Once upon a time, in the deep, dark recesses of time (as in, two or three years ago), a rather addle-brained embroiderer (that would be me) set out on a stitching adventure with two of her best friends: Floche and Satin Stitch.
Over peaks and through valleys, the three risked life and limb (ok, maybe not) to complete an Embroidery Quest and reach Embroidery Paradise (or at least, to complete a little test project).
Like many an adventure in this less-than-intrepid embroiderer’s life, this particular one didn’t go so well.
At first, yes, all seemed Sunny Skies and Happy Wanderings.
But then things started getting a bit criss-crossed.
And then the adventurers parted ways, and they left their quest unfinished.
And while they’ve met here and there for other adventures, they never quite forgave themselves for abandoning this particular quest.
And to make matters worse, they didn’t keep adventure logs, and they lost all their maps and what little treasure they had accrued.
There’s a Moral to this Tale
The other day, I received an email – a rather scathing one, but all in fun – from a friend who reads Needle ‘n Thread and who stitches quite a bit. She took me to task over my suggestion to keep a notebook, saying that I unnecessarily complicate embroiderer’s lives with these extraneous suggestions.
If I had to keep a notebook on every bit of stitching I do, I’d never get any stitching done. Note-taking would hang over my head every time I sit down to stitch. I can’t think of one instance in my life, where I wish I had kept a notebook. Seriously, can you? Especially with your blog, why would you need a notebook? Can you think of one instance where your notebook was indispensable? Where it saved you time? They just take up time! They don’t save time! Set yourself free and trash the notebook! You’re just complicating your life!
In addition to this little tête-à-tête, I had several other well-meaning inquiries about the whole purpose of keeping a notebook, after I wrote this article a few weeks ago.
My story above is written to explain why a notebook can prove to be indispensable, and to defend my advocacy of keeping at least basic notes on your embroidery projects, especially if they are projects that you’ve concocted yourself.
In this particular case, I’m in the midst of writing a series of articles for DMC, and to illustrate the articles, I need my own photos of work with specific threads.
When considering floche, my mind immediately flew to this project. Unfortunately, when I began this particular little project several years ago, I was not a notebook keeper. I no longer have the pattern. I no longer have the finished project. And I never kept a color list.
And so, here I find myself back at the drawing board, using valuable time to stitch up new samples.
If I had kept an accurate notebook, this wouldn’t be necessary.
You Don’t Have To!
If you feel that note-keeping isn’t for you, no worries! You don’t have to keep a notebook! If it puts undue pressure or stress on you, if it takes away from the pleasure of stitching, then why do it? If you have no foreseeable reason to ever have notes on your projects, don’t worry about it.
But if you’re concocting your own projects, if you think that some day you may want to know exactly what you did to create that project, then it’s a good idea to keep one.
If you have Any Inkling at All that you would like to go into business somehow with your embroidery – maybe you want to create designs and kits or something like that – then, by all means, keep a notebook.
A notebook isn’t essential to good embroidery, so if you have no reason to keep one, don’t bother. I hope I didn’t somehow give the impression that keeping a notebook is a crucial part of every embroiderer’s routine.
But if there’s even a chance that, some day, you will need to know what you did on an embroidery project, you’ll be thankful in the long run if you keep at least minimal notes on your own projects.
Today, I’ll spend all my stitching time finishing up a satin stitch and floche sample. I could be doing something else, but …
Have a jolly weekend!