As I sit here looking back at Stitch Up Chicago 2019, and looking through all the event photos from the photographers, I cannot help but notice the true beauty captured: a safe, diverse and inclusive space of Stitchers coming together to share our love for fiber arts. And in each moment hands at work.
I am so honored to have partnered with and worked with Knitter’s Pride for several years now and it humbles me how they support this community and Stitch Up Chicago. Knitters Pride, without hesitation, has stepped up to give back both in their home land and to this community. Seeing all these hands stitching with needles & hooks provided by Knitter’s Pride is just sorta special.
I noticed it at the event too - all the beautiful hands at work and beautiful faces in the room.
I felt overwhelmed when I looked around the room at over 100 beautiful and very different humans. And though I did not plan to comment on the current (& long overdue discussion of diversity in the fiber industry) at the event, I needed to say how grateful I am to be part of this community in my closing remarks before drawing the grand prize raffle. Remarks from attendees have made me want to work harder to create diverse and safe spaces for ALL in fiber arts and I am inspired by Stitch Up to do it.
I look at the beautiful humans who attended Stitch Up Chicago and I see such diversity and representation in age, gender, heritage, skin color and stitch discipline. One of the attendees said to me; “This is the most diverse and inclusive event I have ever been to”. I cried.
This is the community I am working hard to build.
It also reminded me of a pin my friend Louis has called Our Hands That Stitch, inspired by a photo our group of friends took one night at String Thing Studio in Brooklyn.
I love everything about that photo and that post and my community.
Representation matters. Period.
To think that I have helped create a space where all feel welcome and all ARE welcome, makes me want to work harder. And that is why I am now moving forward with Stitch Up Events, to bring this beautiful community event to other cities. But more on that coming soon.
I am so thankful to Knitter’s Pride for partnering with me to create this event and space. At the end of the day, the Change Is In Our Hands!