Blog

Sewing: This Mama Bear’s Necessity

July Mini Quilt

Today I’m going to talk about my hobby: sewing.  I first started sewing around 2010.  I had seen a picture of a quilt online somewhere and it was beautiful. It was dusky pink and pale green and it had gorgeous roses all over it.  Very girly, very classy.  I fell in love.

I had never really sewn more than a button before so I had no idea where to start. I just knew that I wanted to sew a quilt. Also, my college roommate had just had a baby girl so it was the perfect opportunity to make a baby quilt.  I read some blogs and some tutorials, raided my local JoAnne’s and borrowed a sewing machine from my mother in law (which she then gave me and I still use and love today! Thanks, Mom!).  A few days of trial and error later, it was finished and I was in love.  Thus started my sewing obsession.

My first quilt

Later, when we were bringing Toby home, I decided that to pass the time waiting for him, I would make him a quilt.  I bought a bunch of kikoys (the same type of material I use to make scarves on my Etsy store) in the colors of the Ethiopian flag and set to work. It turned out so much better than I thought and is still my favorite project I’ve finished.  It was only a few weeks ago that I learned that the pattern I chose for this quilt is called Around The World. How fitting!

Toby’s Quilt

After Toby’s quilt, I put sewing aside for awhile to learn how to be a Mommy.  This little boy opened my eyes to a whole other passion and that was learning to love and raise my sweet bear cub. Some of my favorite memories are of being snuggled up together underneath the quilt I made him and reading a book with him.

After setting into our new lives I picked sewing back up, with the idea that I could use kikoys to make beautiful scarves for people to enjoy.  And my Etsy shop, TheDiamondGym was born! The name came from Toby’s birth name, which was Diamond Jim.  I felt like my site would be similar to a colorful place where customers could “play” in the brilliant colors that my scarves could offer them. Thus the name DiamondGym.

Kikoys
Scarves from the shop
Mug rug from my favorite line Aloha Girl by Fig Tree

Then, Josh came along.  After he was born, I didn’t sew for a long time. I struggled with being a mommy of two and had a lot of depression and anxiety. I doubted myself as a mother and stressed about every little thing. My thoughts were consumed with the boys every second of the day.  With help from my doctor and my family and friends, I slowly improved. I was slow to adjust and while medication helped a lot (which is NOTHING to be ashamed of for all of you post-partum mamas out there!), the one thing that I found to be the most therapeutic was when I could get a few hours to myself to just sit in silence and sew. Being surrounded by beautiful colors and letting my creative energies flow, I found that I had renewed energy for being a good mama and everyone benefited from my better mood.  It became one of my main Mama Bear Necessities.  It’s important to have an outlet. It’s important to take care of yourself so that you can take care of your littles.  Do you have a hobby? It can be anything, even if you just need 15 minutes to sit on Pinterest.  “Me time” is very important!

Right before Josh was born, we moved to a new home and now I had a little bit more room for my creations.  I decided to start a project and make some mini quilts featuring themes from the months of the year (search #twelvemonthsofminiquilts on FB or Instagram).  In doing so, I also started up my Instagram page, MamaSewColorful.  This has been great fun for me and has been a great way for me to connect to others who share my love of sewing and color. I’ve made so many friends in my sewing community and having people give me compliments on my work or advise on projects has also helped me improve in my craft.

June
October

From my Twelve Months of Mini Quilts project (which is not yet finished), my hobby has grown and grown and I now cover a broad range of projects from stuffed animals to mug rugs to T-shirt quilts. I love every minute of it and I spend hours reading tutorials, looking at Pinterest for new ideas and drooling over new fabric lines.

A cosmetic bag made from upholstery
A bunny lovey made from soft minky and a dress I found at Goodwill
This happy pineapple is made from felt
A T-shirt quilt that I made for my friend, Casey

I hope to share some of my projects and some tutorials on this blog so that if there are any aspiring sewers out there, you can take some encouragement from my successes and failures.  Everything I’ve learned, I’ve learned from the internet, whether tutorials or videos.  I mess up a lot and spend a lot of time ripping out seams, but with each new finished project, I gain a bit more experience. I love learning and I’d love to teach you how you can create fun fabric creations as well!

What would you be interested in seeing in a free sewing tutorial from me? Comment below with some ideas!

Bethany