Tips and Tools Tuesday – A “Go” Bag

Action movies. I love them. The intrigue, the chases, the fight scenes, every aspect of them holds my attention.  The Jason Bourne series are tops on my list of favorites.  And, not just dramas. The movie,  “Killers” has romance, comedy, action, and plot twists.

As I watch action movies or a television series, such as, NCIS,  I like to try to figure out “who-done-it”.  I notice details. Clues. Sometimes the clue is stated outright. Other times, it may be a word or two in a character’s conversation. I just find it fun to vicariously play “detective”.

What does all of this have to do with a quilting and cooking blog?


Though the plots, characters, and settings may be different, each story has a spy, Special Agent, or assassin that needs to be ready at a moment’s notice to drop everything and “go”.

“Go” quickly to escape being killed.

“Go” quickly to a foreign land to save somebody.

“Go” quickly to a safer place to prepare to fight.   Go!   Go quickly!

How are they always ready to go? They all have a “go” bag. Something with all of the supplies they may need. Cash money, a gun, a “burn” phone,  a Passport, or two, or three, etc.

We all have times where we are unexpectedly called away from our regular routine. It may be a visit to the doctor, or an overnight hospital stay with a loved one. Sitting for three hours in a garage while your car gets repaired. All of these instances are opportunities to get something done. Something besides warming a seat cushion. (Wink)

Recently, I had such an opportunity. My husband was not feeling well and thought he might need to go to the hospital.

As I was packing a bag for a possible overnight hospital stay, I frantically looked around my sewing room for a project to take with me.   Nothing.   Oh, I have several WIP’s (Works In Progress), but they are all geared for the sewing machine. I didn’t have even one hand-work project at the ready. That’s when I decided to make a “go” bag.

A “go” bag is a bag, pouch, tote, basket, or even a grocery sack that has a hand project and all of it’s components together in one place, ready to be snatched up and taken with you. These tools and supplies stay in the bag at all times and are separate from your other supplies. Make sure that you don’t have to “borrow” a tool or thread from another project for your “go” bag, or borrow from your “go” bag for another project. Make it completely independent of your other supplies, because you may forget that you borrowed something from it. Then you would not be able to work on your “go” project because a key component is missing.

You can decide what kind of project goes into your “go” bag. It might be precut fabric to be hand-pieced into a block. Or applique pieces and a background square on which to sew them. Maybe you’re interested in cross-stitch, crochet, or knitting. Maybe you’ve been wanting to copy some recipes from a magazine or make new copies of old, tattered recipe cards. These are all good candidates for your “go” bag. Letter writing supplies would be great “go” bag items. The possibilities are astounding!



Many years ago, a quilt-guild friend made me a project bag from a store-bought placemat. It works perfectly as a “go” bag for me.









She sewed heavy-duty zip-top bags into a placemat. Covered the seams with fabric and made matching handles.












Hook-and-loop tape keep the bag closed.








I’ve used it for years as my applique project holder. It is perfect for my “go” bag. All items stay secure in the zipper bags and the handles make it easily portable.

I always keep scissors, thread, a seam ripper, thimble, needles and thread conditioner in it. then add my project pieces.







What ideas for “go” bags come to your mind? What do you keep in yours? Where do you keep It? At the house? In the trunk of your car? Do you have more than one?

I’d love to hear what “go” projects you keep ready.

I hope this idea helps you get more done.


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