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DIY and Maker Faire: Creating new crafting - and stitching communities

Posted By TNNA Staff, Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Updated: Friday, August 26, 2011

It seems the Do It Yourself Movement has given way to a whole new awareness, appreciation and personal involvement in crafts and, in the same vein, the needlearts.

I recently received an email from Pete Poitras, the "P” in JP Needlepoint, and TNNA’s Needlepoint Group Chair.

It was all about a "craft social” which is, simply, lots of people getting together to work on craft projects. They don’t have to be the same projects . . . They could be anything from stamping, buttons, T-shirts, cross-stitching, knitting . . . well, you get the picture.

The article was specifically about the Chicago Craft Social which included total strangers, in their 20′s and 30′s who even paid to spend the night at — what the organizers call — the biggest craft party in the nation. The event is held four times a year in suburban Chicago.

The article states, "More than (offering crafters a chance to try new techniques, find inspiration and sample new materials),
Craft Social is a chance to build a community for a new generation of do-it-yourselfers who follow popular crafting blogs, search YouTube videos and post their own tutorials online.”

The organizer Amanda Edwards, says "People are craving community, so we say make stuff, make friends and meet with other people.”

The event is being compared to the "Stitch ‘n Bitch movement” . . . but it seems to me it’s more like the Maker Faire events that TNNA has been involved in recently. Talk about community . . . the San Mateo Maker Faire in May 2010 brought out 90,000 people who simply wanted to learn about "making stuff.” TNNA’s Needlepoint Stitch Zone entertained over 1000 new stitchers, thanks to the help of close to 50 volunteers from local guilds, TNNA members (wholesalers and retailers), Ravelry followers, and other local stitchers.

I guess, some of it wouldn’t be called crafts. At Maker Faire, there were all types of "making” going on from high tech to low tech and everything else in between. But it certainly was a community, and it certainly was creative.

TNNA is planning to be at Maker Faire in Detroit on July 31st and August 1st. Although we don’t anticipate quite the turnout we had in San Mateo, we can expect a great, enthusiastic crowd. If you’re able to teach one of the needlearts (crochet, knitting, needlepoint or cross-stitch/embroidery), and would like to come out to join the fun, please go to Jooners and sign up for a convenient time slot. We still could use a few people . . . and best of all, you get in for free on the day you volunteer.

But even better, you get to participate in a type of "craft social” . . . people who love to simply create coming together, in community, to share new ideas, techniques, materials and good times. What a great way to spend a day.

Tags:  craft fair  craft social  crochet  detroit michigan  knitting  maker faire  Marketing Needlearts  needlearts  needlearts stitch zone  needlecraft  needlepoint  needlework  Needlework News  stitching  TNNA 

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