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.

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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.

The Stitch-in: #imapiece Reading

Craft. It’s often seen as a lonely and solitary activity, sedate and relaxing, an escape. And whilst it can be all these things, one of the beauties of the modern craft movement it that craft has become empowering, active, public and deeply social.

I’ve attended a few stitch-ins with the Craftivist Collective and I felt very strongly that I wanted to help spread the word about the #impiece jigsaw project, about inequality and about the impact the G8 could have on so many people’s lives. I really wanted to organise a stitch-in of my own, but as a new girl in a new town I wasn’t sure if anyone would come. But, with special thanks to Alabama Whirly, The Jelly Reading and RISC’s global cafe, on 29th January 2013 I nervously, but excitedly, hosted a stitch-in and the most wonderful group of local crafters met to sew beautiful, inspiring and motivating messages on jigsaw pieces…

The #imapiece stitch in craft night at RISC Reading
The #imapiece stitch in craft night at RISC Reading
The #imapiece stitch in craft night at RISC Reading
The #imapiece stitch in craft night at RISC Reading
One of the wonderful things about having a stitch-in in such a public place was, not only the conversations we had amongst ourselves, but also being able to talk about the project to other people. You don’t have to attend an event like this one to get involved  – you can still do it from the comfort of your own home – just have a look at all the details here.

A huge and massive thank you to everyone that came along, it was brilliant to meet you all and thank you for making me feel a part of my new local craft community. I really myself and hope you did too. It shows that we can all make a difference.


The #imapiece stitch in craft night at RISC Reading

(I’m linking my first stitch-in to Lakota’s Ta Dah Tuesday. Because it does make me feel kind of ‘Ta Dah!)

“Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race”

 Human on a bicycle protest banner

Today I needed a short break from jigsaw pieces. I’d made this mini banner a few months ago and decided to release it in to the big wide world.

Now I’m a little biased, but I think cycling gets an unnecessarily negative press. We are repeatedly told that cycling is dangerous, there is a danger of theft, that professional cyclists are cheats… People often overlook that cycling (in its many many forms) can be invigorating, beneficial for the cyclist and their surrounding environment, empowering and, most importantly, fun.

This mini-banner, displayed at Reading Station as a sign of respect for all the cyclists still traveling by bicycle in this cold weather, says ‘Every time I see an adult on a bicycle I no longer  despair for the future of the human race’. The quote is credited to HG Wells, though there is some dispute about whether he actually ever said it. Either way, the sentiment remains.

Cyclists of Reading and the big wide world beyond, here at Little Stitch, you inspire us. We salute you and your pedal powered endeavours. More power to your pedals.

HG Wells Bicycle banner at Reading station

My mini banner kit came from the Craftivist Collective, you can buy your own one here.

I’m a Piece of the Week

There has been a huge amount of crafting going on round here but, unfortunately, I can’t show you any of it online yet because it is Christmas presents for some of you out there (*gestures in your direction*).

But, despite my slovenly blog updating, I am extremely proud to be featured on the Craftivist Collective’s blog this week as their #Imapiece of the Week. So please head over to their’s to have a read about the Craftivist Jigsaw project and how I got involved in crafting and craftivism.

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Thanks to Sarah and the Craftivist Collective, I am ever so proud x

I’m a piece: The Craftivist Jigsaw Project Launch

On 16th October 2012, members of the craft community from all over the country descended on glamourous surroundings of Mary Portas’s Living & Giving charity shop in London’s Primrose Hill to stitch together. But this wasn’t your average cupcake-fuelled craft evening – it was the launch of the Craftivist Collective’s and Save the Children’s Craftivist Jigsaw project – more commonly known in these social media savvy times as ‘I’m a piece’ or #imapiece.

embroiderers at work

Hard at work in the Living & Giving Shop: Photo courtesy of the Craftivist Collective/ Save the Children

Launched on World Food Day and the focal point of the project being next year’s G8 meeting, the aim is for people to make three jigsaw pieces, stitched with provocative but encouraging messages to remind people that we all have a role to play in tackling inequalities across the world:

  • One of the pieces will go towards creating an art installation to raise awareness that we all have a role to play and show that the craft community wants the Government to use its power and influence as host of the 2013 G8 to tackle injustice. The last time the G8 was hosted in the UK, the public responded with the Make Poverty History campaign. So this could be a big opportunity to make historical change.
  • The second piece is for you to keep as a reminder to be part of the solution – a reminder that can all do our bit in so many ways – from buying local and reducing our carbon footprint, to raising awareness and talking to our MPs about important issues like food prices and biofuels.
  • The third piece is to give to your MP to ask them to be the positive change they wish to see in the world.
Cakes and embroidery

One of my finished jigsaw pieces at the project launch: Photo courtesy of the Craftivist Collective/ Save the Children

The philosophy of the Craftivist Collective is that we can all change the world stitch by stitch and this project aims to show that we are all connected and our actions make a difference, whether that be through what we decide to buy, vote for, how we treat people etc. There is no one solution to the problem of injustice but the Craftivist Collective strongly believe we can all play a part in a movement for change.

fabric jigsaw pieces say 'We are all part of the solution'

‘We are all part of the solution’: Photo courtesy of the Craftvist Collective/ Save the Children

I’m an unabashed fan of the work of the Craftivist Collective and wear my ‘Craftivist’ badge with great pride, but this project has got me really excited. Firstly I get really enthused about mass-particiaptory pieces of crafted art work – I have written about Desconocida Unkown Ukjent, but I also love ‘In a war someone has to die‘ – I think a group (however it is organised) creating something together is beautiful and empowering. So I am looking forward to seeing the completed created for the G8.

But I also really love this project because it tackles the apathy that we can all often feel (*holds up hand* I know I do). It provides a quiet but thoughtful reminder that everyone has a part to play is dealing with issues such as poverty or malnutrition – they are not just things that happen in other countries – and that we are all part of creating a solution. Despite currently studying poverty and development issues, I often need reminding that I can also do more in my ‘everyday’ life to be a better global citizen, to think about the wider consequence of my choices. Sitting down, stitching, creating gives me a chance to reflect on that. And I truly believe that when other people see these beautiful unobtrusive but strong jigsaw pieces, they might find some inspiration, they might find something in them that they hadn’t previously considered and might start thinking about how they can make their own change, in their own way. Positive and powerful. That’s why I’m proud to say that #imapiece.

embroidery that says #imapiece

#imapiece: Photo courtesy of the Craftivist Collective/ Save the Children

You can read more about how you can become a piece in solving this puzzle on its dedicated website and also see loads of information and vlogs on the Craftivist Collective site.

You could put something really great here?

This little celebration of Craftivism is in honour of my friends, the Craftivist Collective, and the launch of a crowdfunding project for their first book. It is collection of my favourite personal craftivist projects. This is was originally published elsewhere on 12th March 2012:

I’ve been fascinated with guerrilla craft and craftivism (craft used for activism) for a while now. I like the way it can make people think, how it can prompt conversation. But I also like how it can be used to reclaim the human environment, so full of adverts and the constant bombardment of corporate images, yet being softer than more common street art. A little bit more incongruous.

This was my first mini-protest banner, made from a kit bought from the Craftivist Collective. The area outside of Reading train station is full of empty offices and a poorly designed 1960s arcade and bus station. It is run down and deemed beyond repair. Recently development consultants, employed by the local council, have put together a master planning vision to redevelop the area – to demolish the existing buildings and build flats, offices and shops. Completely uninspiring and a development that appears to not respond to any community needs. This is a town full of empty offices, full of empty shops, full of housing that people can not afford. A problem that isn’t going to be resolved by building more market flats.

Frustrated with the planning processes for the town where I live, my protest banner is a message to ask people to think about what else can be done to regenerate towns. I also hoped it might make someone think about the space around them and what it could be, not just what property developers think it should be… You could put something really great here?

This was my first piece of craftivism/ guerrilla craft. But it probably won’t be my last. I love the way working on it focused my mind, I found it a bit of a release. And, just between you and me, I loved putting it up and reclaiming my little bit of my town.

You can find out more about the Craftivist Collective here, buy your own mini-banner kit here and read more of celebration of craftivism posts here. Ta!


A little celebration of craftivism: You could put something really great here?

This little celebration of Craftivism is in honour of my friends, the Craftivist Collective, and the launch of a crowdfunding project for their first book. It is collection of my favourite personal craftivist projects. This is was originally published elsewhere on 12th March 2012:

I’ve been fascinated with guerrilla craft and craftivism (craft used for activism) for a while now. I like the way it can make people think, how it can prompt conversation. But I also like how it can be used to reclaim the human environment, so full of adverts and the constant bombardment of corporate images, yet being softer than more common street art. A little bit more incongruous.

This was my first mini-protest banner, made from a kit bought from the Craftivist Collective. The area outside of Reading train station is full of empty offices and a poorly designed 1960s arcade and bus station. It is run down and deemed beyond repair. Recently development consultants, employed by the local council, have put together a master planning vision to redevelop the area – to demolish the existing buildings and build flats, offices and shops. Completely uninspiring and a development that appears to not respond to any community needs. This is a town full of empty offices, full of empty shops, full of housing that people can not afford. A problem that isn’t going to be resolved by building more market flats.

Frustrated with the planning processes for the town where I live, my protest banner is a message to ask people to think about what else can be done to regenerate towns. I also hoped it might make someone think about the space around them and what it could be, not just what property developers think it should be… You could put something really great here?

This was my first piece of craftivism/ guerrilla craft. But it probably won’t be my last. I love the way working on it focused my mind, I found it a bit of a release. And, just between you and me, I loved putting it up and reclaiming my little bit of my town.

You can find out more about the Craftivist Collective here, buy your own mini-banner kit here and read more of celebration of craftivism posts here. Ta!