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Picking Up the Threads

In early 2020, just before the world changed, I ran a community crochet project at The Forum in Norwich as part of the Norfolk Makers Festival.

I love collaborations and any other excuse to bring people together with a shared goal and a packet of biscuits.

In 2019 the first few Wallflowers blankets had emerged from my initial ‘Mystery Blanket’ course and the 2020 Norfolk Makers Festival was the perfect opportunity to exhibit these beauties and host some crochet workshops inspired by them. It was also a chance to bring people together and raise money for a local charity – The Boudica Breast Cancer Appeal.

So over the course of two weeks I ran several crochet workshops where people could learn to make some of the Wallflower motifs whilst also contributing to a beautiful collective blanket that would be raffled to raise money for the appeal.

It was a fabulous and industrious two weeks. I met some wonderful people; many of them had their own personal reasons for wanting to support the project. Some people were new to crochet, some were experienced and some people just wanted to drop by to say hello, offer their support and have a chat.

Between us we made a number of crochet flowers and motifs which would be pieced together over the coming months in some follow up meetings and many of us were looking forward to another excuse to meet up; drawn together by our collective passion.

But we all know what happened next. COVID prevented any follow up meetings, progress stalled and for over a year the work remained in pieces – fragments of an arrested project with no visible conclusion.

I’m no stranger to unfinished projects. I know that craftwork can stall for many reasons – but most of them are generally self determined- we lose the enthusiasm, we’ve made a mistake and can’t face un-doing or we’re distracted by a new project.

This was different; I had no choice.

But I had to complete this project.

We’d raised £250, the raffle had been drawn and we had a winner.

But in March 2020 all they’d won was a bag full of bits with no blanket in sight.

I put the bag away and watched the outside world through the window of my laptop as all group activities ceased and I focused my attention online.

A year passed with no progress.

Then a few more months.

And then I met Jess, (now my brilliant assistant) and after a brief conversation about the languishing charity blanket she galvanised me into action and created The Charity Project Dream Team (left to right: Tricia, Bernie, me and Jess)

We met several times, dodging COVID scares as 2021 turned 22 and our bag of bits began to grow and take shape. Somehow in the midst of a pandemic we managed to laugh and find joy in this shared activity.

Design decisions were made spontaneously and my menopausal brain fog meant that on many occasions the blanket was swept away from me with a “don’t worry Sue we’ll sort it out”. There was always someone willing to ‘do the ends’ and somehow, miraculously we finished this epic project- and it’s beautiful.

I’m hugely grateful to everyone who began this project with me at The 2020 Norfolk Makers Festival, and I’m immensely grateful to the three people who picked up the threads and worked so generously and diligently to get it finished in time for this years festival.

If you’d like to see the finished blanket it will be on display in The Forum, Norwich from Wednesday 9th  March – Sunday 20th March and if you come along on 16th March at 6pm you’ll also be able to hear me talk about my lockdown project Crojoretro;  the project that helped to keep me, and many others around the world, distracted during the darkest days of the pandemic.

Oh – and there’s just one other thing I haven’t mentioned……..

I may be good at crochet, and bringing people together, but my admin and organisational skills are rubbish –  so somewhere along the way I managed to lose the contact details of the lucky person who won the finished Collaborative Wallflowers Blanket. 🙄

So if you happen to know this person – or if it’s YOU- please get in touch and claim your beautiful prize; it’s time for me to pass it on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. What a wonderful project!!
    Sue … you are incredible … and your team with Jess & all your support are magic!
    I am privileged to have met you years ago.
    And your art is EXACTLY what we all need.
    Bless you always. Lynn x

  2. Simply wow, what determination , collaboration and a beautiful outcome .Congratulations Sue for you are the sower of the seed and instigator for this amazing project who not only will give the recipient utter joy but also the knowledge they have helped support such a great cause.
    Well done to Jess, Tricia and Bernie for such diligence in pulling together to make this happen. I don’t know any of you but super proud to have read this amazing story. Wish I lived in Norfolk but I don’t so have a great exhibition in March,
    Warmest regards, Suzi xx

    1. Thank you Suzi – I will ensure the ‘dream team’ see your comment! Thank you for such a thoughtful post!

  3. The pandemic certainly threw the world for a loop and into much chaos and turmoil. However, had it not come along I doubt I would have discovered crojoretro on Pinterest which led to Sue’s website and a totally new adventure in crochet. Since that day I lost my best friend and several coworkers to COVID but I managed to meet a great group of upbeat individuals all with a common goal – to crochet as many Sue creations as possible. So far myself I’ve completed a crojoretro poncho, a wallflowers blanket, I am almost done with HTTGS and am beginning Gloria all this and dabbling occasionally in the Firestarter Creativity projects. I am so grateful to have found The Mercerie, thank you for filling a void in my life and filling it with beautiful projects.

    1. Thank you for your kind words and I’m so glad to have been able to help you through such a difficult time.

  4. Dear Sue, what a phenomenal project in the first place, to bring folk together, to enable them to learn and contribute to an heirloom which is raffled for such a worthy cause. I adore this version of Wallflowers, it’s ‘relative’ simplicity in the centre and those colours just sing….

    The tenacity you all needed to actually get it finished needs to be applauded.

    It’s fantastic!

    X

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