Have Your Say

29th April 2022

Wandering Minds

We were listening to a podcast recently that was discussing the benefits of ‘mind-wandering’ for creativity. The observation was made that many of our best ideas come in those moments when we allow our minds the freedom to wander where they will rather than being endlessly distracted by something else.

Judging by the glorious array of different topics our readers have written to us about recently, it seems as if this valuable creative pursuit is something many of us have mastered! Perhaps it goes hand in hand with our passion for the creative arts? 

Wendy Armitage was thinking about orts, which many people define as ‘old raggedy threads’ that we’ve talked about in several past issues of All Stitched Up! She’d also heard about the term being an acronym, but then recently discovered it was actually a backronym. A backronym, Wendy explained, is an acronym which is made up of the letters of an already existing word.

It seems the word orts is much older, originating from Middle English via the Middle German word ‘orte’. The original world meant scraps of food left after a meal, or food remains. Over time, the meaning has expanded to include scraps of anything, including threads. As the original usage was lost, stitchers asked where the word had come from, and it is likely then that the backronym was created.

Kay Smith wanted to write in after reading about Jackie Williams’ experience of a well-meaning relative cleaning up her sewing room in All Stitched Up! issue #323. Kay could, unfortunately, relate to Jackie’s experience completely. Kay had gone to Europe a few years back and when she came home, she discovered her mother had convinced her sister to ‘tidy up’ all of Kay’s quilting materials!

On her arrival home, Kay discovered what they had done. She promptly shouted at them and then went out and bought a whole lot more as she couldn’t find anything in the newly ‘tidied’ room. Her advice to Jackie and anyone else whose relatives get the urge to tidy up is:

'Push them out the door and lock it! I’m not sure I’ve recovered from the whole experience yet…’

Designer and regular Inspirations magazine contributor, Helen M. Stevens wanted to share a bit of news with everyone. Helen already has a strong presence on Facebook, but she wanted to share that she has begun a regular, almost daily post on Instagram too. She describes it as a daily ‘feel good’ picture with a quick caption to brighten the day.

A recent Instagram post from Helen M. Stevens

Helen has also started an occasional board on Pinterest that she has called ‘Sow and Sew’. In it, she shows a photo of a particular flower and then she lists the stitches necessary to re-create it in her characteristic style.

Recent Pinterest posts from Helen M. Stevens’ board

Helen is hoping this will become a useful resource for needleworkers who are familiar with her work and want a quick reference as to specific techniques for a particular subject. You can follow the board on Pinterest HERE

Finally, we had two requests for ideas that we thought we’d put out to you, our valued community. Although we can furnish some suggestions, it is better to tap into the wealth of experience held by all of you, as then even we can learn something new.

Wendy’s Mum in 1949, Wendy in 1981 and Wendy’s daughter in 2015 all in the smocked dresses made by Wendy’s grandmother.

The first request came from Wendy Armitage again. Wendy loves smocked designs and treasures the two smocked dresses her grandmother made entirely by hand in 1949. Wendy would love to do more smocking but doesn’t make clothing. Can our readers suggest other uses for smocking that Wendy might try?

The second came from Judy Eckhardt who wanted to discover more ideas for using flat silks. She fell in love with the colours and sheen of Pipers Silks, so bought a sample pack but now she’d love to discover more ideas for their use.

Over to you, team! We can’t wait to hear from you and in the meantime, keep those ideas and thoughts flowing and those minds wandering.

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