Patchwork Pals – introduction

Patchwork Pals was born out of the first lockdown in March 2020.  We worked with a group of women in and around Corby who were shielding due to living with various illness and experiencing challenges to their mental wellbeing.

During this time we were providing regular visits supplying fabrics, threads and ideas, all done within social distancing Covid rules which were in place at that time. Packages were left on doorsteps and conversations took place at the garden gate and via a Facebook Messenger group.  The women, all working individually but to a common theme, were creating beautiful collective textile works to put on show to the public. The first project produced three hangings which went on display in a shop front in Corby town centre.

After this project the women were keen to do more and four further projects were undertaken:

‘Sewn-up Stories’ a project producing photobooks of their lived experience during the first months of the Pandemic;

‘Cushion Swap’ where everyone stitched a patch using Sashiko, a Japanese style of stitching, the patches were then added to a cushion cover and the cushions swapped ‘Secret Santa’ style;

‘Home is Where the Art Is’ materials were provided so that each member could produce something for their own home, items included sewing machine covers, tissue box covers, tea cosies and draught excluders to name but a few;

‘Stitching into Spring’ two bowls were made using fabric but in a papier mache style, these were then passed around the group and each member added their own decoration, using whatever technique and materials they wished.

The group has now become autonomous with their own bank account and are working on a joint project in the ‘real world’ with face-to-face meetings.