The verdict is still out

I have a number of lectures coming up in the next several weeks (Learn more about my lectures & workshops) . So, this week I’m editing the PowerPoint slide shows which I use for lectures. I always like to review them and update the content and include some of my current works. I find it creative work, but there is a lot of screen time.

When I’m doing a lot of computer work or taking road trips, I like to have handwork projects to work on. These stitchings are often referred to as “slow” or “mindful” stitching. I like the random nature of my process with these projects.

I’ve decided the pictured example is complete. When I started it a couple years ago, it was a kit with some matching hand-dyed threads, ribbons, buttons and fabric called “Painters Threads” by House of Textile Arts (formerly Tentakulum). I started with a background piece of matching hand-dyed Cherrywood fabrics and, as I had time, I randomly laid out the fabric patches and added stitched patterns.

Next step is to make something with it. Right? If I fold it in half horizontally and add a zipper, I could make it into a small zippered pouch. I’m tempted to do that, but I really love looking at it. The colors make me happy. The texture of the stitches and materials are interesting to look at.

It is just an experiment or you could even call it play; something I can do when I don’t really want to think about what I’m doing. But, an issue I have with creating like this is I want to make something out of the completed design. I think there’s a mindset engraved in my brain that everything created must be for a reason. I recall moments in my life where I showed off something like this that I made. Something I was proud of, but really didn’t have a purpose. I can recall people asking, “What are you going to do with it?” Uh?… I don’t know.

I’m having an inner dialog, call it an argument, that this piece must have function. But I counter myself with the question, “Must I do anything with it? Can’t it just be.” The verdict is still out …


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  1. Jan says:

    This is really pretty and different – it calls to the gypsy in me!! I’d never heard of slow stitiching or mindful stitching until reading your blog. I must do some research and try it out. I used to do a lot of embroidery. This looks like a fun way to get back into it.

    • Nanette Zeller says:

      It is really cool. I never liked doing hand stitching because I didn’t think my stitches were neat enough. This give me freedom to play. Also look up “boro” stitching. Its fun to search these terms on Etsy and find pre-curated kits. Have fun!!

  2. Laura says:

    I totally understand…and Yes sometimes a piece is just piece that process you to something else…I call them experimental piece or risk taking piece. I get happy with myself that I did it but not sure what to do so I just leave it at that and chalk up the experience of doing it. Win-Win moment and the witness of process in hand.
    Love it Nanette~

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