A Relay

13th December 2019

The basic premise of a relay race is that each member of a team has a turn to complete a segment of the race before handing the next portion to the subsequent team member.

Each runner in the team is called a ‘leg’ which signifies their placement in the race. For example, if you’re the first leg, it means that you’re the first runner. The exception to this is that the person who runs the final leg of the race is called the ‘anchor leg’.

Whilst it’s often the anchor leg who receives the lion’s share of the praise as they cross the finish line alone, the success of any relay team relies on the combined efforts of each member.

It occurred to us that stitching is a little like a relay race, with the stitcher having the honour of running the anchor leg!

When you think about it, there’ve been many ‘segments’ completed by other ‘legs’ before we can pick up needle and thread. There’s the creator of each stitch/technique we work, the artist who poured themselves into the design, the weaver who created the fabrics and the manufacturer who dyed the threads we’re pulling though fabric. Then, how about the cotton growers and silk spinners who produce the raw materials, the publishers who print the instructions we’re working from or the numerous transport companies who’ve brought each element to our hands? Too many legs to count accurately it would seem!

So, as the anchors of the stitching relay who receive the glory as we cross the finish line with our completed piece, may we always remember the legs who’ve gone before us to ensure our success…

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