Project update November 2019

Hi everyone, I hope you are all well and still enjoying the project. As usual there is lots happening so a quick update –

I have finally launched the 52 Stitched Stories Starter Pack. The contains everything you need (except scissors) to complete your first four postcards. A range of resources to include fabric offcuts, ribbons, lace, buttons, threads and a needle and a couple of pins. There are also some project notes and inspirational prompts. It all comes in a linen pouch perfect to drop in your bag for stitching on the go! I am glad I have got this out before Christmas as many of the orders are gifts which is a lovely idea. The pack costs £15 to include postage (UK) and they are all made to order. If you would like to order just message and I will add you to the list.

We have new members joining all the time both individually and in groups. We have a brand new group in Dunoon and also one just getting going in Hull. The Facebook page continues to thrive with an incredibly supportive atmosphere that I treasure daily.
For those that started in January this year the final few weeks are underway although many of those members plan to carry on. I am currently designing a completion brooch for members to purchase at a nominal charge for when they complete the 52 weeks. More details on that very soon.

We are in the middle of our very first ‘Gift Stitch’ initiative and the response has been heart warming. This initiative is designed to support future exhibitions as they pop up as groups complete the challenge. There is no pressure to put on an exhibition but we are aware that some groups are planning it. Our very own island group will be exhibiting in May/June next year and before that we join with the West Kilbride group in a joint exhibition at The Barony gallery. The gift stitch allows all members to get involved by gifting a postcard to the project and these will be made into exhibition books that will then follows the exhibition trail. The theme for this one is autumn and there is still time to get involved. Just message me when your postcard is ready and I will give you a postal address. Thank you to everyone who has already send theirs in. Some examples below. Xx

On a personal level I have decided to retire as a textile artist so that I might focus on other things of which 52 Stitched Stories is top of the list. I could never have imagined how this project would take off and it was taking more and more of my time and I feel a connection to each and every member of the group. I want to do the project justice. I have decided not to go for funding but to create opportunities for the project to fund itself. I give of my time voluntarily but there are still costs to be taken account of. 52 Stitched Stories is a genuine grass roots community arts project and, if I could, I would bottle it. So I am going to commit a significant amount of my retirement to ensure it continues to blossom. All profits from the kits go to help the project but I have bigger plans that that. I am currently designing project inspiration packs at very affordable costs so that members might purchase them and, in turn, help to support the project as well as their own work. The first one ‘welcoming Spring’ will be ready by the beginning of February next year and will be stuffed with hand painted fabrics, vintage finds and beautiful recycled haberdashery. There will also be some poems, images and maybe even a short meditation (with my Meditation Master hat on)! With the theme of Spring this will help support our Exhibition Gift Stitch Books and, hopefully, inspire lots more people to be part of these gift stitched postcard books. More information on those inspiration packs soon.
However, perhaps my most exciting news is that I am purchasing a 52 Stitched Stories camper van. A key member of the Arran group and I are hoping to visit some of the 52 Stitched Stories groups to meet members in person and maybe even offer a stitching workshop if the interest is there. The camper van will keep costs as low as possible and we are really excited about this. 52 Stitched Stories goes on the road in 2020.
So, apologies for the lengthy post but there is so much to share. The best way to keep up with the project is to subscribe to this blog and then you will get an email every time I post.
May I just take this opportunity to wish members of the Arran and West Kilbride groups all the very best with their final weeks of the project as well as welcoming the dozens of new people that have joined in the last week alone. I am humbled to be coordinating this project. 🙏🧵❤️

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