Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper

Find out how you can stitch for change with Janey Moffatt

With Refugee Week – “the UK’s largest festival celebrating the contribution of refugees and promoting understanding of why people seek sanctuary” – approaching next week, Janey Moffatt, crafter-in-chief of the Craftimation Factory, writes about a project she is working on, together with Chilean textile artist Jimena Pardo of Bordando por la Memoria, for the Refugee Buddy Project. She also gives details of an exciting Zoom session coming up on Friday.

Stitch For Change is a textiles and embroidery project hosted by the Refugee Buddy Project, Hastings, in response to the current public health crisis. It aims to promote the meditative benefits of hand-stitching and to provide a method of connection during a time of isolation and separation.

The project creates an online space for people to come together and find a collective voice; this is made possible through weekly Zoom sessions on Friday afternoons and regular sharing via our dedicated Facebook group.

The project will see the creation of a giant patchwork of individual stories, experiences and names, stitched together into one quilt – a record of community action and a shared narrative of the pandemic.

It is inspired by political quilts and arpilleras that have been used across the world to express feelings and beliefs in often challenging circumstances. The finished piece will be displayed in a local exhibition space for the public to view.

You can participate by making a cloth square 6 × 6 or 11 x 11 inches (please leave a half inch border all round) with your chosen words or patchwork images, using fabric scraps, sewing, embroidery or other techniques you feel comfortable using.

Open to all

Anyone can join in; if you need help with materials or skills you can join our Friday Zoom sessions for tips on stitching and how to gather inspiration.

Your square should depict how you are feeling; what you are doing to pass the time; who you are worried about or missing, or messages of solidarity and hope – anything that expresses your experience. Completed patches should be posted to a central point; an address will be made available to you upon request.

For further information (including Zoom meeting ID) please visit our Facebook group.

This Friday we have an exciting Zoom session at 4.30pm with local textile artist Jane Grimshaw on how the act of quilt-making can be both a declaration of love and political stance. This will be a fascinating look at political quilts, including the work of artists such as Kathryn Clark and her series of ‘Foreclosure Quilts’.

A chance to ponder how it’s possible to make something beautiful yet infused with meaning.

Among other activities we’ll be hosting to mark Refugee Week will be the screening of a fascinating short film about the origins of the arpillera technique, Scraps Of Life.

This film cannot be viewed anywhere online and is an emotional introduction to how this artform started in Chile. Details on how to join us on Zoom for this screening will be posted in our FB group.You can contact Janey by phone (07535279444) or by email. 

Arpillera by Jimena Pardo.


See Jimena Pardo’s Facebook page.

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Posted 21:26 Wednesday, Jun 10, 2020 In: Community Arts

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