Needlepoint has been my companion since my early teens. The only people who have been in my life longer are my mom and my brother.
I started stitching two years before I met my oldest friend and four years before I met my husband. I’ve stitched through premature labor for three kids, much to the disgust of the hospital staff. I’ve stitched through dozens of boring plane flights and in hotel rooms all over the world.
I’d say that needlepoint and I are pretty faithful to each other.
All this says that stitching is a big part of my life but it doesn’t get to the heart of why.
To me it’s an outlet for my imagination, a way to give a legacy to others, and a comfort in the difficult times of my life.
I’ll never be able to do all the things I can imagine but with needlepoint I can render my own version of that lovely quilt or that iconic graphic design, or something I think of on my own. It’s endlessly creative and, like most stitchers, I never run out of things to stitch.
I am part of a family that puts great store on the things small and large we have inherited. They remind us of people we love and remember whenever we see them. They are prayers in physical objects. I think of my needlepoint that way as well. By stitching something, even something simple, and giving it away I preserve so many things, a memory a prayer for that person and the request for prayers and thoughts of me. I love it that someday my son’s grandchildren will ask him why he has a needlepoint of a buffalo and he will tell them about his mom and his childhood stuffed animal.
And for many of us stitching has been the comfort in times of difficulty and stress. It’s what you do when you can’t do anything else. The learned motion of stitching takes away that stress, relaxes you, and lets you focus on something besides the pain and worry.
I wouldn’t have it any other way — what about you?
About Janet M Perry
Janet Perry is the Internet's leading authority on needlepoint. She designs, teaches and writes, getting raves from her fans for her innovative techniques, extensive knowledge and generous teaching style. A leading writer of stitch guides, she blogs here and lives on an island in the northeast corner of the SF Bay with her family
Thank you so much for taking part. I have personally learnt lots about your craft and will look at it with totalty new eyes from now on