Wabi-Sabi Embroidery

Wabi Sabi Embroidery

From Wikipedia- In traditional Japanese aesthetics, Wabisabi (侘寂) is a world view centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete”.

Still working on my very imperfect embroidery piece (which is as yet incomplete– Hey, see how I fit all the classic Wabi-Sabi definitions?). You might remember when I casually started working on a couple of weeks ago (see its more sparsely stitched beginnings in this post). I thought it would be worth sharing an update.


The process of just letting this piece become- or, not become- whatever it wants to be is a pretty satisfying process. While I am stitching, my only thoughts are the next color, and sometimes not even that. While I do not tend to be an overly stressed person, I do often have a million ideas spinning their way through my mind. These are often creative, colorful thoughts about making things that I feel compelled to list off somewhere because I have zero short-term memory these days.


I often feel the need to have an end result in mind when I start any project. Its part of the motivations that get me through the making process. But this sweet little piece? It has been a great way to clear my mind, relax my brain, and even organize my stress level a little (mainly reminding myself that everything, including this piece, doesn’t have to be tackled at once). It has no end, no intended purpose, no reason for being.
Although, now that I’ve figured out how much I enjoy working on it, I guess it does have a reason for being.


Wabi Sabi Embroidery


I have been trying all kinds of thread on this piece- Aurifil 12wt Wool (double stranded), Size 8 Perle Cotton, hand dyed silks, Eleganza variegated thread by Sue Spargo. Each one seems to have a place.


Wabi Sabi Embroidery



If you are at all interested in learning different types of embroidery stitches from the comfort of your favorite chair, at home, you must check out Sue Spargo’s Craftsy class. She is such a thoughtful stitcher, and wonderful teacher. Her work is full of color and life, very inspiring. Its one of my favorite classes (I love her South African accent!)
I guarantee you’ll be inspired!

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