Stitchers to the Rescue

“Stonnall Stitchers” are a local, likeminded, needlecraft group comprising twelve people.

We meet twice a month in the Village Hall to enjoy our favourite hobby – knitting, tapestry, cross stitch, crotchet, sewing projects – and you don’t need to be an expert, we are happy to pass on our knowledge if you want to try something new, or help each other if we come unstuck. Tea, cakes and biscuits are also on the agenda!

2020 has been a funny old year for us as we haven’t been able to meet since March because of Covid restrictions, but we have kept in touch via email and have some lovely pictures of our Lockdown projects.

When the call came to help the NHS by producing bags for front line workers to use for washing uniforms at home, we were ready. These were large, pump-style bags that could take a uniform folded flat ready to pop in the washing machine.

We used old pillow cases – linen cupboards and lofts were raided, friends were prevailed upon, and in a very short time there wasn’t an old pillow case to be found in the village. Initially finished bags were distributed to the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital, Birmingham, and Birmingham Children’s Hospital, with any spares being sent where needed.

These were gratefully received and we were proud to help such a good cause. Listeners to Johnny Walker’s Sounds of the Seventies show on Radio 2, may have heard him thank everyone in the country who had responded to the cry for help and it felt good to be part of it.

We are all looking forward to our first meeting in a while. So many meetings have been cancelled and even our Christmas party is not happening. We are currently planning an Easter gathering with chocolate eggs taking the place of sausage rolls and mince pies. But who knows what will happen next, who could have predicted

what we have endured this year? As Charles Dickens wrote:

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,
It was the age of reason, it was the age of foolishness

As true of this year as when it was written. But community spirit has flourished and we all looked forward to our Thursday clapping for the key workers, which reminded us of the sacrifices they were making to keep us safe, and gave us the opportunity to see our neighbours – socially distanced of course!

As for Stitchers, we’ll be there, needles threaded and at the ready for the next crisis, or just to get on with our latest project. Our usual meeting days are the first and third Monday in the month, 2 pm to 4 pm, in the Village Hall, but that depends on how the virus behaves and whether sufficient vaccinations are available for those who need them.

Meanwhile, from all at Stonnall Stitchers, keep safe and healthy in 2021 – and don’t forget to smile – that’s infectious too!

Ann Powell