I recently had the pleasure of meeting Pamela Emerson, AKA The Crafty Historian. Fascinated by social history, and an experienced and talented crafter and teacher, Pamela is deeply passionate about Northern Ireland’s creative industries and projects.
Pamela is a member of the #artsni creative collective, and also a keen supporter of #NI2030 – an ambitious and energetic campaign to see Northern Ireland regarded as the creative capital of Europe by 2030.
She told me how all of the above led to her latest project – an attempt to put Northern Ireland on the map by hand-making the world’s biggest patchwork Christmas stocking!
Her previous patchwork projects have been historically significant and fascinating pieces of work, including a recreation of the Changi Quilts made by female prisoners in Singapore during the Second World War. Below, the original quilt is on the left, Pamela’s replica is on the right.
January was Voluntary Arts #lovetoUPCYCLE month, so what better way for a crafter to do her bit for Northern Ireland’s 2030 ambitions than to kick off the new year with a world record attempt, using scrap card, paper and fabric?
Pamela needs to create a working stocking larger than the world’s current largest – a knitted sock measuring an eye-popping 51 x 21 metres!
But she can’t do it alone – she needs your help!
It will take several thousand paper-pieced hexagons of fabric sewn together to create this record-breaking festive garment. Here’s how you can help:
1. Sew up some hexagons yourself
Full instructions for making these are in the pic below.
You’ll need a hexagon template which Pamela will provide. Only hexagons made using Pamela’s templates can be accepted as each one must be strictly of uniform size in order to be used in the stocking.
These can currently be collected from Top Floor Art in Saintfield, or you can contact Pamela through the NI Big Sock Facebook page. She’s hoping to add to the list of collection and drop-off points soon (see point 3!)
2. Donate card, paper, fabric and thread
Old Christmas and birthday cards, cereal boxes – these are ideal sources of the thin card needed for the hexagon templates. For the paper pieces, thick sturdy paper – such as old calendars, takeaway menus, brochures and magazines – is required.
Fabric and sewing thread is also needed – do you have any scrap fabric measuring at least 3″ x 3″, maybe even old pillowcases or clothes destined for the charity shop? They need to be either red, green or dark coloured and of a light to medium weight. If you happen to have any Christmas fabric – all the better!
Any thread donations would be very gratefully received – thread you don’t need, maybe the end of a spool, or perhaps some sewing groups or retailers would be able to donate any surplus stocks of thread they can spare?
3. Offer a premises as a drop-off and/or collection point for people to leave completed hexagons or collect hexagon templates.
Perhaps you can offer your business, office, or other premises? This could be a great opportunity for a craft, sewing supplies or fabric shop!
I happen to have a few hexagons myself and I’m more than happy to act as a drop-off point for anyone in and around Lisburn – so just get in touch if you’d like to get involved!
Don’t forget to share your hexagon-making pics here, and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and please download and share the infographic above too.