What busy and chaotic lives we all lead! We have more automatic and time-saving gadgets in our homes than any generation before us and yet seem to have less time than ever. Everything we do has a time slot, our lives are governed by clocks, timers, alarms, notifications and reminders and everything seems to have to be done immediately. It is hard to prioritise when there are a million things on our to-do list… and I love a to-do list! I love crossing things off even more, and sometimes find myself adding things that I have just done, so that I can immediately cross them off to feel more productive. I am sure I am not alone.
For me, rhythm is a really important aspect of productivity. My life doesn’t work without routine – having a pattern and a pace to my day helps me make the hours count. I love the sound of a ticking clock in the background as I work. It’s not to make me work faster, but rather the opposite – it’s like a heartbeat, a metronome, beating steadily and keeping me calm. I often anxious or pressured and that slow, gentle rhythm keeps me steady.
It’s no accident that human beings need rhythm. Our bodies are governed by it – our pulse, breath, sleep, metabolism, blood pressure and hormone production all work to a beat that keeps time to keep us healthy. It doesn’t take much to throw us off though and it’s important to build in activities that help us focus on the pace of our lives and bring things back into step.
There are as many ways to be mindful as there are people. Some people love running because the connection with the earth, the controlled breathing and the steady, regular movement of the body has a grounding effect. I love sewing for exactly the same reasons. It’s a tactile activity. I love the feel of fabric or felt in my hands and the contrast with the smooth precision of the needle. It’s silent; I can hear my breath, or the sounds of nature outside the window. It’s rhythmic; the needle goes down, the needle comes up. It’s productive; I see a shape form, or a pattern grow as I work. Sewing is therapy for me. It offers me an opportunity to slow down the pace of my life and focus entirely on the world I hold in my hands and as someone who often struggles to manage feelings of anxiety, I really need these moments in order to stay healthy.
Mindfulness is the third core value of Featherstitch House. We want to contribute to the wellbeing of our customers by creating kits and patterns that need time and attention. We want to help people connect with new hobbies, make time for themselves and be still for just a moment. There’s nothing really complicated about our products. There’s nothing that needs you to have a second pair of hands, or a degree in textile design and nothing that will make you scream in frustration and give up. Each of our products uses simple stitches and processes to form patterns with thread – patterns that repeat so that you can find a rhythm as you create.
Maybe you’ll listen to music as you make your keyring, maybe you’ll listen to the birds in the garden as you stitch your clock, maybe you’ll enjoy silence as you sew your alphabet letters. However you choose to use your kit, make sure you enjoy the mindful moment it offers – a moment just for you to sit, slow down and escape the chaos of Twenty-first Century life.