Perhaps you scroll through sumptuous pictures of embroidery and other fiber art projects online but think “I could never do that.” If that is the case I am here to tell you that you are mistaken.
I want to address some of the myths about embroidery.
Embroidery is Complicated
At first glance embroidery can look intricate and while some designs are, there are many that don’t take long to complete. I have met many people who say that they like to do cross stitch but could never do embroidery. I have done plenty of cross stitch and think it is less rewarding than embroidery in some ways. First, although you only need to learn to do one stitch for cross stitch, following the pattern can be difficult and there is always the risk that should you make a mistake, the whole pattern could be thrown off. Secondly, I find referring to a chart interrupts the flow of my sewing. In embroidery this is less of an issue.
Some embroidery designs require you to learn a couple of stitches such as running stitch or satin stitch but the learning curve is shallow.
Stitches Need to Be Perfect
Nope. In fact I think the lack of perfection makes your work unique and fascinating. Even if you make a little mistake, chances are that by the time you finish your piece, you won’t even notice it.
You Have to Be Talented at Sewing
If I could ban the word talent, I would consider it. The idea that some people have talent and others don’t seems to be a kind of elitism as well as a way of creating a sense of rarity that adds inflated value to something for the purposes of commodifying it. I have been sewing for over thirty years which is why I am “good” at it, whatever that means. And I still make mistakes, really big ones. I learn from them and keep going.
Embroidery is Slow and Boring
If you choose a large piece to work on then the likelihood is that it will take you ages. So start small. The sense of accomplishment when you complete it is motivating. As for it being boring, I find the repetitive nature of sewing soothing and almost hypnotic.
Embroidery is for Women
Well I have no response to this other than - don’t be absurd.
What potential discouraging comments have you heard? Share them and I would love to discuss them.
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I'm Liz Watkin a fiber artist and educator with an online learning background. I've been sewing since I was a kid and love the therapeutic nature of crafts.