Monday, April 21, 2014

What our stitching means

Just recently, I read a post by my friend Rachel, talking about her stash and how she regrets the amount of money she spent on it, needs vs. wants, and emotional shopping.  I think at some point, we've all been there - maybe about our stash, maybe about other things like clothes or shoes or kitchen gadgets.  In my case, as a parent, I'm trying to be more aware of money I spend on *stuff* my son thinks he wants, but doesn't really need, like all the little doo dads in the Target Dollar Spot.  Sure, it's a thrill for him to get something, and I love to see a smile on his face, but does he NEED another plastic car or novelty?  And more importantly, will those trinkets matter in the years to come?  Probably not, nor do I want to get my son in the habit of spending money on momentary rewards that are tossed aside almost as soon as we get home.

The following day, I came across this post on Positively Splendid.  In the post, Amy talks about this beautiful pillow her mom made for her, all by hand.  She says, "This pillow will always be a tangible reminder of her love for me, something that can eventually be passed on to future generations."

She also talks about the very special quilts her grandmother created for her grandchildren, and what they mean to her, and I think we as crafters need to know exactly what Amy says, "Your creativity matters."

It's really a beautiful post and a wonderful tribute to the creative women in Amy's life, and her post is well worth reading.

I also think it puts a lot in perspective.  While I can see where Rachel is coming from, and I can definitely relate to regrets about spending money on certain things (like the Dollar Spot nonsense), I think Amy really nails it.  Obviously, the greatest investment in our stitching is our time, but the materials aren't cheap either.  The cost of the floss, fabrics, embellishments, charts and finishing materials can really add up, but I can't say I regret these purchases, or the time spent stitching.

I've been asked why I don't sell my stitched pieces.  Sometimes the easy answer is "copyright issues", but usually I respond that I will never recover monetarily what I put into it, so I only stitch for gifts, for people I genuinely care about.  My time and effort is as much a gift to them as the finished piece.  Years from now, my niece, nephew and son will be able to look at the birth records that were stitched for them and know they were done with love.  Someday when my son is an adult and decorating his own Christmas tree, I hope that the ornaments I made for him will be another reminder of how much I love him.  When our friends see the wedding records we've stitched and framed for them, I hope it's a joyful reminder of their wedding day, and of our love and support for them as well.

As Amy summed up, we "use our own two hands to create a lasting legacy with those we love, both near and from afar."


Vickie said...

Very thought provoking post.

Robin said...

Well said, Jennifer! I truly enjoy stitching for others (family and friends).

Have a wonderful day!

Robin in Virginia

Lee said...

I'm so glad that you are posting so regularly! This was a wonderful post and gave us a lot to think about. I'm going to head over to Rachel's now and see what her post was about.

Marie said...

I LOVED THIS. Thanks for sharing, Jenn.

Catherine said...

Great post! I keep buying even though I know in reality I will not ever be able to stitch everything ~ but sometimes! I just enjoy sitting and looking through my charts and all that goes with them!