Happy New (School) Year!

Many of my private students already have begun a new school year. My first day back is today and I joined my co-educators in a retreat to get ready for the new year. It will be great to see students later this week for orientation.

Did you sew any back-to-school items for the littles in your life, their teachers or for yourself? If so, share it in the comments.

Just like the calendar new year, the beginning of a another school year marks a time of reflection and goal setting for me. What project should I suggest to my school sewing club, what core skills do they need to learn next and what do I need to learn or practice in order to be a better instructor?

I recently received an email from Classy Threads, a company that provides high quality custom sewing kits delivered straight to the classroom. They offered two free kits to try out with my students – I selected the locker bin and reversible lunch bag. I can’t wait to try these out. I’ve used their boxer shorts kit several times with a summer sewing camp, library maker space and private students. The instructions are well written and never disappoint. Check out their new Look Books in the link at the end of this post.

You’ll remember me mentioning a quilt I meant to finish over the summer and send to Quilts Beyond Borders in my UFO post. I plan to take it back to school to see if anyone wants to help me piece the blocks. Aside from that, and a couple of student garments left unfinished, the new year is a delicious blank slate full of possibilities.

My carpal tunnel surgery on August 15 went well but left me with only one good hand so I took last week off from blogging and teaching. It only took three days for me to attempt sewing again. Machine sewing and knitting were out due to the size of the dressing and because I couldn’t grip anything in my right hand.

I did try embroidery one handed, which was challenging, (especially threading the needle) but kept me occupied for few hours during some of the 10 day healing period.

“Victorian Ribbons” pattern by Ruth Dilts.

This is a UFO I began in 2007. I finished the last six rows of Bargelo then found a mistake (see the light green section that forms an “X” behind the Bargelo) that I had to frog (i.e., rip it) and started to restitch. The designer recommends making this into a bolster pillow but I’m wondering what other options there are. If you have a suggestion, leave it in the comments.

Now that the stitches in my hand have been removed I will slowly begin to build up my hand strength with exercises, resume private lessons and enjoy the milestones of a new school year.

Happy stitching New Year,


By stitchingcoach

High school librarian by day, crafter for life. I'm an award winning embroider, quilter and knitter. I advise a high school sewing club as well as volunteer with Days for Girls. Students will find I'm passionate about all needle arts and want to pass that along to all generations and skill levels. Learning to sew, knit or hand embroider can be intimidating, but with the right support can become a lifelong hobby that provides joy to your life. Let me show you how to get started. I look forward to helping you exercise your creative side.

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