The last few days, my sewing mojo has been put into stasis – I have been burning through my fabric stash at an alarming rate since social distancing was introduced and, this week, I found myself without a sewing project. Either I have fabric on order that has not arrived yet or I’m waiting for the A0 print copies of PDF patterns to be delivered.

I know there are plenty of scrap busting projects I could work on – I do want to make some bunting for the garden so I may start cutting out the pieces one of these evenings. The weather has been so good that spending time in the garden is becoming more appealing. I’m also going to do a DIY on the ironing board if I can find a suitable fabric remnant in the drawer – the poor abused thing needs a makeover!

So, as I wait for the (might I add, amazing) Royal Mail to deliver supplies, I picked up my little Crafty Pinup Sewing Machine Cross Stitch Kit – it was one of those little things I decided to buy as a birthday gift to myself knowing I wouldn’t be going anywhere.

So, who’d have known cross-stitch is compulsive? There was a lovely gentleman (in his late 80s) who used to visit one of the libraries I managed a few years back and, every time he did, he would extol the virtues of cross stitch. On occasion he would come with a bag with his latest project – these would make our A0 sewing patterns look miniscule – to show me his progress. I remember him bringing me a small but intricate country scene to try for myself but I remember thinking, at the time, I’d be blind with squinting if I sat down to do that! What I needed was somthing more like this little kit because, having almost completed this, I would be happy now to make a start on the one the gentleman gave me – chances are it’s still in a cupboard in that library!

This is, simply, one of the most enjoyable little projects I’ve ever worked on. There is almost a hypnotic effect when making those tiny little crosses – it’s actually a very calming activity. There’s also an element of the cerebral involved – now I understand how the gentleman who visited the library was getting towards 90 with the mental acuity of a 30 year old! Anything that can help maintain cognitive vitality gets a yes from me. Following a pattern means remembering how many stitches are required and what direction they have to go – a simple task but one that helps to keep the mind healthy and active. It’s not dissimilar to the satisfaction I get from knitting.

Obviously, I really want to get back into my dressmaking as soon as possible (I have so many things to do and I may post a ‘sewing plans’ post soon) – but, until my supplies arrive, I’m going to keep on stitching and finish this wonderful little kit which I can put up on my craft room wall on completion (although, the pink thread for the flower isn’t going as far as the pattern demands so I’m having to improvise).

I also want to give embroidery and punch needling a go over the next few weeks as I’m starting to really love hoop art as wall decor for my making space. If you haven’t tried cross stitching yet, give it a go!

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