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Hey Welcome! I’m Crispina ffrench
Artist, Educator, Empowerer, Plant Eater,
Nature Lover, Cookie Baker, Climate Change Activist
I’m glad you are here, Now let’s make shift happen.

Stitch-A-Long with Crispina

Calling all Earth, People and Textile Lovers

This Spring we kicked off something brand new called Stitch-A-Long with Crispina. The collaborative project came together to field the call for a collective need to be creative while supporting and feeling supported in these Coronavirus days of unknown future.  

Raise your hand if you are ready for a little support and fun right now ~

The Stitch-A-Long end result, the product of all the fun support and connection – a beautiful quilt-like blanket, that is coming together as we speak, proves to be much richer, more meaningful and simply more beautiful than could have been dreamed.  Really blowing my mind actually

Here are the details ~

The VERY FIRST Stitch-A-Long with Crispina is a collaborative project designed by me, eco-entrepreneur/activist/influencer Crispina ffrench, joined by over thirty women who purchased kits to make a blanket square – (no experience necessary).   Everything needed to jump into the making was provided in the kits (other than a pair of scissors).  Live Stitch-A-Long sessions on Zoom were hosted where participants gathered for collective making, learning technique, sharing tips and tricks and completing their collaborative contribution.

After the three scheduled Live Zoom Sewing Circles participants sent their completed squares back to me and I collaged all the beautifully crafted components into a magnificent blanket to sell online. For realz, the level of love and craft that went into these squares far surpassed my expectations.

Hi! This is me, Crispina ffrench returning to the studio with a handful of returned components for the Stitch-A-Long. I felt like a kid at Christmas ~

An auction of the collaborative blanket, imbued with all the love and positive intention of the group will go live, right here soon. Proceeds from the sale of the blanket will be donated to our local shelter for victims of domestic violence. You can read more about The Elizabeth Freeman Center here. Tell your friends and colleagues send an email to everyone on your list.

Since 1974 Elizabeth Freeman Center (EFC) has provided leadership and services to address domestic and sexual violence in Berkshire County. Everyday, 24 hours a day, EFC confronts the life and death issues faced by people experiencing or affected by domestic abuse and sexual assault. We are the frontline and major safety net in our community for victims seeking safety and a new life.

This project has already gotten such an amazing response (100% participation, meaning EVERY kit sold was returned for inclusion and enthusiastic response online and from our partners at the the Elizabeth Freeman Center) that we are currently planning the next Stitch-A-Long which will support a domestic violence victims' shelter yet to be determined. If you can recommend a shelter in your area, send an email to Hello@Crispina.com with Domestic Violence Shelter in the subject line.

In the days since sheltering at home became our way of life, there has been a disparaging uptick in the need for domestic violence services. I am a passionate supporter, committed to the empowerment of all, and especially those who have been victimized. It is a blessing to have the opportunity to use my business, my trade and my gifts to nurture an ever-growing field of support for our most vulnerable.

If you are ready to learn more and get familiar with the simple tools involved in the making process, download my free 10 Simple Tools for Every Used-Clothing Up-Cycler

HISTORY

The very first Stitch-A-Long with Crispina followed on the coattails of Crispina’s Scrapbox Challenge 2020. For that project, boxes full of Crispina’s studio scrap were sent out to 60 contestants on March 9, 2020.  By the time boxes were delivered, the world was a different place than when we were shipping packages from the studio just a few short days prior. In that time, the world went into self-quarantine full of shocking unknowns and many more questions than answers.

Scrapbox Challenge participants formed bonds with the process, the project, with me and each other. The project was an ongoing creative uplift in the darkest days of this pandemic's unknown.  Scientists have proven that having a creative practice for even just one hour a week has benefits, from reducing stress anxiety and fear while building self-confidence, enjoyment and sense of accomplishment.

Working in a group adds to all that, connection, the bonds of friendship and a level of support.

‘The Challenge’ lasted nearly two months with all sorts of fun interaction, documentation of each participant's creative process, an active private online community and voting for the Grand Prize Winner and 3 Runners Up.  As The Scrapbox Challenge wound to a close, participants and followers alike began to chime in:

‘What’s next?”  

“I never want this to end.”  

“NOW what am I going to do?”

I was listening, heard the need, and understand how creative community nurtures - believe me! Delving into my creativity gets me through the darkest days.

The overwhelming success already of this first Stitch-A-Long has prompted the planning of a next one, scheduled to kick off soon.  Each Stitch-A-Long will be different in several ways. Blanket imagery will be different, (I am thinking trees, flowers or leaves for the next one) Each event will support a different shelter for victims of domestic violence. Each Stitch-A-Long will teach my team more about what works and what could be improved with ever increasing ripples of nurture and support as the mission.

Speaking of process, the making process for participation is simple. Download my list of 10 Simple Tools for Every Used-Clothing Up-Cycler and you will see that there is nothing all that complicated involved.

BENEFITS  

·     Live Sewing Sessions are scheduled with the idea that enough time and teaching is provided during these sessions to complete the project.  Recordings of the live sessions are provided to all participants for reference.

·     The collaborative Stitch-A-Long schedule pretty much guarantees completion.  Did you know that scientists agree that project-completion empowers by building self-confidence, and reducing stress. Combine that with the fact that spending even just one hour a week in a creative practice reduces fear, anxiety and stress while building confidence and self-assuredness and this project becomes a win, win, win ~

The good goes on. . .

·     Working collaboratively in a group builds connection and meaning.  As participants work their kits, discussion circles around the end-use of their labor and the connection they feel to the outcome.

·     Connections felt in the private online community for each other grows as does the collective desire to help build up victims that might feel 'less-than'.  

·     Collaboration leads to community.

·     When handwork is done with intention, the results carry that energy forward. Stitch-A-Long components are stitched with thoughtful intention to lend a hand, support and nurture those among us who need that most. That intention paired with the collective support felt within the group of participants imbues the end result with a layer of palpable connection of positive spirits from far reaches across the earth with participants located from Alaska to the UK in the this first Stitch-A-Long.

·     Working with recycled fabrics, vintage buttons and embellishments by hand adds a level of history, nostalgia, and more intention.  

·     All the pieces curated for the kits are disseminated from donated materials. Donors have an intention to share, to reuse, to pass-on useful things to those who might need or even treasure them.  All fabrics incorporated in a Stitch-A-Long are recycled, found and treasured.  Buttons are scavenged, beads and embellishments thrifted, teaching that, from what one might discard as useless, comes work encompassing an unexpected level of refined function and beauty.

·     Stitch-A-Longs raise awareness of, and money for, a global pandemic of other sorts.  Domestic Violence mostly goes unspoken, unacknowledged.  By participating in this project you are speaking up for victims that have often become accustomed to remaining silent in their lives of danger.  You are doing meaningful work, building friendships and bringing domestic violence into the conversation.  The alternative to living a life in fear is to be happy, productive, and empowered.

·     The Stitch-A-Long with Crispina answers the call to gather in community to create magic that is far greater than the sum of its parts.

·     The Stitch-A-Long with Crispina is structured to help participants overcome the idea that their creative practice is optional but rather a valid investment in self-care.

GET INVOLVED

Whether you are an experienced embroiderer, cross-stitcher, quilter, knitter crocheter, OR someone seeking a creative practice for the first time, a Stitch-A-Long with Crispina is nurturing, welcoming, and accepting. A perfect place to build bridges of craft, care and connection.  (What I mean there it that this is super fun. Like HIGHLIGHT of your week kinda fun) It is a place to stand in the face of global divisiveness and come together supporting the earth, each other and the most vulnerable among us.

(Ok, so it is actually a bunch of super nice people having fun together)

Profits from the next Stitch-A-Long with Crispina will support a shelter for victims of domestic violence.  (If you know an organization for consideration you can send an email to Hello@Crispina.com with Domestic Violence Shelter in the subject line.)  

The next Stitch-A-Long is scheduled to kick off in just a week or two and we would love to include you in our sequence of information as we put it together. If you want to be in that loop, download 10 Simple Tools for Every Used-Clothing Up-Cycler to learn a little about the tools involved. We will add you to the list.

Back over here in the studio I am dreaming up the next blanket. I am thinking autumn leaves and sky, you know, living in the forest really influences my work. Once kits are designed, photographed and for sale there will be just a short window to join the next collaboration.  

TESTIMONIALS

Here is what participants shared about their Stitch-A-Long with Crispina experience:

 

Barbara from Arizona says:

·       Doing art in a group for a higher purpose is a totally wonderful fusion of hearts and minds.

·      Stitching was an easy way to create something beautiful.

·      If you're looking for a creative outlet that makes a real difference, this is it!

 

 

Debbie from New York says: 

·       I loved the opportunity to rekindle my decades-old love of working with fabrics and needlework, and the opportunity to participate in a project that will contribute so much to the world

·       I often felt overwhelmed with emotion while working on this project……not only for the wonderful project to which we were all contributing, but also, I quite naturally felt reminded of and close to both my mother and my Nanny, who took the time to teach me to sew, knit, crochet, and more --- I lost them both before I was 30 years old, and it was wonderful to have this type of reconnection now at age 58.  I see now why women used to quilt incircles and why women knit together and craft together…….it’s soul enriching.

·       I absolutely recommend participation in a Stitch-A-Long and will do it again myself!!

Joan from Missouri says: 

·      I especially liked the group responses, which were very motivating. 

·      Crispina really sparked my creativity.

·      I found a new skill that has been fun and stress relieving during thesedifficult times.

·      I definitely recommend a Stitch-A-Long and hope to join again too!

 

Liz-Anne    from New Hampshire says:

·      One of the most important gifts of participating in the Stitch-A-Long was being part of an opportunity to do something for others. I am so happy that our work (play!)will benefit the Elizabeth Freeman Center. It has never been more important to use whatever privilege we have for the benefit of others.

 

Debbie    from Pennsylvania says:

·      I loved everything about the project but especially the new skill and the appreciation for just jumping in and trying something new!  

·      I loved knowing I was taking part of an effort that would help people and that I was doing so by coming together with a group of talented and warm people who were previously strangers. 

·      In addition I found it rewarding to know that, while my life was so much changed in being separated from others during the pandemic, this was a way to come together......and an appreciation of how much I enjoyed doing so!

·      There's such satisfaction in creation and in doing for others and while all our blocks were so different, there was such beauty in what everyone created. 

                                         ·      I LOVED seeing everyone else's work and absolutely recommend participation in the next one!!

  

CHANGES

We, here at Team Crispina are firm believers in lifelong learning and pride ourselves on instituting changes as we learn what works and what needs improvement for the next Stitch-A-Long with Crispina.  

We are excited to offer these changes for the next Stitch-A-Long with Crispina:

  • Kits will come with one square or two. This way, ambitious participants can make one square for giving to the cause and keep one to frame or make a sachet. Frames, Sachet Kits and directions for both will be available.
  • Benefactors can sponsor a square.  Those who are not financially able to participate can apply for a sponsored square.
  • Directions for completion will be included in kits for those who are unable to attend or watch recordings of the live sessions
  • Suggestions for beneficiaries welcome. Do you have an organization that supports victims of domestic violence in your area? Send an email to Hello@Crispina.com with Domestic Violence Shelter in the subject line.

Stitch-A-Long with Crispina

Calling all Earth, People and Textile Lovers

This Spring we kicked off something brand new called Stitch-A-Long with Crispina. The collaborative project came together to field the call for a collective need to be creative while supporting and feeling supported in these Coronavirus days of unknown future.  

Raise your hand if you are ready for a little support and fun right now ~

The Stitch-A-Long end result, the product of all the fun support and connection – a beautiful quilt-like blanket, that is coming together as we speak, proves to be much richer, more meaningful and simply more beautiful than could have been dreamed.  Really blowing my mind actually

Here are the details ~

The VERY FIRST Stitch-A-Long with Crispina is a collaborative project designed by me, eco-entrepreneur/activist/influencer Crispina ffrench, joined by over thirty women who purchased kits to make a blanket square – (no experience necessary).   Everything needed to jump into the making was provided in the kits (other than a pair of scissors).  Live Stitch-A-Long sessions on Zoom were hosted where participants gathered for collective making, learning technique, sharing tips and tricks and completing their collaborative contribution.

After the three scheduled Live Zoom Sewing Circles participants sent their completed squares back to me and I collaged all the beautifully crafted components into a magnificent blanket to sell online. For realz, the level of love and craft that went into these squares far surpassed my expectations.

Hi! This is me, Crispina ffrench returning to the studio with a handful of returned components for the Stitch-A-Long. I felt like a kid at Christmas ~

An auction of the collaborative blanket, imbued with all the love and positive intention of the group will go live, right here soon. Proceeds from the sale of the blanket will be donated to our local shelter for victims of domestic violence. You can read more about The Elizabeth Freeman Center here. Tell your friends and colleagues send an email to everyone on your list.

Since 1974 Elizabeth Freeman Center (EFC) has provided leadership and services to address domestic and sexual violence in Berkshire County. Everyday, 24 hours a day, EFC confronts the life and death issues faced by people experiencing or affected by domestic abuse and sexual assault. We are the frontline and major safety net in our community for victims seeking safety and a new life.

This project has already gotten such an amazing response (100% participation, meaning EVERY kit sold was returned for inclusion and enthusiastic response online and from our partners at the the Elizabeth Freeman Center) that we are currently planning the next Stitch-A-Long which will support a domestic violence victims' shelter yet to be determined. If you can recommend a shelter in your area, send an email to Hello@Crispina.com with Domestic Violence Shelter in the subject line.

In the days since sheltering at home became our way of life, there has been a disparaging uptick in the need for domestic violence services. I am a passionate supporter, committed to the empowerment of all, and especially those who have been victimized. It is a blessing to have the opportunity to use my business, my trade and my gifts to nurture an ever-growing field of support for our most vulnerable.

If you are ready to learn more and get familiar with the simple tools involved in the making process, download my free 10 Simple Tools for Every Used-Clothing Up-Cycler

HISTORY

The very first Stitch-A-Long with Crispina followed on the coattails of Crispina’s Scrapbox Challenge 2020. For that project, boxes full of Crispina’s studio scrap were sent out to 60 contestants on March 9, 2020.  By the time boxes were delivered, the world was a different place than when we were shipping packages from the studio just a few short days prior. In that time, the world went into self-quarantine full of shocking unknowns and many more questions than answers.

Scrapbox Challenge participants formed bonds with the process, the project, with me and each other. The project was an ongoing creative uplift in the darkest days of this pandemic's unknown.  Scientists have proven that having a creative practice for even just one hour a week has benefits, from reducing stress anxiety and fear while building self-confidence, enjoyment and sense of accomplishment.

Working in a group adds to all that, connection, the bonds of friendship and a level of support.

‘The Challenge’ lasted nearly two months with all sorts of fun interaction, documentation of each participant's creative process, an active private online community and voting for the Grand Prize Winner and 3 Runners Up.  As The Scrapbox Challenge wound to a close, participants and followers alike began to chime in:

‘What’s next?”  

“I never want this to end.”  

“NOW what am I going to do?”

I was listening, heard the need, and understand how creative community nurtures - believe me! Delving into my creativity gets me through the darkest days.

The overwhelming success already of this first Stitch-A-Long has prompted the planning of a next one, scheduled to kick off soon.  Each Stitch-A-Long will be different in several ways. Blanket imagery will be different, (I am thinking trees, flowers or leaves for the next one) Each event will support a different shelter for victims of domestic violence. Each Stitch-A-Long will teach my team more about what works and what could be improved with ever increasing ripples of nurture and support as the mission.

Speaking of process, the making process for participation is simple. Download my list of 10 Simple Tools for Every Used-Clothing Up-Cycler and you will see that there is nothing all that complicated involved.

BENEFITS  

·     Live Sewing Sessions are scheduled with the idea that enough time and teaching is provided during these sessions to complete the project.  Recordings of the live sessions are provided to all participants for reference.

·     The collaborative Stitch-A-Long schedule pretty much guarantees completion.  Did you know that scientists agree that project-completion empowers by building self-confidence, and reducing stress. Combine that with the fact that spending even just one hour a week in a creative practice reduces fear, anxiety and stress while building confidence and self-assuredness and this project becomes a win, win, win ~

The good goes on. . .

·     Working collaboratively in a group builds connection and meaning.  As participants work their kits, discussion circles around the end-use of their labor and the connection they feel to the outcome.

·     Connections felt in the private online community for each other grows as does the collective desire to help build up victims that might feel 'less-than'.  

·     Collaboration leads to community.

·     When handwork is done with intention, the results carry that energy forward. Stitch-A-Long components are stitched with thoughtful intention to lend a hand, support and nurture those among us who need that most. That intention paired with the collective support felt within the group of participants imbues the end result with a layer of palpable connection of positive spirits from far reaches across the earth with participants located from Alaska to the UK in the this first Stitch-A-Long.

·     Working with recycled fabrics, vintage buttons and embellishments by hand adds a level of history, nostalgia, and more intention.  

·     All the pieces curated for the kits are disseminated from donated materials. Donors have an intention to share, to reuse, to pass-on useful things to those who might need or even treasure them.  All fabrics incorporated in a Stitch-A-Long are recycled, found and treasured.  Buttons are scavenged, beads and embellishments thrifted, teaching that, from what one might discard as useless, comes work encompassing an unexpected level of refined function and beauty.

·     Stitch-A-Longs raise awareness of, and money for, a global pandemic of other sorts.  Domestic Violence mostly goes unspoken, unacknowledged.  By participating in this project you are speaking up for victims that have often become accustomed to remaining silent in their lives of danger.  You are doing meaningful work, building friendships and bringing domestic violence into the conversation.  The alternative to living a life in fear is to be happy, productive, and empowered.

·     The Stitch-A-Long with Crispina answers the call to gather in community to create magic that is far greater than the sum of its parts.

·     The Stitch-A-Long with Crispina is structured to help participants overcome the idea that their creative practice is optional but rather a valid investment in self-care.

GET INVOLVED

Whether you are an experienced embroiderer, cross-stitcher, quilter, knitter crocheter, OR someone seeking a creative practice for the first time, a Stitch-A-Long with Crispina is nurturing, welcoming, and accepting. A perfect place to build bridges of craft, care and connection.  (What I mean there it that this is super fun. Like HIGHLIGHT of your week kinda fun) It is a place to stand in the face of global divisiveness and come together supporting the earth, each other and the most vulnerable among us.

(Ok, so it is actually a bunch of super nice people having fun together)

Profits from the next Stitch-A-Long with Crispina will support a shelter for victims of domestic violence.  (If you know an organization for consideration you can send an email to Hello@Crispina.com with Domestic Violence Shelter in the subject line.)  

The next Stitch-A-Long is scheduled to kick off in just a week or two and we would love to include you in our sequence of information as we put it together. If you want to be in that loop, download 10 Simple Tools for Every Used-Clothing Up-Cycler to learn a little about the tools involved. We will add you to the list.

Back over here in the studio I am dreaming up the next blanket. I am thinking autumn leaves and sky, you know, living in the forest really influences my work. Once kits are designed, photographed and for sale there will be just a short window to join the next collaboration.  

TESTIMONIALS

Here is what participants shared about their Stitch-A-Long with Crispina experience:

 

Barbara from Arizona says:

·       Doing art in a group for a higher purpose is a totally wonderful fusion of hearts and minds.

·      Stitching was an easy way to create something beautiful.

·      If you're looking for a creative outlet that makes a real difference, this is it!

 

 

Debbie from New York says: 

·       I loved the opportunity to rekindle my decades-old love of working with fabrics and needlework, and the opportunity to participate in a project that will contribute so much to the world

·       I often felt overwhelmed with emotion while working on this project……not only for the wonderful project to which we were all contributing, but also, I quite naturally felt reminded of and close to both my mother and my Nanny, who took the time to teach me to sew, knit, crochet, and more --- I lost them both before I was 30 years old, and it was wonderful to have this type of reconnection now at age 58.  I see now why women used to quilt incircles and why women knit together and craft together…….it’s soul enriching.

·       I absolutely recommend participation in a Stitch-A-Long and will do it again myself!!

Joan from Missouri says: 

·      I especially liked the group responses, which were very motivating. 

·      Crispina really sparked my creativity.

·      I found a new skill that has been fun and stress relieving during thesedifficult times.

·      I definitely recommend a Stitch-A-Long and hope to join again too!

 

Liz-Anne    from New Hampshire says:

·      One of the most important gifts of participating in the Stitch-A-Long was being part of an opportunity to do something for others. I am so happy that our work (play!)will benefit the Elizabeth Freeman Center. It has never been more important to use whatever privilege we have for the benefit of others.

 

Debbie    from Pennsylvania says:

·      I loved everything about the project but especially the new skill and the appreciation for just jumping in and trying something new!  

·      I loved knowing I was taking part of an effort that would help people and that I was doing so by coming together with a group of talented and warm people who were previously strangers. 

·      In addition I found it rewarding to know that, while my life was so much changed in being separated from others during the pandemic, this was a way to come together......and an appreciation of how much I enjoyed doing so!

·      There's such satisfaction in creation and in doing for others and while all our blocks were so different, there was such beauty in what everyone created. 

                                         ·      I LOVED seeing everyone else's work and absolutely recommend participation in the next one!!

  

CHANGES

We, here at Team Crispina are firm believers in lifelong learning and pride ourselves on instituting changes as we learn what works and what needs improvement for the next Stitch-A-Long with Crispina.  

We are excited to offer these changes for the next Stitch-A-Long with Crispina:

  • Kits will come with one square or two. This way, ambitious participants can make one square for giving to the cause and keep one to frame or make a sachet. Frames, Sachet Kits and directions for both will be available.
  • Benefactors can sponsor a square.  Those who are not financially able to participate can apply for a sponsored square.
  • Directions for completion will be included in kits for those who are unable to attend or watch recordings of the live sessions
  • Suggestions for beneficiaries welcome. Do you have an organization that supports victims of domestic violence in your area? Send an email to Hello@Crispina.com with Domestic Violence Shelter in the subject line.

Stitch-A-Long with Crispina

Calling all Earth, People and Textile Lovers

This Spring we kicked off something brand new called Stitch-A-Long with Crispina. The collaborative project came together to field the call for a collective need to be creative while supporting and feeling supported in these Coronavirus days of unknown future.  

Raise your hand if you are ready for a little support and fun right now ~

The Stitch-A-Long end result, the product of all the fun support and connection – a beautiful quilt-like blanket, that is coming together as we speak, proves to be much richer, more meaningful and simply more beautiful than could have been dreamed.  Really blowing my mind actually

Here are the details ~

The VERY FIRST Stitch-A-Long with Crispina is a collaborative project designed by me, eco-entrepreneur/activist/influencer Crispina ffrench, joined by over thirty women who purchased kits to make a blanket square – (no experience necessary).   Everything needed to jump into the making was provided in the kits (other than a pair of scissors).  Live Stitch-A-Long sessions on Zoom were hosted where participants gathered for collective making, learning technique, sharing tips and tricks and completing their collaborative contribution.

After the three scheduled Live Zoom Sewing Circles participants sent their completed squares back to me and I collaged all the beautifully crafted components into a magnificent blanket to sell online. For realz, the level of love and craft that went into these squares far surpassed my expectations.

Hi! This is me, Crispina ffrench returning to the studio with a handful of returned components for the Stitch-A-Long. I felt like a kid at Christmas ~

An auction of the collaborative blanket, imbued with all the love and positive intention of the group will go live, right here soon. Proceeds from the sale of the blanket will be donated to our local shelter for victims of domestic violence. You can read more about The Elizabeth Freeman Center here. Tell your friends and colleagues send an email to everyone on your list.

Since 1974 Elizabeth Freeman Center (EFC) has provided leadership and services to address domestic and sexual violence in Berkshire County. Everyday, 24 hours a day, EFC confronts the life and death issues faced by people experiencing or affected by domestic abuse and sexual assault. We are the frontline and major safety net in our community for victims seeking safety and a new life.

This project has already gotten such an amazing response (100% participation, meaning EVERY kit sold was returned for inclusion and enthusiastic response online and from our partners at the the Elizabeth Freeman Center) that we are currently planning the next Stitch-A-Long which will support a domestic violence victims' shelter yet to be determined. If you can recommend a shelter in your area, send an email to Hello@Crispina.com with Domestic Violence Shelter in the subject line.

In the days since sheltering at home became our way of life, there has been a disparaging uptick in the need for domestic violence services. I am a passionate supporter, committed to the empowerment of all, and especially those who have been victimized. It is a blessing to have the opportunity to use my business, my trade and my gifts to nurture an ever-growing field of support for our most vulnerable.

If you are ready to learn more and get familiar with the simple tools involved in the making process, download my free 10 Simple Tools for Every Used-Clothing Up-Cycler

HISTORY

The very first Stitch-A-Long with Crispina followed on the coattails of Crispina’s Scrapbox Challenge 2020. For that project, boxes full of Crispina’s studio scrap were sent out to 60 contestants on March 9, 2020.  By the time boxes were delivered, the world was a different place than when we were shipping packages from the studio just a few short days prior. In that time, the world went into self-quarantine full of shocking unknowns and many more questions than answers.

Scrapbox Challenge participants formed bonds with the process, the project, with me and each other. The project was an ongoing creative uplift in the darkest days of this pandemic's unknown.  Scientists have proven that having a creative practice for even just one hour a week has benefits, from reducing stress anxiety and fear while building self-confidence, enjoyment and sense of accomplishment.

Working in a group adds to all that, connection, the bonds of friendship and a level of support.

‘The Challenge’ lasted nearly two months with all sorts of fun interaction, documentation of each participant's creative process, an active private online community and voting for the Grand Prize Winner and 3 Runners Up.  As The Scrapbox Challenge wound to a close, participants and followers alike began to chime in:

‘What’s next?”  

“I never want this to end.”  

“NOW what am I going to do?”

I was listening, heard the need, and understand how creative community nurtures - believe me! Delving into my creativity gets me through the darkest days.

The overwhelming success already of this first Stitch-A-Long has prompted the planning of a next one, scheduled to kick off soon.  Each Stitch-A-Long will be different in several ways. Blanket imagery will be different, (I am thinking trees, flowers or leaves for the next one) Each event will support a different shelter for victims of domestic violence. Each Stitch-A-Long will teach my team more about what works and what could be improved with ever increasing ripples of nurture and support as the mission.

Speaking of process, the making process for participation is simple. Download my list of 10 Simple Tools for Every Used-Clothing Up-Cycler and you will see that there is nothing all that complicated involved.

BENEFITS  

·     Live Sewing Sessions are scheduled with the idea that enough time and teaching is provided during these sessions to complete the project.  Recordings of the live sessions are provided to all participants for reference.

·     The collaborative Stitch-A-Long schedule pretty much guarantees completion.  Did you know that scientists agree that project-completion empowers by building self-confidence, and reducing stress. Combine that with the fact that spending even just one hour a week in a creative practice reduces fear, anxiety and stress while building confidence and self-assuredness and this project becomes a win, win, win ~

The good goes on. . .

·     Working collaboratively in a group builds connection and meaning.  As participants work their kits, discussion circles around the end-use of their labor and the connection they feel to the outcome.

·     Connections felt in the private online community for each other grows as does the collective desire to help build up victims that might feel 'less-than'.  

·     Collaboration leads to community.

·     When handwork is done with intention, the results carry that energy forward. Stitch-A-Long components are stitched with thoughtful intention to lend a hand, support and nurture those among us who need that most. That intention paired with the collective support felt within the group of participants imbues the end result with a layer of palpable connection of positive spirits from far reaches across the earth with participants located from Alaska to the UK in the this first Stitch-A-Long.

·     Working with recycled fabrics, vintage buttons and embellishments by hand adds a level of history, nostalgia, and more intention.  

·     All the pieces curated for the kits are disseminated from donated materials. Donors have an intention to share, to reuse, to pass-on useful things to those who might need or even treasure them.  All fabrics incorporated in a Stitch-A-Long are recycled, found and treasured.  Buttons are scavenged, beads and embellishments thrifted, teaching that, from what one might discard as useless, comes work encompassing an unexpected level of refined function and beauty.

·     Stitch-A-Longs raise awareness of, and money for, a global pandemic of other sorts.  Domestic Violence mostly goes unspoken, unacknowledged.  By participating in this project you are speaking up for victims that have often become accustomed to remaining silent in their lives of danger.  You are doing meaningful work, building friendships and bringing domestic violence into the conversation.  The alternative to living a life in fear is to be happy, productive, and empowered.

·     The Stitch-A-Long with Crispina answers the call to gather in community to create magic that is far greater than the sum of its parts.

·     The Stitch-A-Long with Crispina is structured to help participants overcome the idea that their creative practice is optional but rather a valid investment in self-care.

GET INVOLVED

Whether you are an experienced embroiderer, cross-stitcher, quilter, knitter crocheter, OR someone seeking a creative practice for the first time, a Stitch-A-Long with Crispina is nurturing, welcoming, and accepting. A perfect place to build bridges of craft, care and connection.  (What I mean there it that this is super fun. Like HIGHLIGHT of your week kinda fun) It is a place to stand in the face of global divisiveness and come together supporting the earth, each other and the most vulnerable among us.

(Ok, so it is actually a bunch of super nice people having fun together)

Profits from the next Stitch-A-Long with Crispina will support a shelter for victims of domestic violence.  (If you know an organization for consideration you can send an email to Hello@Crispina.com with Domestic Violence Shelter in the subject line.)  

The next Stitch-A-Long is scheduled to kick off in just a week or two and we would love to include you in our sequence of information as we put it together. If you want to be in that loop, download 10 Simple Tools for Every Used-Clothing Up-Cycler to learn a little about the tools involved. We will add you to the list.

Back over here in the studio I am dreaming up the next blanket. I am thinking autumn leaves and sky, you know, living in the forest really influences my work. Once kits are designed, photographed and for sale there will be just a short window to join the next collaboration.  

TESTIMONIALS

Here is what participants shared about their Stitch-A-Long with Crispina experience:

 

Barbara from Arizona says:

·       Doing art in a group for a higher purpose is a totally wonderful fusion of hearts and minds.

·      Stitching was an easy way to create something beautiful.

·      If you're looking for a creative outlet that makes a real difference, this is it!

 

 

Debbie from New York says: 

·       I loved the opportunity to rekindle my decades-old love of working with fabrics and needlework, and the opportunity to participate in a project that will contribute so much to the world

·       I often felt overwhelmed with emotion while working on this project……not only for the wonderful project to which we were all contributing, but also, I quite naturally felt reminded of and close to both my mother and my Nanny, who took the time to teach me to sew, knit, crochet, and more --- I lost them both before I was 30 years old, and it was wonderful to have this type of reconnection now at age 58.  I see now why women used to quilt incircles and why women knit together and craft together…….it’s soul enriching.

·       I absolutely recommend participation in a Stitch-A-Long and will do it again myself!!

Joan from Missouri says: 

·      I especially liked the group responses, which were very motivating. 

·      Crispina really sparked my creativity.

·      I found a new skill that has been fun and stress relieving during thesedifficult times.

·      I definitely recommend a Stitch-A-Long and hope to join again too!

 

Liz-Anne    from New Hampshire says:

·      One of the most important gifts of participating in the Stitch-A-Long was being part of an opportunity to do something for others. I am so happy that our work (play!)will benefit the Elizabeth Freeman Center. It has never been more important to use whatever privilege we have for the benefit of others.

 

Debbie    from Pennsylvania says:

·      I loved everything about the project but especially the new skill and the appreciation for just jumping in and trying something new!  

·      I loved knowing I was taking part of an effort that would help people and that I was doing so by coming together with a group of talented and warm people who were previously strangers. 

·      In addition I found it rewarding to know that, while my life was so much changed in being separated from others during the pandemic, this was a way to come together......and an appreciation of how much I enjoyed doing so!

·      There's such satisfaction in creation and in doing for others and while all our blocks were so different, there was such beauty in what everyone created. 

                                         ·      I LOVED seeing everyone else's work and absolutely recommend participation in the next one!!

  

CHANGES

We, here at Team Crispina are firm believers in lifelong learning and pride ourselves on instituting changes as we learn what works and what needs improvement for the next Stitch-A-Long with Crispina.  

We are excited to offer these changes for the next Stitch-A-Long with Crispina:

  • Kits will come with one square or two. This way, ambitious participants can make one square for giving to the cause and keep one to frame or make a sachet. Frames, Sachet Kits and directions for both will be available.
  • Benefactors can sponsor a square.  Those who are not financially able to participate can apply for a sponsored square.
  • Directions for completion will be included in kits for those who are unable to attend or watch recordings of the live sessions
  • Suggestions for beneficiaries welcome. Do you have an organization that supports victims of domestic violence in your area? Send an email to Hello@Crispina.com with Domestic Violence Shelter in the subject line.

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