The Meditative Nature of Needlework

Have you ever reflected on the “why” of needlework? Not the need to create, but the physical act of pulling needle and thread through fabric or canvas? Recently I’ve been thinking about the soothing comfort of needlework, or the mechanics of stitching.

A lot of my projects begin with an outline, a relatively simple stitch like a Rhodes square or a rice stitch, worked with pearl cotton. This kind of stitching does not involve a lot of brain activity for counting or following a chart, so it’s perfect for putting the mind in neutral and letting the muscles take over. For those who enjoy stitching while watching television or listening to audio books, this is the stitching that doesn’t require complete attention.

The physical motion of bringing the hand up and down, like petting a cat or dog, has the effect for me of slowing the pace of the world. The stress of the day begins to fall away as the needle goes through the canvas. A few minutes of stitching brings a sense of accomplishment to a day spent in harried activity that sometimes feels like nothing is achieved.

For the last 25 years, way before I became a professional needle arts designer, I set aside time every evening to stitch. As a stay at home mom with two very active children, I really looked forward to their bedtime every night, when I could pick up my needle and spend a few minutes stitching.  When they left home and I began DebBee’s Designs, I still find most of my stitching time is in the evening, after supper.

“My day is not complete, until fabric (or canvas) and needle meet” – I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way. For me, stitching is more than creating, or recreating someone else’s design. It is the physical act of stitching, of letting my mind wander where it will while my hands are busy. My hope is that I contribute to your mental well-being with my designs, giving your hands plenty to do and allowing your mind to sort through the happenings of the day.


2 thoughts on “The Meditative Nature of Needlework”

  1. I agree 100% with the meditative nature of needlework. I started counted cross stitch while recuperating from back surgery – as a means of focusing my mind on something other than the pain I was experiencing, and as a way of filling the hours of sitting in a chair in one spot staring at the same inane tv shows hour after hour.
    Needlework is often associated with women as a woman’s craft, but I’ve met men online and in person who also enjoy this art form. I wish more men would try it, but a stigma exists in our society even today about which things are “traditionally” male or female activities. For me, needlework has been a godsend — it helps with relief from my chronic pain, and gives me a sense of pride in creating something with my own hands.

    1. Thanks Sharon! I did enjoy it. I love to stitching and kntinitg but just the basic. I want to know some styles and designs. Could you put some videos of your demonstrations? I would appreciate it much. Keep it up!

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