2020 was the year I took on cross-stitch again. I had done a lot of it a few years ago but then most of my stitching was mainly black work. Cross-stitch is making a huge come back. I have heard of so many people who stitched years ago that are starting up again.
Why do I stitch? I’ve made beautiful things for myself and my home. I’ve made gifts for people that I believe will be treasured by the recipients and handed down to another generation. I’ve turned my cross stitching into framed pictures, napkins, quilts, wall hangings, and pillows. I’ve stitched for new babies, and for occasions. But what I’ve done doesn’t answer the question: why do I do it?
Ask a group of cross stitchers why they cross stitch, and most of them will point to the mental health benefit they get from the craft. In fact, focus, calm, community and stress reduction are the themes that will emerge. People explain that stitching is like meditation. The simple task of pulling the floss through the fabric, doing that same type of stitch over and over again can give one a sense of well- being. Cross stitch allows crafters to sit back and just breathe. You can stitch alone or with a small group and feel the stress disappear. Cross stitch is a craft where the only person you need to please is yourself, which is a great way to equate cross stitch to stress relief. Every day, the demands of life stress you out, yet taking even a few minutes to cross stitch, brings you back to a calm center. Even if you are creating something for another person, each stitch is about bringing yourself back.
While cross stitch allows you to focus, it is also great for connecting with others. It allows you to be part of a bigger picture and know that you are not lost or alone. The bottom line, cross stitch is not only good for the mind, but it is also good for the soul.
My year of cross stitch had lots of ups and downs and involved a lot of learning. I have plans for 2021 but I’ll save that for another blog post.
So why do I cross stitch? I cross stitch because it’s a hobby that I can do for me and share with others. When I stitch a gift for someone, every little x I make is full of love for that person, be it a new baby or an old friend. When I stitch something for myself I can display it proudly and say, “I made it.” I cross stitch because it helps me relax. stitch for my own peace of mind. I stitch for me. I think that’s the best reason of all.