Stitching for the holidays is one of the top ten motivators for needleworkers. Whether we are making decorations for our home or making gifts for friends and family, holidays give us themes (and deadlines) for our creative expression. In the arts and crafts industries, holidays are big business, as you can always count on good sales from Halloween and Christmas designs, for instance.
But Valentine’s Day as a holiday creeps up on us. Sure, when we were younger we had time to craft a paper mache flower, color a page of hearts, or decorate a card for our mom and/or grade-school crush, because Christmas was over (nothing new going on) and we were stuck inside in the middle of winter (yawn, boredom). Older and much busier, however, we are swamped at work, still cleaning up from the holidays, organizing papers for our taxes, not-to-mention recovering from get-togethers (and the flu). Before you know it, Valentine’s Day arrives and the thought of making a little love token for your love turns into the reality of just buying them candy.
So I say forget the February 14 deadline, and celebrate the themes of Valentine’s Day all year long. Love never goes out of style, and you can get miles of stitching and crafting ideas from it. Stitch hearts (lifted up, broken, or blessed), or stitch song lyrics and love icons. Stitch a memento of past loves (grandparents, old flames) or new ones (babies, crushes). We all know that stitching is good therapy; stitch your true feelings in a sampler of self-expression. Take all that Valentine’s Day represents—the good, the bad, the ugly and the lovely—and carry it through your stitching projects all year. We can all use a little love, any time.
“Here is the deepest secret nobody knows,” wrote EE Cummings, “I carry your heart (i carry it in my heart).” In honor of this age-old theme, and Valentine’s Day this week, I am sharing photos of some of my favorite stitched pieces of love and hearts, just a few design ideas to inspire you. Enjoy, stitch, share your heart and your love through your craft. The world needs it.
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Dena Lenham, aka KreinikGirl, is Creative Director at Kreinik Manufacturing Company, a family-owned, USA-based business that manufactures high-quality yarns and threads made of metallics, silks and real metals from their West Virginia factory. Dena’s monthly column, Kreinik Calling, sheds light on the fascinating fibres that we all use and love.