Brand new 'cuppa & chat' with members

Our brand new ‘cuppa & a chat’ initiative is designed to enable us to meet some of our members. Our members are the project so putting some time aside to find out a wee bit about their stories seems right, especially as the project continues to grow. We don’t want to lose sight of our member stories.

A virtual cuppa and a chat with Lorraine who lives in Wick, Caithness.

Lorraine lives with her family in Wick, a town in the far North of Scotland. Wick is a small town of 7500 people, in the county of Caithness. It is 14 miles south of John O Groats. The nearest Marks and Spencer’s is over 100 miles away in Inverness, though they do have a big Tesco and a Boots and Argos. It was once the herring capital of Europe with over 1,000 boats fishing out of Wick harbour ( see photo). People came from all over to work at the fishing with the men wearing their ganseys. Not much fishing now, it’s more wind turbines.

Lorraine works part time in a community facility in the town. She is a member of the Women’s Institute (WI) and enjoys many crafts. Lorraine has a significant crafting heritage. Craft has always played a part in her life, with her Granny, Aunt and Mum all being avid crafters, and all being past winners of the Caithness Craft Cup in the Women's Institute show.

Lorraine joined the 52 Stitched Stories project in the Spring of 2020. She had followed the page for a while but lockdown gave her the time to contemplate beginning her postcard story. While other stitching projects are quite prescriptive in nature, Lorraine appreciated the opportunity to join a project that had no programme other than to develop her own narrative, and offered her a personal challenge to do something different.

She felt that the postcard size of 6” x 4” gave her the freedom to choose what she wanted to do, be it complicated or simple. She might not always make one a week, sometimes she might make three, but at other times the postcards could provide a break from a bigger project, something to dip in and out of. Working on her postcards has been therapeutic especially during such a challenging year.

The sea is a great source of inspiration for Lorraine. As a child she spent time with her grandparents in the harbour and at the beach, and with her father too. Like some other stitchers, Lorraine doesn’t sketch her designs first but lets her needle lead the way. She has a great knowledge of stitches and among her favourites are French knots and Bullion knots, both great examples of stitches which can add texture to a textiles piece and which feature in Lorraine’s postcards.

Lorraine has currently made around 40 postcards since she began her Stitched Stories journey. We asked what advice she would give to new members, and she said ‘once you make the first stitch you are on your way…’ Wise words.

When Lorraine’s Stitched Stories journey is complete she intends to make the postcards into a wall hanging and has a space all marked out for them. During her time in the project Lorraine has contributed to open calls and her work was proudly displayed in the Stitched Stories exhibition in the Barony Centre in the autumn of 2020.

We are grateful for Lorraine’s Stitched Story and we hope that it inspires others to pick up the needle…..

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