Monday, February 22, 2010

Productive Relaxation- Embroidery

I bought some secondhand books on crewel embroidery, and expressed a
desire to learn to stitch early on in my pregnancy. My mother in law,
who was raised rather traditionally, learned this skill among others
as a matter of course while being brought up by her widowed mother and
spinster aunt. She bought me two embroidery kits for my birthday of
the kind that have wash out designs printed on them and tell the
crafter what stitches to use and what color floss. This was the first
of the two kits that I completed, an apron with the quaint design
comprised mostly of cross stitches. I washed away the blue under-
pattern and was pleased with my stitchery. Next I embarked upon the
embroidering of a pair of pillowcases that required me to learn some
new stitches and practice some I had already learned. I am presently
working on an original design for a decorative pillow that I intend to
give my teenaged sister for her birthday. This is part of my
resolution to minimize the consumerism in my life by making gifts
instead of buying them. I realized recently why embroidery has proven
to be such a satisfying hobby for me. I am, by nature, a motivated and
energetic person. Pregnancy has sapped me of some of that for the time
being, and I have had to make a serious effort to regulate my
activities and not to exert myself. For instance, at 36 weeks pregnant
I came down with a cold. I tried to make myself stay in bed, but
absolutely could not resist painting the top of my picnic table and
stools a glossy red. Embroidery allows me to be physically sedentary
without being idle, and most projects contain satisfying little bits
to be done in one sitting. I can say, "Oh, I'll sit and embroider
until I've finished this flower, and then I'll start ____." I usually
stitch for at least an hour before bed, and I find it to be a very
soothing undertaking, especially when accompanied by a cup of hot
green tea or cocoa. As I complete other projects and improve my
skills, I will post photos. I will probably start something for the
baby's room next.


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