2nd June 2023

For those of you who’ve read many an issue of All Stitched Up!, you might recall an oft-used phrase of ours, ‘along with a few details about your stitching journey’.

While stitching journeys are something we often ask and write about in this very newsletter, it was an article by Andrea Santiamo in Needlepoint Now magazine that brought them front of mind once again.

Andrea was reflecting on her own journey with needle and thread over the 50+ years since it first began, and as a ‘needlepointer’ Andrea reminisced about the changes she’d seen over those years.

Continental Stitch was ‘the’ needlepoint stitch at the time, stitching was done in hand as bars were nowhere to be seen, and decorative or open stitches that allowed the canvas to peek through were rarely used. Along with changes that were technique wide, Andrea also noted some of the many changes that have occurred throughout the journey that were personal to her.

‘We grow as we go on our journey as people and stitchers. Our interests change and we experiment with new things.’

Although Andrea had always loved ‘having a canvas come to life’, as her journey with needle and thread progressed, she realised she wanted more from her canvases and so added to her repertoire of stitches, learned more about the technique of needlepoint, and began adding embellishments to her canvases to ‘make them pop’.

The way in which she completes her projects has also changed. At first, Andrea would see each piece she began through to completion, but once she realised her stitching was mood based, now chooses between different canvases each day depending on how she feels. Decorative and open stitches are now prevalent in her work, and floral or seasonal canvases, once never to be seen, are now part of her ever-growing stash.

Andrea has even reached a point in her journey with needle and thread where she’s recognised that if a project requires a large amount of basketweave, it’s simply not for her. And sometimes, those eighteen mesh canvases are set aside while her eyes are given a break on a thirteen-count canvas!

Like Andrea, each of us have our own personal journeys with needle and thread. Some are linear whilst others zigzag their way from the beginning to where they now find us. No matter the path your journey has followed, they say a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, and so it is with each of our journeys with needle and thread, they all began with a single stitch.

Can you recall the first stitch you ever laid?

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