Ten reasons to do embroidery

Hello everyone

Hope this finds you well?  In the next two blog posts we are going to explore the Top Ten Reasons For Doing Embroidery, why we do it and what it does for us and others.

Basically we are going to justify what we love to do most!   I believe our embroidery has more far-reaching consequences then we or others realize.    If our embroidery makes us happier, relaxed and more fulfilled this will certainly benefit those around us, our work, our home and life in general?   I know that when my husband goes on a fishing trip or to a live rugby game he comes back with a smile on his face and in a great mood so we all reap the benefits, why shouldn’t it be the same for us and our embroidery?

Lets take a look at the first five reasons – not in order of any importance:

  1. It is satisfying & rewarding.   Anyone who says “I am not creative” is wrong, we all have a creative sense, it is just a matter of honing it to a specific style of embroidery.  Giving life to something original that you have created yourself is so rewarding.  Fulfilling this is one of the most satisfying feelings you can have in life.

I have seen this proved again and again in my classes.  There was a time when I used to think that only certain people “had it”, but now I know that with a bit of guidance anyone can do it.  On a side note if frustration is setting in with the piece your are working on – put it away or even better dump it and move onto something else.  Sometimes it just does not work for us, but there are plenty of other designs out there that will give you that satisfaction.

  1. It is motivating.  The deeper you progress with your embroidery the more it challenges you because it provides a sense that there is always more to be discovered.  This motivates you not only in your embroidery but other areas of your life.

This has certainly been true for me.  It has motivated me to explore aspects related to my embroidery such as , graphic design, packaging, camera and video, computer software, websites, blogs and social media.  I am constantly on the look out for new designs and find them in the most interesting places. 

  1. It gives you confidence.   There is only one way to get confidence in yourself.  No one can give it to you – it happens when you get good at something.  You will learn things about yourself, namely that you are capable of creating something beautiful.  This will give you a great sense of achievement and the confidence to try other skills.

I have witnessed this many times with students who have no confidence in their ability, until much to their surprise, they turn out a beautiful piece of embroidery.  I watch while they look at the beautiful work they have created, and even the most hardened cynic manages a twitch in the corner of their mouth as they try to conceal their delight!

  1. It provides freedom from stress and anxiety.   Keeping your hands busy and engaged in your embroidery keeps your thoughts focused on the enjoyment, beauty and satisfaction of the task at hand.  All problems are left behind in this realm of peace and calm – it get us through the tough times in life.

Some people clean the house or polish the silver when they are anxious, I do my embroidery.  It has got me through some pretty tough times in the past, and I know that it is recommended by some of the Hospice places as a therapy for grief.  It replaces something sad with something glad.

  1. It is inspirational.   We all need inspiration in our lives whether it be in our homes, our careers, or our person.  Creating a beautiful piece of embroidery tends to make us more aware of our surroundings –  we find we are stimulated by colours and forms that we may not have noticed before.  A beautiful flower, bird, landscape or artwork may inspire our next piece of embroidery.  It enriches our lives.

The more I work with colour in my embroidery the more aware I become of colour in everything, from cooking to interior design, clothing and even the movies I watch.  The colours of the costumes in Downton Abbey are just to die for, I just have to use them!   A landscape or sunset looks more beautiful when viewed through the eyes of a potential embroidery design and I tend to see thread numbers in everything.

Till next time wherever you are in the world, be inspired, keep stitching and be happy.



34 thoughts on “Ten reasons to do embroidery”

  1. Hello Trish Burr,

    I love your embroidery!! Do you have video?

    Soraia Reis – BRAZIL

  2. Dear Trish:
    Just purchased your book on color perspective from Amazon. Love it!

    Even though I have been a needlepointer for more years than I care to count, have never tried needle painting. Have to admit to being a bit sick of needlepoint because I have done so many, many canvases. Need a break came up with the idea of teaching myself needle painting.

    Question: Does one need to place a piece of batiste under the linen inside the hoop? I saw a reference to this but no further comment. Please advise.

    If using the batiste is indeed correct, what is its purpose?

    Any insights you give me will be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you.
    Daphne Goodyear

    1. Hello Daphne. Glad you like the colour book:) You do not need to use a piece of batiste under the linen (backing fabric) if the linen is sturdy enough to support the weight of the fabric. I personally find the backing fabric a nuisance when one wants to mount the completed embroidery as it is inclined to pucker. If you do use batiste under your main fabric ensure the grains of both fabrics are lined up correctly to prevent puckering – it is also a good idea to stretch both pieces separately when mounting. Hope this helps.

  3. What a great post and I can’t wait for the next five reasons! I have dabbled in embroidery for over 10 years, at times more frequently than others. What I was most surprised at was the positive impact it had on my recovery last year from a fractured skull, swelling and bleeding etc on the brain. Ever since, I am more and more drawn to embroidery and get a little cranky at times if I have been too busy in my ‘real’ job to spend much time stitching. Your point about challenging oneself also resonates with me as I am considering doing the RSN certificate just for that reason!

    1. wonderful to know that it has helped with your recovery. I would highly recommend doing the RSN certificate it will be a great experience:)

  4. You are so right Trish. Right now I am going thru a lengthy illness and am also taking an online class to learn a new way of thread painting. The challenge of keeping up with the class as the Lord heals me, is helping me to keep up hope each day. It is restful and gets my mind off my problems, because it is also challenging enough to engage me mentally as I work out the technique. When the creative bug bites you, you just have to do it. I love needle art! Whether I design or stitch it, or both; it’s part of who I am.
    In Christ,
    Gail J.

  5. Very salient points my darling daughter—-but with some of us oldies it is too late . But I do love looking and reap benefits from your philosophy and talent. Wonder where it all came from !!! Love you xxxxx

  6. Thank you Trish, my head is so full of ideas but I do lack confidence, thankyou for giving me a wake up call. Regards Chris.

  7. Hi Trish, that was very inspiring, I have never thought about embroidery like that before.

  8. I love this post Trish,
    What you say is so true. I also believe we should have at least three types of work on the go at any time. Sometimes we need a challenging piece,other times we need to relax and just stitch something repetitive and also we need a little project for long waits in dentist and doctors offices or if working for a commute.
    Looking forward to the continuation of this list.

  9. I have come back to embroidery over the last couple of years. I need something to keep my hands occupied in the evenings while I relax in front of the TV and have finally settled in embroidery. However in recent months I can sense a passion building so much so that this afternoon I spent sewing instead of in the garden as I normally would on a bank holiday.

      1. Hi Trish
        Yes I find gardening therapeutic and I get twitchy when I can’t get aside but recently my need has been for sewing more; I think I need the creativity

  10. Stress and nervious tention! HA! HA! I ordered beautiful embroidery floss from Russia on ebay, Cannot wait for the arrival of this embroidery floss called Pnk Kirova. First I ordered 50 skeins, loved the floss and sheen then I ordered the book of 550 color skeins samples. Now I am waiting for the complete all 550 skeins from Russia, takes about 5 weeks to arrive in Texas. Just think, embroidering with 550 beautiful skeins of embroidery floss for $122.00. Every day I check the tracking number to see if order has reached New York port of entry, Send my your addres, I will send you a few major colors to try. I am 80 years young, had 5 different cancers, I am still on God’s green earth, ordering, embroidering, entering my work in texas grange contest. Pat Jay, 204 East White Ave, San Antonio, texas, 78214, 210-922-0411


    1. what a wonderful inspiration you are to us all Patricia! Enjoy your new floss there is nothing quite so exciting as getting a package in the mail with embroidery items in:)

  11. Hi Trish ,
    In my younger days I did mostly tapestries, but then came a time I wanted to do more. That is when I discovered Di van Niekerk and her beautiful ribbon embroidery panels. As you know, her panels were not strictly just ribbon embroidery, it entails various embroidery stitches as well and that is how I discovered my real passion, needle painting. Never in my dreams I thought I would be able to do it, it looked so complicated. Then I thought why not and that is how I got started. For me it is a great stress reliever and every time I finished one piece I cant wait to start the next one.
    I taught myself through books and magazines and of course the internet is just unbelievable. I must thank you too as you were a great inspiration to me. I think the best advice I can give, is don’t ever say you will never be able to do embroidery. First give it a try and if you really want to do it, will be surprised of what you will be able to accomplish.
    Looking forward to your next newsletter
    Kind regards Elza Bester.

    1. Elza, I enjoy embroidery best above my other crafts, winning blue ribbons using Jack Dempsey print patterns and floss from Russia. Enjoy teaching embroidery to all ages having classes at my public library every Sunday here in San Antonio,Tx. Chicken Scratch embroidery is my best work. Happy to have new comers.

    2. Hi Patricia,
      Wish I could join your classes, but I am a bit too far. I live here in Cape Town, South Africa, the most beautiful city in the world 🙂 xxx

  12. You feel like I do about stitching. You see the world in a different way through stitching, the color of a thread. My designing and stitching has given me self confidence that I would not have otherwise and gotten me through very difficult times – given me some time away into the world of peace.

  13. Right On! Although I went full circle with my embroidery….started out very young with crossstitch and some crewel (and yes I finally threw a piece out when I realized it was done all wrong) . Next I went all in with Heirloom machine sewing and machine embroidery…the intense curiosity of how it works got me hooked and I also realized I could do “sew” many things on the sewing machince if you understood how it works! Then that day came when I would see “digitized” embroideries for the machine and I just wondered how that worked……I have never been a “fabricholic” (see it have to have it)…but I did find out I am a “threadaholic” and I started smocking which led to “thread painting” and I found my niche! And you are a wonderful part of it!

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