A Stitch Together: Whitstable Jubilee Community Quilt

A Revival, East Kent Mind community project in partnership with Textile Artist Nicole Bates.

You are invited to join our community quilt/wall hanging project funded by the Arts Council England as part of the Queens Jubilee celebrations. Our project will work across the generations and all abilities to create a community quilt inspired by the environment, to represent and celebrate the natural beauty of Whitstable and our surroundings.

We will work with local schools on a cyanotype printing activity that will create unique nature prints using the power of light. The children will be asked to collect anything they can find from within their surroundings, either at school or brought in from home, such as leaves, plants, flowers or feathers. Nicole will work alongside teachers to use the suns light in a cyanotype process to produce a cyan blue print on fabric.

The children will also be asked to write a sentence or give a meaningful word about their picture. The fabric pieces will eventually form part of the quilt, but only after they have been passed to other participants from within residential homes, residents community centres and at weekly Revival open workshops at Café 39 Oxford Street. The fabrics will be worked on collaboratively by these participants, either sewing the child’s words on them or adding their own additions such as fabric leaves, felts, or nature related materials.

The other sections will be large 30cm squares of ‘crazy quilts’ where participants can freestyle their contribution, sewing on their own pieces, adding stitches to others or creating their own small garden story.

Nicole will run free workshops every Friday 10-12pm at Café 39 Oxford Street for 7 weeks, (starting on 22nd April) using scraps of fabric to embroider/applique plants, flowers, seeds, insects, birds or anything that brings you joy from nature and the environment. A cup of tea, fabric, threads and needles will be provided at the workshops but please bring your own scissors, you are also more than welcome to bring your own materials to work with. The final Friday on 10th June (10-12pm) at Café 39, will be a community celebration with an unveiling of the quilt and the photographic story which we will be recording throughout the project. There will be free drinks & light refreshments.

Special kits will be created and delivered to those who are not able to attend the group meet ups, or for those who already have a crafting group to work with. The kits will include the cyanotype prints created by the children, a selection of alternative fabrics, a hoop and embroidery threads. Nicole will be available to visit your group/centre/residential home to demonstrate or support. There will also be a Facebook page set up where participants can troubleshoot, support and share their quilts progress. You do not need to commit to all 7 workshop sessions, your contribution will be welcome however small and you do not need to be an expert, these sessions will also offer an opportunity for mindful stitching and connecting with others.

The Quilt will then be a ‘travelling quilt’ and will be offered to schools and community groups to display or even continue to add their own special stitch contribution, its final home will be pride of place at the new Revival when it opens on the High Street.

Please contact Tara tballard@eastkentmind.org.uk or Nicole Nb@nicole-z.comto to take part.