Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Zen with Jen

I didn't mean to. But as we were hopping in the car for a trip to the airport to pick up family yesterday, I grabbed my travel project bag, and threw in my hand-stitching supplies, and my Zen with Jen embroidery that I'd begun back in October.

I'd let a lot of hand-stitching supersede the Zen project - sashiko and Christmas ornaments and oven mitts - but after working on it just for 30 minutes on the road, I realized how close I was to finishing it. And so later that night, I did just that.

You may remember I started with a spool of variegated dark red perle cotton. And I stitched with that alone for quite a while. But as you can see, I added in some lighter reds, orange, and purple later in the process. I really enjoyed creating the mix.

The piece is square, but my hoop was not. So I chose to just stitch what I could easily reach within my hoop. If the need arises later for me to stitch out to the edge, I'll find a way to do that. For now, I don't have a further purpose for the 'finished' stitchery. Even Jen herself used hers more as a meditation/calming project than with any intention of a future use. So I'm good with that, and calling this project done for now. 

I confess I felt a little aimless not stitching a design per se. And the markings on the cloth were a little small and pale for my older eyes. But I did like the idea of stitching on fabric that wasn't necessarily designed for handwork. So all in all, it was a good exercise and I'm glad I did it. Now back to the tea towel.


  1. I love all those little red stitches, lovely and fun texture too.

  2. Really interesting. At first I thought I was supposed to "see something" in the design... you know, like those colored pixelated photos that you were supposed to "unfocus" on to see the shape that emerged? Oh gosh. I think I've just given you an idea for your next meditative Zen stitchery!

  3. I really like the roundness of the stitches in the square. I think the variation in colors gives it a nice depth and sparkle. It's fun to see how these finish up, including what the back looks like. :)

  4. It is zennish! I can see how it could be relaxing. Hope your family time is terrific--Blessing on your Mom's day! Love you much.

  5. Your work is lovely. I think it is perfectly ok to make this and not have a particular 'finish' or project. I do similar handstitching (boro style hand pieced and then lightly quilting with random stitching and colours) and it is very therapeutic.

    1. Thanks so much! Glad you have found a handstitching method that you enjoy!

  6. That does look very meditative. Love the interplay of the colors.