Have Your Say

30th November 2018

The ‘Have Your Say Spring Cleaning’ that began last week, continues as we share more of the conversations we have on file from the Inspirations ‘family’…


‘I’m five years on from my 36-year marriage ending in the most traumatic of ways as the life I thought I had turned out to be an entire lie. I have learnt a million things from that day and the years that have followed, the biggest thing being that when something goes wrong in your life, it doesn’t finish you. 

 I found a needlework group and the ladies there taught me to embroider from scratch. I am a huge fan of Trish Burr and have nearly finished my version of her Hummingbird.

 The poet, Mary Oliver, said ‘Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift.’ The gift I found in my awful box of darkness was embroidery.’

Harriet, your story is the epitome of resilience! Despite an incredibly difficult situation, we love that it led you to embroidery and know that your time with needle and thread will prove to be a constant companion through life’s ups and downs.

Mary Wyn Thompson | Canada

‘I had never seen embroidery until one day fifteen years ago, I was walking by a laundromat and there was a lady sitting outside waiting for her clothes to dry who was doing cross stitch. From memory she was stitching flowers, but I had never seen anything so beautiful! She convinced me that it wasn’t hard, so I went to the craft store and bought a simple kit and started to stitch.

 A short time later I went to a big craft show and the Embroiderers Guild had a booth – I saw Goldwork, Blackwork, Stumpwork and Hardanger. I was so amazed and decided that I wanted to do it too.’

I was 65 years old at the time and up until then, the most I could do with a needle and thread was sew on a button!

 I joined my local guild, which was a thirty-mile drive from home, and met over 30 wonderful women. They taught me, and I tried everything. Now I’m not too bad a stitcher! A few years ago I had a hip replacement, was laid up for a while and stitching saved my sanity. Now that I’m alone, I have a lot of time to stitch and over 30 wonderful friends to share it with. I must say that we do more talking and laughing at our meetings than stitching, but I can’t imagine how empty and lonely my life would be now without embroidery.’  

Mary, just like Harriet your story shows how constant a companion needle and thread can be. We love that from a chance encounter outside a laundromat, your passion for all things stitched has become such an integral part of your life.

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