Tag Archives: stars

The Bionic Gear Bag Takes a Test Drive


My family and I took a long road trip at the beginning of August to northern California to see some tall trees and wet our toes in the cold, foggy Pacific. It was a looooong drive to the coast and back from our home on the eastern side of the Rocky Mountains. Of course, I had to take something along to entertain me on the really long days of driving across Utah and Nevada and inland California. My EPP stars project was a natural choice. Problem was — on past trips, not all my notions, fabric, basted pieces, and finished stars fit neatly in the plastic box I’d made into a sewing kit. I found I had to have a bag to hold multiple pouches and spools of thread (even bobbins of thread). Also, I hated the way a plastic box would bounce around on my lap in the car when the pavement got rough or we had to stop. My scissors or needle holder would slide around under fabric, etc and it seemed like a balancing act to hold all this stuff on my lap. I guess I’m just not a light-travelin’ EPPer.

I figured that somebody out there had to have designed a sewing kit or pouch that was super functional. A quick search of Craftsy landed me on the Bionic Gear Bag. There are a couple versions of this bag out there, but this particular one really appealed to me because of the tray feature in the front. I can keep scissors, my needle threader, thread, and pieces on the tray while I am working (top picture taken in the car with the Western slope sunshine pouring in). But everything tucks back nicely into a zipper pocket or one of the pouch spaces between each zipper pocket. This thing holds so much– my Clover needle threader that I can’t hand-sew without anymore, my Clover needle dome, a bobbin box, 8-10 spools of thread, tiny scissors, EPP papers, a hunk of beeswax, lip balm and eye drops, more than enough cut fabric tucked way in the back, and a pair of reading glasses. Still seems there is room to spare. The only thing it doesn’t hold well are finished stars, but I carried a zip pouch for those. The whole thing zips up into a secure roll with carrying handles.


I love this bag! It’s not too tough to make, though the directions are a bit unnecessarily chatty. I also found that my stitching was less than perfection on some of the thicker areas, but I can live with it. The bag traveled easily and securely on my lap and I could even set it open on the dashboard at rest stops without stuff sliding out and around. For me, this the perfect EPP travel sewing kit.

Here are the stars I got done on the trip:


Sure doesn’t look like much for all the hours we spent in the car, though….

Stars on the Lawn


While my orange medallion sits on the wall and stares back at me just waiting for that next burst of inspiration, this is another project that keeps me busy. I’ve been following Jessica over at Life Under Quilts for a long time, and got inspired by her love of English paper piecing. Actually, I’d tried it out myself years ago, making a small pouch that I saw in a Japanese quilt book. I enjoy hand sewing and it turned out well, but cutting out all the pieces of paper seemed like waaayyyy too much work to make it a regular thing. Then I learned from Jessica that you can buy paper or plastic templates for EPP. They make it so much easier (I want to sew, not paper craft!), and I have become a full on convert.

Stars EPP

I started these stars on an overseas flight to Japan last summer. I work slowly on this (as with all my projects), when I am on the move somewhere or watching the news. I have a few chunks put together, but it’s mostly a growing stack of stars. We leave on a long road trip next month. Wonder how many I can get done?