Study Day Session 1

We encourage you to watch the pre-session viewing before watching the recording of the live Study Day session.

Attendees shared comments and questions about this session on a padlet (a website that anyone can add to). The padlet has now been archived, and can be accessed via the main Study Day page.

Pre-session viewing

Stitching Together / FilmGeographies film screenings:

Cherry Colour Buttonholes – Brenda Miller (2016, 5 minutes)

In Beatrix Potter’s story The Tailor of Gloucester, mice stitch the one and twenty buttonholes because the tailor was taken ill. Nowadays the skill of hand stitching buttonholes has virtually ceased to be used because buttonholes are pre-programmed on machines, thus reducing the time-consuming necessity of sewing by hand. My practice is concerned with enabling skilled practitioners to communicate their experiences/history and to reveal ways of dealing with subject areas that are so far undisclosed. The research aspect of the work is formed by the intimacy of exchange between people and how it can be critically reflected upon.

Threads of Identity – Lynn Setterington (2016, 5 minutes)

This film describes a stitch-based project which took place in 2016 in Manchester involving the Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Archive, Burnage Academy for Boys and myself, a professional embroiderer. Central to the enquiry was a signature cloth – a textile made up of hand-sewn autographs which originated in the US in the 1830’s as a way to record friendships as people moved West in the search for new lives. Creative workshops enabled the boys to explore stitch as a means of expression and create a commemorative banner to remember a past pupil killed in the school in a racially motivated crime in 1986.

Emotional Fit – Katherine Townsend, Ania Sadkowska, Jim Boxall (2017, 10 minutes)

This film explores fashion and ageing through sequences that communicate the embodied knowledge and sense of agency a group of mature women (55-75) from Nottingham possess through engagement with the materials and processes of clothing design. The film is an outcome of participatory research into designing for longevity based on the changing aesthetic and physiological needs of older female consumers. Filmed during a series of co-creative workshops, photo shoots and ‘trying on’ sessions, it conveys the women’s experience of wearing different garments and textiles and the sense of empowerment this provides when the physical and emotive aspects come together.

One Day When We Were Young – Mah Rana (2016, 6 minutes)

In contrast to mainstream film representations of dementia care that often focus on caregiver burden and a resulting poor quality of life, One Day When We Were Young shows how crafting together uncovers an alternative narrative of care that is reciprocal, strengthening, and liberating. ‘With the TV switched off and contents of a sewing kit arranged on a wooden tray, this signals that the living room has temporarily been transformed into a well-making space.’ Part of The Power of Making: Material Affect by Hackney and Rana (2016).

Pre-prepared presentations:

Sally Stone: Yarnstorming in Rowntree Park, York 2013-2021

This presentation defines yarnstorming and provides information about the community yarnstorming projects that have been organised in Rowntree Park, York since 2013. It covers the project objectives, how people can join in, what is offered at the workshops, and illustrates both the individual projects and their participants. Feedback, provided by those who have taken part in the projects, is presented on the themes of being creative, sharing the experience, community, and fundraising.  A summary of the key aspects of participants’ experiences is then provided. 

Live session

Recording of the live session

  1. Brenda Miller (Cherry Colour Buttonholes) and Mah Rana (One Day When We Were Young) in conversation, facilitated by Jessica Jacobs of FilmGeographies
  2. Pina Santoro and Rose Sinclair in conversation: Doing-making-sharing-collecting-documenting (see below)
  3. Sally Stone (Yarnstorming in Rowntree Park) and Katherine Townsend (Emotional Fit) in conversation, facilitated by Amy Twigger Holroyd

About the live presentation

Pina Santoro and Rose Sinclair in conversation: Doing-making-sharing-collecting-documenting

In this session  Rose Sinclair and Pina Santoro shared conversations around migration stories and heritage and how these have informed our approaches to communal practices of stitch. They discussed how these contribute to new methodologies and ways of collecting and archiving. In their discussion they unpicked what it means to recreate home and space and giving life to objects through stories, and how objects can hold traditions, inviting intergenerational discourses. Their research trajectories are immersed in doing and engaging with others, and in the doing making becomes the sharing and then the documenting of the making. They unpick what it means to make and stitch within their communities which are often seen as othered.


Dr Jessica Jacobs is a geographer whose work focuses on how researchers can use collaborative filmmaking and handicraft projects to map place, produce alternative knowledges to text and critically engage a wider audience. Her current projects include a workshop for young people filming place in Al Khalifa in Cairo, producing a handcrafted community map in southern Jordan, and using crafts and film to map gentrification in south London.

Dr Emma Shercliff and Dr Amy Twigger Holroyd are the coordinators of the Stitching Together network.

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