Thursday, January 26, 2012

Ask Away!


Dear readers, here's a little post to let you know how much we love and appreciate every single one of you! That's right!

Since our blog is set up as a conversation between Angel and me, it is sometimes hard to convey how much you guys mean to us. But you mean a lot. YOU make this whole blogging thing worth it with your comments, pins and shares. It keeps us motivated to be creative and crafty, and to share our adventures in this space. So thank you!


In the last day or two, I've noticed bloggers opening the floor to readers, encouraging them to ask whatever question they'd like. I thought I would do the same!

Do you have a burning question for us? What have you always wanted to know about Stumbles & Stitches, about Angel, or about me? Ask away! We'll answer in the comments or via email if that seems more appropriate. We'd love to hear from you! (Here's hoping we don't get crickets...)

Also, do you like us on Facebook? We're sooooo close to 1,000 "Likes" and when we reach that milestone, we'll have a fabulous little giveaway to celebrate. Hint hint. So, go like us and share our page with your friends, pretty please.

All right, do you have your question(s) ready? Time to go click on that comment form below and ask away. We look forward to your questions. Thank you and have a great Thursday!!


  1. drygood design is nearly enough to make me join facebook! you know i'd like you if i was a two crafty mothers...and maybe you have touched on it before...where do you craft? my sewing area is in a spare bedroom upstairs...perfect for night time sewing, but not so great for during the day. do i drag my sewing machine up and down while the kids play downstiars? do i leave them to fend for themselves while i sew away upstiars? ive thought of bringing my sewing room down to our den, but ugh, i dont like the thought of that mess allt he time in plain view...anyway...that has been on my mind alot lately! thanks ladies.

    1. Hi Jenny! Thank you for your question (the first and only so far, ha ha!). Well, I don't know if my answer or Angel's will help you out much: neither of us has a dedicated craft space at the moment, and both of us live in a one-floor home, where we can craft while being in the same general space as our littles.

      My set-up is this: in our apartment, the dining room is at the center of the house. It is also the largest room in the house. There are built-ins (meant to house china) where I stock all my fabric and notions, a desk where I write/work, and some shelving and storage where we put all the crafting supplies for mama and the kids.

      HOWEVER: the dining room is a mess of crafts and fabric almost all the time and it totally stresses me out. I try try try to put the sewing machine away at night, but it doesn't always happen. In theory, there is a place for everything, so I can put things away easily. It worked out great for a while, but since opening my shop on Etsy, it's been chaos again. I currently have more stuff than I have room for, so there's not enough storage space -- hence there are WIPs all over the place. Evidently, I need to weed some stuff out. My poor husband is extremely accommodating.

      I don't know if this helps! You can see some posts we wrote on the subject by clicking on the "craft space" label: Let me know if you have further questions or would like to know more specific things.

  2. My question to all crafty moms is how/when do you find time to do your crafts? Since I only have one napper at home these days, I can pretty much only work in the evening after both kids have gone to bed. Sometimes I pull out my work when they are watching a tv program, but that's not too often.

    1. Hi Deia! I know Angel is a very early riser (but so are her kids!) so she will have a different answer than me.

      I do a lot of sewing when Ben is at preschool and Henry is napping and/or playing next to me. He likes to roll his trucks or stack blocks for a while at my feet, and then when he starts getting into everything we have a large play yard in which he can safely play and where he is contained but still just a couple of feet from me. I know, I know, some parents are opposed to that, but I don't know how I'd get anything done without it, as our apartment is impossible to baby proof. Sometimes I also set Henry up with scrap paper and crayons in his high chair next to me.

      I'm lucky that Ben still naps about half of the week in the afternoon. For that to happen, I have to get them out of the house to get some fresh air and spend some energy in the morning -- which is good for everyone! When he doesn't nap, or on yucky weather days when we stay home, I set him up with an activity that keeps him busy and engaged but doesn't necessarily require me to help every 3 seconds.

      For example, my mom just sent him a box of blank books and he's really enjoyed "writing" a story. He drew pictures, dictated captions to his dad and now he is copying them little by little. Painting and collage are other examples. I often set him up with seasonal activities or things meant to be gifted (cards, etc). My other tricks include: activity books, coloring pages, Legos, Playmobils, and of course PBS cartoons and DVDs.

      But the bottom line is: unless they're both sleeping, my crafting/sewing time is interrupted every 2 minutes on average. It is what it is and I just have to roll with it. I find that the interruptions are less obnoxious when I involve Ben in what I'm doing, showing him the steps, talking about the purpose of my project, etc. It is a tough balance, for sure, and I often have to stop right when I'm getting somewhere to play with them or change a diaper or address some other kid-related issue.

      I am lucky that Ben at 4.5 years old has a lot of focus and is able to keep himself happily occupied. I am also lucky that my husband puts up with my sewing stuff all over the dining room in the evening or on the weekends. I do a lot of sewing then. I do most of my hand-stitching, knitting and sketching in the evening in front of the TV.

      Whew! How's that for another LONG answer? I don't know if that helps?? Here's the short version: have an arsenal of activities that engage the kiddos and keep said activities fresh.

  3. Are there any tricks to sewing with burlap or does it behave like any other fabric?

    1. Hi Blair! I have found that sewing with burlap is pretty much like sewing with any other thick/bulky fabric. I do have 3 tips that may help, though:

      1. Once you have cut the burlap pieces that you want to sew with, zigzag around all the edges once or twice to secure the woven fibers. Burlap loves to unravel.

      2. Burlap is very fibrous and will gunk up your machine with lint after just one sewing session. Make sure you clean out your bobbin area and your feed dogs regularly when sewing with it.

      3. A steam iron works really well with burlap, but it will make it stink. Be ready!

      What are you making...? Is there anything more specific you want to know? I'd love to hear from our readers too, if they have tips for sewing with burlap!

  4. Oh, the dilemma of finding time to create with kids at home! I have a confession to make: I haven't used my sewing machine in almost six months. I have switched almost exclusively to hand sewing, in part because I LOVE the portability. I can have a project in a basket nearby and squeeze in a few minutes here and there throughout the day. One of my personal goals for the new year is to just sit with my kids more, and having some sewing in hand really grounds me.

    Like Jenny mentioned above, I have been waking up very, very early the last couple of months. (Sometimes as early as 4 am, and there's no going back to sleep!) This has become "my" time to work on projects, write blog posts, do social media stuff, etc. I'm not that crazy about the new schedule my body's put me on, but I'm trying to go with it! I don't know if there's a similar time during the day that you can carve out for yourself?

    With the wet weather we've had, Silas and I are inside a lot during the day. He loves painting and if I get him set up with some paints and paper I can sit across from him and get some sewing or felting or sketching done. One key to this is having your things organized so you know where everything is when you DO have those few moments to work on something. And keeping a good stock of kid activities on hand is definitely a must.

  5. Thanks Jenny,

    For some reason I can't answer as a reply. I love all your suggestions. I may try some crafting today!



Thank you so much for writing a comment! While the format of Stumbles & Stitches is an exchange between two friends, we love to engage with our readers and expand the conversation in the comments.

We usually respond to your questions here, unless it seems more appropriate to send you an email. So please check back!


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