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Why do you stitch or embroider?


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I'm in a Flicker group where someone asked this question. The answers were interesting. Of course, I had to throw in my 2 cents' worth...

 

~~~

 

Like the other responses, embroidery holds multiple levels of enjoyment for me.

 

As a child, I first tried it after watching my mother embroidering something, and she showed me a few simple stitches. She was also a sewer (seamstress) for the family, so it was a natural thing to watch her as she worked.

 

I like to pick it up while "watching" television. If I'm not crocheting, I'm stitching. Somehow, it's not like I'm wasting time then. *smile*

 

I like the simple decoration of everyday items, like dishtowels. If we have to endure the daily drudgery of household chores, why not do it with a smile?

 

I enjoy decorating children's items, like bibs and clothing. I know it's safe, nontoxic, permanent, as well as fun and colorful. Not like fancy buttons, for example, which can come loose, or iron-on designs which soon wear off.

 

It's easy to pick up and put down, or to take along while traveling.

 

One of the most fascinating things I love about the internet is the vast storehouse of "vintage" patterns I've found. I love the connection to the past... knowing that, at one time, this pattern was fresh and new, and some mother or grandmother chose it to work, perhaps while instilling a love of stitching in a daughter or granddaughter. A son fell asleep under mother's fun redwork quilt, covered with pictures of the everyday things he so loved during his life. And they didn't have to be "rich" to afford this craft... even a young child could take a hard-earned penny to buy a fun pattern to stitch.

 

And so in light of the things I just wrote, I also feel like in every stitch I'm leaving a sort of "legacy" to the next generations. In a world of bigger, brighter, newer, faster, I'm deliberately creating a stitch-by-stitch "love note" to the future.

 

~~~

 

Just yesterday, I was doing a search on Google in images, and came across old chidren's storybook/poetry pictures that came from the Gutenberg project! I was surprised and love the pictures... I could see them done in blue or red work as a quilt!

 

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/24560/24560-h/24560-h.htm

 

So of course *now* I'll be searching all through the kids' books in there for the illustrations!!! :shakinghead:

 

 

SOOOO... why do *you* stitch??

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Oh Cat, that was wonderful to read. What an awesome thing to do. That is great that you know how. I never learned to sew past the blanket stitch. You are creating a legacy of love through your sewing. Please show pictures when you have a chance. B)

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I learned to love embroidery and crochet and quilting as a child ; watching my Mom's mom and Mom

Gran did more than Mom

Gran taught me to embroidery at about age 7

to crochet and later to quilt.

I crochet, learned to knit my self , tat, sew ,quilt, hand embroidery( love) counted cross stitch, and jewerly making.

I also do needlepoint and plastic canvas now and then

I have a lot of diseases and conditions and stress

It helps me to do these things to take away some of the thought of constant pain and stress.

If I didn't have something to do I would go nutty.

I cannot help it I love doing it.

It keeps me from going completely insane hugs sheila

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What a beautiful post, Cat.

 

Yes, I cross stitch for the same reasons and I also enjoy many vintage pieces my mother created in the 1940's which now belong to me and will be handed down to my daughter.

 

There's another aspect to it. As far as hobbies go, cross stitch is not expensive. I like to do towels, tote bags, pot holders, and baby items so that the things I make are useful as well as pretty. They make good gifts.

 

I also know how to do crewel embroidery, which was a big deal when I was in high school, and I still have some crewel pillows I made back then! Also, I have some embroidery silks and am working on a revolutionary war era embroidered pocket replica for reenacting. Truly, these kinds of crafts are a connection to generations past.

 

Pinkroses, like you, I have chronic illness which sometimes leaves me fatigued. But knitting, sewing, or cross-stitch is something that is calming and can be done while resting. It's nice to accomplish something even on tired days.

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You know ; when I get stressed with son and hubby

or worry over other family members like my brothers or Mom

it helps.

You can pray for them and work at the same time

and then you sorta forget about the pain ; for a while at lest.

hugs sheila

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Those are all great reasons, I stitch and embroider because it calms me down and gives me something to do in the quiet times, after all my chores are done or to fill the time when I'm not able to get around. I've made gift dishtowels and quilts, crochet and tatting. When I first got injured, I crocheted a bed spread, took me 7 years to finish it because the thread I used was too small. LOL

 

Between my Grandmother, Mother, and Aunts, they all insisted on teaching me one thing or another about it.

 

My Grandmother continued her Grandmothers quilt with embroidered seams, it is beautiful. I made a small lap quilt and used every stitch they had used on the big one just for the fun of it.

 

 

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Cat, do you have a website or two to order crewel or long stitch embroidery from ? I love it and can't do crosstitch because Id lose count unless i get it with it printed on it..

 

I still need to do my Noah's Ark embroidery ......

 

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I used to do a lot of it, but then I got bitten by the quilting bug...

When i'm not putting together a new 'blanket" I like to make baby clothes and quite often add a little embroidery to them. I love those tiny delicate deetails! They just say "I Love You" so well...

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Cat, do you have a website or two to order crewel or long stitch embroidery from ?

 

No, I'm sorry, I don't. But I'm sure it's out there.

 

I'm going to be in Michigan again this weekend, and the internet is "iffy" there. But when I get back, if no one else posted some, I'll go looking...

 

;)

 

 

 

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Im from a long line of women who sew. I found a relative in the late 1800s was a lace maker in Cornwall.

 

 

I was taught from a very young age, probably toddler hood. My grandmother never went anywhere without her trusty knitting needles and wool. She was a seamstress of the old sort, making clothes from blankets, curtaining etc. My mother did tapestry, knitted, sewed. Her sister sews her own curtains, wedding dress, makes her own cakes and decorates them etc. My great aunt also had a huge sewing box which I inherited, and I have my grandmothers and my mothers as well. Ofcourse, I also have their scissors, which are beautiful bits of art work in themselves.

 

When I was 13 I had to make the choice of doing Art or Needlework, I was advised the later so did Needlework for two years. I thought it was a mistake, but now I realise that it was the correct decision to make. So I can now make my own clothes, tailor, use a sewing machine etc. I was also taught the basics of English Patchwork Quilts, which I later re-learnt so now I have lots of them all around the house (even in the dog beds).

 

My mother also made beautifully embroidered table clothes. I have them going back more then 50 years, some still not finished. I inherited enough tapestry kits to last my a good 10 years of continuous work.

 

I also design my own art designs which Iv made a few into embroidery pieces. I am hoping to eventually turn them into weaved rugs but we shall see on that score.

 

 

Now another generation is beginning to learn. My Sister-in-law has learnt lace making (yep that was before we found out about our ancester) and her daughter (12 yrs old) we hope has got the gene, shes very much into her art and history.

 

 

For me it gives me not only a peace of mind, the total awesome pleasure of completeing something that Iv spent months even years on, but also a very special connection to all the women in my mothers family. Thats without the conversations with other women and some men who do the crafts elsewhere.

 

PS: I have some material from my mothers clothes (she died in 2003) which I intend to make into a memory quilt at some point in time. I also carry in my BOB box an embroidered hankie of my grandmothers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I also carry in my BOB box an embroidered hankie of my grandmothers.

 

 

 

Love and heritage are possibly the *very* most important things to carry in a SHTF situation... physical *or* not.

 

 

Otherwise, what's the point?

 

 

 

:bighug2:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I stitch because I love to stitch. Not only a legacy of love for my family, but the legacy of having taught my children the art of creating their own legacy as well. I learned at my mother's side....sewing, embroidery,crochet, crewel,hooking, needlepoint, etc. I was married at 15 yrs. old, mother in law taught me quilting. To this day quilting is what I do most, much of my embroidery and applique go into quilt tops.

My daughter sews, embroiders and quilts. Middle son, the big, bad tatoo artist, he crochets rag rugs to relax, and just because he likes to crochet.Youngest son learned to sew when he wanted the ever popular Garth Brooks style western shirts so many years ago. Even hubby sews, mostly auto and marine, he does help alot with the quilting, not the stitching, the layout, colors,placement, sandwiching, and does a wonderful job of markling quilting designs.

My very first job as a teenager was at a Singer retail sales shop, then spent years doing auto and marine,also scuba diving gear. My quilts are a legacy, but the best legacy of all, the most thrillling for me, is when one of our kids gift me with something they have made with their hands.

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I stitched old fashioned needlework then framed it and sold wholesale for several years. During that time, you didn't ever find me without a needle and floss close by. My mother helped as did several others. I even sold some things overseas. Then the China thing came in. If you really wanted to stay in business, you needed to go overseas with the needlework. I even went as far as getting sources together and sent samples to them. You CAN NOT compete with someone that will work for $1 a day. I chose to not go that route, but I can tell you ladies that you can make a good deal of money if you like to do fairs and craft shows to sell your things. I had a sales rep and went to Philadelphia, Atlanta, New York and Chicago gift markets. I was newly divorced after 24 years and made a very good living at it until about 2002. I was ready to get out of it and couldn't convince either of my grown daughters to take over. Now both of them wish they had taken it. Needless to say, stitching kept me sane through some rough times and made my living too.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I love the look of handmade items.

 

I love the satisfaction I get when seeing my handmade items.

 

I LOVE QUILTS!

 

Like Michael, I find my "zen" when stitching. I relax, my mind wanders where it needs to and explores topics that it doesn't find time for in my usual busy-ness.

 

Like Pinkroses, I pray while I stitch. When I made my kids' quilts, I prayed for them, same for my dh's replica quilt...the quilt for our bed, I pray for our marriage. When I make items that aren't for someone specific, I pray about other things.

 

Sometimes, I can look at an item I made and I am reminded of my prayers or thoughts while working on those items.

 

I don't have a familial association with crafts, but I do feel a connection with many women of the past.

 

I don't consider myself artistic, but do find that various projects allow for artistic expression.

 

Great topic, Cat! Thank you!

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I learned to crochet when I was about 8 and had a wicked case of strep throat that left me sick for almost a month. So, my mom taught me crochet. She didn't realize it would stay with me for my whole life.

 

I learned with yarn, then moved to thread after watching a roommate make doily after doily in college. Somehow, I inherited my grandma's stash of thread. I've got just about every color under the sun. My prize is some pre-WWII rayon from DuPont.

 

I learned how to knit a couple of years ago. It became an obsession. I couldn't figure out what was driving me, and it was my grandmother, of blessed memory. For some reason, I realized I never learned and it tormented me until I did learn. Now, I've done scarves, a shawl, and am working on a few different projects. I also frequented a yard discount store until I found a complete set of knitting needles. (Kind of a prep item, if you think about it.

 

When I do needlework or sewing, it calms me. It was part of my healing for a while. When I was doing my doctoral studies, I would get so stressed I couldn't think. I had to work for a few hours then sew something. I found myself considerably calmed and refreshed, tackling my problems with renewed energy.

 

I do get 'burned out' with sewing, particularly when I'm doing projects for people. BUT, I do love it so.

 

I have fond memories of my mama sewing things when I was a child. She made our clothes, dolly clothes, everything from bathrobes to nighties to shorts, skirts, and tops. She even sewed for my dad and made him a few ties. Now, her eyesight is so bad, she can't see the thread in the machine, so I get passed all the mending. It makes me sad that she can't see it, but I do it gratefully, knowing all she did for my sister and I growing up....

 

A current sewing project I've not picked up in a while is a Mother's Quilt I'm working on for her. It's the Dresden Plate pattern. The petals of the plate are fabric from the outfits she made us growing up. Not everything is there, but the important stuff is. I've got the flowers put together and the backing chosen. Now, I need to cut squares and applique them on. The circles for the flower centers drove me nuts, now I've got them figured out. All I have to do is make time to do it. I MUST add it to my list this year before she loses her sight completely.

 

Sewing and needlework are ways for me to connect with what women (and men!) have done for generations before me. Some sewed to fix tears, others sewed for their livelihood. Every woman I know who sews puts a piece of themselves into their work. That is what makes their gifts irreplacable, a piece of them lives on in their work. This is what I strive to do with mine. When I make a quilt or piece of clothes, I don't want a museum piece (although the christening gown I made for my god-daughters will probably become one!) - I want the person to USE it, wear it, bring LIFE to it. Then I'm happy.

 

:bighug2:

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I learned to crochet when I was about 8 and had a wicked case of strep throat that left me sick for almost a month. So, my mom taught me crochet. She didn't realize it would stay with me for my whole life.

 

I learned with yarn, then moved to thread after watching a roommate make doily after doily in college. Somehow, I inherited my grandma's stash of thread. I've got just about every color under the sun. My prize is some pre-WWII rayon from DuPont.

 

I learned how to knit a couple of years ago. It became an obsession. I couldn't figure out what was driving me, and it was my grandmother, of blessed memory. For some reason, I realized I never learned and it tormented me until I did learn. Now, I've done scarves, a shawl, and am working on a few different projects. I also frequented a yard discount store until I found a complete set of knitting needles. (Kind of a prep item, if you think about it.

 

When I do needlework or sewing, it calms me. It was part of my healing for a while. When I was doing my doctoral studies, I would get so stressed I couldn't think. I had to work for a few hours then sew something. I found myself considerably calmed and refreshed, tackling my problems with renewed energy.

 

I do get 'burned out' with sewing, particularly when I'm doing projects for people. BUT, I do love it so.

 

I have fond memories of my mama sewing things when I was a child. She made our clothes, dolly clothes, everything from bathrobes to nighties to shorts, skirts, and tops. She even sewed for my dad and made him a few ties. Now, her eyesight is so bad, she can't see the thread in the machine, so I get passed all the mending. It makes me sad that she can't see it, but I do it gratefully, knowing all she did for my sister and I growing up....

 

A current sewing project I've not picked up in a while is a Mother's Quilt I'm working on for her. It's the Dresden Plate pattern. The petals of the plate are fabric from the outfits she made us growing up. Not everything is there, but the important stuff is. I've got the flowers put together and the backing chosen. Now, I need to cut squares and applique them on. The circles for the flower centers drove me nuts, now I've got them figured out. All I have to do is make time to do it. I MUST add it to my list this year before she loses her sight completely.

 

Sewing and needlework are ways for me to connect with what women (and men!) have done for generations before me. Some sewed to fix tears, others sewed for their livelihood. Every woman I know who sews puts a piece of themselves into their work. That is what makes their gifts irreplacable, a piece of them lives on in their work. This is what I strive to do with mine. When I make a quilt or piece of clothes, I don't want a museum piece (although the christening gown I made for my god-daughters will probably become one!) - I want the person to USE it, wear it, bring LIFE to it. Then I'm happy.

 

:bighug2:

 

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