This Year's theme is
A page dedicated to helping our sew sisters using their own stash to enjoy the mindful stitch 'Sew What?' project
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!
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 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
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
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?
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?
Repeat the meditative and stitching experience; pop it in the post for the collective piece, to:
King Edward VI College
King Edward Road
Give as a gift to another woman whom you could teach the technique to so she could embroider her own mindful stitch reminder.
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.