I was nine years old when I first picked up needle and thread. My first project was a crewel embroidery kit that my mother had started and then shelved. I looked at the photograph, examined the materials I had to work with and, with childish naiveté, decided to finish the pretty picture. It wasn’t long before I realised what I had gotten into but by then it was too late to turn back. I was rather enjoying the challenge.
For six months, I struggled with terms I was unfamiliar with and stitching instructions I just about understood. I relied mainly on the photograph of the finished design that came with the kit as a guide and a natural talent for stitching to get me through. When I finally stitched that last stitch, I laid the canvas out and stood back to admire my handiwork. It was the first time I had ever taken on something so demanding. The sense of accomplishment and achievement I felt was positively exhilarating. It was the beginning of a life-long addiction to needlework, in particular, and crafts, in general.
I don’t know whatever became of that first project. It has undoubtedly been lost during various moves over the years. But that thrill I get when I stitch the last stitch has never faded with time. I still get excited about starting a new project. I still enjoy poring (drooling?) over charts and deciding which one to start next. I still get a thrill when I see a finished canvas framed and ready to decorate my home…or to give to a friend or loved one.