Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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Making Time for Embroidery


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We’ve chatted a bit, off and on, about the organization of embroidery projects, embroidery supplies, embroidery books…

And while these aspects of embroidery are important, the most precious commodity relating to your needlework – or to any hobby at all – is your time.

We often talk about “making time” for embroidery. But making time is a funny phrase, isn’t it?

As we all know, time can’t be made. So, in our busy 21st century lives, how can we make time for embroidery or any hobby?

Many readers have asked me (repeatedly) to tackle the subject of making time to embroider. They want to stitch, but it just seems like there’s never time to really get into stitching enough to enjoy it, to develop a rhythm, to see good progress, to hone skills, or to explore techniques.

So today, let’s chat about time tips. I’ll share some practices that I employ to save or make time. And then I’ll ask you to chime in with what works for you when it comes to time management and stitching. Hopefully, with a group effort, we can help those who are struggling to find time stitch.

Making Time for Embroidery

The Subjectivity of Time

While time is an objective, measurable continuum, when taken from your perspective or my perspective, time can be a very subjective notion!

The way we spend our time depends on our responsibilities, the demands that Life makes upon us, our priorities, and our likes and dislikes.

When it comes to responsibilities and duties, if we’re fairly decent people trying to lead a good life, we don’t really have much of a choice – we have to devote time to them! But when it comes to likes and dislikes and how we prioritize those, we have a little wiggle room.

For example, in the midst of your busy day, you might like to carve out a chunk of time to spend at the gym. Doing so may be very important to you, both physically and mentally, and so you prioritize many things in your day so that you can spend a couple hours at the gym, lifting weights, going all cardiovascular on the elliptical, and whatnot.

I, on the other hand, would rather crawl under a rock and die than subject myself to two hours of sweating and self-inflicted pain, even though I’m sure it would be good for me! For me, a twenty or thirty minute walk to get out, clear the head, and breathe a bit is terrific. But for you, that might not be enough.

And so, we prioritize our time differently, depending on what we consider important to us.

Don’t Miss the Point!

I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know!

Everyone’s circumstances in life are different, and often we can’t – or don’t want to – do the same things that others do, when it comes to time management.

Consider these three points:

1. Don’t measure yourself against what This Person or That Person is doing. Do what you can do, and don’t let what you can’t do keep you from doing what you can.

2. If thinking about your hobby – in this case, embroidery – causes you stress or anxiety because you lack time to do it, you’re missing the whole point of a hobby.

3. If you really want to do something, you’ll find time to do it. You might need to consider your hobby a priority and treat it that way, if it is really important to you.

With those three points in mind, then, here are some tips that will help you make time for embroidery or any other hobby or pursuit that sparks your interest.

15 Minute Policy

One time tip that I’ve mentioned frequently on Needle ‘n Thread is my 15-Minute Policy.

There are a several parts to this policy. To sum it up in three points:

1. If you only have 15 minutes or so a day for needlework, then use it! You’d be surprised how much progress you can make on just 15 minutes a day.

2. If you think you don’t have 15 minutes in the day, then carve it out. Get up earlier, so you can spend 15 or 20 minutes stitching quietly before heading out the door to work. Or use 15 or 20 minutes of your lunch break to stitch. I completed this project entirely by doing those two things.

3. Use your needlework as a carrot. “Reward” yourself with 15 minutes (or 20 or 30, depending on your circumstances), after you’ve accomplished things that you have to do, but don’t necessarily want to do. This will help you achieve things you don’t necessarily want to do and it will help you make progress on your stitching!

The Timer

Because Needle ‘n Thread is my full-time job, I treat it that way, working on a schedule.

Within the time slots on my schedule, I break down tasks and work against a timer. This might sound stressful – as if I’m creating a pressured environment – but I find that, with a timer on, I get more done, and I do it with focus and drive. This is my primary method for getting computer work done, writing content, photo editing – all the background work behind Needle ‘n Thread.

When I work diligently on necessary work tasks with a timer, in the evenings I have less computer work to do, and I can devote more time to stitching – or anything else!

You can do the same thing. Set a timer for necessary tasks and allot yourself a specific amount of time for that task. Do you have to finish the task in that amount of time? No! But tell yourself you’re going to work on it for one hour, and you’ll be surprised how much you get done!

Then go reward yourself with 15 minutes of stitching! Or know that, in the evening, since you’ve accomplished some key things, you can sit down and relax!

Stay Organized

Where did I put my riffemrackemfrickemfrackem scissors!!??!

If you have a place for everything and everything in its place, you’ll get a lot more done in the time that you have to do it.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m no Queen of Organization. But I prefer to use my time accomplishing something – like stitching – rather than looking for that book, this tool, those threads.

Take a minute or two at the end of every stitching session to situate things so that you can plunge right into your next stitching session.

Avoid the To-Do List Pitfall

I am a list maker. But I try to avoid the To-Do List Pitfall of creating a haphazard, unending list of things I need or want to do. Just looking at a list like that can be overwhelming and disheartening!

All my projects – and by projects, I mean any major tasks that need doing, not just needlework – get broken down into key steps. What are the key steps I need to take, to complete this project?

On the weekend, I make a list of the projects I want to focus on during the week. These are not necessarily whole projects. Often, they are simply key steps in larger projects.

On my daily to-do list, the steps are broken down again into smaller, manageable, minor steps for a given day.

On the daily list, I prioritize at least three of these minor steps that I know I can reasonably expect to complete, and those are the first things, work-wise, that I do that day.

I schedule time to do them. And, to keep me focused, I work against the timer.

If I complete those three tasks, it’s a successful day! I can move on to other minor tasks, but even if I don’t, I know I’ve completed the essential tasks I wanted to complete that day. And you can bet your little patootie that I reward myself with a little stitching time! I also have more stitching time, because I’ve cleared other things off my plate.

Waiting, not Wasting

Do you spend a lot of time waiting? Whether waiting for an appointment, waiting for time to leave, waiting for someone else, waiting for a bus or a plane, waiting to get here or there on a commute or a road trip, waiting for the oven timer to go off, waiting for soccer practice to end, waiting for the game to start, waiting…waiting.

Don’t waste waiting time!

When it comes to needlework, small, transportable projects are a great way to use your waiting time when you’re not at home. At home, when you’re waiting for something, spend your waiting time stitching.

I find that I can often squeeze in at least one thread’s worth of stitching whenever I’m in a brief holding pattern.

Social Media in Moderation

It is imperative that I use a timer when managing my social media stuff – Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram. If I don’t, what I think is just “a few minutes” can easily morph into an hour or more.

I’m not saying get off social media, but managing social media time can open up many more hours to get other things done during the week, so that you can devote more time to a hobby.

When social media became a key part of the blogger’s life, and especially when Pinterest first exploded, I found myself spending oodles of time on social media. Of course, it was all in the name of “blogging” – I saw it as “working.” Making connections, posting stuff, reading interesting and creative things. It was fun! It was informative! And I told myself it was work-related, after all, so it was ok.

It wasn’t until I made a conscious, honest appraisal of how much time I was spending on social media that I realized how much of a time sink it is! I couldn’t just say, “This is a waste of time” and quit, because social media is a legitimate part of my work.

Instead, I consciously gauged how much time I was spending rooting around on Pinterest and Facebook. The numbers were telling. I averaged at least 45 minutes a day on social media, and on some days, I was spending up to two hours a day.

This shocked me into setting limitations and sticking to them. Now, I spend no more than 10 minutes a day on social media, except once a week, when I set aside 30 minutes (against the timer) to focus on social media stuff that I need to do.

In ten minutes a day, I can easily do what I need to do and see what I need to see. And all the rest? Well…it’s not always important enough to hold me captive!

This strategy has freed up gobs of time for other things, and it is very, very freeing. In fact, I was obsessive enough to measure it. I found that I saved an average of 8 hours and 45 minutes a week with this approach to social media. That’s 455 hours a year!

Make Use of Viewing Time

If you’re a TV watcher, you can always pursue something creative while you indulge in viewing time!

When I was in high school, my family got rid of our TV at home. When I went off to college, I never had time for it, so, as an adult, I’ve never even bothered to have cable or television. I do occasionally watch movies, but I try to stitch while I watch. It doesn’t always happen – I find it hard to split my attention between stitching and viewable entertainment. I get sucked in!

So when I really want to get some stitching done, I opt for different types of entertainment that will allow me to stitch with focus.

If you find that you don’t get as much stitching done as you’d like while you’re watching something, perhaps try changing your mode of entertainment. How about an audiobook, music, or podcasts?

Closet Yourself

Occasionally, it doesn’t hurt to cut yourself off from distractions by closing yourself up in another room or away from the main hubbub of life around you, either to concentrate on stitching or to concentrate on other tasks so that you have time to stitch.

I find that closeting myself in a separate room where I can concentrate on a task helps me to work more efficiently and with much more focus and accuracy. I get more done, and it frees up time for other tasks, including stitching.

And sometimes, I closet myself up to stitch, too!

You Can Say No

Sometimes, it’s ok to say no.

I don’t like to say no to all invitations, spontaneous outings and the like, but I do it when I have to, because it frees me up down the road to do other (often more important) things.

Allow Time

Finally, take time for leisure.

Allow yourself time to do the things you love, that relax you and that rest your mind and body.

There are plenty of studies out there that show how hobbies – including needlework – lend to overall mental and physical well-being. There’s nothing wrong with indulging in a hobby or some creative pursuit and allowing yourself the time to do it and enjoy it.

We all need to recharge our internal batteries by doing something that makes us happy.

When our batteries are recharged, we’re usually able to accomplish those daily necessary tasks with much more vim and vigor! So leisure time, when understood correctly and deliberately undertaken, is always a win!

Over to You!

Now it’s your turn! How do you manage your time so that you can pursue and enjoy your needlework? We can all learn from each other, so feel free to join in the conversation below!


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(99) Comments

  1. Well I am so lucky, I used to have to put family first before needlework but now, I am 86 years old. There is just my husband and myself to do for so I can have a lot of time for my needlework. Usually, all afternoon and all evening.I get a lot of pleaseure from my needlework although I must say it is not quite as good as it used to be, but there is one advantage to failing eyesight, it all looks good to me in the end.Thank you Maty for your time speny sending us these articles, I do so enjoy them.and to all the needlewomen out there I say – keep at it,. it is one of the most rewarding hobbies that I know off.
    Love to you all and God Bless. Marjorie.xx

  2. Wow! Thank you, Mary, for a much needed article about time management! I, too, have found a timer most helpful in doing the dreaded, necessary tasks! And I really need to use the timer for my “computer” or social media time!

  3. Say “No”???? I have been trying to do that for decades and still fail. I either get too excited about someone else’s suggestions/ideas or I fall for the “but we need..” request. So what I do list out (usually in my head) what needs to be done, mentally or physically allocate times to do it e.g. this morning was emails re an event on 8th April to be communicated and structured and this afternoon its professional report writing. The session on 25th that I am running will be prepared tomorrow afternoon as the morning is busy already. I can then focus on what I am doing “now”. This only works as my husband does all the domestics and I work freelance. But the principles apply if you are rigorous and want to achieve things. Sewing is similarly scheduled – this does make me sound like a nerd!

  4. I have two children, a ten and a seven year old. Both of them are in Soccer so I spend an hour and a half on Mondays and Wednesdays and an hour on Tuesday sitting at their practices. I started making it a habit to bring a project with me to stitch during those times so that I don’t feel idle and worry about all the things I am not getting done while waiting for their practices to finish. 🙂 I also will stitch while my daughter does her nightly reading to me.

  5. You’re such a sensible woman. I’m fortunate enough to live with a person perfectly capable of fending for himself (just as well) and can devote as much time as I want to stitching, or whatever. Lucky me! But, you’re quite right, such is not the case for everyone and your suggestions on how to ‘make’ time are spot on.

  6. My brother is a composer and has a literal composing closet. He’s had one for years. He gets work done there.

  7. I use some of the same methods you do. Reward myself for completing must do tasks with stitching time. I always carry a project with me when we travel. Also I stitch whenever I have to wait. I try to keep everything I need in a project bag so I don’t have to look for my tools. TV time is stitching time. We are big sports fans so I can stitch and watch. Needlework definitely helps me keep my B/P down.

  8. I like to keep a craft ‘to-do’ list, just because I have massive start-itis and I need the reminder of projects that are already in the works or in my head before I rush off on ten new projects. I do make time for stitching, but it’s always slow because I flit between projects a lot, and I also like to knit and do dressmaking and I recently started a textiles course and… well, you get the picture.

    1. I have massive start-itis, too! I never thought to make a list of WIPs, though. I’ll have to try this, even though I’m sure the list is going to be embarrassingly long. Thank you!

    2. Me too. I love starting things, and finishing is hard. I have to focus! I also flit between projects. One may be at a stage where the next step is an hour, so I also have ones where the next step is only a few minutes. If I have an hour, then I do the big one, if I only have 10 minutes, I can still make progress on something.

  9. Gostei demais das suas colocações e copiei adicionando minhas ideias para passar para amigas e alunas, dicas importantes para render melhor o precioso tempo.
    Sua dedicação vai além dos bordados, e isso a faz ser a melhor no ramo, sem exageros.
    Tenho muito a aprender com você, sinto-me em crescimento a cada postagem sua.
    Força e Luz no seu caminho.
    Rose Becker-Brasil

  10. One of my tried and true “time saver” tips is to focus on the tasks you need to get done. We all have things that need doing that take our time, but when you have them, focus on them and minimize distractions. All of my housework is done without the TV on, for instance, as then I don’t lose minutes watching scenes when I should be getting the vacuuming done.

    The end result is that the “have tos” get done faster and then I have more time for things I *want* to do.

  11. Thank you Mary for this wonderful information. I have a huge problem with comparing myself with “others”. To the point where I am busy watching “others” accomplishments and not mine. I have vision disability’s so I see twice as everyone else sees.
    I try to break down my stitching time into 2 parts, 1 for cross stitch/embroidery and the other for quilting.
    At the end of the stitching day I put everything away where it’s ready for the next day. If I have run out of floss, I “cut & ready to go”. So I get that floss ready for the next day before I stop for that day. That way I can start fresh with floss ready for me to go.
    I also, have everything set up and put in the correct order placement. That way I just have to sit down, unpack everything and start where I left off.
    Which I end the day before in a place where is easy for to be able to pick right back up the next day.
    With the vision trouble I have, if I don’t be careful I will spend hours trying to figure out where to start up again.
    Thank you for all of your wonderful tips and amazing work. You always have an answer for anything & everything!

  12. I love the 15 minute idea. It is amazing how much I can get done.
    I equate leisure and hobbies with good mental health and well being.
    Great article Mary. Thank you.

  13. I have always tried tofind time to pursue my interests. Raising 3 kids, just living day to day life has always been a challenge. My hobbies are my therapy. Now that the internet has come to be, it is great group therapy, a kindred spirit that connects likeminded hobbyists. One thing I try not to let time do is dictate my enjoyment, unless there is something of greater importance. Our ancestors used what we call hobbies as necessary part of life. Making clothes, bedding, etc. was needed, but when adding embroidery to their work, that is what made a difference in the daily chores of just sewing for necessity. I learned a lot from looking at my grandmother’s work. I could always tell, through her work when she was laboring through a piece or when she was just having fun. She found time while raising 9 kids.

  14. I don’t have time to respond ,got to go stich . I do love to read your posts and I too can waste lots of time looking at all the ideas out there. Just say no to all this computer stuff and do your projects. I guess my advice would be enjoy your craft and if you really enjoy looking at all the fun things on Internet for ideas enjoy that ,too .

  15. One of the best things you can do, if computer time is a time sink, is to program it to go OFF at a certain time. Knowing that it could go off while you are on, means either you spend less time on certain pages, or you work faster 🙂

    It’s wonderful finding all the inspiration and tips on line, but if you never actually use the information, how much stitching can you get done?

  16. I am making some freezer meals like lasagna, spaghetti, and chicken dishes that we actually like. I make a batch and freeze it in portions for two with a vacuum sealer. Smoke a Boston but and make pulled pork. Freezes well. I finish the meals with quick additions. I purchased a double set of white dishes without metallic trim. I use them for everything and they go into the dishwasher. Dress the table up for various occasions. I love planning parties and I have recipes that work.
    I plan appointments for the first slot in the morning or after lunch. I chose doctors and dentists asked on their skill set, knowledge, and ability to understand and care for people. Often their office are as friendly and as competent as they are. I have a system to mail cards for family and friends including 18 grandchildren.

    1. Sarah,
      Non-stitching question. When I make lasagna and freeze it, it is watery when defrosted. How do you avoid that?


  17. What a wonderful post on time management. It goes well with the ones you have had on organization. I am slowly getting to the realization that taking occasional time to step away from the everyday rush and concentrate on one chosen issue or task enriches that and consequently everything else. The book Deep Work has proven to be a very eye opening discussion and resource on this. Thank you so much for your blog- being able to disappear into a stitchy issue for a few minutes keeps me sane. It is wonderful to connect to other stitch minded folks.

  18. Currently, as a person-of-leisure (aka retired), I don’t have a problem finding time to embroider. But, when I was working, I always carried a piece of embroidery with me to stitch at lunch. My office allowed us to add our afternoon break onto the lunch break, so after eating I would clean up and take out my stitching. In the evenings, after dinner was over and the kitchen cleaned up (and when the kids were younger after their bedtime), I could take out a piece of embroidery and stitch while the late news was on. I managed to stitch Celtic Christmas during the news programs. Of course that took the better part of a year and a half, but I wasn’t in any hurry. I was just enjoying watching it develop.

  19. Wow Mary, a timely article for me. I was feeling frustration at not accomplishing what I would like to with my stitching. I work full time and gave grandkids to interact with, so I was feeling little accomplishment. Here is what I did to take control of my stitching time, because it is like the need to breathe, for me.

    I changed my morning rise time to 4:45 so that I could stitch an hour before work, with a timer of course. Night time stitching is at least 2 hours. Weekend cleaning is 1 hour on, one hour stitch, with timer. Social media has been scaled back to a quick check twice a day, no longer carry it with me all day long. I am in numerous needlework groups and I found myself frittering away time just scrolling, mindlessly. I do love the show and tell and hints and tips that are gleaned, so I will continue, but on a limited basis.

    Stitching is my meditation and it is a requirement every day for me!

  20. Great article. I see myself in so many places, and I am going to try to include those that I don’t currently use. Thanks!

  21. I love this! My daughter started her concept of 10. What she did was list 10 things to do. Not, clean the living room, but clean off the coffee table. Pick up things off the living room floor. If she got those 10 things done, she made another list of 10. She got her house cleaned and organized this way. So, your post really hit with me. I love it. Just little bits of time here and there can make a big difference! Thank you for just being you.

  22. I work hard in the mornings to free up a chunk of my afternoon for stitching, drawing or even the occasional video game. Then it is back to chores to prepare supper, clean up etc. Then later in the evening a little more time to stitch before heading to bed.
    In Christ,
    Gail J.

  23. I feel guilty if I don’t at least make time for my stitching , If I am watching television I will work on my latest project. My family knows enough to leave me alone when they see the embroidery bag out. I carve out an hour or two on the weekends to stitch, I also will tell people “no” to invitations especially if I`ve had a bad week at work , embroidery is my stress reliever and its important to have something that takes away the stress and focus on worries.

  24. I am retired and love to socialise, so what I do. I mark time in my diary to spend on my embroidery and discipline myself to keep that appointment the same way as all other appointments.
    Kind regards

  25. I am a recently retired reading teacher, so my own time is fairly new to me. But I learned quickly that it is very easy to waste time — even retired time. I have gone back to my most favorite thing — dress making, but still love to spend time stitching. I block out time in my week just for this extra “fun” sewing time, but don’t use a timer, I reserve at least a good part of a day (4-5 hours) for the fun work. My week days all start with a minimal amount of time for the dreaded housework which I have broken up so that there is just a little to do each day, but by 10:00 a.m. I am in my studio with my fabrics and onto dressmaking and alterations. My week starts with my play time. Mondays is for crafting, stitching, rearranging my fabrics, etc. I use a weekly calendar to keep my appointments fresh in my mind, plus I make a list of all the tasks I want to get accomplished during the week — both personal and studio tasks. This list is generated on Mondays. Generally, by Friday I have accomplished everything on my list, have met with my customers for finished or new sewing, and by Saturday morning, I am reorganizing and cleaning my studio again so that Sunday I can fully relax and pay attention to my family and then, Monday I can play again. Mondays are usually my fabric or studio shopping days too. Fun times are always ahead.

  26. First of all, I’m with you when it comes to the gym time. My husband loves going there but I only go because I have to for the sake of my wonky heart. And in Oregon we don’t have enough dryish days to go tromping around outside.

    I do reward myself with stitching time. I look around, say I’ll do this and that, get them done and then sit and “rest” for a bit. It’s great getting older because the excuse of having to rest for a few is so believable. 🙂 After that I get up and get more things done, without any guilt that I sat for 20 minutes. 🙂

  27. My maxim is if you want to do a thing whatever it is you will find time to do it and leave something else that can be done at another time.
    We only live once (I think) so make the best of it.

  28. Thank you, your insight and ideas are timely, and helpful! We just made a major “downsize” move, which should make the home care much easier. Amazing what came out of “nooks & crannies”. Thus, all my stitching materials have been organized! A first. 🙂

  29. Mary… Thanks for your perspective on “stitching time”! Here’s my 2 cents…

    I have been retired for a few years and I often get upset when people say, “What do you do with yourself now that you are not at work?” I often spout off a long list of all the “stuff” I do and that definitely includes stitching. One day, a very good friend challenged me with my long list. She said she thought I probably spent most of my time on my pc in social media sites (or doing Google searches or sending folks email etc.) and not as much time as I thought on everything else. She also suggested that I keep a log as to how many hours I was on my pc. So, I kept a “time card” sheet on my desk right next to my pc each day for a week and I listed (1) when I sat at the computer (2) when I got up to do something else (3) when I returned to the computer (4) when I got up (5) when I returned…and so on all day long. I was surprised when I reviewed that log. I often started at the computer around 7 am and I finally signed out at 10 pm. And when I added up the total time each day on the pc…yikes…it was more time than my shift when I was at work! When it is a few minutes here and there all day…it adds up quickly! That was a real eye opener!

    I now have a timer for being on the computer from 30 to 45 minutes/day for all Google searches, social media, email, and site visits…except for NeedlenThread! I do let myself spend as much time as I want in reading (or re-reading) your posts, Mary, plus reading all of the comments from folks all over the world!

    Now I have a bit more time for stitching!

  30. Mary, I know you’ve been there, and some of your readers as well: Can I, should I stitch while being a patient in a hospital? I am an R. N. ( retired) and I inherited a healthy phobia of germs from my Mom, and then in my own practice. So, will I bring home some lurking MERSA? Does it depend on the reason for hospitalization?

    I just don’t know!

  31. I always love reading your articles and I learn so very much from your lessons. The article today was so perfectly timed as I have been wrestling with time management lately. I loved all of your strategies and plan to implement them all immediately. I always remember my grandmother saying “Idle hands are the Devil’s workhop!” and so I have never been able to simply sit and watch tv or wait for any period of time without having some project in my hand. Your ideas about time management can be applied to so much more than just needlework. I plan to share this article with my family and friends as I think it will help us all to be more productive and efficient with our time. Thank you, thank you, for this life-changing article.

  32. Being retired it seemed I had no free time. I learned at Weight Watchers to set up “Me Time”. Everyday I stop what I am doing and stitch at 3:00. One hour. Hard to do as I keep thinking of things that must be done. After doing this a while it became a habit. I really got lots done. One hour a day for me feels great.

  33. Thank you Mary for this timely article. I do so appreciate every article you write and the wisdom you so unselfishly share. If you wrote a book (not e-book) with all your tips I’d buy it! And there is the crux of my dilemma…I love to read and everything else falls to the wayside. I also have so many interests other than reading, that I can get overwhelmed with what to start on, so making a list of priorities and using a timer with each activity, including reading, is what I will start to do!
    Angela Smith mentioned a book “Deep Works” that will now go on my “To Do
    List” to check out. Thanks to everyone for your shared tips as well. – Sue.

  34. Mary, Thanks for the timer tip! I may even invest in one that goes click, click, click, to use with social media. I’m hoping that the sound will help me prioritize…do I really need to read that article/video/slide show that has 15 ads that I have to get past?

    I’m retired, so I am able to manage a method a friend taught me. I have created a habit of stitching 2 hours a day, usually at 2 PM. Events may change the point in the day that I stitch, but I prefer 2 PM. 7 PM is the next best time.

    It doesn’t have to be 2 hours. I use that because me eyes are tired if I stitch longer. I think the word HABIT is the important part.

    Thank you, once again, for your articles!


  35. I started stitching BE about 30 yrs ago. Had to quit due to life changes. Wanted to try again and found EdMar online and was THRILLED to see them at the Expo in Puyallup this month. I loaded up on more thread and I am back to stitching. Home bound now and health issues have become a blessing because I have hours upon hours to create some beautiful gifts. Stitching brings me peace, a sense of accomplishment and something to hand down from one generation to another. Working on a ring bearer pillow, framed cross for my son’s office and a couple of gifts, all at the same time. Make time to pick up your project and bring that peace into your life. In these times you need to find peace to increase healthy , physical and mental, living. I hope you all take time to love yourselves and treat yourselves better. You deserve it. Sit down, stitch and breath.

  36. When I retired, I thought I would have all the time in the world for what I really wanted to do. What a shock when I discovered I had the same 24 hours a day I had always had. I wasted a lot of time messing about on the internet or watching rubbish on TV. After I moved here and joined a stitching group I have consciously had a different focus. But your reminder and suggestions are excellent, Mary. There are so many projects in the pipeline I really, really want to do. Better get cracking, Charlotte!

  37. I never, ever leave the house without a project or two in tow. I take out and work on my projects probably 3-5 times a day, including while on my 15-minute train commute. To make sure I don’t lose anything, I store them in specially designed bags (just big enough to fit my 11×11 Q-snap plus a notions pouch, and with the zipper extending past the edge of the bag so that it can open wider) and use rare-earth-magnet needleminders only. While I love needlework for its own sake, the cumulative effect of no longer being annoyed or bored by waiting time over a number of years is profound. Instead I get excited to see how many stitches I can squeeze in (even if it’s only 3)–and if someone behind me in line is clearly in a rush, I let them go ahead of me and do a few more stitches 😀

    I use a wind-up kitchen timer because the ticking sound is motivating.

    Taking a photo after each stitching session and posting it to Instagram is a great way to record your progress and feel accomplished even when it feels like you barely got anything done. Plus the stitching community on instagram is incredibly supportive, diverse and fun! But other than that, I agree limiting internet/social media/TV time is an excellent way to enjoy not only more stitching time but better quality of life overall.

    Thank you, Mary, for another super useful article!

  38. So practical! Love your tips and suggestions, Mary. I use almost all of them myself. Thanks for this super useful post!

  39. It’s nice to get a refresher on this subject! I am really a hand & machine quilter but I like to read your columns for inspiration. Thank you Mary

  40. So many lives would be enhanced if your essay was taught in high school — before we enter the “working world” and adult family life. Thank you so much for that essay! I have so many friends, even though they are retired, say they are more busy than ever and have no time for creative artwork. Do we make ourselves feel more important by “being busy”? We all deserve the calm and contentment that comes from a bit of gentle, peaceful time playing with color and pattern and texture.

  41. Hello everyone,

    Mary, I have put to the test your (15 minutes) of stitching. Wow it works out it’s great.
    I found that this way I almost finished my crewel embrodery project. I was working on it for 4 months. And always looking for a chance to work on it. Well now it’s near completion.

    I also tried something new. I timed all my taskes in a day. Well let me tell you that I found a lot of waisted time. Like you, I use to spend 2 hours a day on social media. Well not anymore. 30 minutes is the time I use. The only time I spend a little more is on your newsletter. If a don’t have the time to read it, I save it in a file and the I can come back to it later in the day.

    So this is my little two cents, hope it can help someone.

  42. I usually stitch while we watch something on TV as a family. Since we don’t do that all that much, I don’t get to stitch as much as I want! But just recently, my 13yo daughter has gotten into cross-stitching and now we’re doing it together, which is very fun.

    (I just started a micro-stitchery project last night, my first! I couldn’t believe how fast I could cover the space. It’s a little unicorn, just a couple of inches across. Very fun!)

  43. Dear Mary

    I am retired so most of my time is my own, but I do like to keep busy and there is still those awful jobs of cleaning/washing/shopping to be done. I’m busy most mornings either walking exercising with Yoga or meeting friends/family/Church related meetings. But most afternoons I’m free to embroider and do exactly that, I spend at least 2/3 hours a day embroidering while watching television mainly films, documentaries this funnily enough helps me concentrate because I have to have background noise while stitching. I don’t write lists or browse the internet for long periods of time and I think I’m quite organised as I only tackle one project at a time which I can give my full attention to. Thanks for sharing with us your tips and techniques on making time for embroidery I found the article very helpful.

    Regards Anita Simmance

  44. I’m often asked how long it took to make a project, and it’s a question that baffles me. What does it matter how long it took? I enjoyed every minute which is the point of creating something beautiful. My stock answer to the question is, “10 minutes”, then to explain I add, “10 minutes here, 10 minutes there, eventually you have a finished project”.

  45. I reiterate everything you say! I’ve had an informal schedule for a long time since I’m semi-retired. Life in the morning, stitching in the afternoon, whatever in the evening. For me this works. I just went through a life decision making situation and felt I needed to decide what my priorities in life were- it was a good think( done while walking of course) Stitching and dancing for me are of equal importance so I accommodate whatever needs to happen to keep those things happening. I’ve also learned to say NO a lot more frequently. Having spent a lot of my life working in the theatre, I’m deadline oriented. This was reinforced and to my advantage when I was on the high end craft circuit. Now I stitch knowing I’ll have an exhibit every 2 years. It keeps me going.

  46. Thanks for summarizing all the possibilities.

    Saying “No” occasionally works for me, without providing a specific reason. “Thanks, I have a previous commitment, other plans, an unsolvable conflict…” are enough to allow me the opportunity to plan ahead to stitch.

    Another possibility is to find a Meet-up stitching group. They’re all over the map. If I know that a specific Saturday is set aside for the group at a specific location between 10 am and 4 pm, I will prioritize it on my calendar. We may show up, just as at an Open House, full time interval, or just for an hour or two, stitcher’s choice.

    While these provide rather large blocks of time, your tip about cleaning up after one session facilitates using small amounts of time effectively. I often will thread several needles with colors of a WIP or UFO that I want to dedicate progress to the next time I stitch. That saves “mobilization” time. I can use those 5 or 15 minutes to stitch instead of digging out supplies, provisioning, etc.

  47. First I have multiple projects each in a tote or tub or basket with all items and tools required for completion. Then I put a block of time into my calendar so I don’t accept a casual invitation to something or get distracted by phone calls, news or other entertainments. When the time comes I grab the project I’m in the mood for, choose where in the house I want to be, and get to my fun time. If something really important comes up, I quickly reschedule on the calendar the next stitch date with my project.

  48. I work full-time (plus), go to the gym, volunteer with a sewing guild, have sewing, knitting, spinning, embroidery and gardening as hobbies. My husband ends up working a lot of hours so I pick up the chores. I try to have “brainless” activities for when I’m too tired to think, and schedule a bit of time for the planning times. I’ve learned that waiting for “when I have all afternoon” to do something, it never happens. If I know what the next step is, then even when I’m really tired, I can do some of that one little next step. At the end of my little session, I write myself a postit note of the next step. Otherwise, I sit down to do something and can’t remember what’s next and it takes 5-10 minutes to figure it out. If I only had 15 minutes before bed, then figuring it out takes too long and no stitching gets done. It takes only a few seconds to write myself a note for the next day. Then, if I don’t get back to the project for a whole week, then I still know exactly what to do.

  49. Mary…you are truly an inspiration. I love the way you think, express yourself and how honest you are with us all! Carolyn

  50. When my kids were little, a friend and I faithfully got together EVERY Monday night for 2 hours to do creative play and projects. We got sooo much done, it was amazing. Both of us worked full time jobs with a lot of other obligations on the side. Now, I host a quilt group that meets once a week all day. That is a luxury, bu tone we work hard to keep in tact.

  51. Mary, I agree wholeheartedly with everything you wrote. Especially social media being an absolute Hoover of Time! But, really, truer words were never ‘spoken'(?) – written – and, once again, thanks for taking the time to help others.

  52. I recently lost my mom. The stress caused physical pain. My daughter told me, “mom, you need to eat, get some exercise (walking) and be creative–you are always at your best when you are creative”. Wasn’t that a nice thing to say? Keep in mind–she was reprimanding me.

  53. Dear Mary,
    A tip for saving time to get to more stitching comes by way of a request.
    Given the expertise you have in needlework and your command of writing skills (no I’m not sucking up) I’m asking that you offer podcasts!
    You have an abundance of topics so the time-comsuming work of creating podcasts is already completed.
    My dilemma is that a 15-minute rule or using a timer just won’t work for me. I spend a great deal of time researching on the web reading how better to stitch and/or learning about stitches that my actual stitch time gets used up.
    What you offer is such quality and in-depth that having your podcasts would allow me to reach a more desirable level in needlework.
    Please consider my request. In being a 70-Ish woman I have less time to accomplish all that I’d like to in stitching. Thanks for “listening”.

    1. I agree I’m almost 58 and time flies when researching that a video type post I could sit and stitch at the same time X ☺

  54. My question is a little afield from your topic today but seems to tie in when considering work–and how to organize it. I’d be glad of any suggestions.

    I have an old painted, crewel yarn needlepoint canvas pillow-top that was sold as a kit. It was started and abandoned by someone else. It is quite complex as it is based on a Persian rug. Many of the stitches in the canvas are not done correctly. I am concerned that the kit didn’t offer enough yarn for me to just cut out the already-done stitches and start over, but picking it out will not leave the yarn in a condition to be reused. I hate to buy a whole range of the 20 or more yarns in the kit. And I really hate to possibly damage the canvas with all the yarn removal that will be necessary.

    I’ve thought about just leaving the incorrect stitches in place and stitching around them but I know the wrong stitches will bug me. Worse, I’ve thought about stitching over them. Nothing seems a good solution. I’d say the piece is about 1/6 stitched–but the stitches are all over the item, not just one section.

    It would be a pretty great piece if it were finished! But how to get there… Thanks for any ideas on how to approach a salvage job on this piece.

    1. I found myself in the same situation. I took my canvas to a needlework shop, matched up the yarns I needed for the places that were miss stitched and felt fine ripping away.

      On another piece, I left it. I accepted that this was mine and that was “theirs”, it linked us across the decades.

      On a third piece, the other’s stitching was perfect and mine was wonky. Can’t get the old thread anymore, so it stays.

      Accept what you can.

      As to time, I wish all the comments were on a podcast! That’s what sucks up my morning.

      The other evening my husband came home and I hadn’t washed the morning or lunch dishes yet. The kitchen was a mess. He said he didn’t care. In 100 years, it didn’t matter if I did the dishes every morning or not. So now, the morning dishes stay until dinner prep. There’s my 20 minutes! And computer time is knocked down to 1 hour a day, that includes Mary, bill paying, answering emails, record keeping, and lookee louing. Notice that Mary came first?

      My timer just went off. Thank you all you readers for your helpful suggestions as well.

  55. I like to leave my stitching things in a spot where I don’t have to put everything away. That way, I can sometimes steal a few minutes when I want to and just pick up where I left off. That works for me. I also don’t look at the big picture if it’s a big project. I get satisfaction finishing a section which gets me closer to the goal.

  56. I stitch while viewing I have my needlework organised so if I go out anywhere I can take it with me if I’m going to be away from a few hours, I don’t always get that time to stitch then but often I get more done when I’m at an auction or social gathering and with social media I’ve found a new friend in my tablet and smartphone settings the do not disturb setting so any notification is silenced to look at when I’m ready to, and I better get off now to make time for stitching, oh and I closet myself away with my sewing at home, but they come to me which can be so annoying, and I often stitch to relax before sleep, I’m not a novel book reader give me a good stitching or baking book any day, happy stitching folks x ☺

  57. Totalmente de acuerdo contigo. Si uno quiere hacer algo, siempre tiene unos minutos al día para hacerlo. No me cabe duda. El año pasado, teniendo que salir todos los días de casa para visitar a una tía muy mayor, de 92 años, leí Don Quijote en los trayectos de ida y vuelta del bus. Y muy poco más. Así que puedo confirmar que hay que administrar el tiempo.
    Con esto también quiero decir, que como ves, mi inglés sirve para leer pero no para escribir. ¿por qué no encuentro el apartado “translate other languages”?
    Bueno, puedo aprovechar para aprender más inglés. Pero a veces no me sobran muchos minutos de ordenador.
    Un saludo y gracias por tu hermoso trabajo.

    1. Hola, Helena! Para traducir el sitio web, puede utilizar “Traductor de Google”. (https://translate.google.com) Puede poner la URL (dirección del sitio web) en el campo “traducir”, y traducirá el sitio web para usted.

      No es necesariamente la mejor traducción, pero funciona!

      (Este es un mensaje “google translate”!)

  58. Oh, Maary you make me laugh out loud sometimes!! I feel the same as you regarding going to the gym! Planned torture that you have to pay for! Not my idea of a fun outing!! I would rather swim in the ocean or walk my puppy on the beach. Being outdoors in the sunshine and fresh air beats the sweaty gym anytime for me!! Enjoy your walks!

  59. My life changed greatly over the past 10 years as my husband quit his job (with much discussion before hand) and started working from home also. I went from having all my weekdays to myself at my planning to having him here – ALL THE TIME. While my idea of days was to go to the post office and check our box there on weekdays (15 min round trip) and food shop on Mondays and Fridays (if the second needed to avoid having to pick up anything over the weekend with him), his idea is that we have to do something every day – the people at the Walmart we normally go to know us by sight as we are there almost daily. I also lost my Fridays out alone for the day to eat lunch out by myself and do whatever I wanted to do.

    So MY life these days is lived between 11:20 pm (when he goes upstairs after watching the news on the channel he wants to watch while I do the dishes) and 2 am when he comes down for snack before we go to bed. This is my time for anything not connected to housework, work work, or being treasurer of two very different organizations that I am a member of. (One of which he is also a member of.)

    In addition we had, during this time, bed bugs. After dealing with same I had no push to do anything and no needlework was worked on – one problem being not able to decide which of 3 projects that all needed to have been finished already to work on.

    I decided that I needed to get back to stitching and set aside Thursday “night” for same. I decided which piece to work on and put the others out of my head for the time being. Most weeks I actually work on embroidery or other crafts during that time. I finished one piece (not the one I picked to work on as that is stalled temporarily) and worked on others. Some weeks there is a problem and I try to switch Thursday to another day, but it does not always work, but at least I am stitching again.

    I also stitch at 18th century reenactments to demonstrate period needlework and to use the stitching as a way to start a conversation with members of the public. Sometimes at events I am me – 21st century Meryl, other times I am me – 18th century Anne. The piece I am working on at same (mentioned in my post about silk threads) is a kit reproduction of a piece from the late 18th century. I am able to stitch at most events as someone else has taken over the cooking demonstrations, although we have some events that are not proper for me to stitching at, so I do not stitch at those events.

  60. Thanks for the reminder of the 15 minute strategy. I carpooled in the 80s and always cross stitched. Later a group would go to Del Taco for lunch because we could get a quick meal and the table was large enough and the light was bright for stitching. I look back at how much I was able to do.
    Great thoughts on social media & games (who thought Angry Birds could suck so much time).
    Love your blog. My first read of each day. Diana

  61. I have found that I get really bogged down if I have too many unfinished projects. When that happens I have to consciously complete the work before starting anything new. And, although I am not yet very good at this, I believe it is a good idea to give away or throw away any project that is not giving you any pleasure in its creation.

  62. My life changed greatly over the past 10 years as my husband quit his job (with much discussion before hand) and started working from home also. I went from having all my weekdays to myself at my planning to having him here – ALL THE TIME. While my idea of days was to go to the post office and check our box there on weekdays (15 min round trip) and food shop on Mondays and Fridays (if the second needed to avoid having to pick up anything over the weekend with him), his idea is that we have to do something every day – the people at the Walmart we normally go to know us by sight as we are there almost daily. I also lost my Fridays out alone for the day to eat lunch out by myself and do whatever I wanted to do.

    So MY life these days is lived between 11:20 pm (when he goes upstairs after watching the news on the channel he wants to watch while I do the dishes) and 2 am when he comes down for snack before we go to bed. This is my time for anything not connected to housework, work work, or being treasurer of two very different organizations that I am a member of. (One of which he is also a member of.)

    In addition we had, during this time, bed bugs. After dealing with same I had no push to do anything and no needlework was worked on – one problem being not able to decide which of 3 projects that all needed to have been finished already to work on.

    I decided that I needed to get back to stitching and set aside Thursday “night” for same. I decided which piece to work on and put the others out of my head for the time being. Most weeks I actually work on embroidery or other crafts during that time. I finished one piece (not the one I picked to work on as that is stalled temporarily) and worked on others. Some weeks there is a problem and I try to switch Thursday to another day, but it does not always work, but at least I am stitching again.

    I also stitch at 18th century reenactments to demonstrate period needlework and to use the stitching as a way to start a conversation with members of the public. Sometimes at events I am me – 21st century Meryl, other times I am me – 18th century Anne. The piece I am working on at same (mentioned in my post about silk threads) is a kit reproduction of a piece from the late 18th century. I am able to stitch at most events as someone else has taken over the cooking demonstrations, although we have some events that are not proper for me to stitching at and also lately I have been “stuck” giving tours of our headquarters house at events, so I do not stitch at those events.

  63. I watch Jeopardy every night which gives me at least 1/2 hr a day for stitching. I also use speaker phone whenever I can when talking with friends so I can chat and stitch at the same time.

  64. Thank you Mary for your blog, always informative. One of the few that I takethe time to read instead of stitching. I am a big list writer and planner but have reduced the time I spend on this as it also eats into stitching time. I have a lot of projects I wish to do and like one lady I have start-itis but have curbed this by only having 2 stitching, 2 knitting and 1 quilting/patchwork project on the go; I have to finish something before I move on to something new. This is enough to provide variety. I also suffer from tendonitis so changing from one activity to another reduces the pain. I have 2 adult children still at home so they do my housework and with my husband cook one night a week which gives me 3 evenings with extra time to stitch. I usually do one of my knitting projects when I am “waiting” or watching my daughter play soccer; keeps me calm. It is in its own bag ready to go. My stitching is usually too complicated to take with me.
    Keep stitching, Keryn

  65. On the days I have to bring the car to work I need to be in really early to get my favourite (free) car park. I am lucky we have swipe cards so can get into work building when ever.
    So I have a marvelous hour or so that I can sit and stitch in peace and quiet. This works fine for the project I have at work, but I still have trouble trying to organise time for all my other various projects at home. I am looking forward to retirement, still probably some time off, but reading some of the other posts, maybe I won’t have as much time even then to do the things I want.

  66. I have a project bagged at all times, by the door. I pick it up as I go out the door. Waiting for children, physical therapy, Dr appointment any time I have to wait i I am ready. Visiting and coffee too . I work front desk at the local motel so I get paid to do a quite hobby.

  67. I love all of your articles and I am amazed at all that you know and pass on to us and still manage to make soooo many things!! I am still trying to get organized and put in that 15 minutes daily!! I have to say NO more often and stay home more, too many volunteer things, so that I can take time to “smell the roses” and stitch!!
    You are my inspiration and continue the awesome articles so that someday I will accomplish more!! I have 2 of your free patterns that I hope to start soon! Thanks for all you do for us!!

  68. Thanks Mary. Great read! My main hobby (up till just recently in finding embroidery) has been gardening for years. I love it (I am a horticulturist and so it is also my living) and sigh when I have to come in. NOW….. OMG, I lose myself for hours hand embroidering. Your You tube tutorial was fabulous for me. Aside from my self employment/income earning work, I have never been a great time manager. I am 47 now and am discovering that it is something I really need to begin getting a handle on moving forward. My son is now 16, the demands of life are many and I think if I can really get a hold on TM, it will help me greatly. Thanks Again 🙂 Rebecca

  69. I have a fifty minute train trip to work. If I can get a window seat, I will spend my trip stitching. I do get some funny looks at times, but that’s part of the fun.

  70. All of the above ..plus ..life finds me time …waiting for hospital appointments ( it’s also very calming ) …waiting for him to finish on the golf practice driving range . I love my embroidery and always have it with me in my bag .

  71. I use a lot of the suggestions you gave above, but I have a bad habit of spending too long on any one task and not getting others done. I think I need to try the timer idea and see if that will help. Thanks for all the good tips!

  72. I get to work 30 min. early and enjoy my coffe and stitch. I also stitch on my lunch break. In the evening after dinner and gym I slip into my pjs and stitch s couple more hours while watching TV. I take crocheting or knitting when I travel.

  73. Hello Mary,

    Thank you for this article, it was really encouraging to me. I thoroughly enjoyed it and am going to put it in practice. For the past three years I have had health issues and often don’t have the energy to stitch and it depressed and frustrated me. So in future I am going to schedule time each day to stitch, even if it is only 15 minutes and then I won’t feel like life is passing me by.

    Thank you for all your articles – I look forward to reading them each day.

  74. Mary,
    Thanks so much for such an organized, easily applicable article. I read it with great interest. Just having permission to do these organizational tasks was important to me. As a quick hint, I find the I can stitch and watch tv without really watching—-or hardly ever allowing my eyes to look at the tv screen. It has taken practice and discipline, but it is surprising how enjoyable it can be to just listen to the TV program I have been looking forward to. I don’t seem to miss a lot by not watching the screen! I look forward to your next letter to us. Thanks for including “us” as an important task—- 🙂

  75. I keep my major project all set up next to “my chair”, with the project itself covered, of course. That way, when I can finally sit down at the end of the day, all I have to do is pull it in along with my small table, and begin to work. I may not be able to do much, maybe only 20-30 minutes, but as you pointed out, Mary, it’s amazing how even that small amount adds up.

  76. Great article! Common sense yes, but thanks for thinking it through so I didn’t have to. Making an appointment to stitch daily sets a routine that’s lets your family know “you are busy.” Announcing your stitch times makes them aware that they have 10 minutes for their last minute wants then you are not available. Sounds harsh, but eventually they understand it is important to you. (This is particularly helpful when I am so close to finishing a project.)What do I think about when I stitch…ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! It is so awesome to power down and just stitch. So relaxing.

  77. Last fall I decided I was wasting too much time going home to eat lunch. I now bring my lunch to work. I start a favorite program on Netflix and eat my lunch. Then I pull out my stitching. I ususally have 30 minutes of stitching time. I am almost finished with a UFO that has been sitting in my stash for years.

    I agree with your comment that if something is really important to you, you will make the time for it. I heard that from my Girl Scout leader when I was in high school. She was talking about the 4 or 5 of us that showed up for everything because it was important to us. Embroidery is important to me and I make time for it. It’s more fun than dusting furniture!

  78. Your ideas are sound very good and I’m going to give them a try. I have a question for you: I noticed in the picture in this issue a notebook with some writing. Can you tell me please how you keep up with what you are stitching, threads you are using and pertinent information about each piece.

    1. Hi, Meg – Sure! In fact, I’ll put that down for a future blog post, since it involves a couple different things to keep track of what I’m doing, or the whole process in general.

  79. I find time whenever and wherever I can. I have literally cross stitched on trains, planes and automobiles; on boats, busses and beaches; as well as in meeting rooms and waiting rooms!!

  80. How much is too little time? For me, 15 minutes is just too little time to get something done. By the time I get myself settled in a chair, pick up my stitching, find where I was on the chart, almost 10 minutes have past. I need at least 25-30 minutes to get even a little done.

  81. I made an agreement with my husband who watches a LOT of TV. The agreement is that for the short time in the evening when I am able to watch with him, he can only put on something that has a minimum of foul language, a minimum of violence, and absolutely NO SUBTITLES. I can sit thru just about anything now and get in a solid 2-3 hours of stitching!

  82. I am retired so I have more time – right? Not necessarily. There are still demands on time, just different demands. So I nearly always spend 2 or 3 hours stitching early in the morning. That way I don’t mind dealing with whatever else the day may bring. No TV I listen to music. Music and stitching go together beautifully.

  83. I took a quilt to work and hand quilted during my lunch break. I worked on it for about 1/2 hour 2 or 3 times a week. It was finished in 2 years. I call it the Lunch Break quilt.

  84. Thank you putting all that together. I can see right now I’ve got to be more strict on social media and setting a timer is a great idea!

  85. I absolutely agree with you regarding all points. As for me, believe it or not, I prefer doing my needlework in the morning, before going to the job. Not only that it makes me great joy , but helps me also to stay happy all day long and to be focused and concentrated on the job duties.
    I found embroidery not only the beautiful kind of art but also as a good practice for the menthal health and strength helping me to organize and calm my minds through its need for details and harmony.

  86. I had to step away for about three months. I was getting to a point I was angry every time I picked up a needle or hoop. I am not sure why, but I am wondering if it had something to do with paring down to just one rolling tote.

    We are finally living full time in the 25 foot RV and space is precious. I am trying to finish those last UFOs I have and then I can focus on the projects I really want to do. It was very hard, but it has helped to get me more focused.

    Now I am back to stitching at least an hour a day. It was like coming home again.


  87. Dear Mary
    This is definitely a case of algorithms working in my favour or is my phone literally listening to me while I think? I love you have written. It’s refreshing, inspiring and calming.
    More than 20 years ago I was working a professional embroiderer, making embroideries on clothing for my clients. Since then I have had, still have a career as a writer, and make embroideries for friends occasionally.
    I would be delighted to accept your kind invitation.

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