Tools, Glorious Tools: The Sewing Caddy



noun re·spite \ˈres-pət also ri-ˈspīt: an interval of rest or relief

These days are hectic. Not bad-hectic; in fact, they are quite pleasant-hectic. But hectic and busy and stressful nonetheless.

Most evenings provide me with a respite, however–an hour or two of quiet time, when I indulge in an adult beverage and some simple, soothing hand sewing. It’s a homely sort of ritual—a fire in the fireplace, a cat or two snoring nearby, a husband strumming the guitar, and the sewing.

This time would not be restful, though, if I had to go searching for my needle, dig around for my thread, and then wonder where, exactly, I left my scissors. So one of my favorite tools is a tool that holds my hand sewing tools.

This small sewing caddy was handmade locally, by the husband of the woman who owns a local quilt shop. It is aesthetically appealing in its own right but its value comes from the tidy way it corrals my basic needs.

The thread holder can be configured to hold the spool vertically or horizontally, according to what suits me.


My small scissors fit neatly into the slot on the end.

My favorite mechanical pencil and thimble have their places.

And a super-strong magnet is set into one end—I just need to fling my needle somewhere close to that magnet for it to be snagged.


So, when I turn my back on candy making for the day or finish the deep cleaning that the upcoming holidays necessitate, when I come home from running errands and turn off my computer for the day, my quiet place is ready and waiting. It’s easy.

I pick up fabric circles and my yoyo gizmo, reach for my sewing caddy, and settle in to my respite. Ahhhh . . . .

Do you have a tool that makes relaxing more relaxing for you?


Recipe For A Perfect Summer Day

pretty campI spent a lot of the day yesterday stewing. I thought about the things I should be doing and didn’t want to do any of them—I didn’t want to blog. I didn’t want to quilt. I didn’t want to iron linens or list them on Etsy. I didn’t want to thread the damn heddles on the loom. I didn’t want to follow Weight Watchers.

It was a thick and heavy stew.

Then it dawned on me—stewing in the summer doesn’t make sense. Stews are for winter and, even then, they taste good only occasionally. They have too much stuff in them. They weigh a person down.

I wanted a different concoction for summer. Something lighter, easier. I had just the recipe but hadn’t made it for far too long.

I needed to dig out my old favorite recipe for “camp,” and make a big batch.

I started with sunshine and a stiff breeze to blow the bugs away. These ingredients have been scarce this summer but I was able to find them when I needed them.

I added a book, a real book. A kind of heavy book, both physically and intellectually, because even a summer meal needs some nutritional value.

I stirred in a chaise lounge, in the sun, near the peonies, and a fleece blanket to tame the breeze.

I napped while it all simmered.

I finished the recipe with a smoky campfire, and seasoned it with some homemade music and a little bourbon.

It was a wonderful, restorative meal. And today I’m having leftovers. I’ll add a garage sale or two, just to spice things up, and go out for a deep-fried lunch, with family and a beer, two ingredients guaranteed to make leftovers better the second time around.

But the basic ingredients will stay the same. Because the recipe for “camp” is a classic and it never gets old. Something so good can’t be bad for me, right?

What are you cooking up today? I’d be happy to share my recipe.