Homemade Living: Take 1. Stitch.

Today's post is a change from the usual posting.  I've been asked and graciously accepted joining in on some fun with some lovely ladies, posting about homemade living every other week. 

I'm posting today, along with:

Next Wednesday is:

Separate from this series, I've been questioned a time or two how I got into this or that.  I guess I just got nipped by the homesteading bug and haven't stopped.  I thought I'd use this series to try to bring you along on my journey thus far and maybe give you some ideas on how you can get started/encourage your little ones to climb aboard the homemade life.  I'm planning of diving into my interests in a few categories:  

Four simple words that are packed with so much 'doing'.  These four little words are what "Homemade Living" means to me.   I always picture a little bit of homemade is like adding an extra hug to your loved ones. Who doesn't love hugs?  Give the homemade kind.  What can you create?

Take one is today.  


My Early love.

Stitching was my earliest form of homemade love. I learned on my grandmother's treadle sewing machine, eventually graduating to the Singer she bought with her wedding money.  I remember sitting in her back room, feeling the piles of fabrics, letting the buttons trickle between my fingers, stacking the wooden spools and organizing the boxes of notions.  We'd sew doll clothes and I'd mass produce pillowcase dolls.  I don't know how old I was when I ordered and received my very first sewing machine. It was a purple Singer.  It had a straight stitch and a zig zag stitch. I was confident that I could create anything.  And I did. I sold scrunchies (remember those?). I learned through 4-H, making outfits that I loved in true 1980 fashion.  These early experiences gave me confidence. 

Your Early Love.

It's never too early or too late to learn.  Sewing takes patience and determination.  If you have a sprinkle of those qualities, you, too can create.  

For little ones, don't underestimate the power of lacing cards or a blank hoop with a needle and thread.  Learning how to use your hands in different ways through needlework, knitting, crocheting or loom work helps set the beginning grounds of creativity.  Experiencing different options will help to find a true love.

For the older one, who is still a beginner, pick a project and dive in.  The less cutting and seams are the best for beginning projects, particularly if you can just measure without needing a distinct pattern..  Try these pillowcase dolls, pillowcase dresses or pillow cases.  Stitch curtains, napkins, placemats or dish towels.  Find a mentor, believe you can do it.  Before long, you won't believe what you whipped up.
Pick something easy to start off with (there are ideas on top).

My stitching love grows.

As some teens get older, interests shift.  I was quite the contrary.  As a highschooler, I signed up for extra home ec, just for fun.  I convinced my home ec. teacher to let me stay after school so I could sneak in some more sewing before sports. I got a serger for my sweet 16 and my own beautiful Janome sewing machine for my 18th.  I made oodles of things.  My friends had custom made prom and graduation dresses.  I wore my own dresses out and about.  I found a great deal of contentment in those rocky years, just creating.

Your growing stitching love.

Once you tackle basic projects, dive into a pattern. There's oodles free online.  Buy a paper copy.  Some enjoy the digital version (me less so).  Most patterns have explicit directions, including a glossary of terms.  You CAN do it!
Pick a pattern and go for it!
There's even some free patterns linked above, this included.
Getting intricate.

I found my quilting love when I was 15.  It hasn't stopped.  There's something magical in the rhythm of methodologically creating something so beautiful out of sewing tiny pieces.  Quilting is not hard, not in the least.  I find having a few items (rotary cutter, clear rulers, a cutting mat, a walking foot) makes it easier to do.  I had some rough teenage years due to losing my mom and quilting became my therapy.  There's nothing like looking back at something you create after it's just finished.  There's such a sense of accomplishment and it's a bonus that it decorates your home. 

Give quilting a try!

I learned from books.  Try small projects first-squares are much easier than triangles. It really is amazing what you can accomplish from sewing little squares together. 
My first try.
My latest.

The great thing is, once you get started, you'll build your confidence to keep going.  
I'll end this with a few snapshots of some homemade items in my life.  Where we are right now leads way to mostly things for my children. But your creating doesn't have to be geared towards little ones.  That's the beautiful part of being creative.  It can be whatever you want it to be.  
There's oodles of links above detailing a lot of what I've done in the last few years.  Please, be inspired! Do explore, do create, and I'd love to see where your imagination takes you.  
Loving stitches: 

 Remember, these are a few examples.  Continue your searches at the top tabs.
Go ahead and be imaginative, create something spectacular.  I can't wait to see the results.


  1. You are so very creative! I really love your idea of focusing on the four different categories you picked for the series. Great idea! All of your creations here are really amazing. I am so impressed with your skills! And I love that quilting was so therapeutic for you - and still is! Your quilts are so beautiful.

  2. This is lovely! I love to sew too! I also got my love of this hobby from my grandmother. She could sew anything.

    Thanks for sharing.

  3. What a beautiful post. I agree with the others - you really are very creative and talented! I do enjoy sewing, although I've only been sewing for a few months, I just need to make time to do so. :)

  4. Wow, you have really honed your craft. I have needle envy! ;0D

  5. What a fun blog! And I love seeing your progress with quilting and other sewing. I'm doing the homemade living thing, too--what a great way to feel more grounded in life.



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