Monday, March 26, 2012

I Make Things

I've long thought of myself as a 'maker of things'.  It's not a proper definition, not really, and it's certainly not specific.  But it's the truth.  Ask me what I do and I'll tell you I make things.

It's a good thing I love to cross-stitch because I do it a lot.  Between custom orders, gifts for friends and family, and test-stitching new patterns for the shop I stitch every single day, sometimes for hours.  And yet somehow, despite all of those tens of thousands of stitches (or maybe because of them) I still love it.  I find the process of stitching absolutely consuming.  I can (and usually do) sit in a silent room and stitch.  I love the feel of the needle between my fingers, small and solid and cool.  I adore the 'plunk' as the needle plunges in to the fabric, the sibilant slide of the floss as I draw it through, the taut tug of each stitch as I reach the length of my floss.  I love the flex of my fingers, every movement now so automatic I no longer have to think about it.  I love laying each stitch down perfectly so that one by one they are a twin to the others.  I love the sheen and bright change of colours.  I love how calming it is, how focused it makes me. 

More than anything else though, I love how timeless stitching is.  Whether it's embroidery or crochet or sewing or knitting, each stitch I make is the same as the stitches my mother made, or my grandmother, or her mother before her.  No matter the pattern, each stitch I make is the same as each stitch you make, whoever you are and wherever you live.  That's the power of what we do, of what we create - that it's a process which is so simple, yet so much more.  Each wee little stitch is just a part of a bigger creation.  It's humbling to be a piece of that bigger creation and every day I'm thankful for it.

I know there will come a day when my eyes won't be as sharp and my fingers won't be as nimble.  There will come a day when I have to lay down my needle and accept that I can no longer stitch and my heart will break.  But then I'll get to look back at the things my hands have made - the stitchings which decorate the walls of the people I love, the blankets which keep them warm, the jewelry which helps them sparkle, and I'll consider my life a success because I made things which were loved and treasured and enjoyed.

xo  Jacqueline

P.S. - the print is from the lovely shop Amy Rubin Flett whose artwork is amazing (and who is a fellow Canuck!)  Definitely worth checking out.


  1. I gave that timeless feeling a name, when I used to teach religious studies at the university level: Collapsed Time.

    In our culture, we have a Linear sense of time. In others, especially Asian cultures, they have a Circular (or Cyclical) sense of time. Some ancient cultures, such as the Celts, saw time as a Spiral, incorporating the cyclical sense of the natural world, but also the forward-moving sense of progress and change.

    But in Australian Aboriginal and some West African indigenous cultures, every time you take part in an action, you become the archetype of that action, its essence. You didn't run in the past; you will not run in the future; you aren't even running right now. You have become runningness. You are every runner who every was or will be--you are the essence of running, the spirit of "run."

    Just so, you aren't stitching now or later, or any different from any other stitcher anywhere in time or space. You aren't stitching like your mom and grandma, or me and my friend who love your patterns--you are all of us stitching. You are Stitchingness.

    1. Thank you Jess - that so clearly illustrates exactly how I see it!

  2. Thanks for that! I understand totally!! :-) Keep up the great work!

  3. Thank you Jacqueline! I look forward to your posts and LOVE LOVE LOVE all your patterns - I want them ALL!!! Thank you for doing what you do and please don't stop!

  4. What a way with words. I feel like that so often, especially when I pick up my grandmother's knitting needles or old embroidery I got at an estate sale. It connects us and helps us remember. You put it so much better than I could!

  5. Lovely post! I was feeling this way while stitching this week and reflecting on how a needle and thread connect me to my past. Stitch on!