard essentials always at-the-ready, leaving you to only pack up the items special to a project. You can start pulling together your ‘quilt camp kit’ right here. I added links to the essential items in Deb’s lists above. While browsing through the Quilt and Sew Shop, I even found a pattern (on sale) that includes the supplies you need to make it—one that fits right into traveling through America. How easy is that!

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America The Beautiful quilt, designed by Lynn Lister


America the Beautiful Pattern
America the Beautiful Quilt Along Notions Bundle

Happy Quilting!

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