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 raising awareness for 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
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 5 or 6 people, others are far more likely to feel comfortable enough to come up and speak to you about 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
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 buy project kits from our online shop that consist of materials that are all responsibly sourced, or you use your own materials. Just be sure they’re always environmentally friendly before doing so. Why not get the group to pool bits of scrap and spare material. Remember, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”.
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. Always be mindful of how, as a Craftivist, you can add value for them. Remember, collaboration’s a two way street.
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.