Have Your Say

21st October 2022

Spring Cleaning Part 2

After embarking on a little Spring Cleaning of the emails we’ve received from the Inspirations Community in last week’s All Stitched Up!, we’ve done a little more dusting and decluttering so we can continue to share some of the many ideas, thoughts and words of wisdom we’re so privileged to receive from you each week. After all, it wouldn’t be fair to keep them to ourselves!

In response to our Welcome entitled ‘Valuable’ from All Stitched Up! issue #345, Ann took the opportunity to join in on the conversation. It turns out the title alone got Ann thinking!

When considering how valuable her time spent stitching is, Ann couldn’t help but think of a commission she undertook to create a felt painting of someone’s house. 

With the time it took her to photograph the house, sketch the design for approval, prepare the background and put her needle and thread to completing the felting and embroidery, Ann had recorded more than 140 hours work before she gave up logging her time. 

Whilst Ann can’t recall what the minimum wage was in the UK when she completed the project, she estimates the cost to cover her time alone would have been £1,120, so the £200 she charged for the piece didn’t come close to covering it.

‘Whilst doing it was enjoyable, I’m not sure it was £920 worth of enjoyable!’

After contemplating the word valuable from the title of our welcome, Ann read on only to find herself pondering another of her ‘problems’ in her time with needle and thread!

As we went on to write in the same issue of ASU, time spent stitching allows many of the prisoners who benefit from the work of Fine Cell Work to escape their everyday as they focus on the meditative push and pull of the needle and thread before them. Ann, however, finds the exact opposite to be true.

‘Although my hands are occupied my mind is not.’

Whilst Ann is paying attention to what she’s doing on one level, on another she finds herself getting bored. Her solution? Listening to audio books whilst stitching. Although that presents another problem for Ann as she gets so lost in the story and whatever craft she’s doing at the time, she ends up locked in one position for hours at a time and as many of us know, that’s anything but good for our ageing bodies!

From audio books to paperbacks…

After requesting ‘The Gown’ by Jennifer Robson from her local library, Thuy collected the book and thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Not so much from the point of view of an avid reader, but rather from the aspect of how the garment within the story was created.

If anyone is familiar with the ‘The Gown’, there is a section where they explain how the sampling motif was created. Although Thuy read that portion of text over and over again, she wasn’t able to decipher the process and was hoping someone from the Inspirations Community may be able to point her in the right direction.

‘I would be grateful if anyone could shed some light on whether the technique is indeed non-fictional and if so, how the motif was created. Also, does anyone know whether step-by-step instructions have been created?’

Thuy closed her email by thanking us in advance for all the replies she’s hoping to receive from her call for help!

After reading about the lengths some people are willing to go to, not only to store their threads, but store them neatly in ASU #342, another Ann from the Inspirations Community couldn’t help but be amazed!

‘It’s only now that I have realised just how many people do enjoy sitting and sorting out messes!’

After coming to this realisation, Ann recalled fondly how her late sister enjoyed sorting thread bundles, and a friend’s husband happily sorts the buttons she gets from charity shops.

Ann, it sounds like we could all use a little of their help ourselves!

We close this week’s Have Your Say with Ruth’s thoughts that we know echo many a reader who learnt with much excitement that we’re now including printed fabric in as many Inspirations’ Ready-to-Stitch Kits as possible.

‘I'm so glad you will be offering printed fabrics. I know that I am much more likely to take on a new embroidery project if I don't have to struggle with the slow process of transferring the design. Way to go!’

We appreciate your enthusiasm Ruth and, like you, appreciate that printed fabric ensures we get to our ‘actual’ time with needle and thread just that much faster!

If you’re not sure whether an Inspirations Ready-to-Stitch kit includes printed fabric, simply scroll down to the Contents section of the product on our website and look for ‘Fabric with Pre-Printed Design’.

The conversations that are had through All Stitched Up! have become a part of our weekly rhythm at Inspirations HQ. Not only do we love receiving your emails but relish the opportunity we have to share them with the Inspirations Community. 

If you have a conversation you’d like to start or continue, it takes all but a simple email to join in on the conversation. We can’t wait to converse with you!

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