The healing thread

This beautiful book is set in an English cathedral town in the years just after the First World War. It centres around Violet and a group of women who have volunteered to stitch hundreds of kneelers and cushions for the cathedral.

One thread in the book is the idea that stitching can help heal in various ways.

The women get together a couples of times a week to stitch the varied items needed for the cathedral. Friendship, and a sense of community help to heal the grief caused by the war and the loss of so many fathers, husbands, lovers, brothers and friends.

When the main character Violet, comes to the cathedral she has no stitching skills at all, but like many of us, she feels drawn to the beautiful materials, stitches, colours and patterns. She has the urge to make something. Violet begins by stitching simple borders, but gradually as her skills improve she is allowed to stitch a cushion. Her own cushion, unique amongst the many. Through the process of stitching Violet finds quiet time which helps her to recover from her losses and fears, and with renewed confidence she is able to build a new future.

The finished needleworks also bought a measure of comfort to those who used them by bringing into their daily lives, beautiful colours, patterns, and uplifting stories which were stitched into the canvas, . The softer cushions and kneelers no doubt helped too.

I bought the book as an audiobook and listened while I stitched, and thought about my own experiences of stitching with wonderful friends. I was also reminded of the long history of  stitchers and the enduring gift of thread and needle which we share with one another.

Happy stitching!



PS: If you would like to start a stitching group, I’d be happy to get you going with 20% off when you buy 4 (or more) studio stitches  kits. 




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