Poison Ivy isn’t the only thing I’ve gotten into this summer! I’ve also been sewing my heart out! (See what I’ve been working on at gillianstitches)
But I haven’t been cooped up in the studio! No… I’m out in the backyard, on the deck while the girls splash in the paddling pool, long car rides across 5 states, at the breakfast table, even in bed watching Netflix! This summer, I have taken sewing away from the machine and to… well, everywhere else!
English Paper Piecing
I’m working on a giant English Paper Piecing (EPP) project. For those who don’t know it is a technique of sewing quilts by hand using paper backing to stabilize your fabric and thus making your fabric easier to piece together.
We took a long car trip across 5 states and 1100 miles with our two kids under 5 years-old. They had Netflix downloads, my husband had the wheel, and I had hand embroidery (I had the best deal of everyone).
Since I was cooped up in a car, I decided to stitch up some nature with these garden boxes. It was so fun to stitch and when I didn’t know what to do with an empty box, I took suggestions on Instagram! Stuck in a car collaborating with other creatives — it was heaven!
Do you like to get your craft on in the summer? What do you like to do? Tell me in the comments below!
Want To Stitch With Me?
Have you ever wanted to pick up a portable craft like embroidery or EPP to keep your hands busy while you schlep the little ones here and there? Let’s make a little crafty mom club! I’d love to help you get started! First, follow me on Instagram @gillianstitches and send me a message letting me know that you want to stitch with me!
Moms, fellow-handmakers, family members tend to have the same question for me… How do I get it all done? The mom-ing of two girls (4 and 2 years-old) and the making and running my business. The answer is a two-parter.
Part One: I don’t.I don’t even try. You know how you vacuum every week? Mop a few times a week? Make those adorable plates for lunch with food art? I don’t do that. I do enough to keep the house clean and free of bugs. Beyond that, I’m okay with the odd dust bunny or smudge on the wall. I’m the queen of doing what my husband would consider two loads of laundry in one. Dump it all in. Press the buttons. Sew. Make snacks. Fold. Haha! One and done! Easy peasy!
Part Two: With a two-year old in my lap. I do it all with her in my lap. I eat breakfast with her in my lap. I work with her in my lap. (BTW, She says “hiiieeee”. She’s sitting on my lap right now as I write this.) I eat lunch with her in my lap. She takes a nap–you guessed it — in my lap! I fold those huge loads of laundry while she’s in my lap (or in the basket). 🙂 I eat dinner with her in my lap.
Haha! While that is no exaggeration, she does leave my lap sometimes. When that happens, I grab a quick run on the treadmill, cut and iron fabric, or run around with her! It’s a good life guys. I’m super grateful that I get to stay home with my girls and play with them, listen to their stories and songs, console them, and design and sew my heart out.
It is never lost on me that I get to enjoy my two passions every day– mom-ing and making!
How do YOU get it all done? What does “getting it all done” mean to you? Tell me below in the comments or come over to the pen&thimble Facebook page to discuss!
Have you heard of Mend It May? I hadn’t until I stumbled upon My Make And Mend Life last year. It totally opened my eyes to how wasteful I am.
I was always taught that a hole in a garment was a reason to throw it away. But I’m learning about the value and beauty in restoring items.
Toe sticking out of a sock? Darn it! (As in mend it. Haha!)
Shirts with hole? Patch that up!
Crack in the laundry bin? That’s why duct tape was invented!
If you want to make a statement while you mend, try some simple embroidery to highlight a hole in your shirt and bring attention to the value and beauty in restoring clothes rather than pitching them! Here’s how I did just that…
Cute shirt with hole in it
Piece of fabric (I used leftover jean fabric from cutoffs I made)
Satin Stitch – to reinforce the edges of the hole and prevent future fraying
Running stitch – to reinforce the jean patch and highlight the mend
But you can do anything you want!
What do you have that can use some mending? Let me know and I can help you figure out how to mend it. I’ve started a board on Pinterest called Mend and Restore just for mending garments and restoring items.
Follow the board and send me a message and I’ll add you as a collaborator and you can add pins related to the items you want to revive! Let’s work together and produce less waste!
PS. Speaking of making less waste, have you checked out our CLOTH NAPKINS? They’re the perfect size for tucking into your lunch bag or bento box! Use, wash, and reuse! Plus, I just added some cool new ones– mermaids, superheroes, and astronauts, oh my! Check them out here: SHOP CLOTH NAPKINS
One of my favorite parts of my job is collaborating with a customer to craft the perfect gift! And I just have to share this recent collaboration with a repeat customer and fellow hand maker. (Check out what she does with foraged wood here at her Etsy shop). Amy had the most thoughtful idea and I got to help find the right fabric and create her vision! What an honor!
Custom Bandana Bib Request
She chose the red bandana print, because it doesn’t get more perfect than her original vision. And I ordered those other prints too for my Etsy shop, because I fell in love with this country cuteness and wanted to share it!
Just For Baby
Here’s the final product! Thanks for letting me be a part of your special gifts! It means the world to me to add to the smiles in the world!
It’s a Red Bandana…Bandana Bib!
If you ever want me to help you make your perfect gift vision a reality, don’t hesitate to contact me! It would truly be an honor!