Have Your Say

29th July 2022

Glass Ceilings, Good Works and Other Glorious Things

The concept of a self-imposed glass ceiling was one that we mused upon in All Stitched Up! issue #335. After reading an article by Peter Sage, we were interested to learn about how often we encounter barriers of our own making. Overcoming them requires a sometimes-frightening step into the unknown. Once we’ve taken the step, we can move on again, but it is so easy to hesitate, convinced we’ll never make it through that ceiling.

Janet Henry admitted that she read the article having just had that very experience. She had spent quite a few months finishing off several UFO quilt projects. During the process, she was looking forward to starting something new, but when the moment arrived it meant that she had to cut into fabric.

It had been some time since she’d done that. She stood there, looking at the fabric. She re-read the instructions. She hesitated. Finally, she said to herself ‘get going!’. With a deep breath, she began cutting and in no time, she was back in her comfort zone. Janet told us that she was so gratified to read the article and learn that we all go through these blocks. She said:

‘I love the way your newsletter so often coincides with my life.’

Ann Bernard also found the article interesting. She acknowledged the logic in the idea of the self-imposed glass ceiling and observed that it is scary to walk or wade into unknown waters or a new life. The article gave her something to think about in relation to so many aspects of her life.

Tatiana Popova

Also in that issue, we shared with you the story of Tatiana Popova who is now working in Australia after escaping her home country of Ukraine. Many people had asked about her and wished her well, so it was fabulous to be able to talk to her. She stated how she was so lucky, thanks to the generosity and support of the stitching community. So, when we received an email from Annie Webster from Wales, we wanted to share it as a further demonstration of how wonderful the stitching community is.

Annie said that she belongs to a group of needleworkers. An associate had come up with the idea of making up packages of stitching notions and tools to send to Ukrainian women now living in Poland. Annie commented how most needleworkers gain such solace from working with their needles.  Through stitching,

‘…forgetfulness descends and transports us to a place where we can get away from our troubles for a while.’

With this in mind, Annie spent a satisfying afternoon digging through her stash and gathering as comprehensive an array of haberdashery as possible. She gathered wools, needles, hooks, buttons, beads, fabric, cottons, pins, snips and many other bits and pieces. She put them together and they are now on their way to a fellow stitcher in need.

Annie said that she can only hope her small contribution brings with it the gift of a little bit of peace and quiet for the recipient.

Moving from sharing to being careful what you share. Ann Sait wrote in with a story that made us laugh. She was busy stitching one afternoon, deep in concentration when her husband walked in. 

‘Have you got any thread I could use?’ he asked. Ann, unwilling to take her eyes from her work, nodded towards her stash drawers. Later in the day, he husband proudly showed her what he had been doing. In his hand was a fishing rod with its rings whipped in a gorgeous coloured thread. Ann complimented him on his work. Her husband, handing back the remains of the reel commented, ‘that is great thread.’ Ann looked down and gasped. He had used her very best Mettler thread!

The lesson she learned? Never let her husband near her stash unsupervised!

Finally, Cristina Casoli is a reader from Italy who writes to us regularly. As English is not her native language, her emails arrive in Italian and we have to rely on the less-than-perfect translation that comes from Google. However, we always enjoy corresponding with her and we love getting to know our readers from all over the world.

Cristina has asked a question that we wanted to put out to the community.

We really hope that we’ve translated it accurately and that our wonderful readers can come back with ideas for her.

Cristina would like to know how to accurately join two pieces of embroidery in a manner similar to a Betsy Morgan project, but rather than using linen or counted fabric where you can line up the pieces accurately, knowing each stitch will be the same size, she is using printed fabric. Cristina told us the fabric is called ‘stoffine americane’ in Italian, which translates to ‘American cloth,’ and a search tells us is printed quilting fabric. 

Her question is how can she calculate how many stitches she might need, or what length of stitch she should use in order to accurately join the fabrics together? Is there a method of measuring? Or is it just done by eye?

We’d love to hear how you go about accurately joining printed fabrics. We’re sure you’ll have ideas whether you’re a quilter or an embroiderer. And if you ever have any questions that you’d like help or advice on from our kind, generous and wonderful community, please write in.

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