Slow Stitching – Medicine For The Mind

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Ever heard of hanging by a thread, weaving in and out of traffic, spinning a yarn? The English language is full of metaphors that are borrowed from the textile arts.

​Textiles have been around with us since the beginning of human time. They have provided us with warmth, decoration as well as a means of telling stories. Working with textiles does not only demands patience and time, but also requires a sense of mindfulness.

In today’s fast-paced world, our lives have become a race against the clock – our fingers always tapping, typing or swiping and our minds always focused on the end result. So, sometimes it’s just nice to…well…slow down, relax, take a few deep breaths and not worry about creating a product, but rather enjoying a process. Slow stitching is one of those creative arts perfect for this.

So, What  Is Slow Stitching Actually?

Slow stitching is an ancient practice however the term is relatively new. The process slow stitching is to take time to mindfully create something new through stitching with needle and thread.  In addition, It’s also a great way to make sure that you use up those spare fabrics as well as old clothes.

As we look towards the practices of yesteryear as a way to escape the busy-ness of modern life, stitching crafts are becoming increasingly popular – they allow us to calm the mind while unleashing our creative side!

Where Did It All Start?

The slow stitch movement was first created by Mark Lipinski, a well-known figure in the quilting industry. After some health issues he realised the need for slowing down – and the many benefits that can come from a mindful stitching practice.

Modelled after the slow food movement, 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.

How To Begin With Slow-Stitching

When we talk about intentional, slow stitching, all we’re talking about really is just taking the time to pay attention to what you’re doing, in a very deliberate, intentional as well as focused way.

For example, when you sit down to slow stitch at your sewing machine or you prepare to embroider, take several deep breaths, get your bearings, and acknowledge your surroundings.

Next, take a look at the tools and supplies that you’ll be using. Make sure that they are the best tools and fibres that you can afford. Make a mental note that these things didn’t just appear magically from thin air but were created and delivered by people from other places all around the world.

Make a conscious note that you are fortunate to be able to afford such luxuries, when many people are struggling just to find clean water. It’s an attitude of gratitude.