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.

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.


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.


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!)

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.


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.