Embroidery. What do you think of when you hear that word? Tapestries of kittens? Tray cloths with crinoline ladies sewn on them? If so then you may have missed that needlecraft is en vogue and it was before embroidery had an appearance in Bridgerton. Look at Tom Daley and his knitting getting so much coverage at the Olympics.
Embroidery in this changing world
In this pandemic afflicted world, we have all had a moment to pause and take stock. Many of would us rush around our lives cramming in as much as possible: work, family commitments, social engagements, etc.
Our minds are left buzzing to such an extent that we find it hard to relax at the end of the day. I know that most of my friends reach for a glass of wine/beer/g&t to help unwind in the evening and we all know that daily alcohol intake isn’t recommended.
Embroidery is the answer. And better for body and soul. The mindful action of pulling the thread through fabric helps calm the thoughts and lets you relax.
The bonus is you have created something beautiful. You don’t need a dedicated craft space, a seat on the sofa with good lighting is all that is necessary.
Embroidery helps wellbeing
Studies have shown that partaking in crafts aids wellbeing; from reducing cortisol levels in the blood to engaging the reward centre in the brain and giving one the space to contemplate one’s thoughts without being overwhelmed.
Learning new skills boosts self-esteem and creates new neural pathways, thus helping brain health. With embroidery there is always more to learn, so participants can start on a continual journey.
I’ve come across a lot of people who are nervous to try embroidery, worried that they won’t be able to do it well enough. That doesn’t matter! We don’t have to be perfect in all our endeavours. Just try, and learn as you go. That’s what I did and am still doing.
Inspired by traditional Japanese and Indian techniques, my Mindful Stitching concept is about the process of hand embroidery rather than an overall design. Letting your needle and thread move through the fabric without overthinking its path.
How to embroider
There is no set design to get right, you just doodle with thread. You can even do it in front of the telly in the evening. The calming effect this has is a form of mindfulness, aiding relaxation and reducing stress.
Evidence shows that even the brief periods of time spent on a creative pastime has a positive impact on our wellbeing and emotions.
Not only does embroidery help one relax, but it can also help one feel productive during downtime too. I know this because that is my lived experience! Embroidery has helped me cope with chronic illness and increasing disability, being housebound and changing circumstances beyond my control. That is why I am passionate about sharing that skill and its benefits with as many people as possible.
Back in 2004, I gave up smoking and, having always been a fidgety person, was concerned I’d snack constantly with the need to keep my hands busy. I had an epiphany in John Lewis’s haberdashery section and picked up a needlepoint kit. It rekindled a childhood love of embroidery.
If you are interested in giving it a go take a look at the Mindful Stitching kits available on my website.
I also have new summer-themed kits available too (for grown-ups and children), which come with links to comprehensive instructions videos. After all, everyone loves an ice lolly. Why not make one that doesn’t melt? How fabulous. If you are curious about how to start your embroidery journey, drop me an email.
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