Have Your Say

28th May 2021

Bits and Pieces

We like to think that the relationship we have with all of you is that of a good friend. Although we can’t physically sit down and have a cuppa, we can still have a weekly catch up via this newsletter and exchange thoughts, ask questions, share ideas or tips we’ve come across, just like face-to-face friends would. 

Keeping Cosy by Deborah Love | Inspirations Handpicked

Ordinarily, we receive responses in relation to articles we’ve written, but it is also lovely to hear your random musings as it makes us feel like we’ve just poured the tea and are settling in for a good old chat.

Pat Demharter, who is a regular community contributor, often finds herself wondering, as she stitches away, what it was that drew her to the piece she’s working on. Was it the design? The colours? The challenge? That led her to wonder why other people choose their projects, and why some of us are drawn to one thing but not to others.

Pat would love to hear about what inspires you to tackle any particular project or why you’re drawn to a particular design. It is sure to be different for everyone, but Pat believes we all have one thing in common:

‘…the beauty we create with our own hands and hearts.’

That is something we can definitely get on board with!

If, like many of us, you find yourself with too many finished pieces and not enough walls, Sara Neal shared her solution. She says she finds immense joy in giving her finished pieces away. She has donated her art to hospitals, churches, elderly care centres and pre-schools, that now have her embroidery hanging on their walls. She gets a little burst of pleasure when she sees one of her pieces being displayed. She says it makes her feel just a little bit famous,

Sara also likes to make things to help others memorialise parts of their lives, whether joyful or sad. Sara’s dearest memory is when she gave an embroidered piece to a couple in honour of their stillborn daughter. We can only imagine how precious that moment must have been. 

Sara’s advice is to always photograph your work so you can remember it and sign it before you give it away.

But the act of giving is itself the prize, as so many others who may not have the skills or the ability are sure to gain pleasure out of your handiwork.

Do any of you regularly give away your work? If so, do you have any stories or moments that are particularly special? Or have you been anywhere and spotted your own work on display? If not, then perhaps Sara’s suggestion might be something to consider next time you’re scratching your head wondering where to hang your latest masterpiece.

Finally, there were a few thoughts about threading needles that have been sitting in our inbox for a while. The first came from Jean Manning who wanted to pass on a tip she discovered in a quilting magazine many years ago. The advice was to wet the thread and wet the needle eye, which should make the thread go through first time. Jean wondered whether it had something to do with static electricity, does anyone know?

Kay Dennis offered slightly different advice when it came to the endless problems of needles and how to thread them. She says to not lick the thread as it fluffs up the fibres, however she confirms that licking the eye of the needle instead causes friction which helps pull the thread through. We just ask that you make sure you’re licking the correct end! 

Kay also pointed out that matching the thread to the eye will also help. In other words, if you’re using a sewing thread, which is round, it will go through a round sewing needle eye easier than an embroidery needle eye. Similarly, a flatter thread like stranded cotton or silk will go through the long eye of an embroidery needle with greater ease.

If you’ve tried all of these things and that pesky thread still resists, turn the needle over.

As most needles nowadays are ‘stamped’, the eye has a front and a back with the back being rougher and much harder to put a thread through. However, Kay did say that she loves using Tulip needles as they tend not to suffer from this problem.

It really doesn’t matter what thoughts or musings about our craft come to mind, make yourself comfortable, take a biscuit or two, and share it with us. We love ideas like these that help get the conversation going. Although, we’re pretty sure it’s unlikely that we’ll ever run out of things to say about this beautiful hobby of ours!

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