Hexagon

“From bees’ honeycombs to the Giant’s Causeway, hexagonal patterns are prevalent in nature due to their efficiency.” – Wikipedia

I am notorious round these parts for my unfinished craft projects, so I thought I would share some ‘work in progress’. Coincidentally, both of my current projects have a hexagonal shape in common. There is something very lovely about hexagons isn’t there? They are a very natural shape, maybe that’s why they are so appealing to the eye? Maybe I’ve just been living in Reading too long?

Hexagonal paperpieced patchworkThis is my first attempt at paperpiecing and my first attempt at patchworking anything other than curtains. So far I have learnt that little pieces are fiddly and time consuming, but I am loving the finished effect. The fabric is a mixture of vintage sheet pieces and fat quarters from the lovely Darn it and Stitch in Oxford. Hopefully, when finished it will be a cushion cover to go in the Tiny Overlord’s room. One day. Maybe.

Hexagonal knitted piecesHexagonal project in progress number 2 is of a knitted variety and are the ‘hexi-flat’ version of the pieces that make up the infamous Beekeeper’s Quilt. I started making these pieces last year, I loved them but had lost motivation to continue with them for a while. I’ve dug them out as they are a fantastic project to travel with and where I wasn’t sure I’d ever be able to make enough to make an adult sized quilt, I think they would probably make a rather fabulous blanket for a small person. If I get it finished while they are still small at least. Maybe if I hang around them long enough some of that hexagonal efficiency will rub off on me?

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Yarnbombing: Brentford

Not just yarnbombing, but here on Little Stitch we bring you yarnbombing spotted on the move!

These photos of yarnbombed trees on Brentford High Street come from ‘The Aussie’s’ helmet camera, after he spotted them on his bicycle commute in to Central London. You might need to tilt your screen a bit…

Yarnbombed tree on Brentford High Street

Yarnbombed tree on Brent

Aren’t they fabulous? As always, do you know who made these yarnbombs? And why? I’d really love to know.

You can check out more of the gallery of yarnbombing gallery from around the world here. And if you have spotted any mysterious yarnbombs you would like me to feature, please drop me a line – my contact details can be found here.

Happy hunting!

Britain Cares

embroidery that reads "just a note to let you know I CARE #britaincares"

“Social care is the support that many disabled people need to live ordinary lives. Depending on the person’s needs, it might be help with dressing, washing, eating, using the toilet, communicating or getting from place to place to do everyday things like going to the shops…” – Scope

Next week the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, George (or Jeffrey, if you are Barack Obama) Osborne, will announce the next round of cuts to public service in the Spending Review. I feel very strongly about the impact of ‘the cuts’ on our society as a whole. Britain has one of the highest rates of social inequality in the world, which is just appalling and this inequality has a dreadful impact on those who are more vulnerable, like the elderly or disabled, those people who are reliant on social care. I believe that those of us who are able to have a responsibility to speak out about this, however we can. Which is why, in the light of there being even more spending cuts next week, I was inspired to cross stitch a card for my MP by the Britain Cares campaign.

Lead by the charity Scope, the Britain Cares campaign is asking people to let their MPs know that they care and to tell their MPs public funding for social care should be safeguarded and not cut by the government. And you can do this by making a card, like I have above, sending your MP decorated soap or socks – so they would see your message everyday to remind them of the impact the lack of social care can have – or even just by simply taking a photo and sending an email.

There are still 4 days until the spending review, so plenty of time if you would like to get involved – please have a look at the Britain Cares website and ask your MP to protect vulnerable people.

Para… Para… Paradise…

Cross stitch reading "she ran away in her sleep and dreamed of paradise"

she ran away in her sleep and dreamed of paradise…

A couple of months ago I was deeply flattered to be commissioned to make a bespoke cross stitch. They wanted a simple wall-hanging stitched with lyrics from Coldplay’s ‘Paradise, so I also suggested using a embroidery hoop as a frame. I’m pretty pleased with the finished result, though the song was ‘earworming‘ me for weeks afterwards…

Want me to make you something crossstitchy? Just give me a shout and we’ll see what we can do. You can find my contact details here

Making do: Thoughts on Conscious Consumption

A few things have been playing on my mind recently. The first came from reading Lucy Siegle’s incredible thought provoking book ‘To Die For: Is Fashion Wearing Out the World?‘ and the realisation that I am very guilty of not knowing where many of my purchases come from. The second came after visiting a well-known High Street baby care shop and feeling overwhelmed by the sheer amount of ‘stuff’ that is thrust in the way of parents and parents-to-be. Along with the polite but clearly primed to ‘push stuff to the bumps’ sale assistants (no one had even ever spoken to me, when I had visited the same store pre-bump…), I left feeling intimidated and with a strong desire to protect the creature in the bump from what felt like an unnecessary level of consumerism.

How can I avoid this consumerism for the bump creature, when I am not currently in a position to be able to justify a lot of my own purchases to myself? As a result, I have recently been reading a lot about conscious consumption, about making do with less, about reining in the impulse spending and having more disposable income to spend on experiences, rather than ‘stuff’. About knowing where the ‘stuff’ comes from (being able to explain where stuff comes from) and making informed shopping decisions based on that. We are very lucky to be able to afford everything we ‘need’, I just wonder if we need so much ‘stuff’?

While browsing many money saving sites and blogs, I stumbled across the fantastic ‘My Make Do and Mend Year‘, the blog by the rather fantastic Jen who is undertaking the challenge not to buy anything new for a year. Anything she buys that is non-perishable  must be secondhand, pre-owned, vintage, retro, upcycled, re-conditioned etc etc. But NOT new. Now this appealed to me on two levels – it would meet my desire to be a responsible and conscious consumer, but it also fires sparks of creativity in my direction. Not buying things, but making things, fixing things, upcycling things, getting crafty and inventive while trying to be more ethical… Now you are talking my language!

So, while I set myself some ‘rules’, I’d like to introduce to you my ‘Making Do’ project where, in the spirit of Little Stitch, I hope to share with you my crafty endeavours while I strive to ‘make do and mend’ more and buy less. I think it will be interesting and I think it will also be fun, let’s see how we go…

More Pieces of the Puzzle: #imapiece

Have you been wondering about what happened to all those jigsaw pieces that were embroidered for the #imapiece project? Here’s a little update on what they (and I) have been up to lately…20130514-193224.jpgIn April I was honoured to be invited by Save the Children UK to attend a showcase of all the embroidered pieces (completed to date) for the #imapiece project. It was exciting and very moving to see all the pieces together, knowing that each one had been carefully embroidered by someone that felt so strongly about global inequalities and wanted to send a message to G8 to act.20130514-193405.jpg To see over 700 pieces together was really moving, knowing the time, energy and focused passion for fighting inequality that had gone in to each piece.

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I think this might be my new favourite piece, I love the play on words and its affirming message.

The showcase seemed to be really well received, people spent a lot of time reading the individual messages and admiring the whole impact of the jigsaw. It was a fantastic evening.

sarahcraftymag

Sarah Corbett from the Craftivist Collective in Crafty Magazine

In more news, it is always a delight to see the lovely Sarah, founder of the Craftivist Collective, in her regular column for Crafty magazine. However, I got rather excited to see #imapiece featuring alongside her, especially because you can spot a lot of the pieces from our Reading Stitch-in in the picture. Fame at last lovely Reading crafters!

People holding the letters 'IF' in Hyde Park

But amongst all this excitement it could have been easy to lose focus on the reason we made the pieces and who their messages was ultimately aimed at. But when I went along to the Big IF rally in Hyde Park on Saturday, it was brilliant to see Save the Children UK showcasing some of the pieces and encouraging people to make some more. The Big IF Rally was timed to run alongside the ‘Hunger Summit’ that was held by David Cameron before the G8 meet later this month in Northern Ireland. It was wonderful to see the jigsaw pieces there as part of the rally, engaging people in thinking in the wider issues around food inequalities around the world.

#imapiece at the Big IF London

But #imapiece doesn’t stop there: If you are in Belfast this Saturday, there will be more #imapiece workshops at the Big IF Belfast.

And if you can’t make it to Belfast but still need some motivation on how and why you can get involved, check out the incredible work done by Anne Clark. A truly inspirational lady. I loved what Anne managed to achieve, it really makes you think about what more you can do yourself.

You can keep up to date with the #imapiece project with the Craftivist Collective. If you want to catch up on all of my personal #imapiece journey please check out my posts here.