Cold, blustery Mondays….

….are made for two things, napping and needlework. (Did you catch the alliteration? :-)) Okay, so that might be a pie in the sky sentiment, given that most of us work to support our habits and things like house payments and buying groceries. But it is my strong contention that we all make time for things that are truly important to us. This past weekend, I had the privilege of getting together with some of my stitching sisters and one stitching brother. The projects we were working on varied and included an almost finished counted cross stitch piece, a charted needlepoint piece that will be used by my friend to teach a class next month, a beaded bracelet (which she left wearing by the end of our time together) and my knitted lace scarf. Isn’t it amazing how many different disciplines involve a needle and fiber?

One of the reasons I love needlework is the people who do it. By and large, they are group who care passionately about beauty, about others, and about the future of handwork in an world that increasing devalues time spend on such pursuits. The love of needlework bridges separations of age, politics, and religion and it is only in the context of such groups where I have witnessed political discussions that don’t devolve into name calling.  Instead, needle fly and people listen…I mean really listen.

I also love the fact that these groups are wonderful! sources of information (and, of course enabling) about what’s new in the needlework arena. Whether it’s stitching bling, classes or new designs, someone always introduces new tidbits that inform and enrich my needlework world. At one our last retreats, needleminders were the topic of most of the enabling. Before long, IPads and smart phones were in play and most of us ended up learning about new sources for these lovely—and useful—objects. Most of us also padded our collection of these magnetic lovelies.

How do you get into a stitching group? It’s easy—invite your stitching friends over for an afternoon. You don’t have to live in a castle to do this, your house doesn’t need to be pristine (in fact, that’s the exception rather than the rule), and you don’t need to prepare food fit for a king. In my experience, as long as everyone has a place to sit and has sufficient light, the gathering will be a wonderful success. I have never had anyone mention the outsized dust bunnies that dwell beneath my sofa or my lack of creativity when I put out nuts and M & M’s for snacks. Instead we all just enjoy the time spent with our needlework and with each other.

So—try it. Go out on a limb and send that email. You may find it is the start of a wonderful tradition.

Happy Stitching,

Blessings,

Julie

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