By Andrea Pavee

Back in the day, as part of our curriculum, girls were taught embroidery in school. I was about 11 when I learned how to do this and to this day, I remember that class vividly.

We were given green felt cloth, some colourful thread and a blunt tapestry needle (to make sure nobody got hurt!). Then, Mrs. Param taught us the basic tenets of embroidery.

Being new to this, and with fumbling hands, I could not complete my stitching project before the bell rang, and brought it home to complete as part of my homework.

Back then, I would spend weekends with my godparents, who were also my grand-uncle and aunt.

Being proud of my rough beginner’s stitches, I showed off my “homework” to my godmother. A gem of a woman, she ooh-ed and aah-ed over my fledgling efforts, further bolstering my confidence and sparking the seed of creativity within me.

She then gave me some spare cloth, thread and a tapestry needle, and asked me to practice to perfection. Of all the stitches I attempted, I found that the cross-stitch was the one stitch that resonated the most with me. The whole weekend was spent trying to master that stitch. By the time Sunday evening came around, I had used up all the thread, producing rows and rows of multicoloured crosses.

The following week, a new cross-stitch pack awaited me, complete with Aida cloth (a go-to for most cross-stitchers), more skeins of colourful thread and a box of tapestry needles.

I was hooked!

While cross-stitch was always a childhood passion, it waxed and waned throughout the years as I grew up, got married and had children of my own.

I finally came back to it about 2 years ago and on January 14 this year I started on a massive project, creating a runner of ladybirds and daisies on a bed of green grass. I entitled it “Ladybirds in Abstract” as the ladybirds were bigger than the daisies in my pattern.

I have always loved ladybirds. I think they are the cutest bugs especially with their bright colours and polka dots.

The project took 9 months, shy of a week, and was completed on October 7.

As the thread ran through to complete the last stitch, a sense of satisfaction and completion of a job well done welled up within me. There is nothing like it, and nothing quite describes it.

Now that it is done, I will trundle off to the tailor to pick out the fabric to match and then transform it into a duvet cover for us to love and use. In time, it will become a family heirloom.

Hobbies are wonderful to have and nurture, and I would encourage everyone to have one, two or even more. Their benefits are inestimable, with family and friends usually being the first beneficiaries of your talents and creativity.

I have tasted and tested many hobbies over the years, keeping only those which resonate with me as my tried and true. I would encourage you to do the same.

Today, I have started on another project of making a patchwork duvet cover. The projects complete, but the passion lives on.

Posted by Chayo, HomSkil Editor 1, 9 October 2021

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