Unique Ways to Journal with Thread

Have you ever considered taking up journaling? According to a survey conducted by Psychology Today, 1 in 6 people actively journal. When you think about journaling, you probably imagine someone hunched over a desk with a pen and a notebook, but that isn’t always the case. There are people using different mediums such as paints, coloured pencils, there are even those creating junk journals using recycled materials, but what about needle and thread?

Today, I’m doing a dive into the world of journaling with thread. You may have heard of an embroidery journal in the past, in which everyday the journaler embroiders an icon that represents their day. This icon could represent how they were feeling, something they did, or even what they ate during the day. Traditionally, this process is completed in a clock format – the fabric is divided into 12 segments and is filled one by one.

However, most of these embroidery journals don’t really follow the traditional methods. You’ll see small embroidery hoops, word based journals, book journals, and some unusual layouts. Most of these creators can be found in the Embroidery Journaling Facebook Group. Join along to see even more unique embroidery journals.

The Spiral of Life – Sarah Reebs

In order to document Sarah’s 39th year, she embroidered a small icon a day in a spiral pattern, ending on the day before her 40th birthday. It’s hard not to get lost in this embroidery journal, zooming in to get a look at Sarah’s detailed miniscule icons.

You can follow Sarah on Instagram and you can find the spiral pattern on her website.

Mini Anniversary Journal – The Stir Crazy Crafter

After celebrating my first anniversary with my boyfriend, I felt the need to create something unique to commemorate my favourite person. So, I devised a four inch embroidery piece filled with some of my favourite moments from our first year together: him taking on my hobby of baking as one of his own, hot chocolate and mulled wine at the Edinburgh Christmas Market, seeing hundreds of sheep on the Isle of Kerrera, and so many more sweet times.

A Word a Day – Jess Blauwkamp

Rather than embroidering a daily icon, in 2022, Jess decided to stitch a word or phrase a day that represented her day. Amongst her daily phrases you’ll also find the occasional icon inspired by her day. I love admiring her embroidery piece and picking out the phrases such as, “chicken on the road” and wondering what might have happened on that particular day.

Follow along with Jess on TikTok and Instagram.

The 365 Project – Sarah Reebs

What if everyday, you filled in a portion of a word that once finished, spelled out the name of the month? Well that’s exactly what Sarah did in 2021. I love looking over this piece and seeing Sarah become more and more determined as the year passes to make each month more interesting as a whole than the previous.

You can find Sarah on Instagram and you can read her 2021 reflection post on her website.

2021 Book Stitch Along – Meg Scarbie

For quite a few of the books that Meg read in 2021, she stitched a doodle representing that book. You’ll find doodles such as a roller skate, a guitar, and even a boat. While Meg read 153 books that year, she embroidered doodles representing a whopping 72 of those books! I love the use of black thread which the occasional pop of colour, it gives this piece such a unique feel.

Follow Meg over on Instagram.

2022 Reading Goal Tracker – The Stir Crazy Crafter

While on the topic of books, my quick way of documenting my reads for the year is my reading goal tracker. Every time I finish a book, I fill in the outline of a book in a designated colour. That colour is determined by the genre of book I read. Back in 2022, I read quite a few romance books, which is that bubblegum pink colour. At the end of the year, I turned my finished reading tracker into a bookmark.

You can follow me on Instagram or visit my Etsy to get a reading tracker cross stitch pattern.

2023 Travel Journal – Nathalie Thibault

For every place that Nathalie traveled in June and July of 2023, she embroidered a few icons that represented her time in that place. She visited a variety of places during her time in Europe including Nottingham where she was able to see her niece compete in a frisbee tournament.

You can find more of Nathalie’s work in the Embroidery Journaling Facebook group.

Travel Christmas Ornaments – Ashley Dial

Similar to Nathalie’s travel journals, Ashley embroiders icons that represent her trips around the world. However, she embroiders her icons in a smaller embroidery hoop to be displayed on her Christmas tree every year. Can you imagine the sight of her Christmas Tree filled with dozens of these travel journals in the future? I know I sure can.

You can find more of Ashley’s work in the Embroidery Journaling Facebook Group.

2023 Embroidery Journal – Jess Blauwkamp

While Jess is making an embroidery journal that is a bit more traditional than her previous word a day journal, she has of course put her own spin on her journal yet again. This year, Jess is stitching each month in a different colour scheme and almost in a loose spiral pattern starting from the centre of her hoop. I can’t wait to see this one finished!

Follow along with Jess on TikTok and Instagram.

2022 Embroidery Journal – The Stir Crazy Crafter

Last but not least, this is my own embroidery journal which was completed on December 31st, 2022. Throughout the year, I added icons representing events such as: visiting California for my brother’s wedding, quitting my job in a hotel, starting my business, and so many more unique memories. I’ve been stitching an icon a day since January 1st, 2020 and I won’t be stopping anytime soon!

Follow along on Instagram: @thestircrazycrafter or start your own by purchasing the Create Your Own Embroidery Journal Guide.

Enjoyed this post? Then check out some of my other blog posts or purchase the in-depth embroidery journal guide. You can also join the free Embroidery Journaling Facebook group to chat with others working on Embroidery Journals. Follow me on any of the following social media websites:

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