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Ashley from Mommy By Day Crafter By Night

September 06, 2012

I think all of us can agree as women, that at the end of a day of laundry, cooking, cleaning, and taking care of kids- sometimes we just need a little time to ourselves to unwind and relax. Up until a few years ago, I spent this much-needed time sitting on a couch watching an episode or two (or 4) of my favorite show on TV.

One night I was feeling like I wanted to have something to show for my time instead of just sitting. I got thinking of what I could do and realized that I really didn’t have any hobbies that I felt like I was good at. I had a list of things that I hoped to be able to do, but had deemed myself as one of the few people that just hadn’t been blessed with any talents.

On my list was sewing, but with the exception of sewing a windsock in home ec in the 7th grade, I had really never touched a sewing machine. I had been thinking of learning to sew for a while so I got up the nerve to tell my husband that I thought we should buy a sewing machine for me to learn on. My sweet hubby was all for it, knowing that I needed something to do for myself, but I could see a bit of skepticism in his eyes. Who knew if I was even going to be able to figure out how to thread it- let alone sew something.

It arrived on my doorstep and sat unopened in the box for over a week. I was so scared to open it and figure out where to start. After reading the manual front to back, I felt qualified enough to plug the machine in. I threaded the needle and started sewing. Now I admit… it wasn’t pretty in the start. The first project that I made was a dress for my daughter, which actually ended up fitting her build-a-bear.  It was a little bit of a learning curve at first, but I told myself the day I ordered the machine that I was going to give it a valiant effort. As the time went on, I learned more and more.  My stitches got a little less wonky and my confidence grew.

As the months passed, I often wondered at the timing of that inspired thought to start something new and learn to sew. Now- over a year later I can pinpoint why it was right then.

5 months ago, I experienced something that I could have never imagined having to go through: my little brother took his life. My shining, bright, happy, cheerful, talented, handsome brother made a split second decision and my family was left to pick up the pieces of our broken hearts and forced to live this life without him here physically. 

It’s hard to explain suicide and its horrible aftermath to someone that has never experienced it. I myself couldn’t understand or empathize until it happened to someone in my life. It felt like life, as I knew it, was over. How in the world was I going to live each day knowing that my favorite cowboy was not here to smile and give me a hug when I needed one from him? How could anyone understand exactly what I was feeling? The loss I felt? How was I going to heal and be ok? And honestly- I have no answers to these questions- other than lots of prayers and living the gospel. It’s just something that my family will think about and struggle with everyday until we get the chance to be with him again. I now have an even bigger appreciation for eternal families and I am so thankful for the blessing that I have of being sealed to my little brother. 

Once I got home from the funeral and things were settled a bit, I started to sew again. It was my little time out from the reality of heartbreak in my life. Working with fabric and making sure that each stitch was perfectly straight was something I could control, when it felt like my emotions were something I couldn’t.  Realizing that sewing was bringing me joy in a time of sadness, I tried to think of a way that I could use my sewing to pay tribute to my brother. I wanted whatever I made to be special. After brain storming a bit, I decided to make quilts with my brother’s clothes for my parents and siblings so that when we were missing him, we could wrap the quilts around us and feel closer to him.  

It’s still a work in progress but working with my brother’s clothes is soothing in a way and I know that he is watching over me while I sew. It’s comforting and feels good to work on this project made up of lots of love- love for my brother, love for my family, and love for my Heavenly Father. I KNOW without a doubt that he knows each of us. He knows our struggles, our heartbreaks, our pains, and our sorrows. We all go through hard trials in this life. They make us strong. They help us to grow to our full potential.  Heavenly Father has a plan for us. As silly as it sounds, I know that I was inspired to learn to sew for a reason.  Being able to do this small act of love for my family during this hard time is helping to heal my broken heart- one stitch at a time.

My name is Ashley. I love anything crafty... making my own decor, scrapbooking, crafts, sewing, photography, DIY projects... you name it and I wanna try it! I am a stay at home mommy of 2 girls and a wife to the best husband in the world. I love being a mom! When I was growing up, whenever someone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up I always answered "A mom." I love being able to stay home with my girls everyday and teach them all they need to know about life. It's a big job, but I am so glad that I get to be the one for job! In my spare time I love reading, watching movies, bargain shopping, and crafting of course! Ashley blogs at: