I know this may sound very odd to you, but why does blocking make me hungry?
Have you ever given thought as to what may be on your hands, or in the air while you are stitching your canvas? Believe me, the yarns absorb these scents and it comes out during the blocking process. I have detected grilled steak, pot roast (I think?) curry, cigars, cigarettes, mothballs (yuck!), hand lotions, etc.
Just think if you could get a glimpse of this person’s life while they were working on their needlework. Were they happy, sad, grieving, or traveling? Who was preparing the meal that I am smelling? Did they enjoy a pleasant conversation with the chef while they were stitching or was the piece just lying in the room and soaking up the scent?
I started to have curiosity around this thought. I did not want to be rude, so I asked a few customers that I have known for a long time about some of their experiences with the piece they brought to me for finishing. It was, and still is a wonderful way of getting to know someone on a deeper level. It is amazing the solace and relaxation that handwork brings to the soul.
The stitching process is such a personal experience, no wonder everyone becomes so emotionally attached to his or her piece. I have had clients make very long journeys to deliver their needlepoint for finishing in person because they are worried that something may happen to it during delivery. If only the people on the receiving end knew just how special the gift of a handmade piece of needlework meant to the giver, they would feel extraordinarily special themselves. The thought, time, money and especially the creative energy that goes into a stitched canvas are awe-inspiring!
Gift: Before finishing a piece I ask my customer if they would like to write a note and I will enclose this time capsule before putting my final stitches on their creation.
Tip: Be conscious of what you expose your needlework to and be sure to wash your hands.