27th January 2023

Your work is worthy. That was the opening line of a recent email from Hannah Brencher.

Hannah launched her emails for 2023 with a guest writer whose words, Hannah believed, would ‘be fresh wind in (our) sails and just what (we) need to sit down in the (stitcher’s) chair for this new year.’

Sure, Stephanie Duncan Smith may have been referring to writing and therefore a writer’s chair in her piece, but we couldn’t help but consider her words in light of our time with needle and thread.

Stephanie opened her essay with the story of a writer who had once referred to the basement in which he wrote as a dungeon. Over time, however, he came to realise that this reference was anything but inspiring. So, he moved his language from dungeon to office, eventually settling on studio when he came to appreciate that he was in fact an artist of words. 

‘There is a world of difference between the work of a writer who downplays their craft, and the writing of a writer who dignifies their work.’

Upon reading this, we came to realise that there is also a world of difference between the work of a stitcher who downplays their craft, and the stitching of a stitcher who dignifies their work.

All too often we hear from people who think the results of their time with needle and thread are anything but worthwhile, but we hope the ways in which Stephanie went on to unpack how we can intentionally dignify our creative work, will make even the most uncertain believe their work is truly worthy.

Firstly, Stephanie believes that when we give voice to our insecurities in our time with needle and thread, we allow ‘the language of downplaying’ to ‘make small the magnitude of honest, good-faith efforts.’ Whereas we should pay attention to the way in which we talk about craft, ensuring we don’t interject negative qualifiers we don’t have to use.

Considering the space in which we stitch is another way to honour our work. It may be as simple as asking ourselves what we need to change so the space inspires and supports us in our time with needle and thread. Perhaps we need to reframe how we think about the space as the dungeon-to-office-to-studio story showed, making the mind shift from couch or spare room to studio or atelier?

Lastly, Stephanie believes that time is the last piece in our puzzle of respecting our work. After all, if all we ever do is talk about being a stitcher or revere the space in which we stitch, we cannot ‘honour (our) work if (we) never sit down to actually do it.

And so, we’re off to put needle and thread to fabric and we hope you are too – at least once you’ve finished reading this issue of the newsletter that is!

Always remember, ‘Your work is worthy. And it is yours to honour through your language, your space, and your time.

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