Slow Stitching for Stress Relief

I’ve been slowly but steadily incorporating slow stitching into my craft practice over the last year, and as I’ve done that, I notice I spend a lot more time stitching each day. I was thinking about why this is; I mean, I’m doing it because I enjoy it, but there was something else.

I tend to be an anxious person, and I have trouble letting go of my constant thinking and planning and looking forward. I want to be able to spend more time just enjoying myself, in the moment, without fussing about all the rest. Of course there are times of day when this is possible and not possible, so I choose this time accordingly. For me, it’s after dinner, after I put on my jammies, after my daughter is tucked into bed, when I have a couple of precious hours to rest after a busy day.

The thing I noticed is that when I’m stitching – slow stitching, in particular – I’m super relaxed. With every stitch, stress seems to just float away. Generally speaking, I don’t have a particular plan or design in mind with my slow stitching projects, and I don’t worry about stitching the “right” way or the “wrong” way. I don’t take out stitches that I don’t like. I’m off the hook. It’s so liberating. Most of the time I don’t even deviate from my go-to running stitch, though sometimes if I’m feeling adventurous, I try something new. The feeling I experience is similar to how I feel when I allow myself to really be my authentic self, without a care whatsoever about what anybody else might think of me. It’s intense relief.

This is the project I’ve been working on the last couple of weeks. I cut pieces of the patterned fabric without thinking too much about it, without a plan, and I stitched a little on it whenever I could fit it in. It was really fun, and most importantly for me, really relaxing. I had plenty more of these pieces to share with you, so I’ve made up some kits for the shop.

You’ll get pieces of all the fabrics you see in my project, plus a piece of light colored hand-dyed muslin (mine is tea-dyed) as your canvas. Additionally, you’ll get one thread card of Retors du Nord cotton embroidery floss, one thread card of Laine St. Pierre wool thread, and one spool of sewing thread. The colors and sewing thread will vary slightly from kit to kit. I’ve also put together a needle kit for you! It’s my favorite part of this kit. Your needle kit includes a hand-stamped brown kraft card, with a #20 tapestry needle, two #24 chenille needles, one #26 chenille needle, one #10 straw needle and one #9 sharps needle. They are nested in a hand-stitch swath of undyed wool felt. Your needle kit it tied up with a bow of silk thread.

Importantly, there are no instructions. You cut your smaller pieces how you want. Put them where you want. Layer them if you want. There are no rules. You are, of course, not limited to the fabrics and threads I’ve included in your kit! Experiment with colors and textures. There’s tons of room for risk-taking with this project. Do it your way, without the pressure of it looking “right” or even being done. I hope you love it! I would be thrilled to see your projects! Tag me on social media @handcraeft!

Enjoy your relaxing, stress-free stitching time!

xx Jennifer

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