QT2: Final stitches.

Fond Farewell - the final Quit Tales 2 session.
Fond Farewell – the final Quit Tales 2 session.

A Fond Farewell to Quit Tales 2

The final workshop was a bit of an emotional affair, the QT2 makers have been on quite a creative journey over the past 12 week. This didn’t stop many makers starting and finishing a whole new panel each in the final workshop! Fuelled by mince pies and hot drinks the makers got stuck into finishing on a high note.

Working within a sheltered housing setting was a first for us and was not without its challenges. It would be fair to say that it proved more difficult to drum up support for the project than was initially anticipated due to unforeseen established hierarchies. This said, the small close group who became the core and centre of Quilt Tales 2 were dedicated to the project and excited about publicly showing the end results . It has been a privilege to watch individuals grow in both general confidence and confidence in their creative potential as they met to socialise, share their stories and with a little encouragement, allowed their creativity to unfurl. A good example of this is Sheila, who has gone from creative strength to creative strength throughout the project. The below image is a hand drawn image of a vase of flowers that Sheila completed during a art class many year previously. We had it transferred onto fabric and Sheila set to work painstakingly embroidering the petals with silk threads, taking her work home and working on it each evening between weekly QT2 workshops.  Feeing it would benefit from a contrasting texture, Sheila then moved onto finish the detail on the vase with watercolours. The results, as you can see, are stunning. This panel takes pride of place in the centre on the QT2 quilt.

“Being with creative people was the best bit. Being surrounded by colour and good company. I feel it has brought out my creative side.” – Sheila, QT2 Maker.

“Sheila’s has blossomed throughout this project. Creatively, Sheila is unrecognisable as the lady who told me she was ” no good at being arty” only 11 weeks previously!”

– Alex McEwan, Lead Artist QT2

As we drew the project to a close, many new faces turned up to our little group interested to see what we had been up to and asking where they could get craft items. Leaving us to ask, where have you all been? We would have loved to have included you in the group!

“I wish more people would have come.” – Sheila, QT2 Maker.

The feedback was overwhelmingly positive, adding authentic voice to our belief that creative endeavour really does improve  general wellbeing for elderly people living with sensory impairment, their families and by extension the  community at large. We are constantly reminded that we are all living longer.  There is no time like the present to invest in inclusive, creative, community projects for the future.

Anne: “I have gained confidence. I was alright at being confident, but when you make new friends you get the confidence to do new things. I used to sit back and do nothing, but not now.  I thought I was useless! You’re making me proud of myself – look at those drawings! I’m not as bad at this as I thought!”

Emily and Anne reflect on the project by reading the oldblog together.
Emily and Anne reflect on the project by reading the oldblog together.

” I’ve enjoyed the company of everybody here. Everyone has been very helpful and doing something that reminds me of times gone by.”Surprising what you learn. So many things on the table and you think that they wouldn’t go together but I always surprise myself.” – Anne, QT2 Maker.

The QT2 Maker’s feelings on what the benefits of the project were:

“Have enjoyed the companionship.  It brightens my mood”

“I didn’t know I could do such creative work!”

“ I have a tremor in my hands,  creative work has helped my co-ordination.”

“ Coming to the project has made me happier. I wouldn’t have done half of what I have done without your support “

“Gets me out of the flat, which is good & I really enjoy it.”

“I have made friends since I came here. We have a laugh and conversation.”

“It makes my day!”

Overall Project Scores and one word sum up by the core makers:

Kenny                         11/10                      Fantastic

Sheila                          10/10                     Amazing!

Anne                             10/10                    Company

Len                                10/10                    Brilliant

Christmas cards,  fond farewells and thank you’s exchanged we packed up our crafty roadshow for the final time at Edward Pauling House. Next time we meet will be at the exhibition opening at Waterman’s Art Centre, Brentford. Thank you to Anne, Sheila, Kenny, Joyce, Graham, Emily, Polly, Celia, Len, Bertie, Linda, Jason,  Kew Gardens Discovery Team, Kara, the Arts & Wellbeing Team at Sense and Hounslow Borough Council , the tweeters and oldblog contributors for all your help making this project the success it was. See you at the private view, all welcome!

Quilt Tales Invitation
Quilt Tales Invitation

If you have examples of similar projects or have been inspired by our efforts to get creative please share your endeavours with us @SenseTweets or leave a comment below.

 

Alex McEwan

Author: Alex McEwan

Alex is an artist who specialises in inclusive and accessible community arts projects, such as Sense's TEXTtile and Quilt Tales.

3 thoughts on “QT2: Final stitches.”

  1. The project was at times a little frustrating, but ultimately incredibly rewarding. To watch the makers become totally absorbed in their creative tasks, and to see the joy and pride in their results was wonderful.

    The sessions required hours of work from Team Leader Alex, both before and after each workshop. This ensured everything ran smoothly, craft supplies were to hand and bespoke hot drinks at the ready (only hot chocolate would do for Joyce!).

    Kara (from Sense) was on hand either in person or on the end of the phone to coordinate the logistics and pour oil on any potential troubled waters.

    A true team effort. I very much look forward to the Private View!

  2. Such amazingness shining through this post and comment! Love hearing about the triumphs and tribulations involved in bringing arts (and colour and good company) to those that made this leap from their every day. Thanks guys for your help and being great!

  3. What an amazing project to have been a part of! It was truly moving to watch as confidence grew and friendships were made, all while new skills were flourishing.

    It’s lovely to know that such opportunities are available and I couldn’t wish for a better team to have been a part of!

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