In stitches

October 28, 2019 @ 10:48 am | Filed under: ,

I like to use up all my spare bits of floss from other projects on this Dropcloth sampler. It’s one of several hoops that live in a basket beside my writing chair. I pick it up often to occupy my hands when I need to think about the work for a minute. I have magnets stuck to a tin candle jar that sits on a shelf in arm’s reach, and whenever I have a long tail of floss left in the needle after finishing a section of another project, I stick the needle to one of the magnets. That way it’s easy to grab one when I hit a tricky spot in whatever I’m writing. This red-stripe sampler has accompanied me for months—through the final revision of my novel, a slew of Brave Writer Arrow literature guides, a dozen poem drafts, and any number of posts. It’s my mental scratch pad! Every stitch represents a moment NOT spent scrolling a feed and killing my flow.

I think what I love most about this practice is that each bit of thread is tied to concrete experiences. I can glance at a row and recognize the color I was using up from another stitching project—oh look, it’s that flower petal!—and the work I was puzzling over when I added stitches to the row. It’s a kind of coded journal. Unintentionally, serendipitously. Turns out my best writing hack was a total accident. The happiest kind!

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6 Reponses | Comments Feed
  1. Avatar

    tanita♥ says:

    I just got six blank cotton dishtowels and a lot of embroidery floss… and am painstakingly learning one stitch at a time. The Dropcloth sampler is a great idea for mental noodling.

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    Wendi Gratz says:

    I love this!!!

  3. Avatar

    Melissa Wiley says:

    Oooh, I’d love to see what you’re working on, Tanita!

    I really love Sarah Homfray’s stitch tutorials on Youtube.

  4. Avatar

    Melissa Wiley says:

    Thank you, Wendi! We’ve had so much fun with your stitching projects too over the years. 🙂

  5. Avatar

    tanita♥ says:

    …funnily enough, I’m working on the first page of WENDI’S embroidery book.

  6. Avatar

    Wendi Gratz says:

    I just popped back here to drop a link to this post in today’s newsletter and saw your comment. I hope you’re having fun with the book! 🙂