It was 2017, I had recently moved back to my small southern college hometown. I had been living and working in Manhattan, and traveling the country with a career in luxury retail education and sales. My life spent in airports and the constant hustle had grown stale. I desired a richer, quieter and more meaningful life. I knew where to find it.
One of my dearest friends, Sally, posted stunning photos of her needlepoint Christmas decorations, and they were simply gorgeous! Classic and traditional, bright and fun! I couldn't stop looking at them. The thoughtfulness and love that were stitched into these heirlooms were evident by their beauty. At that time, I hardly knew Sally, but I immediately reached out to her privately complimenting her on beautiful creations expressing something like, “I would love to learn how to do this!”
Once the new year rolled around, Sally kindly offered to teach me and a few of her friends how to stitch. She generously and enthusiastically invited us into her lovely home for an afternoon of instruction and stitching around her kitchen table. It was a Sunday afternoon in January alongside snacks, good conversation, laughs and festive beverages. She advised us in the characteristic of an appropriate beginner canvas that we were to purchase and bring. I chose Elizabeth Bradley’s Pansy Mini Kit. The design is 6”x 6” on a 10” x10” canvas. The Mini Kit includes a printed canvas (10 count = big holes!), a chart, a needle threader and tapestry wool. I was ready and eager to learn! The Elizabeth Bradley Mini Kits are brilliant for beginners. The designs are beautiful, the canvas holes are large, the project is relatively small so it doesn't take forever to complete, you have a chart to follow along with the printed canvas, it can be finished in many ways and it has everything you need to start stitching! Mine hangs on a doorknob in my office today.
Sally began the afternoon by giving us a quick lesson in Needlepoint 101, and then taught us how to basketweave. I soon finished my practice stitches and was anxious to start my first canvas. It fun and easy, and I was hooked. Borderline obsessed. I went home that evening and stitched late into the night. I did all of the things new stitchers do: buy canvases like mad, stay up way too late to finish a section, and obsess over the color of a trivial intersection. It was love at first stitch. And the rest is history.
Even better, deep friendships began that day and have only gotten stronger thanks to the adventures and passion for our beloved hobby. Thanks for teaching me how to stitch, Sal! (Julie, Sally and me)
For all that has been and for all that is to come, I am oh so very grateful.