Have you ever thought to embroider your Converse?
I hadn’t either until a gorgeous pair popped up in my Instagram feed stitched up by my friend Cheri of Tinkerellen (also known as Tinkinstitches on Etsy).
Cheri always has the sweetest most uplifting creations to share. I’ve seen her go from quilting a quilt, to sewing a bag, to renovating a place (as in she built the shelves and did the floors, etc…incredible!) to hand embroidering like there’s nothing to it. You might have caught her embroidery thread wall hanger she made for her sewing room in the Ultimate Thread Storage post.
She’s truly talented and has a way of making you want to get in on the sewing action. I’m so excited for you to get to know her journey into sewing and see what essentials Cheri’s stocking in her sewing kit.
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Introduction – tell us a little about yourself! How did you get started on your quilting journey?
Hi everyone! I’m Cheri from Tinkerellen on Instagram and Tinkinstitches on Etsy. I’m an embroidery and sewing pattern designer, a mother of two, a hard-core organizer and a meme-loving reposter. Hand sewing and quilting has been a part of my life for a long time, but became a passion once I had babies to care for and needed some personal craft therapy. For the last four or five years I’ve also really jumped into the mending arena, purchasing and mending second-hand clothing for myself and my children and finding purpose in giving forgotten items a chance to shine again. Some things I’ve mended thus far include cherished stuffed animals, roughed up jeans, worn sweaters, vintage quilts and even leather boots.
I’ve loved following your mending journey, Cheri! You do it so beautifully. The concept of sustainability hits home with my own philosophy of wanting my items to last as long as possible and to try and fix things before just buying new. Although, I’m still learning on the mending front – ha! I tried mending a pair of jean overalls and let’s just say my stitching needs some improving 😉
What kind of sewing bag do you have? (e.g. did you make it? Buy it?)
For my sewing ‘bag’, I wanted to show you my mending tin. It’s a quick compilation of everything I need to mend almost anything that comes my way. I spend a couple nights a month mending school clothes, jeans, socks, blankets and basically anything that has hit the mending pile. Having a beautiful and useful box full of supplies at the ready, makes mending a simple task. I purchased this metal organizer at Home Goods for just about fifteen dollars (if I’m remembering correctly). It’s large enough to hold materials as well as tools, but small enough to keep on our family bookshelf in Cognito.
I love this idea, Cheri. So practical! I often share about keeping your most used notions on hand so that you’re always ready for when the urge to sew strikes. I think it’s super clever to have a kit at the ready so that you don’t have to go searching for all the bits and bobs to complete the task. I especially love that it’s become a ritual for you too.
What are your all-star essentials? Your tried-and-true must haves that you can never run out of?
My essential mending tools are leather thimbles, sashiko thread and sashiko needles. I couldn’t mend nearly all of what I do without these items. For the thimbles I prefer leather for comfort and grip and also sustainability as they last so long and are a natural material.
Can you believe I still haven’t tried sashiko thread! I have this feeling that once I try it, I may go down a whole new rabbit hole 😉 I’m right there with you on the *leather thimble . The comfort is bar none and I love how it shapes to your finger. Yummy nummy. I’ve caught myself walking around the house with it still on – lol.
What is your favourite item in your kit? Why?
I think my favorite item in my mending box is the needlebook. It’s handmade and handstitched, holds essentials, is small, portable and just happy. I need a little thing to brighten the mending when it feels too much like a chore. Mostly I enjoy the peaceful stitches but sometimes a hole in a sock is just a hole in a sock. Am I right?
Ugh, yes! I do have a question about mending socks – does it feel like there’s a ‘bump’ in your sock when you’re wearing it? I remember mending my own tights in high school when the toe seam sometimes popped open, but it was never ‘quite’ the same. Is there a technique to successfully mending a sock?
What’s one thing we’d be surprised to find in your bag?
I don’t think there’s anything surprising about the mending supplies I keep handy (cotton fabric, denim scraps, yarns and threads in various colors, needles, vintage wooden sock darner), although adding in vintage threads, buttons or yarns adds to the uniqueness of the mends.
That’s what that wooden thing-a-ma-bob is! I was wondering when I got your pictures but hadn’t read your answers yet 😉 I’d say it’s one of the most beautifully stocked mending kits I’ve ever seen 😊
QUILT KITS WILL TRAVEL
When do you find yourself using your kit the most? (Travelling, on the sofa, attending sew-ins?)
Again, I use this kit mostly at night while I watch movies so having it on the ready in the bookshelf helps immensely!
The less barriers to your goal the better! I love how organized you are about your mending practice.
WHERE CAN WE FIND YOU?
Tell people where we can find you?
If you’d like to see some of my mending, quilting, sewing and embroidery adventures, you can find me through Instagram as ‘tinkerellen’ or on my Etsy shop ‘tinkinstitches’. I’m always happy to help and share my own experiences but I hope you’ll try your own hand at mending one day. Maybe a little peek into my personal mending kit will give you that very inspiration!
It’s definitely inspired me, Cheri! Thank you for sharing your beautiful kit and giving us more insight on how we can incorporate mending into our own homes. Starting with pulling together a kit like yours seems to be the smart next step!
For more What’s in Your Sewing Bag fun, check out these guests:
- Xanthe from Wife Made
- Amy from nanaCompany
- Ali from Arabesque Scissors
- Michelle from Michelle Bartholomew
- Krista from Poppyprint
PS in case you’re wondering about those stitched Converse, you can see more here 😊