Stitching for Wellbeing

Welcome to stitching for wellbeing.

Over the course of this festival we hope to deliver a programme of events that will support you in your wellbeing journey . We have a bundle of tools, tutorials, support and suggestions to help you bring wellbeing centre stage in your stitching practice.

Firstly let’s clarify stitching - this is an umbrella term we will use throughout the festival it encompasses many forms of creative practice from stitching ( in all its varied forms ) , needle felting, weaving, quilting and appliqué. In essence any creative practice that has thread, fabric and fibres at its core .

So what is wellbeing?

Wellbeing is a phrase we hear a lot about but what does wellbeing actually mean and why is it so important? Wellbeing is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as ‘the state of being comfortable, healthy or happy’.

During the festival we will be focusing on wellbeing as a state of mind which in a nut shell means feeling good, happy, peaceful and positive. That said, it is widely agreed that our mental health is strongly linked with our physical health. It is fair to say that the last year has been an incredibly difficult time for many people and as we gradually ease our way out of lockdown and start to look to the future our wellbeing is going to be vital It will help us navigate the new normal and support us as we move forward. Stitching is an activity that can act as a great vehicle to move us from one state of mind to another. Over the course of the festival we will explore different ways that stitching can support our journey to enhanced wellbeing.

It’s also important to mention that this is not a platform to compare, covert or compete …. it is about you and your journey.

Getting started ….

So wellbeing is important and stitching can help us cultivate our sense of wellbeing … all we need to do it start sewing ? Sounds easy doesn’t it … but if it were that simple we would all be wafting round in bubbles of bliss. The fact is there are several things that hinder our journey to wellbeing and it’s important that we identify these so we can then look at ways of overcoming these obstacles and moving forward to find that place where we feel good, happy, peaceful and positive .

Let’s look at some blockers and barriers.

Barriers tend to be, as their name suggests, physical obstacles, things like time and opportunity. Let’s look at time first. Not having enough hours in the day, juggling work / working from home with looking after your family, home schooling, being a caregiver - it can feel impossible to fit in any you time. For some having too much time on our hands can be a barrier causing us to lose motivation and direction. Feeling that we don’t have a dedicated space can also impact how we feel about getting started.

Blockers tend to be more about how you feel. Feeling that you don’t have enough resources (fabric, thread, tools) can become a barrier … equally having a large selection of resources can have the same effect. Too much choice can feel as challenging as not having enough to choose from. Getting in the zone to start stitching can seem like a hurdle in itself.

Hopefully over the next four days we can help you identify the blockers and barriers that have the most impact on you and whilst we can’t overcome all of these obstacles we can at least aim to help and support you in finding solutions for many of them.

During the festival there will be a strong focus on working with what we already have. This could be the time, space and resources available to you . We will be focused on slowing down and working by hand so we can truly build a hand, heart and head relationship with our practice. We will also be encouraging you to dip in and out of the festival and spend time away from your screen (unusual for an online event we know).

The journey and the destination will be different for each of us so hopefully you will be able to take away something from the festival that fits and feels right for you. Something that helps and supports you on your pathway to wellbeing.

Caroline Lawrence

on behalf of the stitching for wellbeing group (Caroline, Fiona, Coral and Catriona).

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