A Stitch in Time

The night's have drawn in and the To Do list is starting to fill up with all manner of tasks for the festive season. Whilst I daydream of spend chilly winter afternoon's sitting in front of a log fire, supping hot chocolate and delicately hand quilting a fabulous throw, somehow this never seems to fit in with the reality of my busy daily schedule.

Like many creative folks, I find the process of stitching just as enjoyable and rewarding as the finished piece – so, how do you manage to find the time to fit in a creative hobby in amongst work, feeding the family, grocery shopping and walking the dog? It seems to me that during the busy winter months, when we all feel as though we are pulled in a million different directions at once, while we'd love to create large scale heirloom projects, it is often more realistic to work on something a little smaller or certainly more portable than that king size quilt!

I began pondering what new sewing project I could work on, something that could be fitted around my busy day – or even better, one that fitted into my handbag. I was looking for something that can be picked up during a quite five minutes, that I could carry around with me or that didn't require sitting up in my sewing room, away from that roaring log fire. Then it came to me - why not try some needlepoint?

With so many beautiful options from including ready-to-stitch cross stitch kits, a large scale tapestry design or work up a few embroidery motifs I was really spoilt for choice. For me, needlepoint projects are fantastic for getting that stitching fix during busy times. My top tip to maximising your sewing time is to keep your work in progress stowed in a work basket by the side of the sofa or carry it around with you in your favourite crafty tote bag, so you can dip into it whenever you have a few minutes to spare. By keeping these portable projects at your fingertips, you will be amazed at how quickly your make will progress by simply picking it up when you get the chance and working a few stitches.

With the end of my first cross stitch of the winter season in sight, I'm already looking for my next needlepoint project! What designs, kits and motifs are keep your creative juices flowing this wintertime?

Happy Stitching! Laura Cruickshank (Editor, Sew Magazine - www.sewmag.co.uk).