needle & thREAD



Katie and I did some sewing yesterday, but I can't show you yet because they're a surprise. I do think a sweet girl and her doll will be very pleased. Katie's skills have improved greatly this summer–all those headbands proved to be great teaching tools. Good thing, too. We have 14 more to make. Yesterday's project was a perfect opportunity to practice French seams. Katie was duly impressed with tidy seams inside the dress. 

I really enjoyed sewing while listening to Simple Mom podcasts. What a retreat for me! And Katie loved listening along. Bonus: I've discovered some fun new-to-me blogs, which, in turn, prompted me to give a try after about six months of blog reading hiatus. Win, win, win!


I've got three books going right now. The Homegrown Preschooler is a gorgeous book full of full color photographs that captivated some of us right away. Karoline squirreled away with it for hours. I have spent enough time on soccer fields and in dance studios to know that some (many?) moms are very worried about the best preschool environment for their children. They invest a lot of time and energy and money into assuring that preschool gives a child a leg up on school and life. This book reassures a mom that an intentional mom and comfortable home can get the job done just fine. 

I ordered The Introvert's Way after I read this article. I think the aritcle is spot-on. It's really an excellent insight into and introvert's mind. I am disappointed with book the book so far. It's not nearly as thoughtful, well-researched, and insightful as Quiet is. I much prefer the meatiness of Quiet over the breeziness of The Introvert's Way.

Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child was recommended by Sarah about a milion times. Sarah is about batting a thousand on book recommendations throughout the years so that worked for me. My kids were utterly confused about the title, by the way. The more literal they are, the more confused. This is an amazing book in the truest sense of the word; just really top notch. Brilliantly written, incredibly thought-provoking, and potentially life-changing. This is the perfect book for the beginning of a school year because while it certainly encourages us to develop imaginations in our children, it points out how ours might possibly have been squelched and inspires us to revive it. Truly great read.


What are you reading and sewing this week? 

I am eager to hear!

needle and thREAD


  Or are you embroidering? Pulling a needle with thread through lovely fabric to make life more beautiful somehow? Would you share with us just a single photo (or more) and a brief description of what you're up to? Will you tell us about what you're reading, also? Would you talk sewing and books with us? I'd love that so much.

    Make sure the link you submit is to the URL of your blog post or your specific Flickr photo and not your main blog URL or Flickr Photostream. Please be sure and link to your current needle and theREAD post below in the comments, and not a needle and theREAD post from a previous week. If you don't have a blog, please post a photo to the needle & thREAD group at Flickr
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  1. says

    I’m reading the Esolen book, too! Great stuff.
    I am also pulling out my copy of a little Elizabeth Foss book about Real Learning to give me grounding and to remind myself that I have still have a first grader that needs me to be intentional as I try not to fret about having two high school kids! ;)

  2. says

    I read the Esolen book a few years ago. I agree, it’s a great read for this time of year. I second Sue in Japan….”Real Learning” is the go-to read for every new homeschool year.
    Still no sewing here. I am reading and rereading the final draft of an ebook I wrote over the summer to help Pennsylvania homeschool parents navigate the filing requirements. You have no idea how fortunate you are to be able to skip all of the paperwork in VA.
    I wrote a little about the inspiration for it in my latest blog post. If any of your readers are from PA, the corresponding website might also help them. Most of the information in the ebook is available for free on the website. I think ebooks are more convenient.

  3. Melissa says

    I ordered your Small Steps book from Amazon (for my best girlfriend) and I received a message this morning that it should arrive to my friend by Sept 4 rather than the original estimated delivery date of Sept 11)!

  4. Susan (DE) says

    What article are you referring to, speaking of The Introvert’s Way? I was a little confused by that, and interested to see the article, since I think you didn’t think the book was as good.
    Am I missing something?
    Thank you! Susan

  5. says

    I’m anxious to see your secret sewing :-) Fun!! (what are your thoughts on that cute little machine Katie is using?) You know, I bought the imagination book, too, and have had it for a couple of months now, but haven’t cracked the cover. I need to get on that….
    I’m finishing up another simple Alabama Chanin top and reading Trim Healthy Mama (do I recall you’ve read/ are reading that one, too? somebody is… ;-)

  6. says

    Not a huge fan of Bernette. It was very generous gift that came with her quilting camp. She loves having her own machine. If I were to invest in that sort machine again, I’d get a Janome.

  7. says

    Hi :) I am new to your blog, and so happy to be here! I found you through Sarah at Amongst Lovely Things … I just got my copy of Esolen in the mail yesterday, also at Sarah’s recommendation. I’m excited to read it.
    As for sewing. … I don’t know how :) but I just bought a vintage Singer at a thrift shop because I couldn’t resist. It was the same model my mom had inherited from my great grandmother , which I had hoped to learn on as well. Unfortunately I didn’t tell my mom that until too late… she no longer had the machine. So I’m planning to learn on this “new” one and to teach m daughter. I figure its okay that its not actually the same machine the women in our family used. It still makes me think of them :)
    Do you know of any good “learn to sew” books?

  8. Susan (DE) says

    And now that I LOOK at it, I had read it before. I loved it. A couple things (easily distracted, for example, which I AM, and even more in places with lots of people around), I had never thought of linking to my introversion. :-)
    Thank you.

  9. says

    Everytime I visit your blog it costs me money…lol..
    Just ordered those two lovely books.
    Would love to get a copy of Real Learning, but I haven’t been so lucky as to find it.

  10. says

    I want to read Esolen, but I’m afraid it’s too late for me since my youngest is nearly 12.
    I got Small Steps in the mail today! So excited to start it tomorrow. I’m happy that Lisa Hendey brought it back.

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