Updated May 14, 2021.
It’s said that the best way to get a child to read is to have parents who read. That’s certainly true in my house, where everyone reads and we all have bookshelves as major decorative elements in any house or room we occupy. My son’s books have overtaken about a third of our upstairs bookshelves.
It’s also said that one way to have daughters who pursue math, science, or technical careers is to have a Mom who does too.
And the best way to pursue crafts is to have a Mom who sees art and craft as an essential part of life.
This was never in doubt for me as my Mom was an artist who never found a craft she wouldn’t try at least once. The question, when it came to me, was never said, but was in the air: what would my craft be?
Would it be Fine Arts or pottery as my Mom did? No, not good at drawing, OK at crafts, but they never caught fire with me.
Would it be sewing, knitting, or crochet as my Grandmother did? Maybe sewing, but being a leftie, she couldn’t teach me her method to knit. And I didn’t get past a long chain in crochet.
But they did give me the confidence to try and were willing to buy me the needlepoint kit. And my Grandmother, who had done one pre-worked needlepoint canvas and not finished it, showed me how to do the basic stitch.
And I didn’t look back.
What strikes me, is how many of you had a family member who got you started on the road to needlework. My youngest daughter, who has lived around needlepoint all her life, is currently pursuing serious rug hooking as her fiber art. My son and one other friend, bet another guy that they could needlepoint & crochet based entirely on what their moms did. They won the bet.
These days with much better-looking large-mesh kits and nice threads to go with them, encouraging kids to stitch is easier than ever.
It’s a legacy we pass on to our children, by stitching, by having needlework in the home, by giving needlepoint as gifts, and by treasuring the results, asking for help, and answering questions, we preserve art for the future.