Needle and ThREAD

It’s Official!

Today is the official launch of the Needle and Thread: Stitching for Literacy program! Wooooooo! September is the month to acquire patterns, fabrics, fibers, and books, so that on October 1 we can all start stitching and reading like fiends.

So where did the idea for the Needle and Thread: Stitching for Literacy program originate? Well, let me tell you…

During the first year that I wrote The Needlework Nutshell, I was continually amazed at how many people were reading and responding to it. It dawned on me that we were a sizable group, a group that if galvanized into action would have an impact. An impact on what, exactly, I didn’t know; I was just impressed with this wonderful community of people–I almost said “community of needleworkers,” but I happen to know that not all readers are even needleworkers.

So on the 1-year anniversary of the newsletter (November 2006), I mentioned a desire to “do good” with embroidery. I might be able to do a little something, but this group could stitch some sort of miracle. You know how knitters and crocheters make hats for preemies and homeless people, and quilters make quilts for the elderly? Well, what do embroiderers do? There is an inherent usefulness in knitting, crochet, and quilting that embroidery doesn’t have–we’re mostly about embellishment–but surely we could find a way to “do good” with embroidery.

The response I got to that suggestion was fantastic! Readers were ready and eager to hop on board just about anything to “do good” with embroidery. The encouragement was irresistible; I had to come up with something. But what?

It had to be something personal to me, something that would inspire me to dedicate hours, days, weeks, and months to organizing a program, recruiting support, marketing it, executing it. Also, because embroidery is slow and sometimes expensive work, the projects had to be somewhat small to get maximum participation. I sifted through ideas for quick embroidery projects (bracelets, tags, ?), but when bookmarks popped into my head, I saw a glimpse of all the possibilities immediately. It clicked, it rang, it screamed: needlework, reading, writing, author, designer, books, bookmarks, Children’s Book Week, libraries, literacy…all of those things are high on my priority list; I care about them. But talk about overwhelming! Where does a person start to develop a charitable program?

I’ll answer that question tomorrow.

Categories: Needle and ThREAD