Thursday, January 16, 2020

Why We Needlepoint

I know it's the "new thing" and it's been "discovered by millenials" but newsflash - some of us have been stitching since we learned to spell.  My grandmother taught me and my sisters how to cross-stitch and for years my mother lovingly displayed a large sampler that we all worked on (and you could tell) as children in her breakfast room. My "No Bunny Loves You" pillow was stitched in the late 70's.  The bunnies have been around for a very long time.

But this pastime of old has roared back into style in a huge way and I couldn't be happier.  But what's the appeal to a generation that can't keep their heads out of their iPhones for even five minutes? Is it that it keeps your head out of your iPhone for more than five minutes?  Here are some of the reasons why we needlepoint......

1) The Relaxation Factor
For some reason stitching is soothing, almost therapeutic.  Studies have suggested that its meditative qualities and lower blood pressure and decrease heart rate.  That's not why I do it, but hey, it's a nice by-product.

2) Creating an Heirloom
Every time I finish a pillow, a belt, an ornament, I wonder where it will eventually end up.  These things are built to last more than a lifetime and you can hand them down like you would Porthault linens or good china.

Even the late decorator Mario Buatta owned a collection of needlepoint pillows and they are being auctioned this week!


3) It's So Easy Even a Caveman Can Do It
Stitching is actually quite simple.  Yes, there are hundreds of fancy stitches but you don't have to learn those if you don't want to. I am a purist and prefer the simple continental stitch for most of my projects.  I'll add a more intricate background stitch every now and then - it's all a matter of preference, and skill.

4) The Canvases
With the new surge in stitching has come a new array of canvases from cheeky sayings, to the traditional nutcracker ornaments, to rugs, to handbags, shoes, and pillows.  You can embellish your home with your hobby through needlepoint - tennis, golf, riding, shopping - which makes it that more fun.  Your options today are endless and your "stash" of canvases waiting to be stitched seems to increase exponentially every year once you get bitten but the stitch bug.

5) It's Addictive
There are a lot worse things to be addicted to but there is definitely an addictive quality to stitching. Ask me how I know?  It's not an inexpensive hobby either but is sure beats owning horses in that regard.

Hope you try it out. Needlepointing is fun!


  1. In addition to the aforementioned points, if you're a competitive sort, as I am, there are lots of places to showcase needlepoint and potentially earn ribbons and feedback about your creations. I've entered my pieces in count and state fairs. I love the ribbons I've earned but I really enjoy the judges' comments. In one instance, an eagle-eyed judge noticed I missed a single stitch on a belt. Though inconspicuous, the judge was right! Anyway, needlepoint IS fun!


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