Slow Stitching Gaining Momentum

It may be somewhat of an oxymoron, but the art of slow stitching is gaining momentum and sweeping across the country. It isn't a new concept by any means, but it is making a resurgence at a time when we perhaps need it most.

I don't think it is my age, but time is passing so incredibly quickly--for everyone! The world has changed so much in just the past two years. Everyone is in such a rush; I see it every day on the road. No one follows speed laws, tailgating is at an all time high, and road rage is rampant. We just need to slow down at times.

Enter slow stitching....

We have the incredible gift of working with our hands. During the pioneer days, stitchers did nothing but slow stitching. At the end of a hard day of work, women (primarily) took up their stitching and decompressed from the day. Now that act has a name--slow stitching. 

Mark Lapinski is credited for coining the term He has been the front runner in the modern slow stitching movement. In short, slow stitching is the act of mindful stitching. According to ArtJournalist, "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."

I know for many, hand is a four-letter word. I have always enjoyed hand stitching. I had a long relationship with cross stitching in the 90s. I dabbled in other forms of needleart, including needlepoint, embroidery, silk ribbon embroidery, and--my all time favorite--bead embroidery. In my bead embroidery, especially, I was able to get into a "zone" and lose the world--a.k.a. slow stitching. 

According to Lapinski:

  1. Slow Stitching is about learning new techniques.
  2. Slow Stitching is making time to immerse yourself in your creative process.
  3. Slow Stitching is about developing excellent technique and soulful projects.
  4. Slow Stitching is about not being duped by commercialism.
  5. Slow Stitching is not being dumbed down by an industry whose only concern is your buying and not your creating.
  6. Slow Stitching is about supporting your local shops, fellow artists, and the history of fiber art and the fiber artists in your community.
  7. Slow Stitching is about creating that one important piece of fiber or needle art in your lifetime.
  8. Slow Stitching is about practicing the process and reaping the health, emotional, financial, spiritual and creative benefits from intentional creativity.
  9. Slow Stitching is about remembering why we began working with fiber in the first place.
  10. Slow Stitching is about connecting with your work on a deeper level than shop to machine to closet.
  11. Slow Stitching is about knowing ourselves better and learning about who were are though our art and craft.
  12. Slow Stitching is about using the best fabrics, tools, threads, etc., that we can afford.
  13. Slow Stitching is about developing and celebrating excellence in your work.
  14. Slow Stitching is about enjoying the process, rather than anticipating a deadline or project completion.

We love to create. We have to admit, though, at times the act of creating is eclipsed by the need to finish our projects. While both are important--the finishing and the creating--let's not put the creating aside for the sake of completing. Take time for the last bulleted item so we remember #9. Maybe reserve one project for the end of the day that you slow stitch. 


Because You Love to Create

Join us for our All Things Hand Stitched days the 2nd Thursday of the month.

Here are two great books to get you going on your next slow stitching project:


Click on the picture to purchase. We have other great hand stitching books in our Book area. Please check them out.

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