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Biography: Text

16 Year Old
Words Of

This Year's theme is


A page dedicated to helping you take the next step in our mindful stitch 'Sew What?' project and ask what you would tell your 16-year-old self, should you get the chance

Hand drawn madhubani frame design
hand stitching embroidery with dogs

A world that is challenged is a world that is alert and open to change. You are now at the second stage of this project to spread authentic and supportive messages through quiet, creative, mindful, and collective means. Please urge yourself to have the courage once again to challenge yourself and continue to rest in a group that believes you're worth it and belong. We're going to make a story banner in the spirit of the suffragettes and Artichoke's Processions 2018, which have both inspired this project.  We're going to march with lantern and banner to spread understanding and gather support for the issues that women feel called upon to challenge this year.

Remember, 'challenge' does not just mean daring acts; together we will participate in another gentle challenge, 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 continue to be brave with me!

Sew What Logo Original on

materials and equipment

you will need

  • Fabric that you can cut into a six-inch square that you 

Like the design of

Know is a woven fabric

Feel enthused to add words to and embellish

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

  •  a needle

  • a pencil to work out your design

  • Bits and bobs to make your design feel complete to you

  • (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!)

you are not your weight fabric square design

What Is Mindful Or Slow Stitch?


I know we've looked at this before but I think it's well worth reiterating here before you start. 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



Hand drawn illustration of pinned fabric
How to thread an embroidery needle with embroidery thread
embroidery hoop, thread and needle

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

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?

Get fabric prepped

Select your square. 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 square.

Sew What Ribbon How To Sew Words

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?

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 square.

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

Need more help finding your mindful?


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 square.


Need some ideas?

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?

Your square

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

Make as many as you need to to feel complete.

Then pop it or them in the post for the collective story banner piece, to:

Amanda Haran

King Edward VI College

King Edward Road


CV11 4VE


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

Send your images and videos (should you wish to make one) to me to make a virtual gallery and share the love.


Need more contact details?

Madhubani edging detail
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