As a freelance artist, I’m often spending my time in the studio, embroidering and planning new workshops. I work from home so this means that I’m usually on my own watching Netflix and talking to myself.
I teach at Heydays, part of the Creative Engagement programme at Leeds Playhouse and I was chatting to my class about isolation. This isn’t something that only affects older people, there are lots of people who are spending their free time alone.
Crafty socials are popping up across the country and they’re a great way to combat social isolation. I set up MCR Sew Social in 2019 with fellow artist Louisa Hammond. We wanted to meet like minded makers with a passion for all things textile. I’ve really enjoyed planning and attending our events, meeting new people and eating some lovely cake!
Manchester Sew Social meet on the third Thursday of the month at Foundation Coffee House on Whitworth Street.
Closer to home, I’ve been attending the Crafty Socials and Stitchers Meet Ups at Workshop in Headingley, Leeds. Aliss runs a fantastic cafe and creative space that offers a range of crafty workshops and amazing food.
The Crafty Socials are every other Thursday from 5.30pm to 8.00pm. Bring along your own projects to work on and meet some amazing people who love to make. No need to book.
The Stitchers Meet Up is on the first Sunday of the month, you can book your free place through the Workshop website.
I can’t recommend joining a local meet up enough, they’ve helped me to get more social and I’ve made some great friends. If you’re nervous about attending an event for the first time, organisers are really welcoming and make you feel at home.