Stitching Continents: call for submissions


After years of thinking about creating an event for Scottish Refugee Week I’ve finally taken the plunge.

I worked with refugees for 10 years and talked about embroidery with them. I was intrigued by the similarities and differences in this textile work and enjoyed finding out how people learned to embroider and why they did it. From a way to make a living to being a legitimate way for women to meet together in Taliban controlled areas the reasons are vast and the designs as unique as the person holding the needle and thread.

With this in mind I’m creating an exhibition of embroidery samplers using techniques and styles from around the world. The exhibition will be at Hillhead Library, Glasgow between 17-23 June 2913.

I’ll be working with refugees and asylum seekers living in Glasgow and would like to open up this opportunity to you. I would love you to make a sampler of embroidery using the designs, styles and stitches that mean something to you.

It might be that you or the person who showed you how to embroider is a refugee. You might love the designs originating from countries people have fled from to escape persecution. Or you might work with refugees and asylum seekers and like to use this opportunity to create a relaxing workshop for them. Whatever you reason I’d love you to take part and send your completed samplers to me.

Each piece should be A4 size (297cmx210cm / 11.7″x8.3″) with approximately 2cm of cloth around the edge for framing. The material and threads you use are up to you. All pieces will be exhibited so don’t worry about your stitches not being perfect, I just want people to see how beautiful all the different embroidery styles are.

With your submission it would be great to have the following information although I realise that any information about you that is on public display is very sensitive and you can remain completely anonymous, just let me know:

  • your name
  • address – I will only put your town on public display
  • which country the design originates from and
  • if you are a refugee.

If the design holds significance to a specific ethnic group or culture then why not add a wee note with it so I can pass it on to everyone who views the exhibition.

Please email me at for an address to send your work to or for further information. Please remember to send a stamped SAE if you would like it returned.

All submissions must be received by Monday 3rd June 2013.

Thank you to Scottish Refugee Council and Voluntary Arts Scotland for their support.

All photos via Pinterest



One response to “Stitching Continents: call for submissions

  1. Pingback: Refugee Week Scotland: Festival Lounge | Frayed at the Edges

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