Stitching Together

Looking after your wellbeing is important while socially distancing by staying at home. Many local groups and organisations have been sharing fun, easy and accessible craft activities that can help keep you occupied and entertained during this time. The projects listed below can be a great way to learn something new and feel connected to other people who are also having a go at getting creative.

Wooly Mammoth Stitch Works CIC are running a project called ‘18 at Heart’. Funded by Selly Oak Network Neighbourhood Scheme, it encourages retired people, or those approaching retirement, to build social networks, keep active and feel more connected to the areas in which they live. The founders, Tina Francis and Suze Carter, created ’18 at Heart’ to connect people who love to stitch or would like to learn how, and at the same time to share their memories of being aged 18. They need lots of hearts stitching and are recruiting new people to get involved! Whilst they have postponed their physical stitch workshops and project meet-ups for the time being, they are carrying on the project remotely through live chats and sharing stitch tutorials on Facebook and by encouraging people to take up needlework at home. The stitched hearts will eventually be displayed in a 5.5-mile yarn bomb along the number 18 bus route which runs through 5 of the wards in the Selly Oak Constituency. If you are over the age of 50 and live in the Selly Oak constituency, Tina and Suze can send you heart canvases, wool and patterns in the post to get you started. If you would like to get involved, email [email protected] to sign up and find out more.

John Taylor Hospice are also encouraging people to get creative at home. To celebrate their 110th anniversary, they are creating Fleeting Moments, a sculpture of birds which will be displayed at Birmingham Library in November and December. John Taylor Hospice know how precious fleeting moments are – whether they are big events like a wedding or a tiny moment like a hand being held by a bedside – every moment matters. Local artists, Jane Thakoordin and Margaret Murray have created a video with simple instructions that you can follow to create your own bird. Once you have made the bird, the artists will bring them together in the exhibition which will be open to the public and free to visit at the Library of Birmingham. To take part, watch the film or download the instructions here: How to create your Fleeting Moment birds.

As Ladywood Share Shack can’t open at this time, Eat Make Play have been creating and sharing craft ideas, resources and instructions that people can get involved with at home. They have lots of creative ideas you can explore on their website and Pinterest page such as the #Rainbowtogetherbrum project. Building on the Chase the Rainbow challenge, which encourages people to stick rainbow pictures on their windows for people to see as they walk by, Eat Make Play want you to make a 15cm square artwork out of paper, paint, collage, stamping, or anything else, using a different rainbow colour as the main focus for each square. They then want you to share your images using #rainbowtogetherbrum and #brumtogether. There is a handy tutorial on how to make a rainbow using only 4 colours. For more craft inspiration visit: www.eatmakeplayb16.com.

The Hive runs craft workshops for community groups and the public. They have also been putting together a weekly craft kit for adults to keep people busy and connected at home. They can post these kits out to you completely free of charge. The Hive believe that every day can be a creative day and that craft activity can have positive effects on the way people feel. With a community of over 70 people making things each week across Birmingham, they are keen to get even more people involved. Share your creativity using #KeepWellKeepCrafting and email [email protected] to get started.

It’s important to remember that it’s okay to feel bored, anxious and lonely at this time. Some people may want to get creative and try out new things, while others may prefer to keep occupied in different ways. Staying connected with others and talking about your worries can help you feel better. If you are feeling anxious and would like to speak to someone from our team for a friendly chat and welcoming conversation, then please get in touch with us through this form or by calling us during office hours on 0121 728 7030.

Got a positive story to tell? We’d love to hear from you! We’re really proud of our communities and want to help tell your stories… If you have a positive or uplifting story you want to share, or know of someone who should to be publicly thanked for the work they’re doing, you can do so by posting directly to the Brum Together Facebook page, through the form here, or by using the hashtag #brumtogether in your public social media posts.

Nina Conway
Author: Nina Conway