A Stitch in Time: Document Your Year with Your Own One-Of-A-Kind Embroidery Journal

by Zoë Lourey-Christianson

As an embroidery enthusiast and lifelong journaler, I’ve fallen hard for Sophie O’Neill, better known as The Stir-Crazy Crafter, and the stitched journal project she began in 2020. She uses colorful thread to stitch teensy designs that, together, create an intricate, artistic, documentation of her year. 

To make her stitched journal, O’Neill first divides her hooped fabric into 12 pie-piece-shaped sections (one for each month); then each night she stitches an icon representative of the day. The finished product is a spectacular visual memento of her year with 365 teeny, tiny, little designs that capture each day, good or bad. Even cooler, she offers all sorts of tools on her Etsy shop to help you do it yourself, including a thorough guide, a helpful day/icon tracker PDF, and a kit that also includes fabric, floss, a hoop, and more. 

O’Neill currently lives in Glasgow where she likes to spend time with her family, bake, and of course, embroider! She taught herself how to embroider in 2019 and she’s since amassed a following and built a community of other embroidery enthusiasts. She is active on social media, using her Instagram and TikTok to share current projects, tutorials, and a daily log of each little image she adds to her stitched journal. 

@thestircrazycrafter Feb 6th – Lookout for the launch of these pieces in the next week #embroidery #embroideryjournal2023 #embroideryjournal ♬ As It Was – PREP

Embroidery journaling is a fun way to put a spin on what some might consider a grandma hobby. The Stir-Crazy Crafter social media feeds are proof that, like with any art, it’s all about what the artist does with the materials. O’Neill uses her creativity to design things like a physical log of the number of books she’s read that, once completed, will double as an adorable bookmark. Embroidery also makes for some great custom wall art, or a medium to display your favorite subversive feminist quips (if you’re looking for inspiration, BUST compiled some awesome social justice-themed embroidery, including the one below.)  

And there may be health benefits to making an embroidery journal, too! It’s been shown that making art stimulates the reward pathways in the brain, and can help relieve stress and anxiety. Journaling can have the same benefits, and taking some time each day to sort through your thoughts and emotions can be a helpful way to get in touch with yourself. So, creative activities like a daily embroidery journal can be a great way to incorporate art and self-reflection into your routine and reap all the mental health benefits! 

If you’re looking for a new creative project that can be good for you and results in an adorable, one-of-a-kind piece of artwork, an embroidery journal might be just the thing! Or, if you’re looking for a great gift for a friend or loved one, an embroidery journal kit makes for a thoughtful and unique present. You can find all the tools you need to get started on The Stir-Crazy Crafter Etsy store, and find inspiration and guidance on The Stir-Crazy Crafter’s Instagram and TikTok

Top photo is a screenshot from The Stir-Crazy Crafter Instagram 

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Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

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