Itching for Slow Stitching

Focus Groups

Recently one of our Members, Nicki, started a new focus group called Slow Stitching. It’s something completely new to me, and perhaps it’s new to you, so what is Slow Stitching?

The slow stitch movement was created by Mark Lipinksi, a well-known figure in the quilting industry. After some health issues, he realised the need for slowing down – and the many benefits that can come from a mindful stitching practice. The point of slow stitching isn’t to be perfect, or even to make a cohesive final piece (although many pieces are beautiful pieces of textile art!) – the intention is to enjoy the process one stitch at a time, to relax, and to not stress about all the things we might worry about if we were trying to make a perfect quilt or sewing project.

(Excerpt taken from Art Journalist

I struggle to finish personal projects at home, yet I’ve got the bug for this highly meditative and calming pastime. I love the fact that it has no set hard or fast rules to it! Mostly I enjoy that it covers my philosophy of: “there are no mistakes”. It’s stitching for stitching’s sake and it can help me express my thoughts, worries and concerns on material, rather than expressing in a journal. I find each in-and-out stitch links to my breathing pattern; it just gets me so present. I feel so grounded and in the moment when I’m working on a piece. It’s been a wonderful space to come to and for me, it’s been something I’ve easily picked up. I now have five completed pieces and two new pieces on the go.

This was my first piece, I spent 3 hours in bliss creating this, while listening to an audiobook!

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Outside of my Social Media Coordinator role writing these weekly blogs for Designs in Mind, I also write on an online platform called Medium. I decided to search for slow stitching on the Medium app and was delighted to find this wonderful article. Within the article are 10 Ways Slow Stitching Can Improve Mental Health; it’s an interesting read.

I asked some of the slow stitchers what they enjoy about slow stitching and what it does for their own mental health challenges.

An anonymous member shared: “I feel very comfortable attending the slow stitching group. Nicky makes me feel welcome and absolutely no pressure. Nicki is fabulous at explaining things without making me feel uncomfortable. The experience itself is very calming and I can either chat while I’m stitching or just relax while others chat around me. There is very little I can do ‘wrong’ in the process and seeing Nicky’s work shows me that I can produce something beautiful literally from scraps. I feel calm, relaxed and accepted.”

Perhaps this blog and members comments have intrigued you enough to try slow stitching for yourself! If you’ve got some old clothes, material scraps, embroidery thread, wool or the like that you could utilise, then do give it a go yourself. I highly recommend it!

Nicki, our member who introduced us to slow stitching, has also used things like the little cardboard message you find on the end of the string of a certain brand of teabags, something I too will incorporate in a future piece.

Nicky even made a book, she is so very creative!

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The above is my favourite piece Nicki created. I like to think we both live in these houses next-door to one another as we do in real life!

The possibilities of this easy-going craft are ultimately endless. If you struggle to clear your mind or feel calm in this fast-paced world, I really encourage you to give it a go. It’s been such a tonic for our little group.

Remember – there are no rules and it’s not about perfection. Enjoy!

Blog Written & researched by Willow, Member & Social Media Coordinator