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When you get together with friends to stitch, drop by a favorite shop that welcomes folks to sit and stitch, are active in an online community, or all of the above, you belong to a tradition that spans centuries.

Needlework is a flexible pastime. You can enjoy it in solitude. You can carry on a conversation while you stitch. You can watch a movie while you add another row or two or three. You can while away an afternoon in a hammock or get a little bit more finished on your latest WIP as you await your doctor’s appointment.

Whether you have the luxury of leisure or have to micro manage your schedule to fit in some needlework, what we all have in common is a need to share. Long before cross stitch patterns were published, needleworkers shared motifs and alphabets … that’s why you can see the same crown or tree or dog in one sampler after another. (Oftentimes the similarities can be traced back to a finishing school where each group of young ladies followed a teacher’s pattern.)

Today, it is more likely that tips, solutions, and encouragement are shared. Forums are a great way to connect to needleworkers around the world. Members ask for and give advice. Newbies learn the basics from experienced stitchers. Post a WIP and listen for the ooh’s and ahh’s. Sometimes only another needleworker knows what you need.

Just today, I joined crosstitchforum.com and within hours, another member shouted out a welcome. I look forward to offering help to others as much as I look forward to the encouragement I know I will find on those days that I need it.

It was that single, warm welcome that inspired this post. Yet as I started writing I thought to myself, I have heard these words before. And then it hit me: I stitched them in “The Hare and the Basket,” the 1996 Spirit of Cross Stitch commemorative sampler.

The Hare and the Basket Sampler, 1996

The Hare and the Basket Sampler, 1996

(BTW, the “J. Huls” is me!)

Now, go stitch!

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When you’re not busy stitching, please “like” the Jean Farish Needleworks Facebook page, too! This is the best place to make comments about this blog as I get way too many spammers if I allow comments here.

Want to shop for JFN designs? Go to my Etsy shop!

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