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Top tips for hosting your own ‘stitch-in’

 

Group stitch-ins are great. Not only does it feel fantastic to get together with some friendly faces to discuss and share ideas on social justice, it can make the world of difference to the projects you’re working on too. Hearing other people’s views on subjects they are passionate about can be inspiring and can open up completely new ways of thinking for you.  Of course, it’s also a great way of spreading the word about Craftivism too and encouraging gentle protest on the global issues you care deeply about. So if getting a few crafty characters together sounds like a good idea to you, read on, because we’ve got some top tips below that’ll help make your ‘stitch-in’ the stuff of legend.

 

Bristol Stitchable Change-makers workshop in The Letterpress Collective studio

You don’t have to have a public stitch-in, you might want to do a closed quiet workshop with no distractions first to engage deeply in the issue before interacting with the public. Bristol Stitchable Change-makers workshop in The Letterpress Collective studio

Tips:

 

A Public Broadcrafting Announcement

 

We stitch in public; regularly. There, we’ve said it and we’re not even a little bit sorry we did, because crafting in public is an excellent way of engaging member of the general public with what you’re doing. It can lead to natural, casual, non threatening conversations about the issues you’re addressing in your craft. So embrace it; find a popular destination and craft for all the world to see. Just always remember to be respectful and never intrusive; don’t take over a public space, simply enrich it with your presence.

 

Always a gaggle, never a gathering

 

It’s always best to craft in small groups. Why’s that? We hear you ask. Well, in a small group you’ll always feel approachable to others, never intimidating. If you’re in a public place, people are bound to be a little curious – in a good way – about what you’re up to. In a small group of ideally no more than 10 people, others are far more likely to feel comfortable enough to come up and speak to you about cheapest online pharmacy reviews your work. So at all costs avoid the temptation to craft en masse.

 

Craftivists in Cardiff at their stitch-in outside M&S SImply Food at the train station

Craftivists in Cardiff at their stitch-in outside M&S Simply Food at the train station encouraging staff and customers to support our campaign for the real Living Wage (and it worked! Read more here)

Green fingered stitching

 

Thread a love for the world we live in through all you do.  Whilst you’re crafting with a view to encouraging others to make our planet a better place to live in, don’t forget to use materials that are kind to it too. You can use our ethical project kits that consist of materials that are all responsibly sourced plus instructions, tips and ‘crafterthought’ questions to reflect on alone or as a group.

 

Knowledge is power

 

Make sure you have information on the project you’re working on, and Craftivism in general, to hand for those attending your stitch-in. It may be their first get together with other Craftivists, so a bit of guidance on how it all works and some background on the subject you’re tackling could be vital. Being prepared will make them feel at ease and get them up to speed quickly.

 

Collaborations can take you places

 

It’s true. The right partnership with the right group, event or charity can really open doors for you and maximise the impact your work has. Keep a keen eye out for the opportunities to devise mutually engaging projects with organisations that can really help promote your message to a much wider audience. We’ve delivered workshops for Tate, Southbank Centre, Schumacher College and others around the world. Always be mindful of how, as a Craftivist, you can add value for them. Remember, collaboration’s a two way street.

 

Finally… breathe

 

Don’t rush. Relax and allow yourself a moment of clarity to think about what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. Rushing never led to a thoughtful, considered outcome.

 

For much more information on how to prepare and lead a craftivism workshop or public stitch-in read our book  How To Be A Craftivist: the art of gentle protest