I love the raw, frayed edges of linen:
Today I began a new daily embroidery piece using linen scraps. One scrap per day, one color of thread per day, seven colors in succession.
My other piece in progress is part of the wrinkle embroidery series. This one sat untouched for the longest time while I pondered what the next step would be. It came to me yesterday—turn the piece sideways and stitch horizontal bands of yellow all the way to the edge.
Embroidery is the perfect medium for me in many ways. It's kind of like drawing, kind of like painting. I can pick it up and set it down easily, coming back to it here and there as time allows. Like knitting, it's portable—I can carry it with me and work on it on my lunch hour, if I want to. It's not toxic, and there's no feeling sad that the expensive paints I mixed in the morning and left on the palette when I went to my day job have dried up and are wasted by the time I get back to them.
In one of her books, Annie Dillard said that a writer must love words and crafting sentences. I feel that way about embroidery: I love fabric, and wrinkles, and creases. I love hoops, and needles, and contemplating a box full of colored threads. I love beginning a new piece, the feeling of excitement and hope, and I love being surprised by where it ends up.