July 5

I forgot just how soothing hand stitching can be.

I bought the pattern a few weeks ago before Fatty and I went to New York and immediately transferred it to a fat quarter of aqua quilting cotton. (I didn't mention that, did I? New York? It was a quick and fun trip – one of our favorite places to go.) I took the pattern into Purl Soho and the super patient and kind gals there helped me narrow down the choices when it came to the Appleton crewel wool. There are so many beautiful colors!

I started the letter "a" in the terminal in LaGuardia while waiting for our flight. The "b" came the following day. And so on. I've been carrying my hoop, wool and pattern in a gallon sized ziploc bag, toting it to the pool, piano practice, tennis lessons and more, just hoping to get a few stitches in as every free moment arises. I've mastered the stem stitch, the satin stitch and the lazy daisy. My french knots are getting better. My chain stitch isn't too shabby and I really like the long short stitch that I had never done before. Every letter brings something new and keeps me interested, still stitching along.

I had forgotten how my mind rests when my hands are at work. Seems silly, doesn't it? That I could forget such a fundamental thing? I did, though. In all the hub bub of summer, of running kids here and there, packing and unpacking for trips, staying up late and getting up early to beat the heat, I shoved my creative time to the side. And I've missed it. And really, I need that creative time. I'm a better mother, wife, friend, geez even a better housekeeper, when I take the time to make things. So I'm moving sewing up higher on the priority list. It's now right up there with a good night's sleep and exercise each day. I'm going to keep stitching all the way through "z", reveling in the deliberate and quiet way that needle and thread quiet my mind and energize it at the same time.

Do you enjoy hand stitching, too? What other creative pursuits give you peace of mind?

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