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How I Make Time for Sewing

Hello lovely friends

Today I thought I would share how I make time for my Slow stitching. Like many, I am a busy mum and wear many hats! Aside from my business The Maker’s Stash, I have my new business partnership Blue Mountains Makers, and up until the birth of baby Leo, I was working full time as an interior designer. Add to that keeping up with my beautiful, but let us be honest, needy children, never-ending washing, housework, and trying to tame my wild weed-infested garden, it is a miracle I find time to sew at all really! If this sounds like you, do not worry there is still a way to make time to sew.

First, my number one tip is: Do not feel guilty!

Do not feel guilty about stopping to make time to sew. If you are like me, sewing is one of your main forms of self-care. It is my therapy when I am having a crappy week and the kids are driving me nuts. It is how I unwind after a day at work and it is my reward for doing household chores. It is imperative to my mental health to make time to sew. So, do not ever feel guilty about your slow stitching time.

My second tip is to have a permanent slow stitching station, with your current project (or let us be realistic, projects) at the ready and all the tools you need.

In the corner of our living room sits my sewing nook. It consists of a small desk, comfy chair, and an IKEA cart where I store my projects and other things. Above my desk is a shelf decorated with fairy lights and pretty bits that help to make it cozy.

Having my sewing nook in our living is great because it means I can sit and sew while watching my kids play and I can interact with them and my husband. Whether I sit down for 10 minutes or an hour, having everything ready means I can make the most of the time I have to stitch.

Your sewing station could be a table set up next to a lounge chair, a section of your dining room, or the end of the kitchen bench. It does not need to be large or extravagant. It just needs to be comfortable, have good lighting and space to store your sewing bits.

Tip number three is: embrace interruption!

Now I must admit I am still working on this one! There was a time not so very long ago where I would get annoyed or frustrated by any kind of interruption to my sewing and from anyone, particularly my kids. Then I would feel guilty about getting annoyed and then I would feel guilty about not spending valuable time with them and spending that time on myself and my sewing. I mean they are only little for a blink of the eye. I would feel bad that I did not want to play with them and that I wanted to sew instead.

It has taken me a long time to come to the realization that I should not feel guilty about the things that make me, well ‘me’ and that stitching is a big part of who I am. So, I have been working on taking the time I need to sew to stay sane whilst embracing the little interruptions from my children. If I sew for 10 minutes, then I can interact or play with my kids for 20 minutes and then go back to my sewing. Point number two will help with this. Having my projects set up at my cozy sewing nook in our living room means I can easily pick up and set down what I am doing when my kids need me.

If 2020 has taught me anything, it is to embrace the little moments of light and joy in your life. If that’s 20 minutes of sewing while listening to your 7-month-old giggle at his big sisters’ silly antics or being asked a million times for food because someone is hungry, then ok. Baby giggles are pure heart-filling joy, and the kitchen cupboard is only a few steps away (and has yummy chocolate treats!). Embrace the interruption because it is the little moments that can bring you light and love.

Tip number four is: involvement.

Now, this is more for those mum sewers out there with kids like me. I do not do ‘play’ very well. To be honest I find playing with my kids tedious and boring. But my daughter loves to do craft so that is our special thing and when we get to spend time together.

Tonight, as I sat down to sew, Matilda came up to me and wanted to sit in my lap. Now previously as mentioned above I would have gotten incredibly annoyed at this, but with my newfound calm and willingness to embrace interruption, I pushed out my chair so she could sit in my lap. With my arms around her and our heads nestled together side by side, we sat together while I stitched in front of her watching a craft podcast. We talked about what I was doing, I explained what I was sewing and my plans for the design. She asked if she could learn to do it one day, and I said if you practiced your stitching when you are a bit older, I would absolutely teach her. And isn’t that what it is all about? Isn’t that why we do this craft, to keep this old sewing technique and tradition alive? To be able to hand it down to future generations.

It was a beautiful moment sitting with Matilda in my lap and sewing. And while it was awkward and my stitches may have ended up a bit wonky, my heart was filled with love and joy.

Now obviously this is all going to depend on how old your kids are. I would not sit Leo in my lap with a needle in my hand because he wants to grab anything and everything. But if there is a safe way that you can involve your kids in your craft, then I urge you to do it. Matilda loves to sift through and pick out her favorite Hexies from my 1” basted tub. By sharing our love and joy for our craft with our kids, they will learn to see how special and important our craft is to us, and it will inspire them to pick an activity of their own and learn how to focus on it.

My last tip sounds simple but is probably the hardest to implement just make the time!

Find a time in your day where you are just not going to let anything else get in the way of your sewing. Now that could be half an hour in the morning before everyone else gets out of bed, it could be on your daily train commute to work or while you sit in the stands while your kid plays soccer. The wonderful thing about slow stitching and EPP is its portability and the fact that you can literally do it almost anywhere.

For me, my stitching time was always at night. Before kids, I would get home from work, shower, cook dinner, clean up, and then it was my sewing time. I would sit and sew for two, three, sometimes even four hours while watching TV or craft podcasts. Now with kids, my sewing time is still at night, I just have to wait until I have put them to bed. Nap time is usually when I get to sew in my studio, so I save particular sewing tasks for then, such as cutting fabric or machine sewing. I am also not ashamed to say that I have an in-house babysitter…the TV! If I want to steal myself some daytime sewing, I will plonk the kids down and put on the wiggles or paw patrol and indulge in some self-care sewing.

I hope you have found some of these tips useful. Remember slow stitching is your passion, it is what helps to keep that twinkly light inside you shineing brightly. Make time to sew and do not feel guilty about it. Remember that what you want to do, that whatever helps you get through the day is important. If that is sewing, then embrace it!

Happy Stitching Friends,

Miss Leela x

 

Year in Review – 2020 The Year We All Stayed at Home

Hello lovely Slow Stitching friends!

Hard to believe I am writing this on Christmas Eve. There have been times this year when it felt like time was standing still, and then times when it felt as thought it was zooming by so fast. It has certainly been a bit of a tough year and my heart has ached for the state that our world found itself in. But through all that has been thrown at us, kindness and joy has endured. From a teddy bear in the window, to pavements filled with chalk rainbows, we found a way to stay connected, to spread love.

We found a new superhero in our health care workers. What champions they have been. For us in Australia we cannot forget our Rural Fire Fighters and the heroism they showed in fighting some of the worst bushfires our country has seen. Through drought, fire, pandemics, and human rights injustice, somehow, we find a way through, our spirits have taken a hit, but our light can never be extinguished.

From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank our first responders our healthcare workers, and our emergency services.

The year has not all been full of woe. We welcomed a most precious baby boy to our family, our little Lion Cub Leo. We have watched these past seven months as he grew from a grumpy newborn to the happy smiley little bub he is today. He has brought so much joy and love and is adored by his big sister Matilda. He is cheeky and has wasted no time trying to get around, developing his own unique commando crawl.

My hubby and I both took the leap and entered in to two new business partnerships. Tim has teamed up with a couple of good mates to open a Bar, and I formed a business partnership with the remaining committee members of the Blue Mountains Makers to open a retail shop. It has been a lot of hard work, but our shop is open and stocked with the best products from local Artisans and Makers in the Blue Mountains and Surrounding regional areas. 2020 has certainly been the year for new challenges, but it is exciting to see these new businesses grow and develop.

I have put a lot of time in this year to grow my little business The Maker’s Stash. I am proud of what I have achieved so far, and I am so excited for what I have planned. New products and new patterns and kits will be coming in 2021 and I cannot wait to get started on them. I have soooo many ideas! There will be new paper shape templates added to my range, new threads and notions will be added to my current catalogue. I am planning on filming more video tutorials and Stitch with Me videos. There will be new EPP patterns, I will be releasing some Beginner EPP kits and patterns, and I am extremely excited to do some Mystery Box Pattern Kits. There may even be a Christmas Advent to look forward to at the end of the year!

I am looking forward to taking my little shop out of my studio and on the road to some local quilt and craft fairs next year. I have already booked a stall in at the Craft Alive Hawkesbury event and Camden Quilt Show in July. Fingers crossed the pandemic has well and truly eased by then. I look forward to getting out and meeting the wonderful crafters. EPP is my passion and I love to share it.

We are lucky that we have this craft to turn to when the world outside is bleak and we are in isolation. Slow Stitching has always soothed me, and I called on its meditative powers a lot this year to help me get through. This year I enjoyed experimenting with different embroidery and decorative stitching over my EPP. I tried sashiko and Kantha stitching, and I liked the textural element they brought to my projects.I played with new shapes, such as the honeycomb, but of course I could not pass up projects using my beloved hexies.

I continued my learning to knit journey, although it has kind of stalled since having Leo. I worked on some crochet projects as well, and I am particularly pleased with the blanket I made for Leo.

 

Most recently I have started a new quilt project, The Alexandria Quilt by Jodi Godfrey. I have to say I am pretty addicted to working on it and pretty much have been sewing on nothing else for the past two weeks or so!

Next year aside from working on new pattern ideas, I have an exceptionally long list of WIP’s I would like to work through and get finished. So many are almost completed and just need to be framed or bound off.

This year I hosted the #iloveeppparty2020. After having so much fun hosting it last year, I knew I wanted to host it again. So many people participated, and it was wonderful seeing everyone’s EPP makes. You can still follow along using the hashtag or check out the Highlight on my Instagram Stories.

This past month I have been hosting the #eppxmasornamentsal with the lovely Emma of @vintagesewingbox. We have had so much fun making EPP ornaments from the free patterns that Emma and I both put out. I found making the ornaments became a little addictive! It has been lovely to see my patterns made and hung up on Christmas trees or sent to friends as gifts.

I look forward to more sew-alongs with you all in the new year!

The past two years I have selected a word to help me focus on my goals and what is important. In 2019 my word was Balance and this year my word was Nourish. I must admit I kind of failed miserably at achieving my goals and working towards these two words. But the new year is all about fresh starts and second chances, right? So, for 2021 I am going to aim for both Balance and Nourish!

With two kids, two businesses, and working as an Interior Designer consultant, you could say I am pretty busy! Next year I really want to work on balancing all those things with spending time with my family, spending time exploring the great outdoors, self-care and creating a cozy home and beautiful garden. I am going to try and organize my time differently, and I am NOT going to write myself ridiculously long, unachievable weekly to-do lists! I am also going to assign myself an accountability buddy to help me stay on track and to prompt me in to taking time out to do the little things.

Thank you, my lovely friends for your support this year. Thank you for following me on social media, for your likes and comments. Thank you for reading my blog, for making my patterns and for supporting my little shop. I honestly feel so blessed to have built such a generous and friendly community of crafters around me. I have made many wonderful friends through Slow Stitching that have enriched my life with joy.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year.

I am not sure what 2021 will bring, but I welcome the New Year in with an open heart, with hope and with my light shining bright.

Happy Stitching,

Miss Leela xx