At our meeting in October, I found myself incredibly inspired by the many beautiful projects our members have finished as well as the awesome project Sharri and Doris have put together for this year’s program! As I drove home, I began to contemplate the rich and colorful needlework legacy that we have inherited. Our love of stitching and the many designs and materials that are readily available are the direct result of an evolution that stretches back beyond recorded history. From the very early needles made of bone and materials that were likely animal skins and crude plant fibers to the fine platinum needles, silks, and high-quality linens of today, we hold a deep appreciation for all that comprises our needlework tradition.
Looking back in time, our ancestors had to sew for pragmatic reasons. Clothing and shelter were not available for purchase or trade but rather had to be made. Then slowly, over many thousands of years, sewing evolved to become more specific. Women began to create tatted edgings for fancy collars and use surface embroidery to embellish clothing, reliquary items, and decorative tapestries and cushions for the home. Sandwiched in that span of time, came the development of samplers to demonstrate the essential skill of sewing as well as acceptable artistic expression for women who were destined for a domestic life.
Our generation has the luxury to focus on the type of needlework which gives us the most personal satisfaction. Many of us are also fortunate to have stashes of supplies that we have been able to use during the COVID pandemic while supply chains have been globally interrupted. From needlepoint to counted cross stitch, canvas to linen, the possibilities are endless. Our Guild has members who have just recently learned to stitch as well as those who have spent many decades plying needle and thread. I am grateful for that diversity in our group and the exciting energy that comes with it! I am thankful for the opportunity to see the many beautiful projects our members are working on, and I am blessed to get to know the many stories behind why stitching is so significant to our lives today.
Happy stitching and Happy Thanksgiving to you all,