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Jane Austen & Co. News

Creative Writing High School Winner: “The Struggles of Embroidery”

Congratulations to M. R. Tom, winner of our High School creative writing contest on the theme of "Crafting with Jane Austen." M.R. Tom enjoys trying new hobbies, including embroidery, and reading good books.

"The Struggles of Embroidery"


Dear Diary, 

Quarantine means trying different hobbies. This morning consisted of a trial of a new one. Last week I scrolled around Etsy to look at their embroidery supplies. I found a beginners kit and ordered it. This morning it arrived on the doorstep. As soon as I finished breakfast, I sat down on the deck to get started. Let me just say, the whole embroidering process is hard! 

First, I had to put my cloth inside the hoop. That took forever. The fabric had to be perfectly placed so I could see the entire flower outline. It was too far to the left, but when I tried to adjust it, it would turn out too far to the right. The hoop also had to be tight enough so that there would be no rolls in the fabric. I didn’t do it right, so it’s loose. Then I had to separate the strands of my embroidery floss so that I had exactly three of them. It took way too long. I don’t know how it happened, but somehow the thread would magically turn into a knotty mess. The knots would just get worse when I tried to fix them. One was so bad that I just gave up and cut the thread. I realized later that I didn’t have to separate the entire length. That made me even more frustrated. The actual threading-the-needle part should be easy, but it wasn’t. Trying to put three pieces of floss into a tiny needle was almost impossible. I just did one piece at a time, but by number three there was hardly any leftover hole. In order to see I had to hold the needle so close to my face that it was likely to poke my nose. Once that was all over I began embroidering. I started with the flower first. The flower’s pretty big, so soon I didn’t have much thread left. I tied knots to keep my hard work in place and cut the floss. While I got new thread ready, I set my only needle down on top of the fabric. Then, it disappeared! The needle must have rolled off or something. I looked around the deck, hoping that it hadn’t slipped between the wood slats. I got on my hands and knees to crawl so I could find it. I was so close to the ground that I was cross-eyed trying to find the thin piece of metal. My neck started to hurt - it was already sore from sitting still for a long period of time with my head oddly bent so that I could actually see what I was embroidering! 

Anyway, eventually I found it and all was well. After that, I started to enjoy sitting in the sun, with a mostly-beautiful piece of artwork in my hands. Maybe I’ll start my own Etsy shop where I sell embroidery... 


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