Wow what a month.

Our link up with seam collective for 4 meet and make sessions took us on four very different journeys, and they all related clearly to the prompts mentioned in the previous week of #septtextilelove.

Our first session with Julie Heaton and Angie Parker provided a thought-provoking session about how to launch or relaunch a practice that may have been developed later in life or lain dormant as other challenges occurred. It was a timely reminder that community is everything, with Angie and Julie both offering thoughtful and considered advice to the questions asked.

The second session with Jane Colquhoun, Oliver Bliss and Angie Parker took a different path, as we talked about art and dementia and how making could support this terrible disease. One maker taking part in the seam challenge also shared her amazing name blanket that she was darning as we talked – it had the names over everyone she remembered meeting on in circles.

Our third session with Helen MacRitchie and Lydia Needle led to conversations about eucalyptus dyes and the guilt surrounding chemical dyes, but also how different makers can find different methods and materials so challenging, and why community is so important.

Our final session with Nina Gronw- Lewis, Lou Baker and Joy Merron was a whistle stop tour around how knitting and crochet could maybe work together via maybe knitting with teabags and everything in between. We had discussions around the structure of cable knitting versus the free flow of Lou’s approach, and how clay can be brought into a textile environment and be as tactile as a traditional textile. We also discussed the challenge that a constantly changing exhibition like ‘a visible thread’ brings – and how this is something fairly unique in the exhibition world.

The recorded conversations with each of the makers at the start of each session were a really enjoyable part of the collaboration. An opportunity to listen to makers talk about their journey’s to now and what is hopefully going to come next.

The sense that seam collective creates community was also so central to the events. Be it community for the members of the collective, but also for us as participants in their exhibitions, and also the #septtextilelove challenge. Community is also the heart of why The Loom Shed exists, and that feels like a good reason to collaborate with seam collective in the first place.

Louise and I loved the sessions – we felt enthused and uplifted after spending time discussing such varied topics and meeting so many audience participants, who brought different skills and issues to the conversation.

Thank you to everyone who took part. You can read more about #septtextilelove from Angie Parker and Penny Wheeler on the seam collective website