Mindful Stitches: How Embroidery Has Influenced My Mental Health


The year I had planned for, is not the year I've had. I think we can all agree that 2020 has been a time of change, upheaval, and reassessment-- and it's only October!


From the state of the U.S. to juggling a small business and a full time day job, to buying a house and working from home with my partner, this year has challenged me to stay grounded and well within myself.


And let me tell you, it's been a rollercoaster of emotions! There are days when I'm irritable for no reason, some I've wanted to curl up into a ball and cry, and some when I'm beyond jubilant.


When I first started MCreativeJ, I often had feelings of doubt. Could I run a small business? Why wasn't I getting sales? Why wasn't my Instagram follower count skyrocketting? Was I charging enough for my work?


As I've become more confident in myself and my craft, those feeling of self doubt have lessened. And other nagging questions have arisen. Am I doing enough? Why isn't my business scaling faster? How is everyone getting book deals? Why does it seem like other designers new products sell out in record time? The list could go on and on.


It's easy to get wrapped up in comparison and diminish our accomplishments, especially when we're not seeing the whole picture. Everyone is at a different place in their business and has different goals. Social media makes this especially hard to see and can be taxing to our mental health. I often need to remind myself that Instagram is a highlight reel and I'm only seeing what people want to share.


My one constant in all of this, that I'm able to come back to again and again, is embroidery.


Embroidery allows me to take a break from technology, to be enveloped in a tactile experience, and to immerse myself in the creative process. My brain can take a break from the whirlwind of everything else going on and just focus on stitches, colors, and textures.


I started embroidery because I love making things by hand. This love of craft is something my mom instilled in me at an early age, and something I am forever grateful to her for doing. And now this craft has come to support my mental health and well being.


Which is why I'm passionate about sharing my embroidery skills with fellow makers.



At the start of 2020, I knew I wanted to make teaching a priority. I didn't know that was going to include online workshops, but I am forever grateful to Lauren of Stitching Hew for convincing me to pivot.


Along with online workshops, I have amped up my embroidery kit selection. I started this year with seven embroidery kits and now offer 18 beginner-friendly embroidery kits, 9 Peel Stick and Stitch collections, 14 digital embroidery patterns, and a surprise monthly embroidery pattern through Pattern Club.


The drive to teach others how to stitch has helped keep me creative and passionate.


I am sincerely grateful to everyone who joins me for a workshop, purchases a kit or digital pattern, and joins Pattern Club.


That ah-ha moment when a student gets how to make a quilters knot, is pure delight! The excitement when a student shares their finished project, always makes me squeee with happiness. (Literally, I make that noise!) And when a maker who's bought a kit or pattern shares that they learned something new and loved it, I feel on top of the world.


The experience of stitching with fellow makers, sharing my patterns and kits, and seeing those designs come to life in thread is magical.


Thank you for supporting MCreativeJ and allowing me to continue to share my passion of embroidery. Sharing the mindfulness of making fills my heart with joy.


-Melissa

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© 2017-2020 Melissa Galbraith of MCreativeJ. All rights reserved.