Tag Archives: mental health

Harrogate Knitting and Stitching Show 2021

Phew! Now all that Christmas malarkey is done and dusted, I can tell you more about my fabulous trip to the Harrogate Knitting and Stitching Show 2021.

The photo above is of Helen Birmingham’s Stitchbook Collective gallery Stand. I was honoured and delighted to have been a volunteer helper on the Stand.

The Kimono you can see was being raffled in aid of MIND, a mental health charity and raised over £2,000. The stands to the right of the kimono hold our Stitchbooks there were nearly 100 on display.

We, the members of the inaugural Stitchbook Collective, had started our textile books in 2019, little knowing how important they were to become to us during 2020. You can see details and a video of my book here.

As we neared the end of making our Stitchbooks, I put a message on our Facebook Page asking if there was anyone who would like to work collaboratively on more slow stitching pieces of textile art and 42 members of the Collective said yes! We are a closed group now.

Our aim is to make pieces of textile art to sell or raffle in aid of MIND and other local mental health charities. Our group is called Stitched Together

and Helen very generously invited us to have a table of our work on the stand.

I was there to chat to people about the Stitchbook Collective in general and how our group works in case anyone else was interested in setting up their own group.

That’s me in the face visor and the black T-shirt.

The Stand was very popular and very inspiring to a lot of people.

One of the absolute joys of the day was talking to students about the stitches and techniques. One school have especially asked GCSE students to visit the stand.

and these two girls spent a long time looking at the Stitched Together books and the rest of the stand.

It was such a wonderful event to be part of.

More to come in another post.

 

The Stitchbook – Ta Dah!

I signed up for this project in May 2019

150 of us joined Helen Birmingham’s STITCHBOOK COLLECTIVE and the journey began.

Who knew when we got our first box of goodies in September 2019 how important this project was going to be for keeping us busy, creative and connected.

Each month for 12 months we recieved a kit through our letter box, and even though we had paid for it, many of us felt like it was a present arriving through the ether to cheer us up – happy post!

We chatted via our Facebook group, encouraging and inspiring one another

We were initially working towards exhibiting the books at the Harrogate Knitting and Stitching Show. This was cancelled, but we kept on stitching – the cancellation gave some of us the much needed time to finish the project.

I get very excited at the beginning of a project. I loved the feeling as inspiration flooded in with each new box – but then I go off at a tangent and make a multitude of my own experiments and lose focus.

I am so good at NOT finishing things – anyone else out there like me?

I wonder if I ever would have pushed myself to complete it if it hadn’t been for Helen’s flexibility and gentle encouragement to get me over the finish line.

The covers done and the book bound together with bead spacers – it sat there – it did not feel finished – bizarrely, it did not feel mine.

It was a huge effort for me to focus on the covers, make them to Helen’s specific instructions and get the book exhibition-ready. The front cover has tabs on it so that it can be displayed for exhibition. The effort to get the covers made took away some of the joy, so it had to sit in a corner for a while.

Seeing other finished books online and a few text messages with Cathy (thank you Cathy!) gave me the kick of enthusiasm I needed – out came the beads, the stamps and the paint brush

and here it is – Exhibition-ready!

AND £3,344.00 has been raised by Helen and the purchasers of her kits for the mental health charity, MIND. 

Feel good project all round.

You can see other posts about this book by typing Stitchbook into the SEARCH box and here is a video of the finished book.

A HUGE thank you to Helen Birmingham for this project and to the other members of THE STITCHBOOK COLLECTIVE community.