Monday, January 23, 2017

What I Have Learned About Stitch Witchery Thus Far

1. Probably most people will groan when I say this, but it is the math that makes the magick. I understand, you hate math. You think it is an acronym- Mental Abuse To Humans. I feel you. That's why I majored in English. But the pattern is math and the repition is how the power builds. All forms of sewing use math. It's basic math, and we all have cell phones with calculators so please just use the available technology to do the math. Having all the pieces fit is one of the things that makes the work beautiful. There are about 10,000 videos per technique and 90% show you shortcuts so you don't have to struggle with math. If you take the time to research you will find something you understand. So stop fearing the blueprint of the Universe because math will never go away.

2. Order is vital. I don't just mean keeping supplies or notions neat, though that's super important. I mean the magick flows well when you plan carefully. Ideally, the most successful spell would be you decide what working to do, find a project that best suits your intention, pick the best time to begin, gather, cleanse, and empower supplies, then work magick constantly as you sew. Deciding midway through a cross stitch sampler that it could be a protection spell lessens the power. It could still work, but you have more power with magick at the very beginning.

3. There's always a problem. You're going to run out of thread, break a needle, miscount, read directions wrong, sew something in upside-down, or realize at the end your perfectly made dress is a size too small. Fix what mistakes you can, gift it to someone who is that size, turn the too small quilt block into a pot holder, or just start over. It's life.

4. Magick begs attention. Every single time I do a stitch witch spell I gain an audience.  You might decide you could make a living sewing by how many people are interested in your work.

5. While there are Witches who make spells with needlework, there is no set tradition of Stitch Witchery. This is not something easily given in a generic form to span across different crafts. My favorite books on the subject are Magical Fabric Art by Sandra McCraw Scarpa and Dorothy Morrison's Magical Needlework.  Morrison's book covers several different kinds of projects so it is useful in demonstrating how to use magick no matter what kind of sewing you do, but it doesn't cover everything and it is rather simplified because she isn't writing a sewing book that allows the reader to progress in skill. The critics of Magical Fabric Art complain that the book only covers obvious stuff that every Witch should already know like enchanting tools and storing the quilt in a magick box to keep it free of mundane influences. I think the book would be absolutely massive if she had gone into quilt block meanings or how to use blocks as spells. Lengthy lists would arise just listing block names as protective or prosperity or healing. I think the book gives a good overview of what could be done. Remember, no one has gathered the information for us. We are compiling our personal journey as we go along.

After I wrote the rough draft of this post, I found another favorite book, Domiknitrix by Jennifer Stafford. I especially like her page on the boyfriend curse and her steps to decide whether such a thing could happen to you.

6. Skill before magick. You can't learn to knit and successfully cast spells at the same time. The magick isn't going to flow until you learn the stitches.

7. That being said, magick can help you learn new skills. Most sewing is very meditative. If you embrace that and open your mind to enjoying the experience, things could just click into place for you. You may find it's not as difficult as others claim.

8. There is no end. You will never know everything there is to know about all kinds sewing, thus you will never stop finding ways to add magick to your work.

9. Use the best of everything. People who are good at sewing do not work with cheap thread or cheap anything. While they are very capable of turning old clothes into quilt pieces, they will sew with sharp needles. Their pins aren't bent or rusty. Fabric scissors are not used on paper. They take care of what they have and use it wisely.

10. Magick doesn't need to be obvious. You don't need to embroider runes in order for the project to be a spell. You can trace sigils with your fingers or simply chant as you sew. It doesn't have to be black or purple or star print fabric.

11. Sewing is magick. Even if you aren't trying to do a spell. It's magick because it's creation, because it's art, because you put your time and effort into it.

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