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Sew Your Stressors Away

Aug 17, 2007
Do you like to sew? Perhaps you tried crocheting as a child but never liked it. It could be that Aunt Grace tried to teach you how to hem handkerchiefs but you never caught on. Or that lopsided afghan throw lying crumpled on the sofa might be your first and last foray into the land of knitting needles. But even if you have never tried needlework, or if the first effort didn't go over too well, it's never too late to try again, especially since sewing is a great way to reduce stress and express your artistic capabilities.

Although sewing used to be largely a female pastime, today more and more men are giving it a try. Mixed Bible studies have produced hand-sewn quilts that included squares sown by male members as well as the ladies. Male nurses join their female counterparts in the break room to stitch a needlepoint design or knit a scarf. Some men even enter quilting competitions-and win-much to the chagrin of their mothers, sisters, and wives.

Whatever your age, gender, or income status, you may want to take up some type of sewing art as a means of reducing the stress in your life. Many hyperactive people claim that sewing allows their fingers to stay busy while their bodies take a needed break. Sedentary folks appreciate the opportunity to engage minds and hands in productive endeavors while seated in a favorite chair or relaxing environment, perhaps watching television or listening to music at the same time, or engaged in conversation with loved ones. There are those who crochet during their break and lunch times at work, or save their needlework for after dinner while resting in the family room. Some use their needle and thread as a focus point for gathering with others who enjoy this hobby.

Sewing, whether it be through knitting, crocheting, needlepoint, darning, or quilting, as well as other forms, provides a creative outlet for those who want to express beauty or meaning through their hands but are unable or unwilling to do so via cooking, writing, or sculpture. It doesn't cost a lot to assemble the needed sewing materials; the correct size needles, thread, and fabric or background item is really all you need to start. You can put together a sewing basket later, if the hobby really takes hold. Learning how to make small, even stitches that repair torn seams or missing buttons is a valuable skill. Depicting artwork on handkerchiefs, pillowcases, or other household items makes a welcome heirloom for generations to come.

If you're ready to give it a try, pick up a starter kit at your favorite craft or fabric store. Choose a time when other people or tasks won't bother you. Then find a comfy spot and begin your labor of love. Chances are that the day's stress will melt away as you find yourself enjoying the creation of art that unfolds with each movement of your fingers.
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