I often hear “I don’t know you hand stitch all your projects. I would never have the time”. Like many of you, I have a demanding job, a home and “kids” (4 of the 4-legged kind!) to care for, volunteer work, etc., etc. Yet still, I am never very far away from a piece of fabric and my needle and thread. Hand stitching is very portable and you can get quite a bit accomplished in 10-15 minutes at a stretch. And there are many different types – from hand embroidery, to hand piecing, to hand quilting, all of these projects can easily fit in a Ziploc bag and tucked into a purse or briefcase.

If you are still skeptical, please meet NASA Astronaut Karen Nyberg!

Astronaut Quilter 1

In the June-July 2014 issue of Country Woman magazine, was a fascinating article about Astronaut Nyberg, a mechanical engineer who spent 5-1/2 months on the International Space Station. She stitched during her limited free time. With none of the luxuries we take for granted these days – rotary cutters and sewing machines, she hand pieced a Texas state flag for her husband AND a stuffed dinosaur for her son. In the photo above, note how her supplies are attached to a small square of Velcro – to prevent them from drifting away in the weightlessness of outer space. And just like me, when finished, she stowed her few supplies of needles, threads and projects in plastic bags.

Astronaut Quilter 2

Hand stitching of whatever kind, can be available to you with minimum of prep and ready to go for those bits of time when you are waiting for an appointment or on a lunch break. And don’t forget the restorative value of this “me” time. I find that just 15 minutes helps to calm me, to give me new energy for the rest of my day. Won’t you give it a try?