Wednesday, 17 December 2008
Christmas is fast approaching but we squeeze in another focus group, this time in Wandsworth with the Asian Women's Group. We've had less chance to meet and talk things through beforehand here, and the women are shy. But it's clear that embroidery is a passion.
One lady very kindly gives me a handkerchief she embroidered for me the previous evening because she knew we would be meeting today. It's the first time that I have met her.
People are keen to get started on embroidering themselves now, even though many not have done much needlework for decades.
Tuesday, 2 December 2008
The first focus group and we're dazzled. The room at the community centre, where the group meets, is filled with suitcases, bags and bundles. It's the first time I meet Jessica Aldred of the Royal School of Needlework (who throws herself into the project with a passion) and in one sense we don't know where to start. Such is the variety of pieces brought in, the stitches and the background. We take as many photos as we can. We make a list of the stitches, some regional that Jessica has not seen before. People tell their stories.
We're lucky with the light. There is just time to take photographs in the street as the sun sets.