Tip: Stitching with toddlers

As all mothers know, stitching with a toddler in the house is a challenge. They manage to get their sticky little hands on everything. Have you noticed that toddlers hands are almost always sticky?

Even if a mother finds the time to stitch, there are those needles and scissors to worry about…

With a toddler in the house I thought my stitching days were over. I was wrong! I actually manage to put in some quality stitching time.

Here are my tried and tested tips for stitching in a home with a toddler in residence:

  1. Use only fabric and threads which you can wash when you are finished. No more worrying about sticky fingers or spilled food and drink!
  2. To ensure there are no scissor accidents: Use an empty dental floss box to cut the threads instead of scissors. Or get a thread cutter, like the famous Clover Thread Cutter. I am not on their payroll, I just happen to own one and love it.
  3. Needles are easily lost. Make sure you only have 1 out at a time.
  4. If possible, use only cross-stitch needles – they have a blunt tip.
  5. Make sure you know where your needle is at all times. Have a storage place for your needle when not attached to thread. Check regularly that the needle is not lost. Tips 3 to 5 will save you and your little one from being stabbed by a sharp needle. They also work if you have a special other who is paranoid that you will loose your needles on the couch.
  6. Work from a copy of the chart. Toddlers like to draw!
  7. Only have the threads and supplies you need to work with out. Toddlers love to tangle up thread.
  8. Have a rule that the project is yours and not a toy. Be consistent about this.
  9. Let the toddler look at and touch your project when they show curiosity – only under supervision, remember it is yours! More often than not they’ll quickly loose interest.
  10. Have a safe and out of the way storage place for your stash.
  11. Have a place to store your project that is safe from the toddler and easily accessible to you. Always put your project away when you are not working on it. I keep a couple of decoy items in the same drawer with my project, just in case the toddler does manage to stage a raid. I use some of my own things that my daughter likes to play with as decoys. At the moment one of my plastic frames is the favourite.
  12. Stitch only for a few minutes at a time and make use of the times when your toddler is sleeping. The household tasks can wait. I like to alternate stitching with those tasks. Stitch for 5 to 20min then go do something else… repeat!

If you have time to be reading stitchy blogs, then you have time to stitch… Turn off the computer and pick up that needle!

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