When I decided to participate in NaNoPoblano this year, I figured it would be hard for me to come up with post ideas. I started out with a list of about 12, mostly old ideas I never finished or even started. But I’ve noticed that as the month goes on, the easier it is to say, “Okay, I’ll write about ______________ today.” I feel like I’ve gotten a bit of my creativity back (and am honestly surprised at how much I had thought I lost it). This little growing spark of returned creativity has got me wanting to pick up some of my other old hobbies.

Enter embroidery. When I was in high school, I had a kids’ book that taught the basics of embroidery. I didn’t quite finish the book, and never even made a full project, but I learned a lot of the basic stitches and made a little stitch sampler. Along the way, I somehow dropped embroidery, but I’ve been wanting to get back into it because it was something I greatly enjoyed.

Lately, embroidery has had a bit of a comeback as an art form (maybe it never left?). I’ve been seeing it everywhere lately – on sale as art, on friends’ social accounts, in magazines. Shannon Downey at Badass Cross Stitch even coined the term craftivist, and uses embroidery to help others make change in their communities. Check out her Instagram if you’ve never heard of her; she’s currently on a months-long RV tour of the US. Embroidery has, in a way, turned into a new iteration of feminism, with women reclaiming the traditionally female, and therefore overlooked, art form.

I’ve been bouncing around embroidery communities online but haven’t yet picked my own projects back up, until I found the Year of Stitches project. I strongly encourage you to click the link and read about how the project got started, but the gist is you make at least one stitch per day for a year. As I’m just now getting back into embroidery and trying to learn, I think I would want to do other projects along with that, but it seems like a fun way to document the year and keep a new hobby top-of-mind. I’ve also gotten out of the habit of setting goals, and though a year-long goal is ambitious, it’s definitely doable.

So in the spirit of renewed creativity, my plan for Thanksgiving weekend is to dig out my old embroidery supplies and start refreshing my memory on stitches, plus begin deciding what I might want to do for a Year of Stitches in 2021. I’m really looking forward to it.


  1. I used to embroider all the time, but after prison– figuring out how to do it with a staple and found thread– I think I just puttered out. I’d be so interested in your year of embroidered revival.

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