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The Boston Stitchers strive for positive change with four year long community project





A passionate group of stitchers organised a huge community project to create stunning storybooks to help celebrate the area’s rich heritage.

The Boston Stitchers, which includes members from Quadring and south Lincolnshire, decided something needed to be done in order to combat the ‘bad news’ Boston was starting to accumulate.

The group, made up of more than 40 members, came up with the idea of creating six ‘unique and magical’ storybooks, which use a combination of traditional and contemporary embroidery techniques to share the tale of the towns rich heritage, agriculture, landscapes and culture.

The Boston Stitchers group
The Boston Stitchers group
The 'build' book cover includes the Boston sign and area map
The 'build' book cover includes the Boston sign and area map
'Play' book park scene
'Play' book park scene

Creative Director Heather Wright has been part of the group for ten years. She said: “It all started in 2018 when the group agreed how much of a shame is was to read all about the bad news happening in the town, and we wanted to do something positive to celebrate and educate people.

“As part of a nationwide scheme led by the Boston Big Local organisation, we pitched our idea to them and they gave us money to be able to make it work. We created kits and designed leaflets, which told people all about our idea and included instructions, photos of what to do, a bit of fabric and a needle and some thread.

“After we gave out the kits to people all over Boston, it was unfortunately knocked down after Covid hit and all of the progress we had made was ruined. But then we realised, there would be loads of people sitting at home who were feeling very isolated and lonely, with nothing to do – so we put a post on Facebook where people could get in touch if they were interested.”

Chair and Creative Director for The Boston Stitchers, Heather Wright
Chair and Creative Director for The Boston Stitchers, Heather Wright
Boston 2020 book Frampton Marshes
Boston 2020 book Frampton Marshes
Covid 2020 thankyou page
Covid 2020 thankyou page

Chair of The Boston Big Local, Richard Tory, said: "These magical and unique storybooks are full of colour and texture and are works of art in their own right. They are an amazing example of how creativity and craft can bring a community together.

“The Story in Stitch is a unique and innovative way of showcasing the good in Boston and I’d encourage people from across Boston and the region, to come to the exhibition and celebrate this extraordinary piece of art.

“We are sure this exciting project will be an important heirloom for Boston for many years to come, and help change the story about Boston.”

The Boston Stitchers, Maureen Hill, Janet Corcoran, Johanna Taylor, Thora Fleming, Judy Carrott
The Boston Stitchers, Maureen Hill, Janet Corcoran, Johanna Taylor, Thora Fleming, Judy Carrott
A learning page
A learning page
Agriculture story in stitch
Agriculture story in stitch

Over the past four years, The Boston Stitchers has encouraged hundreds of Bostonians to become involved in the project, by sewing two-inch squares for the books – with one of their youngest participants aged under five years old.

Heather added: “Originally we thought it would be a wall panel, but realised when you think about telling a story, especially to children, you will often find that they automatically think of a book.

“We decided as a group to make the series of books with a theme for example, this year is ‘reusing and recycling old books’, as we were absolutely horrified with the amount of books being thrown away due to people streaming things online nowadays.

Boston Stump in stitch
Boston Stump in stitch
Members of the Boston Stitchers, Judy Carrott and Nikki Baxter
Members of the Boston Stitchers, Judy Carrott and Nikki Baxter
Members experiences with covid, explained through stitch
Members experiences with covid, explained through stitch

“Last year the theme was ‘glad rags’ after discovering the amount of textiles being thrown into landfill every day worldwide – which was quite astonishing. Instead of buying new fabric, we used things we already had and it’s the same for the books. We stitch onto paper and use the covers of books in lots of different ways.”

Each book is nearly two feet tall and takes up to 18 months to complete. They each tell a different story associated with the titles, which are; ‘Boston The Story In Stitch 2020’, ‘Build’, ‘Grow’, ‘Play’, ‘Create’ and ‘Listen’.

Visitors will be able to see, touch and read through the books at an exhibition at Fydell House in Boston on Friday, July 5, Thursday, July 11, Friday, July 19 and Thursday, July 25.

Boston in stitch
Boston in stitch
A merry-go-round horse for the 'Play' book cover
A merry-go-round horse for the 'Play' book cover
The 'grow' book cover
The 'grow' book cover

Heather added: “I design it all, so it’s great to see other people enjoying what I’ve had in my head. In the group we have got some people who are fairly new to stitching and others who have been doing it for a great number of years – our oldest member is 90 years old and our youngest is in their 30s.

“I get my inspiration for the books, from seeing various different textile techniques from all over the world and I enjoy incorporating these.

“The beauty of the art exhibition is visitors will be able to touch the books, compared to other galleries and exhibitions where they do not allow you do to that. It is all about turning the pages and discovering something new and I think it has worked really well so far.

Boston 'the story in stitch 2020' book
Boston 'the story in stitch 2020' book
Frampton Marshland page
Frampton Marshland page
Lovely sunflower details
Lovely sunflower details

“It does make me feel proud. It was a concept which changed in lockdown and I feel at the end, we will have a fantastic story of Boston to share with people.”

For more information on how to join the group, visit the Boston Stitchers Facebook page and website.



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