Womens’ Textiles | Northampton Old School Community Initiative Inc.
Womens’ Textiles is a year-long project. In Term One mosaic work was initially undertaken, but then moved onto sewing. The older women invited the younger ones with small children to join in and make things for their babies. They were reluctant and not confident in their sewing skills, but as time went on and skill levels increased, many of the attendees completed small items.
Term Two work moved onto making bags and patchwork items. Some of the group decided to give painting a go. First the joy of discovering painting, then seeing their designs printed onto fabric, has opened up a whole new world.
At the start of the year, during the January school holiday children’s program, Melissa Drage held tie-dying workshops. In the April holiday program, the mums then helped to sew the fabric into bags and cushions. This lovely circular skills transfer from parents to children is an important flow-on via the Textiles program.
It is envisaged in Term Three a team quilting project be undertaken, and perhaps even contemplate a project for the Northampton Airing of the Quilts in October. No-one expected that at the beginning of the year!
The Textiles project has encouraged new people into the centre, which has then increased the number of arts projects that are running. It has turned a compliance situation for long-term unemployed women of poor health into a vibrant forum for coming together, yarning and supporting each other. All have discovered an opportunity for the sale of their work, and with it, increased confidence. Through continuing participation, they have real prospects for the sale of future work at local events and regional markets.
Project Name: Womens’ Textiles
Funding Recipient: Northampton Old School Community Initiative Inc.
Amount Approved: $20,000.00 per annum
Funding Program: Core Arts Fund and Regional Arts Legacy Grants
Region: Mid West
“At the start of 2016 we had many beginners join the women’s textiles team. At first, the new members didn’t think they could make anything and half had long-term health issues. People didn’t want to be photographed and struggled to attend regularly. As the year progressed, the women first made a mosaic; then learned to sew. Now everyone is happy to be photographed with their ‘first’.” Annette Sellers, Coordinator NOSCII