Most of us have encountered that person at a social gathering who wants to know just what exactly needlepoint is. They may have had a picture in their mind of one of the old European tapestries, or perhaps their grandmother stitching something that turns out to be cross stitch….
The truth is, needlepoint is not one specific thing. We’ve moved from wool and cotton to 40 thousand choices of threads. We have ventured beyond basket weave and continental into books with hundreds of pages of stitches to learn. We incorporate other needle arts into our designs: crewel work, embroidery, stump work, braiding, crochet - it’s endless.
We add decorative objects: beads, buttons, bangles, ribbons, wires, tassels, added canvas for dimension and texture. Various threads add sparkle, fuzz, bendability, and even glow in the dark. It doesn’t ever end – companies are coming out with new exciting products to work with at every show!
Where is this headed? I think we’re in the perfect position to help ourselves and grow the industry. How can there not be something for everyone with all the options we have to offer? I believe that we have a country full of those people you meet at a party who simply don’t know about our craft. Let’s show them! I know there’s the money argument – just forget about that for the moment. Think about all the people who signed stupid fitness center contracts, decided to take tennis lessons, bought the expensive juicer/roaster/toaster wonder appliance or the pair of to-die-for shoes that are all used once. Admit it: if you really want it, you’ll buy it.
Leigh Richardson’s newsletter just mentioned an article in the Omaha newspaper about needlepoint. (Thank you Leigh!) Village Needleworks owner, Mary de Sousa, told me that all that she did was get in contact with a local reporter and suggest the story. There are Lifestyle editors everywhere looking for ideas. Local TV news has many slow news days. There’s internet screaming for clicks. What makes you think that media would be any more aware of us than those people at the party? We’re not a secret society! We have to show them so that we can stop trying to explain it. Create an event. Start the revolution! Make that call. Share your ideas – and have some fun.