Have Your Say
18th December 2022
With next week being our last in the office for 2022, we’re tidying up some loose ends at Inspirations HQ to ensure we finish the year well and set ourselves up for a successful return in the New Year.
To that end, we’re sharing the responses we received to the responses we published in response to some of our opening thoughts in a previous issue of All Stitched Up! Lost? So were we, for a moment anyway!
In short, we shared some thoughts about accountability in ASU #349. We then continued the conversation in ASU #355. This then encouraged some more responses from the Inspirations Community that we’re now sharing with you.a
After reading Floss’s thoughts on accountability in ASU #355, Jill recognised a kindred spirit and left us with a few wise words of wisdom.
‘I am a person who came to stitching later in life after the trauma of taking 15 years to complete a doily in my late teens! Life is full of accountability, so for me, stitching projects has to be something that gives me pleasure. I usually only have one project on the go at a time and I focus completely on that. My stitching time is just prior to going to sleep most nights and it is a winding down, meditative time for me usually sitting in bed.
Just remember to keep track of your needles if you try this at home, as waking up feeling like you’ve had acupuncture all night isn’t a good sensation!’
We appreciate your words of advice Jill, and while we’re at it, we really must make sure we find some of those needles we dropped last time we stitched on the couch!
The thoughts on accountability encouraged Carol to take the time to share a favourite phrase her mother lived by, ‘Finish two projects for every one you start’.
These were words her mother lived by that ensured she was able to finish all but one project before she died. Wise words indeed! Now if we could just find the same discipline ourselves…
Mary found that having to set up her needle and thread each time she wanted to stitch was ‘a tremendous barrier to getting projects completed’, and since she lives on her own, Mary has found she’s able to organise her stitching life in a different way to many of us.
‘I have patchwork at the sewing machine, fine embroidery or goldwork on the dining room table, crewelwork by my armchair as well as a bit of mindless knitting to keep me company in the evening while I watch TV.’
We have to confess to being a little envious of your ‘everywhere’ approach to needle and thread, Mary! We can just imagine the bliss of moving from one project to the next without the time and effort required to set up and pack up each time.
And like you, Mary, we also find it ‘really interesting to read other folk’s comments each week’. We’re incredibly grateful for the conversations started and continued, and the wealth of information that’s shared through this newsletter – we love learning with and from the Inspirations Community each week.
After reading the ‘Accounts of Accountability’, Susan wrote in with a very personal story as to how she’s being accountable for her mental health and her desire to create, all at the tender age of 85!
‘I studied Art in London and throughout my life of marriage and kids, I have always worked creatively either painting or stitching.
Recently I have been tied to the job of dealing with a, now middle-aged, daughter with borderline personality disorder and complex post-traumatic stress disorder, as well as a severely depressed husband. However, I somehow continued to devote time and energy to my creative life successfully.’
‘A few weeks ago I realised with shock that depression could be very infectious. And I decided that I just had to start looking after myself in a different way. I gave up my local Book Club meetings and said I would give up my art too in order to try meditation and stillness to relax my body and mind.
I remembered, however, reading emails from women who claimed that hand stitching was very soothing. This I should try!
I could do half an hour here and there, five minutes even if that’s all the time I had. I had to respect my need to create and believed these stitchers might just be right. I found an old piece of cotton, drew a design on it in pencil and have started stitching.
They were right, it is truly relaxing.
I am stitching like I used to paint – densely and colourfully, and it truly is stress reducing. I am accountable for my health, my mental health and my unstoppable desire to create. This is the first time I have looked at it like this and I am 85.
Thank you for your wonderful postings and indirectly for your help. I will not give up my art because I simply cannot.’
No Susan, thank you for taking the time to share your story. Your journey is a timely reminder to each of us to ensure, that amidst the hustle and bustle of the world around us, we’re creating the space to look after ourselves so we can better look after those who depend on us, and we can think of no better way we’d rather do it than with needle and thread.
We close this, our last Have Your Say for 2022, with a query from Edna who’s hoping someone can help her tame those sometimes-untameable threads!
‘On reading a recent newsletter I began to wonder if other sewers had problems with their cottons. I find mine tend to get very knotted together. A lot of my stitching only requires one strand at a time and the other strands seem to get tied up with the colours not being used at that precise time.
Am I the only person to find I have bird’s nests of cotton in my work bag?!
Whilst I use the little cardboard or plastic spools for winding the colours on to, I find it is when I am working on a piece of embroidery that has several different colours I switch in between is when my troubles begin.’
If you’re able to point Edna in the right direction, we know she’d love to hear from you!
As we break for the festive season, we’re going to miss our conversations with you, but we’ll be back on 20 Jan ’23 to do it all over again as we start and continue many a conversation on our love of life and all things needle and thread. Until then, we hope you enjoy many hours of stitching joy.