Have Your Say

6th October 2023

Reflections and Reactions

Have Your Say this week compiles the responses we had to All Stitched Up! issue #393, which if we were to summarise, includes a suggestion, a response and an exploration!

In issue #393 Peter suggested a rubber mat for Marjan who was trying to stop her tabletop stand from falling over. This reminded Roberta of a project her EGA chapter did, creating weights out of Tyco stuffed toys that may also work for Marjan. One of the ladies in their chapter had a collection of toys she wanted to get rid of, so they repurposed them by removing half of the plastic pellets and replaced them with stainless steel buck shot. 

The toy remains floppy and will shape to any frame you want to stabilise. The 10 of us had a lot of fun with them, mine was a tan Cocker Spaniel Puppy.’

We also had a question in issue #393 posed by Elizabeth who wanted to know what reactions people get when they say they are an embroiderer. In response we received an email from Mary who says even though she is an embroiderer she hasn’t reached the level in her journey where she feels ready to tell others about it yet.

She explains, ‘I aspire to be a more accomplished embroiderer. I am a quilter, to the level where I am confident telling others. One of the most common responses I receive is, ‘I am so happy to hear that. I have some pants that need to be hemmed.’

I recently attended a quilting class where my teacher told the class that asking a quilter to hem your pants is equivalent to asking Picasso to paint your garage.

The number of hours an artisan spends on a piece is completely disregarded. Hopefully in time, and with patient encouragement on the part of embroiderers, others will see the true value of our needlework and they will realise we are spending our precious time on this earth in a very worthy endeavour.’

Well said Mary! Finally, in issue #393 we wrote about lessons learned in life and how they might apply to our time with needle and thread, encouraging Jane to think about her feelings towards her stitching. 

To explore her feelings, she started with a note about gardening: ‘Much is written about the mental health benefits of gardening as it teaches patience and careful watchfulness. It teaches entire trust in a process of planting seeds, relying on sun and water to reap the reward of a harvest for the eye and the soul.

This slips nicely into my thinking about needlework as a form of gardening without needing a patch of earth. There is luxury in dipping my hands into a basket of threads made of silken fibres, vegan cotton, or bamboo. The delight of colour selection for a special pattern begins the process of set-up that includes the right tools: needles, thimble, hoop, lamplight, and location. All is in readiness for that time of day when I am free to surrender to the calm of stitching.

Practicing Mindfulness – a phrase that seems to have moved into the common lexicon to describe a ‘practice of total self-awareness to create a feeling of calm.’ In the spirit of practicing mindfulness, I try to give myself permission each day to dive into my stitching as it is a pressure release, like a whistle on a kettle just boiled. Calming and relaxing each stitch gives me time for inner reflection and permission to find blissful happiness each and every day just like a farmer watching my crops, knowing the harvest will reap a benefit to me in its own time and in a surprising way.’

Jane, we love your comparison of stitching to the process of gardening and we’re so glad you find yourself calm and relaxed every time you stitch. If you have any reflections or reactions you would like to share from any of our newsletters we’d love you to email us HERE!

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