A Meditation on Needle and Thread

A Meditation on Needle and Threadfeatured

I stitch because it relaxes me. It’s my moment of true, pure Zen. Sometimes my mind zones out and I daydream. Other times thoughts pop in and out of my head…Some good ideas (jot ‘em down before they disappear), and a few ridiculous ones that make me chuckle. Then there are the memories that float by like waves, warming my spirit as I get carried away, back to another time and place where I once was.

It’s ironic that in much of my adult life I have stayed away from sewing, claiming that I don’t like to do it and I’m no good at it. Yet here I am, relishing in the simple act of taking needle and thread to fabric (or in my case, paper). How could I have forgotten that I was into crafting needlepoint and cross stitch during my growing-pain years? No one was making me develop those hobbies as a kid; I must have wanted to do it! Did I not remember those moments of chilled out bliss?

Afghan-Crochet-YiaYia-Simple-Bright-Life

Afghan crocheted by Yia-Yia. This photo was snapped on my first birthday: July 1st, 1980. (I was cozy snuggled under there!) 37 years later, the afghan still looks this good and will be on our bed again this autumn!

Needlecraft is part of my history too, as there are several sewists throughout my lineage. In my immediate family alone, my mom is an accomplished machine sewist, having made costumes, clothing, curtains, and even tiny clothes for stuffed animals! Mom can do all sorts of hand-sewing and mending, too. Her mom (my Yia-Yia, which means Grandma in Greek), was a seamstress by profession, and loved to crochet as a hobby. Yia-Yia made countless beautiful home décor items, kitchen linens, blankets, and even crocheted an adorable lavender winter coat for her grand-dog, Abbe. My dad’s mom was a sewist, too! I especially remember that Grandma made lots of colorfully vivid latch hook designs and turned them into pillows and rugs. If we’re being honest, I would not be surprised at all if it was revealed that some of the men in my family were/are sewists, too!

Sewist-Bear-Clothes-Sewn-By-Mom-Simple-Bright-Life

Mom designed and sewed the bear’s clothing and accessories. I love the detail that she added with the jewelry, too!

Stitching is a pain-free, anti-stress zone. It doesn’t hurt my back or neck; not even after maneuvering a paper piercer to make holes for patterns. When choosing thread colors or designing a pattern, I don’t experience the same feelings of stress or uncomfortable indecisiveness as I do with scrapbooking, for example. (It seems there are always too many papers, embellishments, photo combinations, and layouts to choose from, which drains my energy and makes the whole process less enjoyable.)

Another thing that I love about the sewing process is the fact that I am making something for someone else, whether I know them and am personalizing it especially for them; or perhaps they are a stranger, and this piece will find its way to them because they connect with it. I like the idea, too, of someone feeling compelled to give one of these pieces to a friend, neighbor, or even pass it along to a fellow human stranger, maybe by placing it on an empty park bench, waiting to be discovered.

Keepsake-Inspirational-Map-Art-Mini-Simple-Bright-Life

Inspirational Keepsake Map Art Minis that I made for my 3 Gipe nephews, ages 3, 1, and 0. Embroidered on paper.

I think about all of these people and things during the initial idea, draft, design, and finishing stages, but especially throughout the needle-pulling-through-paper moments.

Now you know why I am drawn to stitching: Like many fantastic people and things in life, it has much more to offer than what appears on the surface.

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What do you think? :)