By Lisa Dillon-Langhorn
Before lockdown, I had the privilege of meeting Catherine and Naomi, from Significant Seams, when I attended, in person, the Textiles and Nature course in Crediton, Devon, UK. The course was listed on the Devon Recovery Learning Community (DRLC) website and I was instantly drawn to the nature aspect as I am very fond of nature and appreciate it’s healing qualities for my well-being. Textiles was an area I wished to learn and gain new skills in. The course exceeded my expectations and it felt a safe space to be in during the 6 weeks. Most weeks, the physical and mental challenges I faced did not stop me from attending the course.
A group of us learnt how to create cyanotypes, natural dyes, book making, sewing on leaves, how wool is generated from a fleece, drop spinning, printing onto textiles with leaves. It was such a creative space where Catherine regularly read from creative books to inspire us and hold the space. All of our senses were engaged throughout and the learning experience was incredibly empowering for me.
When the same course was introduced as a first online zoom classroom for DRLC, I jumped at the opportunity to work with these wonderful women again. This time I also got to meet, and learn, from Sarah and Melinda and I can honestly say, the online learning was just as good as face to face albeit, obviously missing the human interaction.
We did, however, manage to make new friends on zoom and every week the sessions really kept me going throughout the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown. I am continuing to slow-stitch when I am stressed and my detailed and more directed sewing works well for me when I am feeling well physically and mentally. I am someone who holds my worries and negative feeling inside and I discovered, during a Friday lunchtime Silent Zoom session, that I was able to sew my anger into my fabric using black thread. This helped me get the negative anger out of my body in relation to the awful George Floyd killing in the US.
I am so grateful for the opportunity so thank you so much Significant Seams and DRLC for keeping me connected with like-minded people during a very challenging time of life for us all.