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This Year's theme is

#ChooseToChallenge

A page dedicated to helping our sew sisters using their own stash to enjoy the mindful stitch 'Sew What?' project

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A world that is challenged is a world that is alert and open to change. You are now part of a group that intends to spread this message through a quiet, creative, mindful, and collective project. Don't worry that you might never have given yourself permission to do things like this before; believe me when I tell you that you are definitely at the right place, worth it and, I want you to belong.

'Challenge' does not just mean daring acts; together we will participate in gentle challenges, as many will have nervous systems that have been stressed in recent times. I'm giving you permission to take some time out and relax.

By taking part with me you might be gently challenging yourself through seeing yourself as:

  • A CREATIVE - I believe (and I want you to too) that we are all creative. Can you make a mark? Then you're creative

  • A SEWER - Never threaded a needle before or for a long time? No problem. Together we will create something beautiful

  • WORTHY OF SELF-CARE - Read this point twice if you need to, but your mental and physical well-being is worthy of this time. If you need permission to have some downtime, then I give you mine. Challenge anxiety, stress, and depression

  • PART OF A COLLECTIVE - You are not alone, even when you physically are. We are all doing this together. You are now part of an International Women's Day tribe

  • HAVING AN INNER VOICE - It might be quite quiet but it's there. This activity will give you the chance to hear and listen

  • BIGGER - You're now part of something bigger, no longer small. There will be a collective consciousness created by using fabric and the breeze which refuses to be locked down

 

Make a difference and give this a try with me!

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materials and equipment

you will need

  • Fabric that you can cut 3 rectangular ribbons measuring approximately 40x8 cm

One will be for you

One will be to give to a friend

One will be to send to me for our collective piece

  • whatever thread you have to hand that will be seen against the fabric ground

  •  a needle

  • a pencil to work out your design

  • (if your fabric is a bit flimsy: a few pins and something to make it a little thicker like some stabilizer, coffee filter paper, baking paper, or double-layer your fabric to give it some umpff!)

What Is Mindful Or Slow Stitch?

 

I know, and maybe you do too, that feeling of guilt when you’re not busy. Modern lives can be at an overwhelming speed. Our sewing activity will help you to stop, slow down, think and, develop possibly a new skill to improve mental wellbeing. We have one life that we know of. We deserve to live that life with peace.

 

Mindful or slow stitch uses a needle, thread, fabric, and simple stitches to create something beautiful; you don’t rush the process but enjoy the rhythm of the needle going up and down in this moment, aware of your thoughts, feelings, and the space around you. Trying something new like this will help you notice the world and achieve more balance. To get the most from this practice:

 

  • Give yourself a regular and fair length of time

 

  • Find a comfortable place where you won’t be disturbed; turn off any phones

 

  • Breathe soothingly

 

  • As you sew become aware of your thoughts, but let them pass gently through your mind like paper boats floating away on a stream. If you become caught up with them, notice and gently bring yourself back to your sewing. You might have to do this many times – it’s normal

 

  • Recognise the world around you, really see what is happening. What noises can you hear; how’s the light in the room? Take time to notice the small things

 

  • Think about your materials. Think about how you use time, the Earth’s resources and, chances to connect with others

 

  • Find the rhythm in the stitching and enjoy the movement. If it takes time to complete what you’d like to sew, so be it. Keep it slow and know that you’re showing yourself care

 

  • Know true beauty is imperfect, enjoy all your artistic efforts

WHAT TO DO

WHAT TO DO

Printable Instructions

Here!

Printable Instructions

Here!

Madhubani edging detail
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Time for peace

Give yourself permission to switch off and feel peace for a certain time length.

Slow or mindful stitch will help you stop, slow down, think, and develop possibly a new skill to improve mental wellbeing.

Turn off those distractions and find a quiet spot.

Feel you're not worthy?

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Get mindful

Breathe soothingly.

As you sew become aware of your thoughts let them pass by gently, easing through your mind like paper boats floating away on a stream. If you become caught up with them, notice and gently bring yourself back to your ribbon.

Tune into your environment, the sounds, the light, the smells. Notice the small things.

Need more help finding your mindful?

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Words

Really turn up for yourself now and think about what words you would like to see sewn just for you to enjoy and absorb.

 

Use chalk or a pencil to sketch out the letters on your ribbon.

 

Need some ideas?

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Time to stitch

Take up your needle and thread and stitch. Enjoy the rhythm; notice your thoughts and let them float by without concern; feel the whole journey of your breath; even try to hear the sound of the thread pulling through the fabric.

 

Learn how to stitch letters?

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The ribbons

First ribbon

Admire your creation. Keep it in a prominent place to remind of the words you need to fully absorb and believe.

 

Want to follow the Celtic clootie tradition? 

 

 

Second ribbon

Repeat the meditative and stitching experience; pop it in the post for the collective piece, to:

Amanda Haran

King Edward VI College

King Edward Road

Nuneaton

CV11 4VE

Third ribbon

Give as a gift to another woman whom you could teach the technique to so she could embroider her own mindful stitch reminder.

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Share

I need your help to spread this positive method that could make many feel better, share as wide as you can.

Send your images to me to make a virtual gallery and share the love.

 

Need more contact details?

embroidery hoop, thread and needle
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Get thread prepped

Choose your thread.

Anything will do, sewing thread, embroidery floss, spun yarn, wire, recycled thread from an old garment. Think about the colour, texture, thickness. Pick something you really like and can thread through a needle you have.

 

Need more help with splitting floss?

embroidery hoop, thread and needle
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Get needle prepped

Thread your needle with around the same length of thread that would reach from your wrist to your elbow.

Need more help on threading?

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Get fabric prepped

Select one of your ribbons. You're going to sew it horizontally. If the fabric is a bit thin or flimsy think about adding some density. You can do this by making it two layers thick, using fabric stabilser, coffee filter paper, more fabric, even photocopy paper. Pin your chosen stabilser behind your ribbon.