Have Your Say

6th November 2020

Seasons and Lifetime Projects | Your Responses

We’re watching the seasons change here at Inspirations HQ. Less than a week ago, we were huddled up in the cold and rain and now the sun is shining and we’re enjoying a deliciously warm day. It is spring for us, which is both unpredictable and exciting, although knowing when to put the winter wardrobe away and get the summer one out can be difficult!

After writing about seasons back in All Stitched Up! issue #253, several of you wrote in telling us how you like to mark the seasons with your stitching.

Frances Tornese from the USA described her love for Fall/Autumn, with the rich oranges, yellows and reds of the trees appearing in her needlework. However, like many of us, Christmas is always on her mind, so she starts her Christmas stitching in June to avoid running the risk of not finishing on time.

Christmas Spirit’ by Betsy Morgan from Inspirations issue #104

Similarly, Roberta Kenney is inspired by seasons. She has a preference for wool based projects such as crewel work, during winter, but she too gives Christmas projects precedence to ensure they are completed on time. She also loves making things for birthdays, with these two delightful ornaments by Giulia Manfredini doubling as Christmas decorations and birthday gifts for her children and grandchildren.

In that same issue of All Stitched Up!, we also discussed projects that are so significant in scale that they become lifetime projects and highlighted the cross-stitched periodic table worked by Brother Martin. 

In response we received a wonderfully heart-warming story of a ‘lifetime project’ from Helen Martyres. Helen’s mother had started a tapestry but didn’t manage to finish it before she passed away in 1997. It sat in a cupboard for several years before Helen’s daughter discovered it and asked Helen whether she would complete it.

Rather than finishing it entirely, Helen did a little and then handed it to her daughter to complete, although not hopeful of the outcome as, to the best of her knowledge, Helen’s daughter was not much of an embroiderer.

But you can imagine Helen’s joy when her daughter delivered it to her, completed, for her 80th birthday.

Not only had her daughter put stitches in, but her granddaughter had too, making it a project that stretched over four generations of her family.

Caitlin Doyle was also inspired to write in after seeing the same article, however she wanted to ask a question. Like many of us, Caitlin appreciates the journey involved in embroidery perhaps more than the destination, however she wondered how people maintained their enthusiasm over the course of a very long project?

‘Virgin Queen’s Stitching Wallet’ by Betsy Morgan from Willing Hands

She admitted that she often found herself ‘wandering’. Her latest project, Betsy Morgan’s Virgin Queen’s Stitching Wallet, was one she fell in love with. However, like many of Betsy’s projects, it is very much a labour of love which can take a great deal of time to complete. Caitlin has found herself at times feeling frustrated with her slow progress and, although she knows it isn’t going to help, has found herself putting it down, discouraged by how long it is taking.

Do any of our readers have some inspiration for Caitlin, or some tips or advice for sticking with a project even if the end seems a long way off? Have you ever felt like Caitlin does? And how do you overcome a mental roadblock with your stitching?

It will be wonderful to hear from you with your advice, suggestions and ideas. That is what the Inspirations community is all about – sharing our passion with our closest friends from all over the world.

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