Mindful Stitching Exercises

A couple of stitching exercises that help to calm and quieten our minds.  

This is a simple exercise that aims to help you relax, slow down and bring you in tune with your stitching practice. 


You will need any piece of plain fabric about 4 or 5 inches square (a piece of felt or blanket would also be fine) 2 buttons or beads (if you don’t have either then 2 cross stitches would work just as well).  A needle and thread (I would suggest a thread that will be clearly visible) I would recommend taking between 5 and 10 minutes to complete the exercise.


Place your fabric on a flat surface and drop your buttons onto the piece of cloth. Stitch them in place where ever they land (alternatively stitch 2 cross stitches at random places on your fabric) now start stitching ...just a simple running stitch... in any direction away from one of the buttons … after about half a dozen stitches gently bring your attention to your breath… notice the feeling of your breath coming in and going out .. don’t force anything just feel the natural pace and rhythm of your breath … you may notice a small subtle pause between the in and out breath and another small pause before you breath in again … just be aware of the gentle feeling of your breath while you carry on stitching. Now try any bring your stitching and your breath together… breathing in as you bring the needle up through the fabric and breathing out as the needle passes back through the cloth … carry on stitching meandering your way around the fabric harmonising your stitching with the pace of your breath until you end up at the other button . 


Now take a moment to reflect… how do you feel? … did bringing your stitching and breath together help you relax? Did this exercise slow down your stitching? Look at your stitching... Can you see any difference in your stitches when you started to bring your stitching and breath together? Did your stitches lengthen as you tuned into your breath ? Many meditation exercises focus on the breath and bringing this awareness of breath together with your stitching can have a calming effect… it can help slow us down and bring us more in tune with the present moment. 


I hope you found this short exercise helpful 😌🙏🧵 Caroline, member of Stitched Stories 






Stitching - let the needle lead

This is a very simple exercise.  Using a piece of plain mid weight fabric (linen or cotton for example) you are going to stitch a series of spirals. You can do this free hand or draw the spirals first with a disappearing pen.  When your needle is threaded with two strands of embroidery thread press play on the video in the sidebar and start stitching your spirals.  Some can be small while others are larger.  Always start from the outside and stitch towards the inside of each spiral.  Let your mind and needle drift through the exercise.  

Spirals teach us many things including the ability to 'let go'.  This is an excellent exercise when you feel a little tense or stressed.  

Fiona Doubleday, founder of Stitched Stories

Coral has kindly produced a Sashiko shells stitching exercise.  It is very simple and you can download it below and print it out.  Take your time.  Thank you Coral.  

let the needle lead exerciseArtist Name
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Sashiko Stitching Exercise.jpeg