My daughter, Lola, and I are currently reading the Little House series for the second time. We love the precocious Laura, but we both better relate to the cautious, calm, reliable Mary. When we read them the first time, Lola was five and heavily into to a “let’s pretend” phase. “Let’s pretend you’re Ma and I’m Mary,” she’d say, and we’d go about baking bread with the flour that we bought at the Oleson’s store.
We also did quite a bit of hand sewing during that time. I’m always very tuned in to the references to sewing throughout the books. Lola and I talk about Laura’s obvious impatience (sewing sheets!) and Ma’s apparent skill (whipping up dresses, pinafores, bonnets and coats.) And then there was Mary, who’s love for sewing comes across even through the voice of her sister. Whether she was darning stockings, making doll clothes, or piecing another block for a quilt, you could tell she was content. On the trips in covered wagons, throughout the long winters, and even in blindness, Mary found solace in a needle and thread. Yes, we can relate to Mary.
Lately I’ve had to remind myself to “slow down and breathe” more often than I’d like to admit. It occurred to me last month that I always feel this way in the summer. Everyone is go, go, go late into the night. Summer energy is exhilerating, but exhausting. I realized that one thing I’ve been lacking is the therapeutic relief of a handwork project. In fall and winter I regularly settle down at the end of the day to a cup of tea and a little knitting, crochet or embroidery, but in the summer I rarely do. I’ve resolved to change that and I’m taking it public. And so, Beth and I, with the help of our Board members, Ashley and Melissa, are very happy to bring you A Month of Hand Sewing. We have a calendar full of projects, tips, tutorials and inspiration from many talented contributors who will inspire you to take up embroidery, hand piecing, cross stitch, felt work, chicken scratch and more.
- Clare Beaton
- Alicia from Posie Gets Cozy
- Melissa from All Buttoned Up
- Sunshine from Sunshine’s Creations
- Elizabeth from Oh, Fransson!
- Mai from Mairuru
- Margie from Resurrection Fern
- Cassi from The Crafty Crow
- Lauren from Squid (and SMS)
- Beth from SMS
- Sarah Jane from Sarah Jane Studios
In addition, we’ll have a hand sewing photo of the day, giveaways, a stich-along and more!
With that, we hope you can channel Mary Ingalls this month and start a hand sewing project that you can take with you anywhere. The needle goes in, the needle goes out. The breath goes in, the breath goes out. Relax. Enjoy the rest of your summer.
EDITED TO ADD: Bean just posted some images of handwork done by the Ingalls. Check it out on Coyote Craft.
Add your photos to the Hand Sewing pool.
Don’t miss the Hand Sewing photo of the day!