Summer is For Stitches

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.


From this…


To this…


Taking papers out..


Ta Da! One 12″ quilt block done!

Hand Embroidery

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!

garden box hand embroidery

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!

Quilting for Sanity

Hi. I have been struggling to hold it together. Here I am. A brown woman in America, raising two girls, building a small handmade business, trying (and failing) to stay positive hopeful semi-sane in this current political climate. It’s been a while since I’ve mentioned anything political here, which is nuts because it is on my mind all day and night. I’m trying to keep my business separate but it isn’t, is it? I can’t separate my business from current events any more than I can separate the melanin from my body. And in both cases, I wouldn’t want to. img_5310

When it all becomes too much, I turn to quilt block construction. I don’t sell quilts. It’s just for me. Small fussy-cuts, small pieces fitting together to build something larger. It’s an obvious metaphor. It is my happy space. My meditation. What do you do for self-care? (I also find wine and positive small actions toward change help too. Hoping these emails, postcards, and phone calls all come together to make a beautiful quilt block of awesome-er America.)


Be well and have a great day. ❤