Lewisham residents have been turning lockdown loneliness into creativity – by making giant patchwork quilts from community craft kits at home. Their handiwork will be displayed in an exhibition in Deptford in April and online from 5pm on 5 March here.
The 12-week, Lewisham-wide Patched Together project was run by local sewing school Make Mee Studio. The company delivered free textile kits across Lewisham, working with Voluntary Services Lewisham, Evelyn Community Store, Mind, Bring Me Sunshine and others to pinpoint who would benefit most from the activities. The kits included equipment and instructions for crafts such as embroidery, weaving and printing.
Over 430 patches have been completed and these will be sewn into large quilts, which will be displayed in the window of Deptford Library in April. They will then tour exhibition venues around the borough.
Make Mee founder Jaime Greenly said: “The pandemic has severely increased isolation and this has been a strain on almost everyone’s mental health. With craft having been proven to have a positive impact on mental health we wanted to do something creative that would teach people new skills and bring people together even though we were stuck at home. Gaining funding from Community Waves meant we could provide all the equipment and materials needed so even people who had never touched a needle and thread before, and didn’t have the materials at home could join in. We worked with Lewisham’s amazing network of community support providers so we could reach the people who would benefit the most from the project.”
One Participant said: “Once I began I found I learned so much and I am inspired to carry on with most of the activities and skills I have tried. It’s helped with the isolation and depression I have experienced in this period”.
Make Mee Studio are now seeking funding to run the project again so more people can take part. They are applying to the Make London fund and are crowdfunding on Spacehive. They are calling on supporters to pledge money, or like or comment on the Spacehive page. The more community engagement there is on the page the better chance they have of getting funding from the London Mayor. To support the campaign visit their fundraiser here.
Make Mee Studio are running a free online darning workshop on Saturday March 20th to give everyone a taster of the skills Patched Together makers will learn.