I am a stitcher. I know that seems obvious by the fact that this blog is to be solely devoted to my needlework efforts, but it seems to me that there is something to be said for calling yourself a stitcher. I take two or three or even more elements and put them together in a way that is pleasing to the eye. I make things beautiful.
My idea of beauty will not always meet someone else's standards, nor do theirs always meet mine. However, if you ask any stitcher if they think your work is beautiful, even if it's a design of something they really dislike, they'll tell you yes. You see, even the work of a beginning stitcher is beautiful. It's the time and effort and love we put into a piece that makes it so.
I will be the first to admit my stitching could use improvement. I'm always learning and getting better but I don't always make sure my top stitch in a cross-stitch is untangled and lays flat. I use the wonderful railroading technique most of the time, but somethimes forget if I'm in a hurry or just feeling lazy. My running stitches while quilting definitely need improvement. I love doing it, but I just haven't had enough experience yet to make them as small and even as my mother's and my grandmother's when she was still able to quilt.
All stitchers improve as they age. We learn more stitches or simpler ways of doing things we've done for years. We talk to other stitchers and other craftsmen and artists and develop new things. Our craft is learning and evolving just as we are with the addition of new technologies like Q-Snaps and ready access to specialty threads and fabrics.
We stitchers make useful things that a person will use daily. We make things that will be lovingly placed in a descendant's hands with the words, "Great-Aunt Sew-and-Sew made this for me when I was a child." We even make things that will be looked at once and thrown away, hopefully never finding out that our love and time was heedlessly tossed into the trash next to the chicken from last night's dinner.
We make people laugh with the pithy comments on our samplers. We make them cry at the sight of a loved one whose face was turned into a chart and stitched. We make people smile when they receive a get-well card with a Margaret Sherry cat with a thermometer sticking out of its mouth. We stitchers are important. We carry on what some consider dying arts. That crocheted baby blanket or the purple-sequined jacket that is just perfect for your Halloween costume are our efforts. They are our efforts to make the world a little more beautiful and a little more happy. Beauty done one stitch at a time.
This is what I am. This is what you are or could be. Try it. Make your life a little more than it already is. I do.