Embrace Embroidery

By Makenna Adams

“What have you been doing over quarantine?” innocently asked a curious friend of mine recently. What a loaded question. Perhaps a better question would be: What have I not been doing? Like many others, I feel like I have dabbled in every possible pastime since we went under lockdown in March. If I had to limit my quarantine hobbies to a category, I could narrow it down to one: crafts.

To better provide you with a sense of my craft obsession since shelter in place began, please consider the following timeline. In March 2020, I devoted myself to drawing. I stuck with the materials I already had at home for the first month of quarantine. Pencils, pens, and paper kept me entertained as spring approached this year. Come April, my new obsession was watercolor. My favorite piece that I made is a Kiwi fruit still life, aptly titled “Kiwi.” By May, I turned to a new medium of paint: acrylics. I painted an abstract sunflower that now hangs in my room. Hopefully, you can sense the pattern in my crafting obsession; every month, I have focused on a new medium, not necessarily on purpose, but always with enthusiasm. Alas, we have made it to September 2020. Can you guess what my most recent craft obsession is? 

Embroidery! Lately, I have devoted all of my free time to embroidering various objects I find around the house. I also have experimented with cross stitch. Perhaps you are wondering what the difference is between the two styles. Embroidery, which can be made with a machine or by hand, is done with a variety of different stitches and the artist has a greater range of motion with designs than with cross stitch, in which designs are made exclusively with x-shaped stitches that create an image. Cross stitch pieces are usually kept in the hoop in which they are created, whereas embroidery pieces can be found on clothing, towels, or virtually any fabric that is thin enough to allow a needle and thread to pass through. 

Embroidery has provided me with endless hours of entertainment. Traditionally, the craft has been dismissed as a grandmas-only pastime. Perhaps I am a granny at heart, because I find the craft creatively fulfilling and therapeutic. If the idea of curling up on the couch, wrapped in a warm blanket, and busying yourself for hours on end by designing images with needles and thread sounds fun to you—join me, and embrace embroidery!